James Cameron Continues To Reinvent Cinema

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 11:08 pm,

Maybe if James Cameron spent less time creating state-of-the-art technology to present unprecedented cinema, he’d have more movies on his résumé. Then again, if he wasn’t so innovative we would still be stuck in a dark age where 3D movies are just a gimmick (well…) and “Pandora” is just an online radio station.

We recently learned that Cameron will shoot Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 back-to-back. But now he has revealed that groundbreaking 3D imagery is just not enough for the story he wants to tell.

Cameron is working on two revolutionary technologies that may actually change the industry forever. We said that before with his 3D technology, but 3D is still restricted to specific genres – not that it has to be.

First, the filmmaker plans to shoot at a higher frame rate than 24 frames per second – the universal cinematic frame rate.

“The only sweeping change between now and when we release the second Avatar film is I want to natively author the film at a higher frame rate and project it at a higher frame rate. I want to get rid of the motion artifacting associated with 24 frame display. Because movies are way behind, they’re a century out of date.”

“48, 60, 72, we’re looking at the efficacy of the different ones and different solutions. The projectors can do it right now, the projectors can run at 144hrz but they’re still displaying 24 frames content at 144hrz. The trick is how do you display 48 or 60 frame content, multiflashing it, the way 3D projectors do. So that’s one little bump I’m working on.”

Don’t worry if that made no sense to you – /Film explains it in more basic terms. Plenty of cinephiles out there will be right on the ball with Cameron’s explanation, but those are likely in the minority. A major part of the problem is that higher frame rates also require more data storage. Digital cinema is still a long way from the norm and movie theaters are reluctantly adding digital projectors to their collection.

Don’t expect change to start tomorrow, but if Cameron can accomplish this in an affordable way it will provide more information to work with in post-production. Filmmaking is constantly on the verge of revolution thanks in large part to Cameron’s dedication.

At the end of the day, Cameron’s main goal is to present his own stories in revolutionary ways – namely Avatar. His other intention is to create a software that can practically complete the post-production visual effects process in real-time.

On Avatar, Cameron created a machine that allowed cast and crew to watch playback in near-finished form. For example, it allowed Sam Worthington to see what his motion capture acting looked like in the artificial environment of Pandora without waiting months for the effects to be completed. But Cameron wants to improve that process.

“Then there’s some software development that we’re doing to make the process, our real time virtual production process more intuitive, faster, more real looking, more like the finished product. Right now we work at a proxy resolution. We create a 1980s video game looking end product, we give it to the visual effects company and they start over mapping all new high resolution assets to those low res assets. They start all over and do it all again and come out with a photo real end product. What we want to do is eliminate that middle step and start to close the gap between what our real time looks like and what the finished photo real looks like. Eventually, 15 years from now, we should be working real time in at a photo real image, almost like you do with photography. So it’s getting to the point where it’s indistinguishable from photography at the moment your doing it as opposed to waiting six months or a year.”

Most productions are thrilled to simply get a pre-visualization monitor to see a scene artificially played out on the computer before the cameras roll. This potential technology completely erases the waiting game that makes filmmaking so arduous. I can only imagine how angry Cameron gets when he hears the common on-set phrase, “Hurry up and wait.”

avatar james cameron sam worthington James Cameron Continues To Reinvent Cinema

These advancements that Cameron downplays in his explanations are truly unprecedented. In fact, I’ve run out of words to describe how amazing it is. If he can bring these to a reality, then we may see CGI romps churned out in less than one year, which is truly astonishing.

Of course, everything is hypothetical at this stage. But Cameron isn’t loose with his words. He is likely working on a dozen other projects that are not ready for public explanation.

I can’t wait to see what he comes up with for the underwater sequences in Avatar 2 and 3. Current underwater CGI technology is not ready for Cameron yet – see the special features on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for proof. But his underwater experience should help the process go smoother.

At the end of the day, story cannot go unnoticed. I respect Cameron for spending so much time on research and development, but he cannot let the plot of his films become completely secondary. If we end up with three films that are just big-budget narrative showcases for new technology (can you say George Lucas?), it will be very disappointing.

What do you think about Cameron’s futuristic visions?

Source: /Film

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  1. Yawn. Lemme know when Cameron begins working on revolutionary developments in scriptwriting. Or even if he decides to finally take writing classes.

    • LOL. I maybe its his ideas and what not, but i doubt if he had a real hand in development of any of this.

      • uhm the mili-second “Coffee man” the mili-second Market story notes . you know I CAN SAY JAMES IT’S YOUR CJIS AND YOU NEED TO BE ON JURY DUTY . and play those Games . we have a Golden Kit *DA LEE ANY ISSUE* ok we have a Golden Kit here . was it the Robbery story Courty uhm that’s on the before seconds this is mili-second “forgot and have recalection though”

        • uhm Grandma’s here from Twist AAAHHH . UUAAHHAAHH . ohh ok well “good Rain maybe you miss something” so it’s a Eugene Bike will say . well yes . learning well I love the beganing of the first 101 . yea . we would love to breach this Coffee . good top comment .

      • uhm lol like a Sean Combs good Rain Courty and he goes on with Quentin Tarantino word for word . whats that song . I need you . SHANALALALA “Sean you know that’s where this sh*t! ends that’s where this sh*t! ends Cracker!”

