The Weta Digital team are "tempering expectations" ahead of today's Academy Awards - but an Oscar win would be a golden ticket to the hottest after-parties in town.
Three Weta-produced films are up for visual effects Oscars: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Marvel's The Avengers and Prometheus.
It is the first time since 1991 that a film company has received three simultaneous nominations.
Animation supervisor Dave Clayton, who worked on The Hobbit, said winning would be a bonus. "How can we not be excited - it's pretty amazing to not only be able to attend, but to be one of the nominees.
"I'm proud as well, because I've always wanted to work on The Hobbit, so not only have I got to work on it for three years and counting, I'm also able to represent a good team at Weta Digital and a great film.
"I wouldn't say I'm confident," Clayton said. "There are some other really strong contenders who have been receiving a lot of acclaim.
"We've probably got a good chance but I've got to be honest, we're tempering expectations and we're definitely focusing on being here and being nominated."
The group attended a dinner on Wednesday held for the visual effects nominees, which was also attended by Star Wars visual effects cinematographer Richard Edlund and regular Steven Spielberg collaborator Dennis Muren.
"It was amazing, some legends of the visual arts industry were there," Clayton said. "It was really amazing to be with those people, to be celebrating with my peers."
The team also attended a party hosted by Warner Bros, as well as a wrap party for all nominees.
Clayton's wife and two children, as well as his parents-in-law, joined him in LA at the weekend and would be attending today's show with him.
"My getting ready will be helping babysit the kids while my wife gets ready," he said. "I've got a suit and I got a haircut. I'll have a shave and I'll be set to go."
If The Hobbit wins, Clayton plans to go up on stage, but Weta Digital boss Joe Letteri - their "fearless leader" - would do the talking.
The team will head to a party hosted by Tolkien fansite TheOneRing.net after the awards show and, if they have a golden statue, they should be able to get into just about any after-party they wish.
The awards show is being held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood from 4pm, New Zealand time.
Pre-show red carpet broadcast begins at 4pm in Los Angeles (1pm NZ time)
Awards begin at 2.30pm NZ time
Pre-show red carpet broadcast on E! from 11.30am
Awards broadcast on Sky Movies from 2.30pm and again on Sky Movies 2 from 4.30pm
Awards hosted by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane
Lloyd Phillips, The Dollar Bottom, Best Short Movie, 1981
Anna Paquin, The Piano, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, 1993 Jane Campion, The Piano, Best Original Screenplay, 1993
Russell Crowe, Gladiator, Best Actor, 2001
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup, Best Original Score, 2002
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, 2004
King Kong, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, 2006 Bret McKenzie, The Muppets, Best Original Song, 2012
- © Fairfax NZ News
Which film do you think should take the Best Picture Oscar?