‘Star Trek: Discovery’ And ‘Picard’ Pick Up Guild Nominations For VFX, Make-Up, And Costumes

We are still in awards season, with nominations being announced every week by different groups and guilds. Star Trek Universe shows have already been nominated for GLAAD Awards and NAACP Image Awards, and in the last week, both Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard have picked up nominations from the guilds focused on visual effects, make-up, and costumes.

Discovery nominated for visual effects

On Tuesday, the Visual Effects Society nominated the Star Trek: Discovery episode “Su’Kal” in the category of Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode. Discovery VFX supervisor Jason Zimmerman is nominated along with visual effects artists Aleksandra Kochoska, Ante Dekovic, and Ivan Kondrup Jensen. Discovery is going up against Lovecraft Country, The Mandalorian, Timmy Failure, and Westworld. The VES Awards are being produced virtually in a streaming event on April 6 or 7.


Picard nominated for make-up

Last week Star Trek: Picard was nominated for Best Special Make-Up Effects by the Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild. Head of makeup James MacKinnon is up for the award along with Richard Redlefsen, Alexei Dmitriew, and Vincent Van Dyke. Picard is competing against Hollywood, Lovecraft Country, The Mandalorian, and Westworld. Winners will be honored at a virtual gala on Saturday, April 3, 2021.

Discovery gets six nominations for costumes

The biggest trove of nominations also came last week from the Canadian Alliance of Film & Television Costume Arts & Design. The costumes of Star Trek: Discovery season three garnered six in total. These are led by costume designer Gersha Phillips, who was nominated for Costume Design in TV – Sci-Fi/Fantasy for her work in “That Hope is You, Part 1.” Discovery is going up against Altered Carbon, Snowpiercer, The Expanse, and Odd Squad Mobile Unit.

Artists Ciara Brennan and Keith Lau were separately nominated for Excellence in Crafts – Costume Illustration; both are going up against each other and artists from The Stand, Altered Carbon, and The Twilight Zone.

Discovery costume cutters Tanya Batanuau-Chuiko, Carla Mingiardi, Ryan Smith, and Gulay Cokgezen were nominated for Excellence in Crafts – Building for their work in “That Hope is You, Part 1.” They are going up against cutters from The Expanse, Odd Squad Mobile Unit, Snowpiercer, and Altered Carbon.

Discovery textile artists Bonnie McCabe, Textile Artists: David Webb, Chantelle Hermiston, and Jamie Quail are up for Excellence in Crafts – Textiles. They are going up against artists from What We Do in the Shadows, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Boys, Altered Carbon, and Snowpiercer.

Discovery FX costumers Ray Wong, Hayley Stolee-Smith, Blake Hyland, Andrew Cook were nominated for Excellence in Crafts – Special Effects Costume Building for their work in “People of Earth.” They are competing against costumers from Umbrella Academy, American Gods, Odd Squad Mobile Unit, and The Boys.

A gala awards presentation is set for May 1, 2021.

There are still a few more guilds and groups set to announce awards in the coming weeks. Nominations for the Emmys will be announced in July.

Find more news and analysis for the Star Trek Universe on TV.

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Notice there is little to no writing nominations….. hmmmmm.

Well, these were technical nominations, not for writing. Yeah, it would be really great if every show, everywhere, would get nominated….but they won’t.I also stopped checking for awards at TNG. Lots of nominations, some wins…for the technical stuff.

Congratulations to the current shows for their nominations.

They’re not technical nominations. Each of these nominations, while showing a ton of technical skill, are nominations that represent real artistic decisions. This is a major bone of contention in the movie business, as people in these industries often feel disrespected by above-the-line folks as mere technicians. They are artists and they make great artistic contributions to the work.

Okay, specialized nominations, for artistic work in a defined field. I stand corrected.

And this is a surprise to whom? When has Trek been nominated in any of the various writing guilds? Trek has got nomination and some wins for Hugo, and some other sci-fi fantasy specific awards. But I don’t recall Trek every getting a nomination from one of the writing Guilds world wide. As for the Hugo, every Trek series that has made it at least two season with one exception has got at least a Hugo nomination, the one exception is Star Trek Voyager. Discovery was for one of their shorts. And in fairness there is a hell of a lot more sci-fi/fantasy produced now then in any previous era of Trek.