        *Courty word for word . good threw the nose Dad kept thin Len’s and a 100% clear on cancer*

        • uhm Courty after the information I gathered here uhm mmmm . write about these characters “like CON THE CON ! ! !” and tunnels of Hell will say and sell it these other writers and Producers and make millions like them “we know who you Guy’s are” *you will be Blesses and you will be Blessed*

          • Rain .

      • *it’ been 16 hours and 16 days* that’s a nice one for the 80′s uhm go ahead Courty . . the Greg Gormic hot! hot! Coffee “shouldn’t have to say anymore” those Crows ma’an uhm,Lee . . handle right I can imagine those going off in the Gallerys “2930 Moore on that Horse Sh***T!!”

    • Sorry duck but that’s a really horrible attitude you got there.

      The man KNOWS how to tell a story (see his resume). Just because you didn’t like Avatar does not discount his past and what he’s doing for the future.

      The modern movie audience can be so damn jaded. It’s beyond words just how revolutionary Avatar was. And yet people are so quick to dismiss it based on the fact that they didn’t like the story.

      The guy is driving the movie industry into the future almost single handedly when it comes to technology, effects, etc. Cut him some slack.

      • It’s not just Avatar I’m talking about here…

        • What were talking about then?

          btw, Avatar is by far not my favorite movie of his but I’ll be damned if I don’t respect what he has done for the movie industry (and audience enjoyment) with one single movie

        • It better not be Aliens,Abyss,or the Terminator series.Cameron is far from overrated.Yes,I thought the Avatar film was indeed simple in story.But the film was beyond beautiful.Im not saying all movies should focus on is visuals,but imagine what someone could do with the technology and an amazing script.I agree with @ogb139.Today movie going generation is very jaded.I hate remakes,but Im all for someone who is breaking ground in Cinema.

      • Story is the reason movies exist. Without it, it’s like having the world’s most beautiful supermodel, without a skeleton to hold up all the prettiness.

        Not a pleasant picture.

        As for Cameron, whenever there’s a new interview or press release with his name attached, it seems constantly in reference to the technical aspects of film, not about wanting to discuss what stories he’s interested in telling or what he thinks about the more creative and less technical aspects of his work.

        One has to concede that it would appear that his focus has shifted.

        • I agree story is everything. I also know that visual story telling can be just as strong as anything written. I believe that’s what Cameron focuses on in a lot of his films.

          Of course there’s mention of technology in most pieces about Cameron. Would you expect different from someone that keeps advancing movie making technology all on his own (or his team of people)?

          • @ ogb139 You remind me of a guy i argue with often in my town lol

            You’re absolutely right about Cameron being an amazing innovator, he really is bringing the tech for film into the 21st century, but Avatar was one of the most unoriginal stories i’ve ever seen.

            Its as if he looks around for ideas or stories that involve large visual tasks then uses all of his energy on the presentation. I know it seems disrespectful in your opinion but it is possible for someone to be a genius in one aspect and unremarkable in another. And more and more his films are losing their substance. He really should start collaborating with better writers. Anyway.. I, for one, think the leaps and bounds in style aren’t worth the mediocre storytelling.

            Who wants Stephen Hawking to write the new Star Trek film?

            • Ken,

              Unoriginal? Sure, a little. Simple? Yes. But that can be said about MOST of movies today. Most of the stories you see have already been told by someone else. I don’t think it should take away from the movie unless it’s a blatant rip off

              • It was a blatant rip off! lol
                Pochahontas (completely), Dances with Wolves, Last Sumurai and then a bit of Smurf

                • Um NO it was not a “blatant rip off”

                  Jesus Christ on a stick! So I guess Last Samurai was a rip off off Pachohontas and Dances with the Wolves and Dances with the wolves was a rip off of Pachohontas?

              • My problem with the Pocahontas storyline in general is how it tends to reduce characters to being entirely evil and entirely good and enlightened. Call it the “noble savage” storyline. It reduces good guys motivation for being good “because they are” and bad guys being evil “because they are” – and usually without much exception.

                It’s a sporting event where you’re supposed to be rooting for your favorite team. But where one can accept there not being complex reasons for rooting/jeering one team or the other, the nature of film (especially films intended not to be parodies or farces) are supposed to get us invested in the characters by displaying a bare minimum of complexity which is recognizably human (even if the characters are alien in appearance).

            • ah. I see at least someone here isn’t drowning in all the hype around Cameron.

          • I would argue that visual narrative is what WALL-E did in its first half, ascribing meaning with action. The kind of thing which requires a deft and subtle touch of manipulating meaning into the visuals.

            I think what you mean is Cameron’s skill as an action director, and at this I will grant he still has all of his wits about him, but it’s still not a narrative skill.

      • Did you ever hit right smack in the center of the bulls eye, or what? I have been into stereography since 1952 and could never figure out why it was taking so long for people to see the potential of three dimensional photography. I had to wait all these years for James Cameron to come along.

        I bought my first 16mm sound projector in 1954 and rented 16mm prints of my favorite old movies. I had a sort of home theatre when no one apparently envisioned such a thing. I say “apparently” because people would ask me, “If you saw a movie once, why would you want to rent it and see it again?” Boy, was I ahead of my time.

        If I believed in God I would say, “God bless you James Cameron!” I can only hope that I live long enough to see what this man envisions become reality.

