Movie director and producer James Cameron, who brought 3D to the masses with the film Avatar last year, is planning the next installment. On the sidelines of the INK Conference, Cameron spoke with briefly with journalists on Avatar, storytelling:
Q: You had the idea for Avatar in 1995, but why did it take you time to start working on it?
James Cameron: You have to be aware of when a wave is coming, and everybody’s moving in the same direction. No individual or company can create a wave by itself. You have to time it right. The tech gap in 1995 was too big to accomplish what we wanted to do. Among the advancements that we worked on was The photorealism of the rendering process: we were creating entire environments, and it was 100% CG. We did only one day of external shooting with a helicoptor. The other advancement was on facial performance capture, which is what everybody’s doing in now. In 2005, we had to develop it, with emotional realism built in. We knew that we needed to cross the uncanny valley: the uncanny valley is that the closer you get to the simulation of a human being, you begin to get a dip in the positive response.
Would you look to use video games for story telling?
James Cameron: There’s a lot of story telling in videogames. Avatar was made with a video game engine, we used a creative engine and game offering techniques. Our goal the next time around is to offer the video game with the same time, and use a common creative platform. It’s a goal we had for the first film, but were unable to achieve it. On the story telling side, I personally don’t have the right mentality to do games. I can create the creatures and environment, and the story always has to end the same way. Every moment informs the perception of the ending. The idea of interactive narrative…that I’ll leave to others. Multiveses is a company that I’m working with to do games alongwith the Avatar movies.
With consumption patterns changing with the Internet and the mobile, how do you think movies will be impacted?
James Cameron: Look, people have spoken about the death of the movie theaters many many times in the past, even with the VHS. People will always go to movie theaters. They will be more selective and demanding in terms of access, but they’ll always go. The revolution that I see, is that a stereoscopic presentation will more to the home, laptop, tablet. There will be a threshold for what we can take in, and you’ll still need glasses for movie theaters, but this will be a revolution for the next 5-10 years. 3D will not be something we’ll talk about: it will be like color. After a while, movie posters won’t say that a particular movie is in 3D (ED: it will be taken for granted that all movies are 3D).
During the chat, Cameron also mentioned that Avatar 2 takes us into a new biome in Pandora.
Disclosure: We’re attending the INK Conference on the invitation of its organizers. For the duration of our stay here, they’re bearing the cost of our travel from Pune to Lavasa and back, as well as our stay at the conference. Content is (and always will be) at our editorial discretion.