James Mangold Urges Hollywood to Be "Skeptical of Spectacle"

'Avengers: Endgame' and 'Frozen 2' were among the winners at the Advanced Imaging Society's 11th annual Lumiere Awards on Wednesday night.
Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for The Advanced Imaging Society
From left: James Mangold, Dexter Fletcher and Jon Landau

Ford v Ferrari helmer James Mangold on Wednesday warned that Hollywood needs to be “skeptical of spectacle” as he accepted the Harold Lloyd Award during the Advanced Imaging Society's 11th annual Lumiere Awards.

“I appreciate your work,” the filmmaker told the crowd behind developments in motion picture technology and the application of this technology. “But standing here, speaking to so many wonderful minds, I feel I must point out that there have always been two steps to developing technology for the arts: the novelty phase, where the new technology arrives and often sets back artistry, and a secondary moment where artists manipulate technology for less obvious, more expressive purpose — when technology evolves from a marketing tool into a new paintbrush."

Mangold concluded by urging the community to “apply our minds to use technology to move people to be emotive, not aggressive. To use technology to reveal the beauty of the human heart.”

During the awards ceremony, held at Warner Bros.' Steven Ross Theater in Burbank, winners included Avengers: Endgame and Frozen 2, which were honored for best immersive entertainment in a live-action feature and animated feature, respectively. (Frozen 2 grabbed two additional trophies during the evening.) Mangold's Ford v Ferrari was recognized for immersive sound in a feature.

Additional honorees included Alita: Battle Angel (use of HDR), Rocketman (music), How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (VR experience) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2D to 3D conversion). The "Friend Like Me" musical number in Disney's Aladdin was recognized as the year's best scene or sequence.

Accepting the award for Alita, producer Jon Landau urged the industry to continue to innovate in technology and storytelling. “We cannot stand on the on laurels of our past. We have to look to the future," he said.

Walt Disney Imagineering received a Lumiere Award for best location-based entertainment for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge featuring Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. 

A special Lumiere Award also was presented to The Dawns Here Are Quiet and the creative team at Shanghai Media Group and the National Center for Performing Arts in China for their pioneering 8K cinema production, while the Society’s Sir Charles Wheatstone Award was bestowed on Unity Technologies.

A complete list of winners follows.

Best Immersive Audio (theatrical)
Ford v Ferrari (Fox)

Best Immersive Audio (episodic)
Carnival Row (Amazon)

Best Use of VR in Musical Experience
Surviving Said the Prophet

Best VR Education/Museum Experience
Tutankhamun: Enter The Tomb 

Best VR Entertainment Experience
How to Train Your Dragon (Dreamworks)

Best Use of High Dynamic Range (live-action)
Alita: Battle Angel (Fox)

Best Use of High Dynamic Range (animated)
Frozen 2 (Disney)

Best Use of High Dynamic Range (episodic)
Stranger Things (Netflix)

Best Use of High Dynamic Range (legacy)
The Wizard of Oz (Warner Bros.)

Best Location-Based Entertainment
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Walt Disney Imagineering)

Best 8K Production
The Dawns Here Are Quiet

Best Use of AR in Live Broadcast
Madonna/Maluma on the Billboard Music Awards 2019

Best Use of AR in Musical Experience
Grease AR

Best Use of VR for Merchandising and/or Retail
VR Merchandising        

Best Documentary
Save This Rhino (National Geographic)

Best 2D to 3D Conversion
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Music-Themed Motion Picture
Rocketman (Paramount)

Best Original Song
“Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2 (Disney)

Best Immersive Feature Film (animated)
Frozen 2 (Disney)

Best Immersive Feature Film (live-action)
Avengers: Endgame (Disney)    

Best Musical Scene or Sequence
“Friend Like Me,” Aladdin (Disney)