James Cameron WGA Interview About ‘Avatar’ Script

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 1:40 pm,

avatar james cameron sigourney weaver James Cameron WGA Interview About Avatar Script

Are you one of those people who thought that Avatar‘s script was weak? Did you find it predictable, hokey, emotionally manipulative and (ironically) two-dimensional?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of those questions, then you’ve probably been wondering to yourself just what the hell James Cameron was thinking when he sat down to write Avatar. Luckily for you, the Writers Guild of America is here to get that explanation, via a hour-long interview with Cameron himself.

Like I said, the interview is an hour long, so make sure you have sufficient time on your hands to listen. I’m only about halfway into it as I type this, but Cameron is already addressing such topics as the line-by-line Internet comparisons between Avatar and Pocahontas; that whole “Dances With Na’vi” nickname the film has gotten; some talk about what archetypal storytelling is all about and why it works for Avatar; Cameron even tries to make the claim that the villain in the film (Stephen Lang) is a “layered” character.

You might not agree with Cameron’s explanations but if you truly hated Avatar‘s script, then you should at least have the courage to hear the man out:

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WGA AVATAR INTERVIEW WITH JAMES CAMERON

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Personally, I like several things that Cameron says in this interview:

  • His acknowledgment that Lang’s character, Col. Quaritch, doesn’t have a character arc and that it was purposefully done.
  • Cameron’s explanation that the Na’vi represent (what he sees as) the best in humanity, while the colonists represent the worst.
  • The explanation of why archetypal storytelling is effective – something I wholeheartedly agree with.

The interview is interesting enough, so I’m going to go ahead and listen to the final 40 minutes. There’s also a Q&A portion to it, so that should be equally interesting – hearing the public question Cameron about their likes/dislikes.

cameron and avatar James Cameron WGA Interview About Avatar Script

If you don’t have an hour plus to spend, you can invest twenty minutes listening to Cameron being grilled by veteran journalist Charlie Rose. All in all, I’m glad to see that J.C.  isn’t just taking his money and running – he’s confident enough in his movie to go out and defend it against the hard questions. Gotta respect that.

Avatar is just now starting to bow out of theaters – but you never know, it could be back!

Source: wga.org via /Film

 

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  1. The story was very predictable, but it was also very well told. Thats something Cameron will also be able to do right. Anyway, I can't wait for this film on Blu-Ray at the end of April.

  2. The story was very predictable, but it was also very well told. Thats something Cameron will also be able to do right. Anyway, I can't wait for this film on Blu-Ray at the end of April.

  3. I'm not planning on watching this… but I'm curious how many lawsuits are being waged for 'copyright infringement' on the story. The latest I heard is a guy in Vancouver who said he wrote the story in the mid-90s and submitted it to Fox in early 2000s. I'm sure there will be many trying to grab some of the $1 billion+ it has made but I'm wondering if there are any legitimate claims? Did Cameron address this? Was he asked?

  4. I'm ashamed to say, I do not have the internet connection to watch this, so I won't even try. But Kofi's quick thoughts are enough to give me the gist though.

    Cameron's choice is this, if he does not defend his movie: it'll get trashed left and right thus diminishing his future sequel sales, or he can try his best to do so, at least creating the atmosphere that he actually cared about the film rather than just wanting to spend millions to advance graphical special effects. (Which I sort of agree with.) Those are his choices if he did not care about the movie, if he does than the choice is obvious, but due to his past interviews and persona, I find it hard to believe the latter is true. However, since I am unable to watch this interview, I concede that my opinion may be a little uninformed.

  5. The criticisms are becoming predictable. Sure Avatar is not a completely original story, but neither is 95% of movies made today. Like Matt said, it's the way it was presented that made it a (very) special film. Almost every movie nowadays borrows from something else and a lot of times borrows quite heavily. Some of the movies are labeled “remakes”, “reboots”, etc. because it's so close to source material. Some borrow less and therefore are just movies.

    Not to stray from the topic, but I have not talked to one person that thought The Hurt Locker was “special”, or special enough to sweep the oscars. NOT ONE! I have talked to MANY people that were completely blown away by Avatar. Not that I care for what the Oscar committee says is a “great movie”, but the ceremonial “pat ourselves on the back” of these actors/directors is becoming so tiresome and mundane and was especially so during this year's ceremony.

  6. Avatars script is like that of ernest hemingway(spelled wrong). It is extremly simple. Ie two waiters talking about an old guy while he leaves. However it is about the little things. Nothing in Avatar is just filler. It is all to further its theme. On the surface it is one way but with symbolism it becomes another.

  7. Avatars script is like that of ernest hemingway(spelled wrong). It is extremly simple. Ie two waiters talking about an old guy while he leaves. However it is about the little things. Nothing in Avatar is just filler. It is all to further its theme. On the surface it is one way but with symbolism it becomes another.

  8. I'm ashamed to say, I do not have the internet connection to watch this, so I won't even try. But Kofi's quick thoughts are enough to give me the gist though.

    Cameron's choice is this, if he does not defend his movie: it'll get trashed left and right thus diminishing his future sequel sales, or he can try his best to do so, at least creating the atmosphere that he actually cared about the film rather than just wanting to spend millions to advance graphical special effects. (Which I sort of agree with.) Those are his choices if he did not care about the movie, if he does than the choice is obvious, but due to his past interviews and persona, I find it hard to believe the latter is true. However, since I am unable to watch this interview, I concede that my opinion may be a little uninformed.

  9. The criticisms are becoming predictable. Sure Avatar is not a completely original story, but neither is 95% of movies made today. Like Matt said, it's the way it was presented that made it a (very) special film. Almost every movie nowadays borrows from something else and a lot of times borrows quite heavily. Some of the movies are labeled “remakes”, “reboots”, etc. because it's so close to source material. Some borrow less and therefore are just movies.

    Not to stray from the topic, but I have not talked to one person that thought The Hurt Locker was “special”, or special enough to sweep the oscars. NOT ONE! I have talked to MANY people that were completely blown away by Avatar. Not that I care for what the Oscar committee says is a “great movie”, but the ceremonial “pat ourselves on the back” of these actors/directors is becoming so tiresome and mundane and was especially so during this year's ceremony.

  10. Avatars script is like that of ernest hemingway(spelled wrong). It is extremly simple. Ie two waiters talking about an old guy while he leaves. However it is about the little things. Nothing in Avatar is just filler. It is all to further its theme. On the surface it is one way but with symbolism it becomes another.

  11. I have defended this film many times against various criticisms, some intelligent, some less so.
    I defend it not because I am blind to it's faults, but because In my life I have only seen 6 movies I enjoyed nearly as much, none as much.
    I like it, if you don't that's up to you, but if you post some thing I disagree with I'm likely to why I think you're wrong.

  12. The link doesnt work anymore.
    The interview is available on youtube at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pvUQeVmQB8

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