Jon Favreau Opens Up About the Future of Virtual Reality in Movies at Lumiere Awards

"I think it's a medium in and of itself where there's different styles of storytelling that work better in VR and certain ones work better for film," Jon Favreau said at the Lumiere Awards in Los Angeles

8th Annual Lumiere Awards - Arrivals
Photo: Tibrina Hobson/Getty

Jon Favreau knows a thing or two about making movie magic, but virtual reality could soon change filmmaking forever.

The Iron Man director-producer was honored at the eighth annual Lumiere Awards, which celebrate the year’s best achievements in cutting-edge technology like virtual reality and 3D, at Warner Brothers Studios Monday. And this was no typical awards show — guests were able to try out VR for themselves at the various booths inside showcasing the nominees.

Favreau, who accepted the Harold Lloyd Award, tells PEOPLE that he feels the emerging technology is just a new vehicle for entertainment that can complement and enrich the moviegoing experience.

“I think it’s a medium in and of itself where there’s different styles of storytelling that work better in VR and certain ones work better for film.” Favreau, 50, said. “Hopefully they’ll complement each other, but if done properly, you could have a good experience either in VR alone or in a communal setting to see the movie.”

The Lumiere Awards honor creative achievements in storytelling that utilize technologies including VR, HDR and 3D. PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly and LIFE VR (visit or download the app to check out our nominated virtual-reality experiences) are media partners for the awards, whose categories span film, TV, animation, documentaries, sports, music and gaming.

Winners included Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (best 3D live action feature), Zootopia (best 3D animated feature), The Click Effect (best VR documentary) and Finding Dory (best HDR animation), among others.

Favreau explained that successful crossovers between the various platforms of entertainment — including VR — are already happening.

“It’s like TV and movies now, things we learn from each medium — each medium learns from each other,” he says. “So certainly we use a lot of VR techniques in filmmaking now with motion capture and on the films that we’re working on, so there’s a lot of overlap.”

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