        • Chris, that’s fascinating (and bizarre from a modern viewpoint!) that people asked you why you’d want to rent a movie and see it again. Films presumably had much longer runs in the cinema back then than they do now; what would you say was the ratio of people who’d pay to see a movie more than once?

  2. I’m all for advancing picture quality and the technical aspects of film-making, but that’s not the reason people go to the movies, and it’s not the reason why people still watch ‘classic’ films from even before they were born.

    It’s because of the story.

    If Cameron wants to continue his foray into film technology, I say Godspeed. But I also say if that’s the case, he should consider giving up the director’s chair to do it, as it seems his focus has been permanently altered.

    There’s no shame in doing that, as many people have made names for themselves strictly as film technicians, like Rick Baker, for one example.

    Please Jim, don’t turn into Lucas part II. He’s more machine now than man.

  3. I think people forget too quickly. Sure the story of Avatar on its own doesn’t have much “punch” but that was the story that needed to be told for that concept and that technology to work.

    Abyss, True Lies, Aliens, T2…the man can tell a good story visually and otherwise.

    • Your comment seems to suggest that the story was written to support the technology. Is that what you were trying to say? Because I couldn’t disagree more with that dynamic.

      The technology must be made to serve the needs of the story which comes first.

      • That’s not what I was saying at all. My apologies if it sounded that way. I’m saying that that story complemented the technology and that technology complemented THAT story.

        I agree that story first, technology later is the right recipe for feature films. Technology first, story later can be successful in music videos, highlights, etc.

  4. Cameron is out of control. He reminds me of Bill Gates and the dee bags that run Google. :\

  5. Oh a dig at George Lucas.
    I mean he only revolutionised cinema, and was instrumental in creating almost every modern special effect we have, just look at every big budget film and look for Industrial Light And Magic on the credits, 90% of the time it’ll be there. Or Skywalker Sound.
    In fact I think you’d be hard pushed to find something not associated with Lucas in any major production.

    But no, you have your little jibes at his expense.

    • His technical contributions should be noted. But he should stay out of the director’s chair.

      • Actually I disagree, if anyone doubts the power of his directing, there is one scene in Revenge Of The Sith, when Padme and Anakin are in seperate locations but looking out across the city at each other. It’s a powerful scene, arguably one of the best in the prequel trilogy.

        Lucas also directed huge portions of Return Of The Jedi.

        But he is a better storyteller than director. My point was it is all too easy for people to take potshots at him, forgetting that his stamp on cinema will arguably go on forever while many of the directors these days will be forgotten.

        • Return was the worst of the original three.

          • You might want to add “in your opinion” to the end of that statement. Jedi is my favourite.

            • I still (and will always) say that ESB is the best, imo.

              • Totally agree. I can watch that movie any time.

        • I have to agree with Dr. Sam. Lucas may be responsible for ruining Star Wars, but he also gave us one of the best trilogies of all time.

        • DSM,

          I added the Lucas comment. You can’t dine on your accomplishments from 30 years back forever. Back when he started, I agree, he was an amazing storyteller – but once the Star Wars movies got going, he seemed to care alot more about the VFX than the story. I remember watching him on TV while the prequels were in production and the thing that stood out to me was that I never ONCE heard him talk about the story/mythos – it was ALL about the visual effects.

          If course the original Star Wars defined a generation, and his technical contributions to cinema have been substantial, but I was referring to the “all style and little substance” angle.

          Vic

          • Well, I’ve heard him talk about the story many times. And I think the comment was a bit uneccessary and didnt really add anything to the article.

            And this;

            “You can’t dine on your accomplishments from 30 years back forever”

            Really? Is Star Wars not still popular? I think it is. I know for a fact that kids today still love it, my younger brothers prefer the prequels, they watch Clone Wars every week. People who critisise Lucas are jealous of his success.
            This is a man who bucked the studio system and made a fortune, and more importantly made films that made millions of people happy. You can say the prequels didnt make anyone happy (many do) but I think the box office speaks for itself.

            His legacy on film, special effects and yes, story telling will survive forever. His name will be remember long after names like Nolan and Synder are long forgotten.

            • Sigh. Why do people always try an use jealousy as a reasonable argument. Can we not detest someone’s work without being “jealous”? Lucas did an amazing job on the OT, but that’s all. He then destroyed them with the special editions, and the prequels were all CG and no substance. Who cares if they made a lot of money? That doesn’t make up for the fact they are horribly written, horribly directed, and horribly acted films.

              • Yup, I’m with Little Monster.

                And although I have to say we’ve lost a lot of our “edge” here – it IS still Screen RANT – gotta throw in a little somethin’ somethin’ from time to time. 8)

                Vic

                • Lucas is an easy target for critism though, and I always findit difficult when I see someone (anyone) having a go at George Lucas. The guy is a personal hero.
                  I like all 6 Star Wars films, like watching Clone Wars, still read all the comics and books. I didnt give up on Star Wars.

                  Never will.

                  • DSM,

                    Now you know how I feel when I see people ragging on Christianity. :-P

                    [ALERT: Lighthearted quip, not meant to start a raging debate.]

                    Vic

                    • Fair enough, In fact, I think thats a good comparison. Both involve an awful lot of faith.

