In tribute to the film's groundbreaking visuals -- a combination of live-action and computer-generated images -- the award for cinematography went to Mauro Fiore for his work on director James Cameron's "Avatar." The film was shot using high-definition digital cameras and a system for creating 3-D effects invented specifically for the film.
"I want to thank the academy for this unbelievable honor," said the 45-year-old Italian-born Fiore, who received his first Oscar nomination for "Avatar." He then referred to Cameron as a "visionary."
Backstage, Fiore said the "Avatar" victory marked "the first time a film has won that has so much computer-generated imagery and live-action together, so this is a huge revolution for the industry."