AVATAR and The Future of 3D Filmmaking

by Joey Paur

There is a fantastic and interesting article I read this morning on Time.com. The Article is called The Next Dimension and it goes through and talks about the future of 3D filmmaking. I am a big fan of 3D filmmaking when the medium is not used as a stupid and silly gimmick like 'Journey to the Center of the Earth', I liked 'Beowulf' and 'Coraline' though. I like films that use it in a way to help tell the story and move it forward.  From the start of the article it grabs you as the author describes to us The 3D version of James Cameron's 'Titanic' that he just watched!

That's right the movie is being transferred over to 3D. The camera pans to the icy water far below, pulling me into the scene--the sensation reminds me of jerking awake from a dream--and I grip the sides of my seat to keep from falling into the drink.

Most of us have seen the top-grossing film of all time. But not like this. The new version, still in production, was remade in digital 3-D, a technology that's finally bringing a true third dimension to movies. Without giving you a headache.

Pretty crazy right? James Cameron proceeds to say that had this new 3D technology been around when he made Titanic he would have shot the whole thing in 3D. He then goes on to say:

"Certainly every film I'm planning to do will be in 3-D."

Cameron has chosen his weapon in film entertainment. As you know he is currently developing his next film over at FOX called Avatar which I have incredibly high expectations for even though I have seen very little of the movie. The movie will open up in December and Spielberg predicts it will be the biggest 3D live-action film ever. I have to say though Anyone could have predicted that. AIl know it will be a huge money maker! If you really want to get excited check this out!

More than a thousand people have worked on it, at a cost in excess of $200 million, and it represents digital filmmaking's bleeding edge. Cameron wrote the treatment for it in 1995 as a way to push his digital-production company to its limits. ("We can't do this," he recalled his crew saying. "We'll die.") He worked for years to build the tools he needed to realize his vision. The movie pioneers two unrelated technologies--e-motion capture, which uses images from tiny cameras rigged to actors' heads to replicate their expressions, and digital 3-D.

The original article for this said it was in excess of $300 million but that number was wrong so they made the corrections. So you may see an influx of web-sites saying it's $300 million which is incorrect.

Avatar is filmed in the old "Spruce Goose" hangar, the 16,000-sq.-ft. space where Howard Hughes built his wooden airplane. The film is set in the future, and most of the action takes place on a mythical planet, Pandora. The actors work in an empty studio; Pandora's lush jungle-aquatic environment is computer-generated in New Zealand by Jackson's special-effects company, Weta Digital, and added later.

I couldn't tell what was real and what was animated--even knowing that the 9-ft.-tall blue, dappled dude couldn't possibly be real. The scenes were so startling and absorbing that the following morning, I had the peculiar sensation of wanting to return there, as if Pandora were real.

Now that is saying a lot. He couldn't tell between live action and animation? I have always been able to tell the difference. If this movie turns out like what the author is describing I can't wait, but I guess either way I can't wait to see the movie.

Cameron wasn't surprised. One theory, he says, is that 3-D viewing "is so close to a real experience that it actually triggers memory creation in a way that 2-D viewing doesn't." His own theory is that stereoscopic viewing uses more neurons. That's possible. After watching all that 3-D, I was a bit wiped out. I was also totally entertained.


The article also goes into deatil about what Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks with it's 'Monsters Vs. Aliens', and Pixar plans on releasing five 3D movies this year which include the original Toy Story in 3D. George Lucas also hopes to release all of his 'Star Wars' films in 3D which would be incredibly cool. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are also developing their TinTin project in 3D.

I suggest you read the rest of this really great article by Clicking HERE. I am really excited to see where the future of this medium takes the world of movie making. It's already come so far, how much farther can it go?

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