Will James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ Rock Our World?

Published 5 years ago by

avatar poster11 Will James Camerons Avatar Rock Our World?If you were to only listen to James Cameron, the man behind the biggest grossing movie of all time Titanic, when he talks about his upcoming sci-fi flick Avatar, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s been almost 15 years since he had the idea for the project, where at that point it was created to “push his digital-production company to the limits“, but finally now in the early part of the 21st century there is the technology available to get his idea to come to life on the big-screen.

If you haven’t heard, Avatar is being made with a revolutionary special effects technology (developed largely by Cameron himself) which blends “two unrelated technologies: e-motion capture, which uses images from tiny cameras rigged to actors’ heads to replicate their expressions, and digital 3D.”

Here’s the overall gist of the plot:

In the future, 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.

TIME Magazine recently wrote an article about the 3D technology revolution (which you can read in its entirety here) but one thing to note is that Josh Quittner (who wrote the article) apparently got a bit of a look at the film, and he has nothing but amazing things to say about this much talked about technology that’s being employed.

Here’s what he had to say:

“I couldn’t tell what was real and what was animated–even knowing that the 9-ft.-tall blue, dappled dude couldn’t possibly be real. The scenes were so startling and absorbing that the following morning, I had the peculiar sensation of wanting to return there, as if Pandora were real.”

In talking with Cameron, Quittner got an answer, after his being stunned by the footage he saw, that he wasn’t at all surprised (cocky, there, Jim?):

“‘[3D viewing] is so close to a real experience that it actually triggers memory creation in a way that 2-D viewing doesn’t.’ His [Cameron's] theory being that stereoscopic viewing uses more neurons.”

Although I think Cameron is, perhaps, overselling what we are ultimately going to get with Avatar, I still tend to believe this is going to be something unlike pretty much anything we’ve seen before. Now that may sound at first like a bold statement, but when you consider the fact that the technology we have now has only become available fairly recently (with in the last few years), it really isn’t.

Not that I’m saying it’s not mind blowing just what can be done with special effects these days (if Transformers has to be given any praise, it’s for what was pretty much the best example of visual effects in history – a title I’m sure Cameron wants to nab with Avatar), but it’s just not been that long since visual effects got to the point we are right now, where we can make almost anything (there’s still that “uncanny valley” issue with humans) look just as real as real life.

We’re still three quarters of a year away from the release of Avatar, so we still have time to gear ourselves up properly for this “revolutionary” piece of sci-fi/action filmmaking (which, reportedly, has a whopping 1,000-plus people working on it, and sky-high budget of over $300 $200 million!). I fully welcome (as I’m sure everyone else does, too) the notion of a modern science fiction film revolutionizing the genre, but as they say:

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Avatar is scheduled to be released on December 18th 2009.

Source: TIME

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  1. Screen Rant, Do you think you can do something about all the post you do to where towards the bottom of the screen in the paragraphs that the first word of every sentance wont get cut off. Its getting kinda hard to read and guess what words are being cut out.

  2. @Grizzle

    What browser and version are you using. I’ve checked the site in Internet Explorer 7, Opera, Safari and Firefox and it looks fine in all of those.

    Vic

  3. Vic, I have the same problem as Grizzle and I am using IE7.

  4. i tend to have the problem also

  5. Why do you have 300 crossed through with 200 million left standing? That seems confusing. It’s well over 300 million as I understand it.

    Just FYI, I used FF and Chrome and don’t see any problems. Maybe it’s an IE thing.

  6. Not for me. I use IE and I don’t have that problem.

    :S

  7. @Marc

    IESB found an update at the end of that TIME article stating that the budget is north of $200MM, not $300:

    “The original version of this story misstated the cost of the film Avatar as being in excess of $300 million. The correct figure is in excess of $200 million.”

    http://www.iesb.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6529&Itemid=99

    Vic

  8. Guys,

    I’m looking at IE7, version 7.0.5730.13 on Windows XP at 1280×1024 and I dont’ have that issue.

