“Avatar” answers this question: what has James Cameron been doing since sinking “Titanic” and walking away with all those Oscars 12 years ago? The BFD blog asked Cameron a new question: what does his 3D breakthrough mean for everybody else?
Cameron on his inspiration for “Avatar”: When I see a movie that excites me visually, the feeling is extraordinary. I went to see ‘Lord of the Rings’ for entertainment, but you begin to think, is this something I can incorporate? Peter Jackson inspired me with consummate filmmaking and the specificity of the CG that made me feel a doorway opening that enabled me to make ‘Avatar.’
Cameron on moving beyond genre films in 3D: 3D as a genre doesn’t make sense. So far, it has been relegated to some big, beautiful and expensive animated films from Pixar and DreamWorks Animation, and some relatively inexpensive horror films. There’s a vast landscape in between where filmmakers of varying degrees of seriousness operate.
I’m waiting to see if ‘Avatar’ will legitimize 3D for other filmmakers who otherwise might have said, ‘I don’t want to make a 3D movie because it’s for kids, or animation, or horror. I’m a serious filmmaker who makes serious films with big actors and I don’t want my cred to be eroded by a 3D gimmick movie that is not a legitimate part of the cinematic art.’
Cameron on upcoming projects: I am producing ‘Fantastic Voyage’ in 3D and ‘Sanctum’ is in its third week of production down in Australia. ‘Sanctum’ was designed to show several things. It’s an R rated picture, an adult drama. There are no monsters or fantasy elements. It’s basically ‘Deliverance’ in a cave, a pure psychological drama. The goal with that film is to show you don’t have to spend a couple hundred million dollars to make a film in 3D. We’re making that picture for about $22 million. I’m going to make all my features in 3D so in a way, what’s good for 3D is good for me.
Cameron on “Titanic” in 3D: “In a completely different way, I’ll create an example with ‘Titanic,’ showing that you can go back to an evergreen or comicbook film and convert it to high quality 3D.”