Avatar may have taken writer/director James Cameron years to make (and even longer to conceive), but that doesn't mean the famed director is taking a long vacation to recharge his batteries. Along with Battle Angel (which Cameron is writing and directing), the famed director is producing a new underwater 3D thriller called Sanctum.
Sanctum is based on real events that happened to one of the film's co-writers, Andrew Wight. He had... an experience (to say the least) when he went deep-sea diving and ended up trapped with 14 other people in a cave system for a full two days after a freak storm blocked their entrance and they were forced to look for another way out. Supposedly the film speaks volumes about "the unique relationship between father and son, and the fragility of that bond when faced with the onslaught of nature," or so Cameron says.
Cameron has let someone else handle the directing duties on the project: Aussie filmmaker Alister Grierson (Kokoda). Along with Wight, the film is being co-written by John Garvin. But with Cameron being such an advocate of 3D, he's going to be involved with the project more than some others might. Here's more of what he had to say about it, whilst on the Gold Coast to promote the movie:
"It’s really a character driven piece and the 3D should only be part of enhancing the experience..."
"3D works best in a very claustrophobic environment where you really feel finitely that the walls are only a few feet away... I think people are going to [find themselves] with accelerated heart rates, tight breathing and white knuckles when they go through the experiences of this film."
Cameron is no stranger to the deep sea, having made The Abyss and in the years between Titanic and Avatar, clocking up over 3,000 hours of underwater documentary making (yes, he was still directing stuff in that 12-year gap...). In letting someone else take care of the directing duties on Sanctum, Cameron has taken somewhat of a backseat:
"As a director myself I know how I like to be treated - I like to be supported and I like not to be told what to do... So I’m like a fairy godmother sort of producer - I just add the money and stand back. I’m here like the salesman - I’m selling you a new BMW. I didn’t build the damn thing, I’m just selling it."
Be sure to check out the rest of the interview with Cameron and Grierson over at the Brisbane Times.
I'm looking forward to seeing how 3D - especially "Cameron's 3D" - will enhance or detract from a movie set in the deep sea. It just as easily could make the experience all the more thrilling as it could distract from the story and cause some serious headaches amongst those sensitive to 3D movies (the latter group include our own Paul Young :P ).
The story for Sanctum immediately struck me as "The Descent underwater," and perhaps that's what it will be. Well, minus the cave-dwelling monsters, that is...
Are you interested in Sanctum? Do you think 3D will enhance the experience or distract from the story?
Sanctum is currently filming and recently snagged a release date sometime towards the end of 2010. We'll keep you updated as to exactly when.