THE MEASURE OF A MAN was up for WGA award. And CITY won, didn’t it?

And in one sentence, you’ve laid bare the myth that Trek writing has always been top notch. We have well over 700 hours of episodic TV and movies, with two nominations and one award to show for that particular exercise of artistic expression. That would tend to suggest that Trek writing has always been mediocre at best, despite what the fan base imagines it to be.

Or that the folks who hand out awards don’t respect TV writing/sci-fi/syndicated work/whatever

I won’t disagree with that observation, but I suspect that’s a different conversation ….

A different conversation, but an absolutely germane one, given your comment, which seems to be based on volume (sort of like the folks who fall back on ‘it made x amount of money therefore it is great.’)

It’s very clear that SF was ghettoized in the mainstream for a long while pre-SW, and then elevated to a slightly different ghetto (maybe the same one Bond occupied) after that. But still you didn’t see Jeff Goldblum winning (or even nominated for) an Oscar for THE FLY. Ditto for John Lone in ICEMAN. Cliff Robertson won for CHARLY, but that’s because the industry and world didn’t even recognize that as being science fiction.

Some of the writing work on TOS was excellent, but it was concentrated largely in the first couple seasons, mostly when Coon was there to bolster (though some say mainstream) the material. By way of comparison, it seems like TNG’s writing didn’t get good (or at least, better) until s3 when the staff often didn’t have time to rewrite the original material fully, suggesting that the 80s-era tampering was hurting more than helping. But nobody could claim the writing was always top-notch.

I don’t know off the top of my head what the nomination status was for DS9 with respect to writing, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t get writing noms and absolutely sure it didn’t win for any of several superb specific episodes in its last four seasons, which suggests the ghettoization again, either for spinoffs (though that didn’t apply to Norman Lear shows) or genre or TREK itself.

Nothing since then in the Trekverse has merited acclaim of any kind IMO, so I can’t claim bias for most of the last quarter-century, a period during which genre stuff did seem to claim big noms and wins, even for stuff that wasn’t deserving. kien things won what it did, or anything at all. Then again I am distinctly NOT a fan of fantasy.)

Harlan Ellison won the Writer’s Guild Award for drama for City on the Edge of Forever.

I don’t understand – the episodes are soooo emotional and powerful. Groundbreaking. Oh and the stories are really coherent. It’s disgraceful Star Trek and Sir Alex Kurtzman are overlooked.

I mean, I mean, Star Trek Picard has PULITZER AWARD WINNING Michael Chabon. It should get an award just because of that!

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this was sarcastic based on your previous postings. ;)

To be fair, as others said, Star Trek has never been a huge contender for writing. We know a lot of it is just bias towards science fiction shows in general (although some shows have broken that mold in the past) and Star Trek has been overlooked over and over again in that regard for decades now. At least with the mainstream awards. I’m still shocked TNG got nominated for best series in its final season for the Emmys.

But it does always seem to garner tons of technical awards. And I have to say, no matter how you feel about PIC and DIS, I thought both had amazing FX, especially DIS last season. It’s amazing just how great they look, basically movie quality. The shows has always had great FX in general, but the newer shows have been stunning. It’s also what you get when you have a huge budget and a lot more time to work on them, not to mention TV CGI have just come a long way in general. Same for makeup (although I didn’t think there was anything done in Picard that made it stood out from the others). Costuming less so for me, especially on Discovery. I like some of the stuff in the 32nd century like the uniforms are fine and miles ahead of the band unfirmors but still not great.

So then the question inevitably becomes would you rather prefer excellent visuals and fx or a more coherent story and writing? Ideally it would be the best if both of them are good, but most of the modern Trek shows seem to be going for the gloss and leaving the writing behind, at least in my opinion.

