Archive for November, 2008

John Landau, producer of Avatar, talks about 3D and the future

November 20th, 2008

John Landau, producer of Avatar, has spoken at the 3DX Film and Entertainment Technology Festival in Singapore. He compared Avatar to Titanic (which he also produced) and was quoted saying:

“There is nothing more immersive than 3-D, on Titanic, our goal was to use visual effects to make people feel part of the film. With Avatar, we’re using technology to transport people to another world.”

They definetley succeded on making Titanic, I love that movie, if they pull this off in Avatar, we’re in for a hell of a ride.

Below is the article in full.

Katzenberg: 3-D vision goes beyond animation

SINGAPORE — It’s a 3-D world, and Jeffrey Katzenberg thinks it’s time to reflect that on the big screen — and not just in animated films.

“In five to seven years, all films, regardless of budgets or type, will be made in 3-D,” the DreamWorks Animation boss said here Wednesday during his keynote at the inaugural 3DX Film and Entertainment Technology Festival.

“3-D is how we see, how we take things in. It’s natural,” Katzenberg said. “This is not a gimmick, it’s an opportunity to immerse the audience, to heighten the experience.”

He added that the migration to 3-D will happen on all screens, including mobile phones and laptops.

Katzenberg was joined by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group president Mark Zoradi and others in stressing the industry’s commitment to 3-D as the future of film.

Moviegoers’ early response is clear, Zoradi said, citing the success of such 3-D titles as “Chicken Little” and “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.”

“Consumers clearly prefer 3-D if they have a choice,” he said, adding that 3-D films could bring in two to three times the business of a 2-D release.

Zoradi touted his studio’s new five-picture deal with Imax, which will kick off with Robert Zemeckis’ “A Christmas Carol” in November 2009, adding that the slate could involve projects from Tim Burton and Jerry Bruckheimer, though no details were disclosed.

Producer John Landau, now working with James Cameron on “Avatar,” said that 3-D would “do for cinema what stereo did for the audio industry.”

All the film industry has to do is “demystify” 3-D for consumers, whose perception of 3-D may be of “gimmicks on B films” and “theme parks that forced things off the screen,” Landau said.

Zoradi’s presentation Wednesday included the first public screening of 3-D footage from “Beauty and the Beast” (originally released in 1991), which Disney is re-rendering for a 2010 release, as well as Disney’s “Tron 2,” set for 2011 or 2012.

The addition of “Beauty and the Beast” brings Disney’s number of digital 3-D releases for 2009-10 to 11, with another six to come in 2011. This would give Disney more than 50% of all 3-D releases during the next three years; 11 of those would be animated.

“The biggest barrier (to 3-D) is not product, it’s the installed base of digital cinemas,” Zoradi said.

Katzenberg predicted that 35%-40% of admissions for March DWA release “Monsters vs Aliens” will be for 3-D. For a film coming out 15 months later, he envisions 80%-85% of admissions for the company’s next “Shrek” installment to be for 3-D.

Stressing the technical advances that made the latest incarnation of 3-D different from past efforts, Katzenberg said 3-D “will bring people back to the movies who have stopped going.”

“This is not my father’s 3-D,” he said. “There’s no ghosting, no eye strain and best of all, you don’t throw up. Throwing up is not good for anyone’s business.”

All agreed that 3-D’s ability to immerse audiences in the film is the key.

“There is nothing more immersive than 3-D,” Landau said. “On ‘Titanic,’ our goal was to use visual effects to make people feel part of the film. With ‘Avatar,’ we’re using technology to transport people to another world.”

Katzenberg said that theatrical digital 3-D represents a “unique opportunity for cinemas” to create an experience that consumers could not get at home, “and it will be many years before they can.”

Among the reasons cited was the fact that light diminishes the quality of the image.

“The only place in the home to replicate this is in the coat closet … and I would not want to spend two hours there watching a movie,” he said.

Avatar Makes Titanic Look Like a Picnic

November 17th, 2008

James Cameron sure knows how to hype a movie, at least in technical terms. He claims that making Titanic was a picnic compared to Avatar. If Titanic was a picnic, what can we then expect from Avatar?

Avatar Makes Titanic Look Like a Picnic

Hypening up the excitement for his latest feature film project “Avatar”, director James Cameron talked about what he thinks of the sci-fi thriller movie by comparing it to his previous prominent work, “Titanic”. During an interview in Los Angeles, he revealed as quoted by Andrea Baillie of The Canadian Press, “It makes Titanic look like a picnic.”

Working on the film using the blending of live-action photography and new virtual photorealistic production techniques, Cameron further confessed, “It’s simultaneously the most vexing and the most rewarding type of production that I’ve done yet.”

On the new filming techniques, he commented, “It’s this form of pure creation where…if you want to move a tree or a mountain or the sky or change the time of day, you have complete control over the elements and the production design.”

Avatar Will Open In Imax 3D

November 11th, 2008

IMAX

Empire: Movie News – Confirmed: Avatar Will Open In Imax 3D

It was only a matter of time, we believed, and now it’s been confirmed that James Cameron’s Avatar – the 3D, CG-heavy sci-fi flick that not only marks his long-awaited directing comeback after twelve years away, but has been heavily tipped as the film that will revolutionise cinema – will open in IMAX 3D, as well as conventional 3D.

The movie, which has been shot with revolutionary 3D cameras designed by Cameron himself, will open on December 19 and had already looked set to be the biggest 3D opening of all time. But there still aren’t enough digital 3D screens around to give Avatar the platform Cameron and Fox want, and the IMAX addition goes a long way to helping out there.

Also, now we know where we’re going to be watching what could be the movie event of next year – namely, on the biggest frakkin’ screen we can find.

