Awards season is a fantastical time in the already fantastical place we call Hollywood. Within this pantheon of modern Awards shows, there are many different themes of how the awards are chosen, what categories they represent, and the reasons they are representing them. The Lumiere Awards, presented by the Advanced Imaging Society honors achievements in advanced technology in all modern and emerging forms of entertainment. The 2022 awards ceremony was held in person this year, returning in style after a Covid hiatus.
The atmosphere of the Beverly Hills Hotel, where the ceremony took place, is a timeless example of the pinnacle of glamour. Every possible detail of the venue is perfect, and a rare treat for anyone who is fortunate enough to be invited to cover it. Along with the awards ceremony, guests were served a gourmet lunch, with all of the trimmings, a true luxury.
Power players of the entertainment and technology fields assembled to mingle and celebrate some of the finest technical achievements of the past year, which all deserved a special nod considering they were all made during the Covid pandemic, increasing the difficulty of pretty much every aspect of production. As the voting body of the AIS is comprised of technical personnel, vendors, studios and creative professionals alike, the presentation was a representation of the ideals these folks strive for when they try to innovate and stretch the limits of how technology can be used in modern entertainment.
The awards were presented in a non competitive way, meant simply to celebrate the achievement, and not to pit several nominees against one another. This approach could be something that the Oscars might consider, as it lightens the theme, as well as speeding up the whole process. There were several “standard” categories presented, which could be seen in any awards show, but the reason they were chosen was due to the technical nature of their achievement. These included Best Documentary, which was accepted remotely by Peter Jackson for the Beatle’s documentary, The Beatles: Get Back.
There were unique categories however, which accentuated the nature of this presentation. Best use of AR (Augmented Reality) awarded to Expo Dubai Xplorer and Best Use of VR (Virtual Reality) awarded to Machu Picchu and the Spirit of the Condor were the first, displaying truly stunning examples of how these technologies are rapidly growing and evolving into what promises to be a changing shift in how people interact with the world. Next was best use of High Dynamic Range (HDR) awarded to Dune and the AppleTV+ series Foundation. Awards were presented for productions which exhibit the extent to which exposure of subtleties in light and dark on the screen exhibit a more realistic and immersive experience for the viewer. As newer cameras and sensors are developed, this technology will continue to improve the palette that all filmmakers can work with.
Last was Best 2D to 3D Conversion awarded to Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – presented representing what some might consider a wavering field in entertainment, as 3D has come and gone many times in the history of motion pictures.
The highlight of the evening was the live appearance by three modern legends, receiving awards for their respective masterpieces. Guillermo Del Toro was awarded for Nightmare Alley, Adam McKay for Don’t Look Up, and Denis Villeneuve for Dune. The presence of such titanic talents on the stage really lit up the otherwise enthusiastic crowd, and left everyone brimmed with excitement. In all, the return to a live show was a reward worth waiting for, and it couldn’t have gone more flawlessly.
The complete list of winners:
Best Documentary: The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+)
Best Audio – Episodic: WandaVision (Disney+)
Best Use of AR: Expo Dubai Xplorer
Best Use of VR: Machu Picchu and the Spirit of the Condor (Cityneon)
Best Original Song: Encanto/We Don’t Talk About Bruno
Governor’s Cinema Award: Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony / Marvel)
Best Use of High Dynamic Range – Live Action: Dune (Warner Bros.)
Best Use of High Dynamic Range – Episodic: Foundation (Apple TV+)
Best 2D to 3D Conversion: Shang Chi: The Legend of the Ten Rings (Disney)
Best Musical Scene or Sequence: West Side Story, “The Dance at the Gym” (20th Century Studios)
Best Episodic – Animated: Arcane (Netflix)
Best Motion Picture – Musical: West Side Story (20th Century Studios)
Sir Charles Wheatstone Award: Epic Games’ Unreal Engine
Best Episodic – Live Action: Squid Game (Netflix)
Best Feature Film – Animated: Encanto (Disney)
Voices For The Earth Award: Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up
Gene Kelly Visionary Award: Guillermo del Toro