Author Topic: E sad više nema zajebavanja! Tatko se vratio. Kreće AVATAR  (Read 139461 times)

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Kastor

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« Reply #1 on: 09-01-2007, 02:32:31 »
Dobro je da se već jednom iskobeljao iz vode. Trebalo mu je skoro 10 godina...
"if you're out there murdering people, on some level, you must want to be Christian."

crippled_avenger

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« Reply #2 on: 16-01-2007, 00:42:16 »
James Cameron, Arnold friend and movie director, has just announced not only will he get back into the director chair for AVATAR but he is also considering Schwarzenegger for a new Sci-fi role a few years down the road!

Several fans, including Shannon, wrote TheArnoldFans and informed us of a "Saturn 3" remake!

Shannon writes: Hi Arnold Fans, Wasssssup!? Ypu probably already heard, but on KISS-FM with odm tonight they mentioned that Cameron - while tanking on about "Avatar" and how the script is apparently terrific - also has plans to produce a remake of the Kirk Douglas movie, "Saturn 3" and possibly have 'The Old Governator' (direct quote) play the robot.
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crippled_avenger

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« Reply #3 on: 16-01-2007, 00:55:33 »
Biehn To Join Avatar?
Date: January 14, 2007

By: Kellvin Chavez
Source: 'M'


A few days ago it was announced that James Cameron’s “AVATAR” will begin principal photography in April 2007. This will be Cameron’s first feature since “Titanic.”

Cameron has already chosen the young Australian Sam Worthington and Latina Zoe Saldana (The Terminal, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl)  to play the lead roles in the film.  Both actors have signed on for possible future installments as well, as AVATAR is conceived as a potential franchise.

Today scooper ‘M’ tells us that another actor, whom James Cameron has worked with before is about to join the production of AVATAR.  

Here is what ‘M’ tells us:

Just a quick note fellas.

Word from Gentle Giant Studios - the v/sfx firm - is that Michael Biehn is about to join the production of Jim Cameron's "Avatar".

And though the film is due 2009, it mightn't be done till 2010 - or so the team thinks.

Script is terrific though - I swear you will get goose bumps when they arrive on the planet - so it'll be a worthwhile wait.

(My boyfriend is a designer at the company).

Keep flying the flag for the Latinos!

M

So will Michael Biehn join the cast….We’ll keep you posted.
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Kunac

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« Reply #4 on: 16-01-2007, 01:29:57 »
Super za AVATAR! Još samo da dočekamo 2008. godinu i eto nama zabave.

"zombi je mali žuti cvet"

crippled_avenger

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« Reply #5 on: 18-01-2007, 20:40:38 »
Their last pairing yielded what stills remains my personal favourite film of all time - "Aliens".

Now, word has come via Aint it Cool News that Sigourney Weaver may be teaming up with James Cameron again on his next project - "Avatar".

Seems that on the French talk show "le grand journal" she said she had no desire to do any further "Alien" films but "will be making a big sci-fi movie with James Cameron".

She then apparently went on to say "she didn't want to talk too much about it". Hmmmm.
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krema

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« Reply #6 on: 18-01-2007, 21:12:55 »
Kako misli nece raditi vise na Alienu? Pa zar nije peti dio u planu? :?

crippled_avenger

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crippled_avenger

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« Reply #8 on: 10-02-2007, 00:22:11 »
http://www.popboks.com/vesti/2_9_2007.shtml#v4

James Cameron režira Timbalandov spot
Sa najavom „najveći reditelj današnjice režira spot za pesmu najvećeg muzičkog producenta današnjice“, filmski blog Doba nevinosti nas izveštava kako je režiser Terminatora, Napada na policijsku stanicu br. 13 i Noći veštica i zvanično potvrdio da će biti autor spota za pesmu Give it To Me, u kome gostuju Nelly Furtado i Justin Timberlake.
Sa snimanjem se kreće 11. februara, a zanimljivo je da će video klip biti rađen u 3D tehnici.
U pitanju je singl sa drugog solo albuma poznatog hip-hop producenta Timbalanda - Shock Value.
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---

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« Reply #9 on: 10-02-2007, 01:36:11 »
zar nismo vec utvrdili kako je Noc vestica rezirao Kjubrik?
Ti si iz Bolivije? Gde je heroin i zašto ste ubili Če Gevaru?

crippled_avenger

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« Reply #10 on: 10-02-2007, 02:53:30 »
Dobro, Popboks su pozitivci, da je ovo Vlaja napisao vec bih padao u histeriju... :D

Nazalost pesma, kao sto je slucaj i sa prethodnim Timbovim solo radovima nije nesto...
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crippled_avenger

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« Reply #11 on: 15-02-2007, 12:20:02 »
This Valentine's Night - James Cameron was my Valentine Caller - with details on AVATAR - I'm twitterpated!

