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Hollywood Embraces its Future in VR at the 2017 Lumiere Awards

lumiere awards

The 8th Annual Lumiere Awards were held last night at Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood. Organized by the Advanced Imaging Society (AIS), the Lumiere Awards have been recognizing and enabling the creation of cutting edge entertainment and storytelling using emerging technologies since James Cameron first set the bar with Avatar.

Last year, the AIS announced the VR Society, a division dedicated to virtual reality, at their VR on the Lot event at Paramount Studios. It was Hollywood’s first consolidated dive into VR.

This year’s Lumiere Awards were the first since the AIS formed the VR Society and if they were any indication of Hollywood’s commitment to VR, the future looks bright. We spent the day with The Society to get a better look at how the mashup of tech and entertainment is playing out in Hollywood. It started with a preview of nominated VR experiences and ended with a lengthy awards ceremony where virtual reality and 360° video played a major role.

VR Winners at the 2017 Lumiere Awards

VR was included in 14 of the 29 awards handed out at the 8th annual Lumiere Awards, listed below in no particular order.

Harold Lloyd Award: Jon Favreau

Filmmaker and VR Creator, Jon Favreau, was honored with the Society’s Harold Lloyd Award for innovative storytelling in films like The Jungle Book, and his exploration into VR with Gnomes & Goblins.

Jon Favreau VR Lumiere Awards

Jon Favreau on the red carpet with Ivan Reitman and members of the AIS and VR Society

Best VR Experience: Tilt Brush

A pioneering creative tool in VR; Google’s Tilt Brush was awarded for empowering artists from all realms to experiment, design and create all kinds of art in virtual reality.

Century Award: Google Earth VR

Google Earth VR for helping the world see the world. With Earth VR, you can fly over a city, stand at the edge of a mountain, and see the world from space.

Best VR Animation Experience : Dear Angelica

A Sundance favorite from Oculus Story Studio this year, Dear Angelica won for showing how powerful storytelling in VR can be.

Dear Angelica Oculus VR

Best Journalism Experience: Take Flight

A beautiful experience created by the New York Times for their celebration of The year’s best actors in 2016.

Sir Charles Wheatstone Award: Cher Wang

HTC Vive CEO, Cher Wang, earned this award for her team’s exceptional forward progress at the intersection of art and science in VR. It’s not just game developers who love the Vive.

Cher Wang Lumiere Awards HTC Vive

HTC Vive CEO, Cher Wang, on a red carpet full of 360 cameras

Best 360° Series: Invisible

Jaunt’s series directed by Doug Liman, the producer of Edge of Tomorrow and The Bourne Identity, has claimed the award for Best 360° Series.

Best VR Music Experience: Joshua Bell VR

In partnership with award-winning violinist and Sony artist Joshua Bell, Sony Playstation brought to life a live studio performance of Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 1 to life in one of the best live action VR experiences to date.

Best VR Film Experience: Ghostbusters

Recognized as one of the most interactive and immersive VR installations ever made, The Void and Sony Pictures Entertainment teamed up to create a Ghostbusters experience that lets you step into an epic multiplayer adventure.

lumiere awards ghostbusters the void

The Void showed off their custom headset, gun, and backpack at the press preview

Best VR Game: Job Simulator

No surprise that Job Simulator from Owlchemy Labs won this category for becoming a go-to game to introduce the power of VR to people.

Best 360° Live Action: Nomads: Sea Gypsies

Felix & Paul have won Best 360° Live Action with their series Nomads which was also a Sundance feature in 2016.

Best VR Sports Experience: Follow My Lead

It was one of the most dramatic, historic, unforgettable, championship series of all time, in any sport. Thanks to Oculus and M SS NG P ECES, you can relive the 2016 NBA Finals in virtual reality with Follow My Lead.

nba-oclulus-2016-gear-vr

Best VR Documentary: The Click Effect

An underwater masterpiece from Annapurna Pictures and Here Be Dragons, The Click Effect is a documentary that researches to understand the secret “click” language of dolphins and sperm whales.

Best VR Branded Experience:  The 360° Tour of the Shinola Factory with Luke Wilson

A fun 360° video from Reel FX full of shenanigans with Luke Wilson on a tour of the Shinola Factory in Detroit.

Stay tuned for more VR updates from Hollywood. For more information on the Lumiere Awards and future events, visit advancedimagingsociety.com & thevrsociety.com

About the Scout

Zeynep Abes

Zeynep is a new media artist who got her start at LACMA’s Art+Tech lab creating AR installations. She then worked at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival's New Frontier Exhibitions and is currently studying computer animation and game development for VR and AR.

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