                    • DSB, i just wish Lucas would stop mucking up the Star Wars films. thats pretty much the only negative thing i’ll say about him. Oh that and the Indy films, leave ‘em alone George!! Added effects are cool, but Greedo shooting first is unforgivable.

                    • smiles. ;-)

                  • THX and American Graffiti prove that aLucas is a more than capabl?e storyteller. He created the most cherished saga in film … but where he failed was his reluctance to continue down that path. He veered off track and devoted his life to VFX. We love him AND hate him for that decision.

                  • I will always give Lucas credit where credit is due. His special effects department helped change the face of the movie industry, how money was spent and on what, and it even was responsible for spinning off a little division known today as Pixar, a studio whose body of work I hold in the highest artistic esteem, and who revolutionized animation the same way his SFX division revolutionized the technical aspects of film-making.

                    That’s friggin’ huge stuff. I’m not sure how it can be that pointing out that the man is a much better technical wizard than he is a director diminishes or indicates one is attacking a big target for the sake of it’s being big.

        • Personally I can’t remember the scene in Sith, but let’s take that as one good aspect for the sake of argument. On the whole, Sith was better than the other two, but I believe that it almost had to be. First, because when you set the bar as low as eps 1 & 2 did, you don’t have to be very good to be the best in a trilogy, and secondly because “Sith” contained all the drama (by necessity of bringing it up to the events of A New Hope) that people were waiting for.

          Today, I will occasionally tune the tv to one of the prequels if it’s on Spike TV or somesuch, because oddly enough, each time I see them, they have the distinct quality among all other films I’ve seen, to keep revealing more of their numerous faults upon each viewing, and morbid curiosity eggs me into seeing just how far down the rabbit hole a movie can go.

          And so you’re aware, I was once a HUGE Star Wars fan. I nearly wore out the VHS cassettes of them when I was young. When I got sick and stayed home, I would watch them repeatedly. I was so jazzed about the trailer to episode 1, I watched that over and over again. I even believed I enjoyed it after the first viewing. It wasn’t until subsequent viewings that it became clear to me the painful and critical failures the film commits which were either absent or glossed over in the original trilogy. The excitement and nostalgia wore off.

          The prequels, even Sith to a somewhat lesser degree, can be recognized for what they are when one compares them up to the double-f-word: Fan-Fiction. It’s not a favorable comparison, but every time I see them now, I see all the same hallmark failings in both.

          I believe I did acknowledge that Lucas’ place in cinema history would be remembered, but in the long run, I think that stamp will be imprinted with “Founder of ILM” and not “George Lucas, Director” because he has a very short resume on the latter.

          Yes, he directed THX1138, American Graffiti, and the first Star Wars. He also had Howard the Duck, and the prequels and.. not much else after that. That is a piddling pace for an esteemed director and a very mixed one to boot.

          He has talked repeatedly since the prequels were released years ago of his desire to do the indie work no studio would ever let him do before. Who knew at the time that what he really meant was he wanted to do “Indy” work and commenced producing the fourth (and in my opinion, the only blatantly flawed entry in the franchise) Indy film. Then we’re back to doing “Clone Wars” and a Star Wars TV show that is being made one day and canceled the next. Where are the original ideas we were promised?

          • Personally, I’m beginning to think that at first, Lucas was the head of a team of talented and creative partners who would add constructive criticism helping him to improve his artistic work.

            I think that by the time the prequels were announced, that the legend had grown so big surrounding him that nobody dared to offer even constructive criticism.

            It’s the director’s job to guide a film towards a particular vision. Part of that job involves a collaborative environment where constructive criticism is not only welcomed, but encouraged, and good ideas from outside are merged with the director’s own ideas hopefully ending up with a synergy of talent exploding on screen. Brad Bird has discussed this process many times in interviews.

            I can’t imagine that there wasn’t anyone close to George who had second thoughts about Jar-Jar after seeing preliminary character animatics and voice-overs, but chose to keep it to themselves.

            • I agree. When Lucas made Star Wars he was PRETTY MUCH a nobody. That led the studio to have people question some of the decisions he made on the OT. Afterwards, Lucas like a “god” to geeks. With the prequels, nobody was willing to say “George that’s a bad idea”, and what we got was crap.

              • Lucas wasnt a nobody at all. American Grafitti was a massive hit for the time.

                • So was District 9, but that doesn’t make Neil Blomkamp an A-list director or B-list. American Grafitti was a hit, but it didn’t give Lucas enough credibility to let the studio do whatever he wants. His “creative” (I use that term loosely when speaking of Lucas) control still being supervised, and we got three of the greatest films of all time. He had creative control over the prequels, and they turned out like crap. That shows just how much “creativity” Lucas has.

                  My point is that Lucas is best kept on a leash.

            • Ah yes the Jar Jar argument. I personally hate the character and was delighted to see him encased in carbonite in The Force Unleashed.
              However, Lucas has said on many ocassions that kids love Jar Jar.
              And in that he is completely and totally correct. My little brothers and sister (ranging from 5-10) think he’s great. They were Lucas’s target audience.

              • This brings to mind the “it was always for kids” thing which I don’t understand and probably never will.

