Tom O'Neil's Inside Track

Advanced Imaging Society: Those gutsy, golden Lumiere Awards advance to the big league

When the relatively new Lumiere Awards were bestowed in Hollywood last week by the Advanced Imaging Society to reward the best hi-tech wizardry in entertainment media, the ceremony was so slick and relevant that I couldn’t help noticing — uh, oh — it felt a bit Oscar-y and Emmy-ish. That’s ironic.

That’s because the society was founded 10 years ago to do what the film and TV academies of arts and sciences refused to do – take the sciences part of their job seriously. I wonder: Why do the Oscars have four acting categories, but no award for Best Use of HDR (High Dynamic Range) in a Film? The Lumieres have three HDR film categories (and more for TV), including one for foreign films that was just won by Oscars frontrunner “Roma.”

Alfonso Cuaron‘s intimate memoir of 1970s Mexico City may look old-fashioned, being in B&W, but he shot it with an ultra-high-definition Alexa 65 camera with Dolby Atmos sound.

“Here was one of the greatest artists of our time exploiting every opportunity he could with the new technology,” said Steve Scott, Technicolor supervising finishing artist, accepting the award. “He knew it would be a perfect chance to show details and highlights when the camera was staring straight into the sun as the foreground characters were silhouetted against it. Or to show how an intimate moment between two lovers unfolds in the deep dark of a cavernous theater.”

Many other top Oscar nominees won Lumieres, too: the HDR award for live action features went to “A Star Is Born,” “Ralph Broke the Internet” took the equivalent prize for animated flicks. Variety published the list here.