For me, it’s not even a question. The writing is always the biggest priority by a huge mile. I grew up watching TOS, trust me, I didn’t watch it for the cool effects lol. That’s the thing, most of us were able to overlook the cheap and dated looking TOS effects, costumes, make up, etc because we fell in love with the characters and stories themselves.

Of course that is a different case but all the spin off shows since had really good FX IMO and I never complained. Star Trek from TNG on always had amazing production values, just maybe not movie level stuff we see on DIS and PIC today. Most of it still holds up well today IMO.

But for most Trek fans, this is not really a big question I think because if that was the case the Kelvin movies today would be the iconic films and not the cheaper, budgets films from decades ago like TWOK, TUC or TVH. What they had worked great for fans at the time.

But it’s also why TV Trek will always be 100 times more important than movie Trek, you don’t need big explosions or huge set pieces on TV like you do for the films. Just a decent story first and foremost and most fans will be happy.

Picards FX were as good as anything in the JJ films (and of course the TNG films).. its still crazy to me that they made a 10hour $100m+ sequel to Nemesis! (try telling your 2002 self that after stumbling out of an opening weekend showing at a near empty theatre.. or your 2009self when it looked like the JJtimeline would rule the Trek galaxy from then on)

Wow… never thought of that. It’s bizarre that Nemesis is required viewing for Picard. That must have been really off putting for many folks going into – and watching – Picard. I personally find Nemesis decent if highly derivative so that wasn’t a problem for me. Heck, I even think it makes Nem a slightly better film. Data’s death has a sense of closure, or finalty if you will, in the new series where it didn’t have in the film. Quite remarkable.

Nemesis was not a terrible film though. Definitely wasn’t great either.
But the box-office was as bad as it was because of where it fell on the calendar IMO. Marketing didn’t help it either but again because of the other films around it With, it probably just got swamped out.

With less intense competition it would have likely made similar money to Insurrection, which is what Paramount I’d imagine would have been satisfied with to some extent.

I think JJ’s FX were considerably better than Picard’s. USS Copypaste, anyone?

Yeah riker shouldve turned up in the Enterprise J and a whole bunch of new and exciting different ships from a DS9 battle

Jeri seems thrilled….

Can someone explain to me why everyone seems to have their pants tucked into their boots? I hate that look!

The 31st century clothing designs are unimaginative and boring. They’d be okay in the 23rd, but 800 years later? Come on, man.

Walking around with a different concept of clothing/skin protection wouldn’t likely be embraced by the audience. It’s one reason we don’t see major changes: Keep most things familiar to the viewer so they can relate.

This, IMHO, is a by product of going so very very far into the future. Impossible to figure such things out. It’s also so far forward that the tech would seem like real magic to us “Neanderthals” here in the 21st century. Again, it’s why typically when sci-fi went that far forward they normally had society regress in some way so as not to have to deal with the incredible and impossible to conceive of tech of the time.

How can the VFX get nominated for ANYthing? That’s just crazy.

I don’t know man but the orchids in Picard were well done. Quite an original concept and well executed.

Yet the Borg cube stuff made the old original Borg cube with its modelkit part-tree sprue look seem rich in detail by comparison. All of the space stuff in the current batch of TREK shows looks like it was shot through a dirty windshield or a fish tank … there’s no atmosphere out there to fog up the view, so stuff in direct sunlight should have tremendous contrast and a ton of vivid detail. A lot of TOS stuff has cred compared to this crap.

I agree with you about the lighting. It’s just way too dark.

Very much agreed, kmart. It’s just no fun to look at, even frustrating.

For the most part, no complaints with the technical side of the show. Apart from aesthetic choices I’m not a fan of I find the make up and SPFX to be pretty decent. So good for them. That is not where the show is lacking.

Personally, if possible, I would be willing to sacrifice with lesser effects and make up and costumes to get superior writing and plotting and characters.

Well put. I’ve always thought of these shows as a good-looking mess. Production values have been top-notch since day one, but I still find the space sfx shots to be mediocre, and the ship designs downright bland and/or ugly. Now, as you said if they could come up with some compelling storytelling, that would be great.