                Episode IV, released in ’77, featured, among other things, a close-up shot of the smoldering skeletal remains of Luke’s aunt and uncle (which freaked me out when I watched it for the first time) and a not-so bloodless dismemberment in the cantina scene. Empire featured Luke getting stuffed inside a recently-deceased and sliced open taun-taun and it’s highlight scene involves the hero getting his hand cut off. The old trilogy was not squarely aimed at kids, but a much wider demographic.

                Kids films pander to that demographic and are simplistic instead of simple, which is a common misconception when one brings up issues of quality and simplicity. One treats the audience as having a capacity to think beyond what a studio exec believes the limitations of a 5 year old are, the other (a family film, for example) doesn’t and goes about the business of focusing on making a great story, even if it that means it has elements which may challenge younger viewers.

                Jar-Jar, in addition to the dialog, the performances, and the screenplay panders where the original (unaltered) trilogy kept its eye on the ball.

                The prequels contain events in which we are clearly meant to react with our hearts, but in downplaying the ability of the audience to do so, they fall well short of the mark of actually earning that kind of reaction.

    • DrSam, I have to say that as much I totally see your point of view on this, I’m in complete agreement with jerseycajun, Little Monster, Vic, Anthony and especially Mike on this one. Here’s a direct quote from Lucas’s commentary for THX 1138 that runs over the closing credits:-

      “Fortunately I’ve never made a film that I don’t like to watch. And I enjoy this film, y’know – I had a great time making it; it was my sensibility at the time, it’s still a lot of my sensibility, I’ve just gone off on this strange path that was not at all where I thought I was going to be. This is really the kind of filmmaking I started doing, and probably the filmmaking that I’m going to go back to some day. It’s a much more interesting style of filmmaking than I’m, er…currently find myself in. I mean, I enjoy doing the, y’know, traditional Hollywood-style movies, and I started doing them just to see if I could do it. But these more…slightly off-beat movies is really where my cinematic heart is.”

      That was in 2004. I see no evidence that he will EVER return to this style of filmmaking, do you? I despair for the man, I really do. Forever defined by a series of movies that apparently aren’t where his true calling lies…and yet condemning himself forever to revisit them. What is that? What do you call that? You say you find it difficult when you see someone having a go at George Lucas because he’s a personal hero. Fair enough. But he made the original Star Wars before you were born, and you have to accept that for a generation who saw him as an incredible, talented director (and yes, storyteller) who made three amazing, unique movies and then descended into some form of self-imposed directorial exile for two decades, from which he re-emerged, blinking, into the white heat of a new cinematic landscape he helped create, the end results have been…disappointing and dispiriting to say the least. Establishing world-renowned effects studios and new sound systems is an adjunct to what he achieves behind a camera. He knows this, otherwise he wouldn’t have tried directing the prequels himself.

      Here’s another quote from him over the beginning of THX 1138, which opens (bafflingly to me when I first saw it) with an old Buck Rogers trailer:-

      “I wanted to put this old Republic serial on the head of the film because it has a certain definition about a hero. And the film is about a hero. The film is about a hero who lives in a…anthill, and dares to go outside. To do something different, to move away from the status quo. And the thing I liked about this trailer the most was that they describe Buck Rogers as an ordinary fellow, a regular person like everybody else, who doesn’t really do anything that special, except…he keeps his wits about him. And I thought that was a perfect description of what this main character THX is and what he does. He does a very small thing, which is to move out of his environment, but it is a very heroic thing, and a very, er…kind of thing that we used to relate to in comic books and Saturday afternoon serials.”

      That’s a pretty good description of Luke Skywalker there as well. Himself too, in some ways. For me, Lucas is an ordinary fellow with some extraordinary abilities who did something different. Moved away from the status quo. Moved out of his environment. Left the anthill, but found the outside not to his liking (for reasons best known to himself)…and moved back in. Or maybe more accurately shaped the outside EXACTLY to his liking and tried to move the rest of us in with him en masse. And (t)here he will stay, for better or for worse. Please also understand that if I couldn’t care less about the man and his self-perpetuating predicament I wouldn’t have typed all this garbage in the first place!

  6. Cameron is brilliant at developing new tech and creates truly amazing visuals. That said I think he is an awful story teller. Most of his work has stunning visuals but fairly shallow story telling. I think in many ways James is nothing more than a glorified Micheal Bay. Avatar was beautiful visualy but one of the worst films of that year. It was a complete rip off of another story he stole every thing short of dialogue. The acting was mediocre at best all it had going for it was stunning visuals. Terminator was dull and very shallow it was your run of the mil action flick with some awful acting. T2 was a major step up but at the end of the day it was just a shallow fun action flick. Titanic had emotion but it just catered to thirteen year old girls it had good acting for the most part but it was just made to make girls cry. There was no real meaning behind it it was a film that was simply pointless make teen girls cry and make money.

    Micheal bay on crack that’s all he is in my opinion.

    • He owe’s a lot of his success to his development tam for making what he visulize’s come true on screen. I’m not a fan of Worthington either. The guy made it near impossible for me to sit through this film.

      • team* not tam LOL

        • Michael Bay is on crack….

