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Old 04-14-2014, 09:59 PM
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Default Jim Cameron - Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything)

JC just did an AMA on Reddit. It touched on a lot of subjects (climate change, Terminator movies, Titanic, cats and dogs?!? etc.) but here are the questions/answers related to Avatar. Enjoy!


Question: I am beyond excited to be able to step foot into Pandora. Any details you could share with us about the park expansion at Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World? Even the tiniest detail would be awesome! Thanks for taking time to talk to us fans.

JC's Answer: Well, Disney are doing a first-rate job designing it. It's going to be completely spectacular. It will be like being on Pandora. You will see real floating mountains. It's going to be a very magical experience just to be there and walk around. And the two rides will be absolute state of the art. But I don't how much they want to say about what those rides specifically will be, so I probably shouldn't say anymore than that. But from what I've seen so far, it will be amazing. I will be sad it's in Florida, because I won't be able to go a lot to it.

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Question: Why the shift from Battle Angel to producing more Avatar films? Is it the overwhelming success Avatar generated or the drive to develop the world Avatar exists in more? How much more do we not know about their world/universe?

JC's Answer: My intention when I made Avatar was to do Battle Angel next. However, the positive feedback for Avatar and the support of the message of Avatar, encouraged me to do more of those films.

For me, the success was a factor because I was encouraged by the fact that an environmental film, or a film about nature, could be successful. It's certainly not just about money. I'm considering success to mean the measure of the ability of the film to communicate. Every director wants their film to communicate. The biggest factor, however, is the drive to continue developing the world-- more characters, more creatures with unfettered creativity.

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Question: you want to see the feature film industry go? That could include, but is not limited to, the stories being told, digital vs film, 24 vs 48 fps, reboots, IMAX, you name it. Thanks for,the AMA!

JC's Answer: 48 fps to me is not a format, it's a tool, like music it's good to use sparingly and in the right spot. I believe all movies should be made in 3D, forever, but the projection needs to be better, and brighter. I want people to see in the movie theaters what I am seeing in my perfectly calibrated screening room, and people aren't seeing that. Larger formats. I'd love to see screens get bigger. In terms of storytelling, I'd like to see Hollywood embrace the caliber of writing in feature films that we're currently seeing in the series on television - more emphasis on character, and less on explosions and pyrotechnics. And I'm talking the big tentpole movies, I think they're obnoxiously loud and fast. Not that I don't like loud fast scenes, I just don't like whole movies that are that way!

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Question: Hello James! I just had a quick question for you- what do you feel is going to be the next innovation in film? Do you have any thoughts on the Oculus Rift and it's use in film making? Thanks!

JC's Answer: I personally would be very interested to find a way to incorporate VR and a narrative filmmaking experience. So a narrative directed experience that has individuated pathways where you have choices that you make in real-time, I think that would be a lot of fun. I think it would be very technically daunting and expensive, to do it as the same quality level as a typical feature, but it would be fun to experiment with. It sounds like a lot of fun. I don't think it would take over the feature film market though. I'm very familiar with VR, but I haven't seen the specific Oculus Rift device. I'm interested in it, I'm meant to see it sometime in the next month or so, but I've been familiar with VR since its inception. In fact, virtual reality is a way of describing the way we work on Avatar, we work in a virtual workspace all day long. We use a "virtual camera" which is how I create all the shots that are CG in the film, a window into a virtual reality that completely surrounds me.

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Question: I am a massive fan and loved Avatar, the CGI and 3D was amazing! I have a few questions:

Will /u/GovSchwarzenegger be appearing in any of the Avatar sequels?

When does it go into production?

After the massive success of Avatar do you feel a lot of pressure to make the sequel even better?

Thanks so much for doing this AMA.


JC's Answer: As of right now, he and I have not discussed it, and I don't see a role as the scripts are coming together that would be appropriate for him, so I would say probably not.

The second, third and fourth films all go into production simultaneously. They're essentially all in preproduction now, because we are designing creatures, settings, and characters that span all three films. And we should be finished with all three scripts within the next, I would say, six weeks.

There's always pressure, whether it's a new film or whether it's a sequel, to entertain and amaze an audience. I've felt that pressure my entire career, so there's nothing new there. The biggest pressure I feel right now is cutting out things I love to get the film down to a length that is affordable. There hasn't been a problem finding new and wonderful things to include in the movie.

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Question: How did you foresee avatar turning out?

JC's Answer: When we were making Avatar, when we started it, we naturally assumed it would be somewhat successful because it had the elements people like, you know, fantastic environments and good characters and a love story. But then as we got deeper into the production, and it became one of the highest costing films of all time, there was genuine concern that it would never break even, that it would never make money. And we had a very difficult post production, because the film was too long and I wound up editing the film for over a year, and we took out about 45 minutes of film. And I think at the moment we released the film, we still believed it was too long. Once it came out, it was clear the film for most viewers was too short, they wanted more of that world.


Cheers!
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:07 AM
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Wow, that's not very many questions. I shouldn't talk though, I knowingly passed on asking a question or even reading the thread
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:30 PM
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This is all great stuff!
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moco Loco View Post
Wow, that's not very many questions. I shouldn't talk though, I knowingly passed on asking a question or even reading the thread

A lot of the questions were about other topics.

At least two questions (well, one question and one person not really asking a question) were about the James Cameron episode of South Park.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:31 AM
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Oh yeah, I realize there were way more questions in total, I'm still surprised though.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:11 PM
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He only stuck around for an hour or so, and there were thousands of replies in a very short amount of time.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:22 PM
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That's what happens with most AMAs; they just get overloaded and only answer a few.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:12 AM
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Irayo, Jachyra, for posting JC's Avatar-related answers! All great stuff!

I esp like this line from JC: "And I think at the moment we released the film, we still believed it was too long. Once it came out, it was clear the film for most viewers was too short, they wanted more of that world."

Yep, true that.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:10 AM
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I thought it was cool that the scripts are almost done, I can't wait to be in the theater watching the sequels, the ride is going to be awesome
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:49 PM
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You have made some of the most successful and best films of the last 30 years, or ever for that matter. Where do you want to see the feature film industry go? That could include, but is not limited to, the stories being told, digital vs film, 24 vs 48 fps, reboots, IMAX, you name it. Thanks for,the AMA!
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