Hey Folks - Harry here... Tonight is Valentine's Day night. Originally the plan was for Yoko and I to travel to the Alamo Village here in Austin to attend their HAROLD & MAUDE VALENTINE'S DAY FEAST. Something we've been planning for about 2 months. However, FATE... DESTINY... FLU caused Yoko to want to stay at home tonight. We ordered in, had yummy yummies brought in. We ate Dinner... Have been sweet and huggy... I offered to get the Cherry Pie out the ice box and put the laundry in the dryer. So there I was - standing between the fridge and the Washer-Dryer when...

James Cameron calls.

Sadly, my cel phone call capture equipment was under the table, unplugged, with all the connecting wires in a box under 45 dvds. So I leave the laundry half in and out of the dryer... and I'm back to the computer - trying to make enough small talk till I have my hands on a keyboard and I can take down notes... all of this while the cel phone is sandwiched between my shoulder and ear. Damn this is awkward, but no complaints... I've got the king of the world on the line - and a flow of information that I have to share.

Now - I'm going to do something that reporters never do. I'm going to share my notes - then I'll decipher them for you.

Kauai

Just shot 3 days in Hawaii

sam worthington

sigourney weaver - grace

principle capture

sam and zoe entered into the system --

first AD worked with Bob on BEOWULF and POLAR EXPRESS

fair bit different -- Bob can have Jolie in and out in 5 days

Director-centric

CG camera angles as they go

capture a raw performance - finding the layout -- Zemeckis

motion builder - real time cinematography - not terribly sophisticated

we will be going through a phase of CG lighting

DP -

Probably not have the DP on through the cg

--
Wes Studi --

Peter Mensah

Joel David Moore

C C H Pounder

Stay - Lez Alonzo




Ok - so what does any of that mean?

We started off with Jim telling me that he was in Kauai en route to the airport to head back to California. He had just shot 3 days of live action work in Hawaii in the tropical rainforests. Apparently he was shooting with Sam Worthington, Lola Herrera and I believe he said Sigourney Weaver was there, but I might have heard that wrong.

Once he returns to California - he begins a stage called Pre-Capture where he'll mainly be shooting with Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana. The reason is that their characters have been fully entered into the CG system. He told me that this way, with the realtime rendering, he can actually compose and find his shots - and then work with the actors to get the performances he wants within those shots.

I asked how different this was from the way Robert Zemeckis was operating on BEOWULF. This was when he told me that his 1st AD (Josh McLaglen) worked on both BEOWULF and POLAR EXPRESS and that what he's doing is a fair bit different. "Where Bob can have an actor like Angeline Jolie in and out in 5 days - and get a bunch of big stars in and out." Zemeckis was working on just getting the raw performance and then spend months finding the layouts and 'angles' that would make up the film.

What Cameron is doing is with his real-time rendering - he can work with the actors in the performance capture system to get the performances within the angles he wants in the system. He called it more, "Director-centric."

Around this time I asked about his choice for DP. He told me that he's making that decision very soon, but that the DP will be brought in on for the physical shot elements of this film - and will be consulted for the CG-DP aesthetic, but will not be there throughout that process, most likely. I asked how the real-time lighting set up works in the construction of shots in the CG-sphere of shooting. Jim said that they're using something called MOTION BUILDER for the real time cinematography and the lighting elements of that are "not terribly sophisticated." And that there would be an extensive phase that would be just lighting each scene afterwards.

Around this point, Jim asked how I was doing - this is where I told him that JOHN CARTER was over at Disney - and how there was a part of me that was glad about that, since his and mine's last chat - where I felt the direction he was taking AVATAR in was a very John Carter-esque route. It was here that Jim kinda gasped with a "I hadn't thought about that, but..." then he began drawing the comparisons betweent he characters and the situations and I said - see - there is a very real similarity on a structural level - Had Paramount held on to JOHN CARTER - we'd be coming out the same year with a similar attack at Sci-fi Fantasy... and now Disney, possibly with Zemeckis and the Motion Capture film department he's setting up - starting from ground zero means - they'll definitely be coming out on the otherside of AVATAR - if and when that project moves forward - it will have to deal with James Cameron's AVATAR. At this - Jim kinda laughed, in the past - going up against similar material - Jim's film had come out second. But with the superior film.