    • This is going to be one of those time where I respectfully disagree, Daniel. True, the story behind Avatar is hardly the most original story, but it was told very well (IMO) with extremely impressive visuals. Not every story has to be deep or revolutionary. The wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented for every film. I personally like to, on occasion, watch a film and simply be able to watch it and enjoy it without having to delve into deep thought to understand it. Avatar is that type of film. The first 2 Terminator films are simply awesome. Yeah, the SFx in the first film are very dated by today’s standards, but the film told a great story and launched a franchise that is still (arguably) viable to this day. T2, is IMO, one of the greatest sequels ever made to any film. The T-1000 was simply mindblowing at the time. Never mind how great a film True Lies was….Cameron CAN tell a great story AND develop groundbreaking technology. With Avatar it was obvious that the tech took precedence, but I still think that Cameron made an enjoyable film.

  7. these films better have more things popping out than avatar 1

  8. I don’t care what anyone says, james cameron is a badass film maker. As a hardcore outdoors person I personally loved Avatar. Say what you will about the “weak” story, but I loved the message. Even if it was hea y handed it still makes a valid point. Not directed towards anyone, but, go see the wilderness people. Experiance the nature in its fullest. Then tell me Cameron didn’t have a valid point. End of rant :).

    • I liked Avatar too. And as for the story being unoriginal, well, there are only 7 basic story types anyway, there is no such thing as original these days. It’s all been done before, the best any storyteller can hope for is to tell the same story but in a fresh context. And Cameron certainly did that.

      • Exactly Drsam, I’ve been saying that for a long time. That storys all have a base, and that really nothing is that original. I keep trying to tell my folks that about inception but….yeah.

        • Great as Inception is, I liked it a lot, I wouldnt say it was the most original film I’d ever seen but its originality comes in the excution.
          There is no such thing as an original story. Just original takes on old material.

          • Inception is just this generations Dreamscape. Still a GREAT movie though.

            • With a healthy dose of the Matrix and a bit of Dark City thrown into the mix, but it doesnt matter, because the film is great!

              • yep exactly

      • Sam I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again nothing is completely original anymore every thing borrows from something else. The problem here though Is Avatar didn’t borrow a few things from a few films and it’s not just simply unoriginal it’s almost an exact rip off it’s borderline copyright. I could litterally pop in a DVD right next to avatar and it’s almost a scene for scene copy he changed the dialogue and put in space. I honestly see nothing fresh in avatar other than some pointless flashy sfx.

        • Dances With Wolves or Ferngully? Lol.

    • It’s not like he did anything special all he did was shove the current Hollywood trend of crying like a baby about the enviornment down our throats. Two years sooner and it would of been a film about gay people.

      Can’t wait for a new parkinglot.

      • Daniel I think you need to eat some mushrooms or paote and chill in a forest for a week lol. Concrete jungles make me wanna puke. I personally like the message. People who never leave the city tend to be less worldly and weaker imho. But i have to ask what the “gay people” comment was all about?

        • No things I’m not a pathetic drugie.

          I’ve spent plenty of time out doors I go hunting alot and every once in awhile I go camping not alot though mostly just when I’m taking a long hunting trip because it’s boring.

          There are still plenty of forests and more trees now than there were thirty years ago. I love to go hunting but nothing will ever change the fact that k find a beatifully crafted man made building far more beautiful and it actually is more useful.

          The gay people comment was fairly obvious not sure how you missed it. The current trend in Hollywood is to cry about the trees and BS global warming but a few years the Hollywood trend was to cry about gay marriage and all that hoopla if James made his film two years sooner he would of made a film dealing with homosexuality he wasn’t trying to send a message he deeply cared about he was pushing the current Hollywood agenda trying to make more money.

          • More useful? I didn’t realize taking man away from it’s natural coexistance was better or more useful. No wonder there are so many fat americans. Sorry but if man made buildings aren’t taking away wildlife (stuff we would hunt and eat), or destroying our forest (those trees that filter the air you breath) then I should go back to my high school science teacher and slap em silly. Everything feeds off each other in a symbiotic way with the earth. Manipulating it for conveinence does not make it more useful. Taking mushrooms doesn’t make someone a drugie either. By that logic anyone who drinks a beer or glass of wine is a drugie samanticly speaking. The gay marriage rights thing has been around for more than two years. In fact homosexuality has been around since recorded history. Even if film makers are using current topics or “agendas” for their films they probably feel for the issue at hand. What’s wrong with current events in film? It’s relavent to what’s happening in the world. James Cameron has done documentaries in the ocean way before the “enviormental agenda” so i truely belive he enjoys it, not cause it’s a hot topic. Also what other movies out lately have been pushing that agenda? To each thier own for sure, so don’t get me wrong I’m not starting a argument.

            • Sully you are the new proud owner of something rare from me an apology. I thought you were refering to shrooms not regular mushrooms.

              I’m going to avoid the very political debate we are on the verge of before Vic gets mad we simply just don’t agree here.

  9. I guess when people can ‘man up’ and write and direct a movie that can come anywhere close to the success Avatar had in the box office then, and only then, can you tell the guy he don’t belong in the director’s chair.

    Jim, George, Steven, and the likes have done things for the moving going audience that will be remembered long after the jeers of the easily distressed have faded.

  10. Yes, story and character development (Let’s not forget that) are everything. They cover a multitude of directorial sins.
    However Avatar is a majestic film in terms of the sheer stunning beauty of it’s revealed world.
    I’ve never seen anything like it – the closest would be the VR worlds of Lawnmower Man and Tron…and those ain’t nearly close enough.
    Avatar is simply a work of cinematic art, awe inspiring in its beauty and majesty.

