'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk,' 'Ghostbusters VR' Win at Advanced Imaging and VR Society Awards

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Trailer 2 Still - H 2016

Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk was named best live-action 3D feature and Disney Animation's Zootopia was crowned best animated 3D feature during the Advancing Imaging and Virtual Reality Society’s Lumiere Awards.

Monday at the Steve J. Ross Theater on the Warner Bros. lot, the Lumiere Awards honored the  "dreamers" who are aiming to advance storytelling with technologies including 3D, virtual reality and high dynamic range. It also presented Jon Favreau with its Harold Lloyd Award, HTC Vive's Cher Wang with the Wheatstone Award and the team behind Google Earth VR, the Century Award.

Accepting his award, Favreau asserted that the work of this group “will lead to the next mountain top.” He noted that the marriage of storytelling and technology “has always been extremely strong and the people here see the potential. They know science and technology only goes in one direction…and storytelling is the killer app.”

Ivan Reitman — who was on hand for Ghostbuster VR, which topped the film and TV VR category — said "finding new ways of telling a stories in really exciting" and seeing Ghosbusters fans "feel that they met the characters [through VR] was a personal thrill.... As a filmmaker it's remarkable to come across this evolution of filmmaking."

Presenting the award for Billy Lynn — the first motion picture to be made in 4K resolution, 3D and at a high frame rate of 120 frames per second — Society chair Wim Buyens of Barco said, "This movie is a milestone from a master filmmaker.... The combination of 3D and high frame rates deliver the hyper-real terror of battle and then the emotional journey the soldiers take when they come home."

“To change everything we know about making cinema, and to do it on a 49-day schedule, was possibly the most difficult thing to do,” said the film’s technical supervisor Ben Gervais, who with stereographer Demetri Portelli accepted the award on behalf of Lee, the filmmakers and technology partners. But he added that the joy was in "discovering something new."

Also in the 3D feature categories, Doctor Strange was honored for best stereography in a live action feature and Kubo and the Two Strings for best stereography in an animated feature. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was recognized for best use of 2D to 3D conversion techniques, and Doctor Strange’s “Travel Multiverse” sequence was cited as best 3D scene of the year.

In the VR categories, Oculus Story Studio’s Dear Angelica was honored for use of animation and CG; and Felix & Paul Studios’ Nomads: Sea Gypsies was recognized for live action. Doug Liman-directed Invisible from 30 Ninjas, Conde Nast Entertainment, Jaunt VR  and Samsung was honored in the episodic category. The Click Effect from Annapurna Pictures and Here Be Dragons won the documentary competition. Google’s Tilt Brush received an award for best overall VR experience.

Other honored VR projects included 360 VR Tour of the Sinola Factory with Luke Wilson from Reel FX (branded content), Joshua Bell VR from Sony Playstation (music), Follow My Lead: The Story of the 2016 NBA Finals from Oculus and m ss ng p eces (sports), Job Simulator from Owlchemy Labs (gaming) and Take Flight from New York Times VR (journalism).

3D honorees included Disney’s Inner Workings, which was named best animated 3D short; Mysteries of China, 3D documentary short; Atlantic Production and Colossus Productions’ Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters, 3D documentary; and Wanda’s Mojin –The Lost Legend, jury prize for a live action 3D feature.

The AIS also recognized two films for use of high dynamic range: Warner’s Live by Night (live action feature) and Pixar’s Finding Dory (animated feature). Miyako Island’s Therapeutic Beaches was cited for use of Ultra HD.

During the evening, the Society previewed a clip from A.R. Rahman's upcoming VR musical film, Le Musk.