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James Cameron on the Deep Impact of 3D Movies
Is it the most important part of the D-Cinema roll-out?
By Bryant Frazer | Source: studiodaily.com


April 2006 - Will 3D save digital cinema, or will digital cinema save 3D? The answer, director James Cameron told attendees at this year’s pre-NAB Digital Cinema Summit, is a little bit of both.

Cameron, who gave the second-day keynote address, invoked the specters of piracy and an increasingly indifferent viewership in an attempt to convince attendees that 3D exhibition – a more involving experience and, at least for the time being, an unpiratable one — will help get the fickle butts of movie audiences back in theater seats.

“I’m not going to make movies for people to watch on their cell phones,” he declared. “To me, that’s an abomination.”

Three different 3D processes were discussed. There’s the Cameron way, which involves shooting a live-action feature with a 3D camera rig (generally two Sony F950s bound together in a complicated assembly).

There’s the Chicken Little/Polar Express method, which involves adding 3D to a previously devised CG-animated world (simply by rendering out a second camera view); and there’s the In-Three way, which has that company “dimensionalizing” existing films. (A demo reel from the first Star Wars movie was a highly compelling demonstration of that company’s technology.)




WETA signed on for Avatar FX duties
Source: RealMovieNews.com


August 2006 - WETA Digital have been signed up by James Cameron to create a large number of effects for his long in development Avatar flick. The movie still hasn't been greenlit, but can you see 20th Century Fox not giving Cameron the greenlight?

The movie will follow Jake, a paraplegic war veteran is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture.




First casting for James Cameron's Avatar
Source: RealMovieNews.com


October 2006 - The first casting for James Cameron's big screen directorial return has been revealed and it is Joel Moore.

Moore is best known for his roles in Art School Confidential and Dodgeball. The flick will follow Jake, a paraplegic war veteran who is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture. Its not yet known what role Moore will play.



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Avatar News Archive

Avatar Movie Zone followed all news updates regarding Avatar for two years leading up to the release of the film, along with researched archive articles. While we no longer provide updates, we decided to cherry pick the best of these hundreds of articles for our readers to explore the emergence of James Cameron's sci-fi adventure. You can check out expanded coverage of the film's box office highlights and reviews in the news at our other sections Avatar Box Office and Avatar Awards and Reviews. All articles in this section are excerpt highlights, click on the source link for the complete article.




2006 NEWS



Cameron Comes back with CG Extravaganza
Source: HollywoodReporter.com


July 2006 - After nine years, during which time he has not launched a new feature film, James Cameron finally is targeting a summer 2008 release for his next project, 20th Century Fox's "Avatar," and he hopes to start shooting a cast of unknown actors on a stage in Los Angeles by February.

Cameron is plotting a high-concept comeback film for his return to mainstream features, well in the wake of his king-making helming of "Titanic." His new project, which also has gone under the cover title "Project 880," follows a paraplegic war veteran from Earth who is brought to another planet inhabited by a humanoid race at odds with Earth's citizens.

"Believe it or not, the shooting is a very small part of it," Cameron says. "It's a very, very big project where the shooting is like a month and a half -- not really very much. There's just so much CG, and the visual effects are a huge component. A lot of it is performance capture. We use different techniques (from, for example, Sony Pictures' upcoming 'Monster House'), but it's the same general idea." Cameron takes pains to make a distinction between his use of performance capture versus the more popular motion capture techniques that often heavily modify recorded gestures in postproduction.

"With performance capture, you're capturing exactly what the actor does and translating it to the CG character without the interpretation of animators," he says. "So it's not performance by committee, it's performance by the actor. I'm an absolute stickler about this, and I wanted to make a director-centric performance capture process. We've spent literally since August of last year creating this and now we're ready to go." Now that his next-generation production technologies have been hammered out, Cameron is focussing his attention on auditioning actors.


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James Cameron: King of all he surveys
World domination was within the reach of James Cameron after 'Titanic', but he chose to make documentaries instead. Now the director is returning to film with a long-awaited sci-fi project. He talks to James Rampton
Excerpt: independent.co.uk


December 2006 - "I'm the king of the world!" James Cameron cried at the 1998 Oscars, echoing his leading character in Titanic. When the director picked up 11 Academy Awards and his epic netted box-office receipts of $1.8bn, he defied critics who'd predicted that the film would be sunk by a fatal combination of hubris and testosterone.

At that moment, Cameron did seem to be master of all he surveyed. After a decade of hits - The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), Terminator 2 (1991) and True Lies (1994) - Titanic was merely the latest Cameron box-office behemoth to crush everything in its path.

And yet, in the following eight years, tumbleweed has blown through Cameron's movie CV. What happened to the king of the world? What has become of the director whose movies kept studio bosses in diamond-studded Jacuzzis? Is he just sitting at home counting his money? The answer is that Cameron, who hails from a remote part of Ontario, has been living up to the other famous phrase he has used to describe himself - "a nerd from Kapuskasing" - and pursuing his passion for scientific documentaries, spending a large chunk of his reputed $50m fortune on educative factual films.

His latest documentary, The Exodus Decoded, is screened on the Discovery Channel this Saturday. The big news is that Cameron is gearing up for a grand return to movies. He has started work on Avatar, a special effects-led feature film about a human who's put in charge of an alien planet. "I felt I'd exhausted the treasury and it was time to go back to work," Cameron says. "Avatar is a very ambitious sci-fi movie." The director's enthusiasm is evident in his voice. "It's a futuristic tale set on a planet 200 years hence.

It's an old-fashioned jungle adventure with an environmental conscience. It aspires to a mythic level of storytelling." Avatar is not entirely a new venture; Cameron wrote the screenplay 11 years ago, and it has featured on Empire magazine's list of the 12 greatest unproduced scripts in Hollywood. "I was never bored of making features," the director says. "This has been a dream project of mine for more than a decade, but when I first wrote it, the technology was not advanced enough. So I stuck the script in the drawer until the technology caught up."

Now it has. "The film requires me to create an entirely new alien culture and language, and for that I want 'photo-real' CGI characters. Sophisticated enough 'performance-capture' animation technology is only coming on stream now. I've spent the last 14 months doing performance-capture work - the actor performs the character and then we animate it. "We've set up a studio, and last week [Lord of the Rings director] Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg were here trying out the technology. I said to them, 'Take my tools and play with them for a week.' They were grinning from ear to ear. It's a really exciting time because so many new things are now possible."



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