Among this year’s Academy Award nominees is award winning visual effects supervisor Nikos Kalaitzidis.
New Yorker, Kalaitzidis who has roots from Pontus and Kalamata, has been nominated for an Oscar with his team members from the movie Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds.
The 94th annual Oscars will be held on March 27, and the Greek American will contest the Oscar with his co-workers Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, and Dan Sudick.
It’s not the first time Kalaitzidis – who started out as a photographer and lighting specialist – gets nominated or awarded for his visual effects work, with more than 20 years of experience in film and commercial visual effects. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is one of Digital Domain’s longstanding visual effects leaders.
The special effects maestro has worked on over 35 feature films including mega productions the likes of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Shazam!, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Tron: Legacy, X-Men Days of Future Past, The Fate of the Furious, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and X-Men: First Class.
Kalaitzidis, now 53, started out his special effects career with the movie blockbuster, Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio where he oversaw lighting and effects development for the ocean scenes.
Some of his awards include movies like Shadow, which received several Golden Horse awards, including Best Visual Effectsas well as a VES award for Outstanding VFX for his work with Bacardi.
Kalaitzidis himself told iEfimerida that he dreams of Greece everyday and visits the country frequently because his wife’s family has a house on the island of Evia. He even joked about taking the Oscar to Greece to celebrate if his team wins.