“Our goal with Avatar is to revolutionize live-action 3-D movie making, and I have no doubt that it will look and sound incredible in Imax 3-D,” Cameron told Variety.

Jon Favreau Calls James Cameron’s Avatar ‘The Future’

November 11th, 2008

Jon Favreau, the director of Iron Man gives his praise to Cameron and 3D-technology.

Jon Favreau Calls James Cameron’s Avatar ‘The Future’ « FirstShowing.net

Jon Favreau is another filmmaker who has really solidified his place in the cinematic world in directing Iron Man earlier this year. He’s returning for Iron Man 2, which is a relief, but looking towards the future, the door is open for so much more. Instead of dwelling on Iron Man 2, though, Quint from Ain’t It Cool News talked with Favreau in a recent interview about nearly everything else besides the sequel. And one area I was particularly interested in was his thoughts on James Cameron’s Avatar, since he’s one of the lucky few who has seen a few finished scenes from the film. “He’s trying to present this format in a way where it is a game-changer and in seeing it I think it’s the future,” Favreau explains.

We’ve been covering Avatar very closely for the last year, publishing nearly every last interview that Cameron has done. However, we still haven’t seen a single photo or anything from the film yet, but Favreau has. “I really liked the bits that I saw and I saw all the various stages of finished [footage], but he’s a purist in the way he approaches things, and he’s very meticulous.” Favreau jumps into explaining how Cameron “likes to put on a big show” and strive for cinematic revolution. “He’s really pushing the boundaries on motion capture, he’s integrating live action with motion capture and CGI. It takes a painstaking technical approach to that. And he really wants to make it a very visceral, emotional experience.”

“He’s sort of tireless in how much he invests into it as far as his time and effort. You know, he doesn’t make a lot of movies, so a lot of thought and effort goes into each one. And I think that he’s trying to present this format in a way where it is a game-changer and in seeing it I think it’s the future. I don’t think it’s a flash in the pan. I think it’s going to open up a whole new door and I think more so than the glasses it becomes about how many screens could actually present it in its pristine form.”

“The amount of screens is just growing at a very, very fast rate in the States and I think in Europe as well and I think Avatar is going to be the kind of movie that’s an event that you have to go see and you want to see again just to understand what you’re looking at. And then you still have his very effective storytelling. He really creates an adventure and draws you into it in the hero’s journey sense of storytelling, the Joseph Campbell sense of storytelling.”

Favreau adds that he has learned a great deal from Cameron in regards to motion capture and CGI and will be using similar techniques in Iron Man 2 because the way he made Avatar is such a technical revolution. “It is a game-changer from a production standpoint certainly in the way he’s using motion capture and operating a camera within a volume… the line between animation and live action is blurring in many ways.” He adds that even the typical process of filmmaking is changing due to Avatar. “The way that Jim’s doing it, it’s a much more organic process where post-production, production, and pre-production all sort of roll into one another and you’re moving back and forth between those media.”

I’ve been saying Avatar will be the next big cinematic revolution for years now, just because I believe James Cameron has achieved something truly spectacular. I don’t think any of us can really grasp what it will be like at this very moment. We’ll need to see it to believe it, because we can’t even comprehend what it’s all about until we get our first glimpse, which is why we haven’t seen any photos yet. Hearing Favreau say these kind of things only further solidifies my hope that it will be the next revolution. I just get excited thinking about how amazing Avatar could be and how big of a leap forward it will be for cinema.

Quint’s fantastic interview with Favreau also touches briefly on IMAX and why Favreau doesn’t think it’ll really work for Iron Man 2. He primarily believes that CGI at such a high resolution isn’t entirely believable yet and it’s a pain to lug around enormous cameras on set. I’m not entirely sure I can take his side, only because The Dark Knight looked so amazing, but it sounds like Iron Man 2 probably won’t have any scenes shot in IMAX. Either way, I’m very excited to see Favreau take on Iron Man 2 because it seems like he’s really going to push his own filmmaking boundaries even further than the first one. As for Avatar, I know I’m anxiously awaiting our first glimpse at the beautiful world the Cameron has created.

James Cameron on Avatar

November 11th, 2008

James Cameron was interviewed on Canadian TV talking a bit about Avatar.

James Cameron on Avatar – ComingSoon.net

James Cameron was interviewed by CBC’s “The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos” and talked about his anticipated December 18, 2009 opener, Avatar.

The sci-fi action-adventure tells the story of an ex-Marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival.

Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Peter Mensah, Laz Alonso, Wes Studi, Stephen Lang and Matt Gerald star.


James Cameron on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos

Avatar Not Pushed Back After all

November 11th, 2008

Avatar Not Pushed Back After all

“UPDATE: It took about half an hour for Fox to correct our earlier report that Avatar may have been pushed back, based on the release date on the official website disappearing. Turns out the release date is the same; it was just a glitch in the site’s system. So no worries! Avatar is still set for a December 18, 2009 release. Below is the original story.

Release dates are fickle things, as everyone looking forward to the new Harry Potter movie learned this summer. And James Cameron’s Avatar has had some particularly slippery release dates, given its reliance on incredibly complex technology and its plans to only be released in 3D, which many theaters aren’t equipped for yet.

So while Avatar had been set for a Christmas 2009 release, it may have been pushed back yet again, as spotted by the guys at 3D tech blog Market Saw. They noticed that the official Fox Movies site has the date listed as “undefined,” even though it had previously been December 18, 2009. They also point out that Anne Thompson, writing for Variety last month, suspected that Cameron would try to have the release pushed back to 2010.

At this point in Avatar’s production and advertising process, it doesn’t seem too late to push things back. And it would probably be a good thing, given all the technical challenges and the movie’s reliance on 3D, which more and more movie theaters have installed but is by no means standard. Now we have to wait to see what Fox has to say about all this, and let us know whether or not this delay is actually happening”