    Don’t know what to tell you…

    Vic

  9. I have that issue at work, but not at home, and on both computers is IE, lol. But at home it’s IE 7 and it works perfectly fine. I mentioned that problem before while reading an article at work, I’ve always noticed it but didn’t say anything, but looking at the same page at home, everything is fine.

    Anyway, about Avatar, I can’t wait to see SOMETHING about it, and what that guy wrote about feeling like he’s been there since the 3D is so realistic, makes me pretty excited. And theaters SHOULD all go digital, and not just for 3D, it’s simply better. There’s no visual noise from dirty film, no AUDIO noise from the big projector cranking through the film, no timing issues, no more “cigarette burn” scene changing, it’s simply a better way to project movies in my opinion. Have you seen a movie that goes through a lot of showings a day? By the end of the week the actual quality of the film actually degrades, you’ll see a lot of specs and noise and color distortions, etc. It’s kind of annoying. Digital is the way to go.

    And about Cameron being cocky, he is cocky, but he actually has the right to be so I don’t mind it too much (because I don’t actually have to work with him, lol). It’s just sad when someone who’s not so good thinks that he/she is, lol.

  10. Cameron’s cocky, sure, but he’s also brilliant. He’s been developing tech for years. His diving oxygen tank/mask design for The Abyss was HUGE and I think he and his engineer brother are still making money off the patent.

    I’m excited, but I still think we need some great marketing!

    heath

  11. Being a fan of stereographic 3D myself, I’m quite excited to hear James Cameron’s own push for the technology.

    Unfortunately for stereo 3D to work, the director has to demonstrate good control over depth and parallax. So here’s hoping James Cameron will lead the way for future movies, showing’em “how its done”.

    Or not. Either do it right, or don’t do it at all. I’m getting tired of the gimmicky way studios are employing stereo 3D.

  12. I don’t think Cameron would spend north of 200 million dollars just to produce the film (FOX’s and his own money I’m sure…rumor has it he made well over 300 million from Titanic’s box office alone) if it were going to be a poor product. The guy has confidence in his abilities and that this technology will dazzle..I will save my judgement until I have actually seen some footage or a trailer for this movie..it has me very curious though…

  13. “I will save my judgement until I have actually seen some footage or a trailer for this movie..”

    So… would you say that when trailers come out, it will be “judgment day?” lol

  14. I saw a pre-recorded NBA game shot with the Pace/Cameron Fusion 3D system back at NAB 2007 on a Sony 4K digital projector. WOW, I felt like I was courtside. It wasn’t like totally in your face, but it just felt real, like I was sitting on the court watching it.

  15. That’s cool Heath..the more positive feedback this recieves probably means that this tech is the real deal..

    @ Ken

    **GROAN** dude but yes you are correct …Judgement Day indeed

  16. Trust me this movie will be EPIC beyond anything weve seen Ever!

  17. Titanic epic in terms of box office and critical acclaim?

    or epic like Watchemn?

  18. With that big of a budget, he’s gonna need Titanic numbers for this to be successful. It sounds amazing though.

  19. Remember the numbers are not correct, it’s $200 million, NOT $300 million. Yes, $100 million does make a difference, lol. If it performs WELL, as in $500 million or more, it would be profitable. Hopefully it well surpasses that.

    And GK, I say neither, I say Terminator 2 epic… :-P ok, fine, I’ll use Aliens, Aliens epic. :-D

  20. Hey… Is Avatar in 3D?..Cause if it is.its sad for me becse they dont show movies in 3D here in India!

  21. @TJ

    Yes, it will be in 3D.

    Vic

  22. Man, why am I hearing so much praise about the technology in this film and transformers etc, but does anybody even remember The Matrix? I don’t care how bad you think the story was, there is no debating the fact that the movie was revolutionary in the technology at that time(that’s funny), The Wachowski Bros then go and make an even more amazing looking film with Speed Racer(I really think that Avatar is using the same techs as this movie) a movie that should ONLY be viewed on Blu-Ray from an 1080p plasma or LCD or LED tv, until I see the 1st trailer i’ll keep my hypness to a minimum.

  23. I’m Glad to see James Cameron back into directing (since Titanic). I hope this movie turns out great.