  11. James Cameron is a genious.

    • Hmmmm LMAO

    • I would actually call Cameron more of a “God amongst filmmakers”, but genious is also correct.

      • Thanks Little Monster some ppl dont get it *sigh*

  12. @Daniel f ….Cameron “is an awful story teller.”….really?!? I would say that is one of his strengths. Cameron always believes that story and characters come first. That is why we are still talking about Aliens and T2 20 years later. He may not write Tarantino/Coen Brothers type dialogue but he crafts great well-paced stories. Also, he brings out great performances in his actors: Weaver in Aliens, Biehn and Harris in Abyss…. he actually made both Arnolds awesome in True Lies. You are waayyy off in your Michael Bay thing.

    and Terminator/T2 were “dull and shallow”….WHAT!!…geez, what do you want a movie to do? is it possible that you are one of those jaded, jealous fanboys that like to exaggerate to make a point…..what that you didn’t like Avatar and it stole the thunder away from some other so-so sci-fi flick like District 9? Cameron rocks!!!sorry you don’t feel that way also.

    • I have to disagree that Avatar was better than District 9. Both films had great characters, story, action, and acting, but D9 proved that you don’t have to have massive budget to do all that.

      • Sorry, I didn’t mean to say one was better than the other, just that Avatar stole the thunder away from D9. Avatar broke the box office record and was lauded with award nominations and crtical praise while D9 did just ok at the box office and wasn’t put of the award pedastal that Avatar was. I think that might contribute to the backlash of Avatar and James Cameron. Back in the mid ’80s, I am sure many said the same about Cameron….how can an upstart director with no budget make The Terminator.

    • Dude I said T1 was dull if you actually read my comment I said T2 was fun but yes both films were hopelessly shallow. Do you actually think it was a deep and complex story ? Rofl T2 was mindless fun.

      I didn’t much care for D9 I would of liked it much more with out the shaky cam it drove me crazy. I thought it was decent better than Avatar sure I mean what isn’t but it was far from great.

      If JC really thinks story and character are important he doesn’t show it in his films because they are all about visuals. Not one of his films is complex or really makes you think not one of them is deeply meaningful they are all mindless action flicks with very few exception Titanic was a mindless chick flick. That film would of been better if Leo started singing ” I’m on a boat” jk nothing could make it better

      • Terminator 2 is “mindless fun”

        oh boy, I give up…

  13. Yeah Cameron is a horrible storyteller…… right…..

    LOL

  14. I guess I’m wondering what a higher frame rate will do for viewers. I thought that 24fps is what has been used forever because they human eye/brain cannot discern and difference beyond that threshold.

    Vic

    • I think the key is that you don’t capture as much information as you could. When it comes to CGI-laden movies, information is everything so the artists can enhance it without sacrificing quality. Correct me if I am wrong.

      • @ Mike

        I just re read your article and picked up on what Cameron said. I missed this when I sped read.

        “I want to natively author the film at a higher frame rate and project it at a higher frame rate. I want to get rid of the motion artifacting associated with 24 frame display”.

        He said it better than I did and in shorter sentences. :-)

        BTW great article.

    • Vic

      (24 fps) is the standard frame rate. Overcranking a 35 mm film camera to (60 fps) is a common effect in achieving slow motion when it is played back at (24 fps). Just think “Matrix’.

      Whilst slow motion can be digitally achieved in post production it never has the same clarity or smoothness of its film overcranking counterpart.

      Of course Undercranking a 35 mm film camera and playing it back at (24 fps) will give you fast motion.

      I can only assume then that shooting an entire film at a higher frame rate and playing back at the same higher frame rate your image acquisition will be of a much higher resolution and perhaps even remove some of the motion blur that can occur when the camera pans in fast action shots.

      In much the same way as IMAX HD is shot on 70 mm film at (48 fps) you end up with better resolution and greater depth of field.

      Combining that with James Cameron’s 3D technology and we’re in for some visual feasts to come. :-) oh and with some great storytelling of course.

      • Magnetic Eye,

        LOL, I know how slo-mo is done, bro. But thanks. My question was how would a higher frame rate enhance standard speed. :)

        Vic

        • I’m not sure it would? Isn’t 24 fps the standard for a reason?

          • I think he’s speaking specifically for 3D projection. Higher frame rates will get rid of ghosting or motion artifacting that happens in 3D scenes, especially on action oriented ones.

  15. My fave Cameron movie is….Titanic! He told that story well, and added his own romance bit. Dialogue aside, the sheer epic telling of the titanic tragedy(which has always facinated me) and the unbelievably awesome sight of the great ship going down is his greatest work in my opinion. We all knew what would happen,but what drama!What tension!! Well anyway, thats my opinion.

    • Terminator 2 will always be my favorite of his movies.

  16. @ Daniel

    It’s pretty obvious you have strong disdain towards Cameron. People here need to realize and stop trying to defend it to someone that obviously dislikes the man and his movies. I don’t mean to offend anyone, just saying we can get past this.

    Anyway, Terminator 2 is amazing to this day both visually and story wise. It’s still better than 80% of films coming out. That should tell you something about Cameron. The liquid metal scenes still blow me away (i.e. when he’s walking through the bars in the hospital/prison).

    • Would’ve been better had he re-shot the Aquaduct scene to cover up his mistake there too.

      • Jebus you guys are picky.

        He should’ve “re shot it”? I’m sure Cameron knew what he was doing and though a “mistake” was possible, maybe that was the only way to get that shot? Maybe that was all the budget allowed for? Maybe the huge explosion wouldn’t have allowed the actors/the prop to be that close to it?

        I’ll take Cameron’s judgement over yours, respectfully

        • Re-watch it, its there, hell I noticed it in the theaters way back when lol.

    • While I don’t love the film I’ll agree that T2 is probably his best film. I’ve never been a fan of the guy but Avatar really made me dislike him it was so hyped and it was one of his worst films in my opinion it was just stunning visuals and nothing else. Still I didn’t hate him til he started re releasing all of his movies to steal a few extra box and prove he can be king of the box office on a whim If he so chooses all he has to do is re release.

  17. “Still I didn’t hate him til he started re releasing all of his movies to steal a few extra box and prove he can be king of the box office on a whim If he so chooses all he has to do is re release.”

    Right

    he himself is rereleasing all his dvds of his own movies so he can be ‘king of the box office’

    Call me when you reach puberty as your argument childish and nonsensical at best

    • Someone needs to Daniel about the money grubbing movie studios that make 99% of the business/financial decisions in regard to their movies/tv shows (i.e. their property)

      • And apparently someone needs to show you where James Cameron not only agreed to it but stated that it’s what he wanted.

        If James Fing Cameron said please don’t re release it they would listen the guy has alot of power behind them and makes billions of dollars by simply plastering his name on some crappy film.

        • So you are saying that James Cameron authorized and put into motion rereleases of his previous movies – because he wants to be king of the box office – or at least I think that’s what you meant as your original sentence is a bit ‘choppy’. You seriously believe this – have you noticed anytime a sequel or a movie by a director or actor breaks records, the people with the rights to that persons previous films will always reissue them to captitalize on the market at that point?

          And yes Cameron had a huge hit with Titanic – in 1997.

          The guy had a great track record but Fox surely did NOT give the guy carte blanche just because HE SAID SO and let him do whatever the hell he wanted (a movie company is always going to say NO if they feel there is too much of a chance to lose money on a movie deal). They gave him 10 million at the outset to do a ‘test’ to PROVE to them that he could do what he said he wanted to with Avatar. That’s the only way Fox decided to invest in the technology and the completed film.

          Avatar is by no means his best film. People talk about the story – well he did come up with the concept and did an 80 page script treatment in 1994 – so it surely, yes, it has been around for a while.

          As for the hype around the film, that’s all his fault? Part of some Machiavellian plan of his? There have always been movies hyped by critics and moviegoers incessantly – and then once you go see them, you are let down. The movie winds up being entertaining and maybe good or ‘pretty good’ – but not the ‘masterpiece’ it was hyped to be.

          Hell I thought The Departed was amazingly overhyped and I was let down after I watched it because it had been built up so much. I wasn’t nuts about it. Does that make it crap? Is Scorcese some kind of idiot for letting people hype his film so much? I would not say that at all.

          Anyway, you have your opinion and no one is going to sway you from it obviously, the same as I have mine.

          That’s the way of the world.

          • Very well said Dave

            • I agree, you make some good points Dave. People need to remember that it is called the “entertainment/movie business.”The goal for the studio is maximize profit. As much as I believe Cameron wants to make a profit for the studio I think his priority is high quality product. If he truly was so greedy he would have directed T3, T4 etc.
              As far as the Avatar hype these misquided fanboys need to remember that they themselves are driving most of the hype. They build it up so much in their head that a let down is inevitable. Unfortunately we now live in a culture that we know too much about a movie before it comes out b/c we go out of our way to do so. If they would just turn off their computers they could easily avoid the hype….and the letdown.

    • Oh boy Dave way to prove your maturity by insulting me you’ve certainly made your argument more valid by doing so. Yea I’m the one who needs to hit puberty. /yawn

      Have fun

  18. My favorite Cameron film is TITANIC :D

    • Out of the TWO that you’ve seen???

      • Yes 8-)

        • Rick rick rick. Oh man i don’t even know what to say sometimes lol :).

          • Best not to say anything :)

  19. James Cameron owns a fleet of Submarines.

    Just fyi. :/

  20. Guys i loved avatar it was really good!

    • I loved it to Rick. I’ve watched it over a dozen times and am really excited about the special edition blu ray.

      • Yes i cant wait neither :)

  21. True Lies is my favourite of his films, its the closest thing to an American James Bond.

    • Mine is Aliens…Bill Paxton was equally funny in both those though!!!

  22. Mine is Superman Returns but that is redundant.

    • Cameron Directed that??

  23. Oh yea you didn’t know? He did 95% ofthat movie bt was replaced really late in the process (like just before the premire) but unfortunately didn’t get credited.

    :)

    • even though that is a ridiculous assertion, i feel obligated to mention that cameron did not helm superman returns. why even joke/troll like that?

  24. My favorite of all his films was The Abyss. I can never forget the horror of seeing aliens under water even though I was already having nightmares about creatures from the deep as a kid.

  25. I will be becoming more linked to water sports and sooo want to be able to take my camera out of your water.best underwater camera

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