Around this time - he said he was getting close to the airport and wanted to give me the new casting before having to go. So as you could see in the notes - we got:

WES STUDI, SIGOURNEY WEAVER (confirmed as Grace), Peter Mensah, Joel David Moore (fantastic in both HATCHET and SPIRAL) - I imagine him as being Hippy-esque (think ABYSS), C.C.H. Pounder (love her) and then last but not least... I believe it was Laz Alonso - looking at his filmography - that's the name that most fits with what I heard.

Jim said that each person was "perfectly cast for the part they're playing." He said there was more casting to be done, but that a great deal of it had fallen into place.

Around that point - Jim said he had reached the 'curb' and that it was time to say our farewells. He said that his property only came within 3/4s of a mile, but had the wind turned - it could have covered that time in a blink and in those circumstances - it is best to be safe. We'll be speaking again, but definitely an odd turn of a Valentine's Day night. Now excuse me... my demonstration of love for all of you is demonstrated by taking time away from my fiancee to deliver this to all of you. Now I must demonstrate my love for her. Excuse me my friends...
Nema potrebe da zalis me, mene je vec sram
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---

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« Reply #12 on: 06-03-2007, 00:35:40 »
mozda sam ja malko neinformisaniji, ali eto, tek sam sada video kameronov xenogenesis na youtube, i bas je slatko:

http://www.filmthreat.com/index.php?section=videos&Id=59
Ti si iz Bolivije? Gde je heroin i zašto ste ubili Če Gevaru?

---

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« Reply #13 on: 06-03-2007, 00:56:45 »
evo, bez uvodne reklame

Ti si iz Bolivije? Gde je heroin i zašto ste ubili Če Gevaru?

crippled_avenger

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« Reply #14 on: 23-03-2007, 15:37:50 »
James Cameron on the Cutting Edge
The director of Terminator and Titanic explains how movies will be transformed by motion-tracking and 3D technology

Three-time Academy Award-winning director James Cameron is a pioneer in the field of motion capture. In the mid-'90s he used the nascent technology to create the massive crowd scenes and stunts in his blockbuster Titanic. These days he's still at the cutting edge of the technology, but he prefers to call motion capture "performance capture" because, as he points out, "actors don't do motion, they do emotion."

Cameron is in the midst of his latest film project, Avatar, which is his most technologically innovative film to date. The futuristic movie about an ex-Marine will be released in 2009 simultaneously with a massive, multiplayer, video game based on the film.

BusinessWeek couldn't catch up to Cameron for a sit-down interview, since he's busy creating Avatar, but reporter Aili McConnon was able to engage the director, via e-mail, in a discussion of how motion-capture technology has spurred innovation in cinema and made filmmaking more cost-effective. The following are excerpts from their virtual conversation:

What has motion capture meant to the film industry and to your work?

Performance capture (Perfcap) in recent years has enabled such stunning [computer generated] characters as Gollum (in Lord of the Rings parts 2 and 3), "King Kong," and Davy Jones (in Pirates of the Caribbean) to be brought to life. The technology is critical to the realization of my dream project, Avatar.

In fact, Avatar wasn't possible when it was first written 11 years ago, and only through pushing the technology to new levels over the past year and a half have we reached the point where the film is finally possible to make.

What innovations have you developed for Avatar?

We have greatly enhanced the size of the performance-capture stage, which we call The Volume, to six times the size previously used. And we have incorporated a real-time virtual camera, which allows me to direct [computer-generated] scenes as I would live-action scenes. I can see my actors performing as their characters, in real-time, and I can move my camera to adjust to their performances.

In addition, we have pioneered facial performance capture, in conjunction with our visual effects partner, Weta Digital. This technique eliminates hours in the makeup chair, and various other discomforts, for the actors. Previously, actors needed to have hundreds of tiny spherical markers glued to their faces, and they couldn't touch their own faces throughout the shooting day as a result. With the new system, a lightweight head-rig can be donned minutes before shooting.

We have had great success, and other filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have worked on our virtual stage doing tests for their upcoming films, and given high praise to the system.

Does the rig cover the whole head, including your face? Does it capture fine facial movements?

The rig is a small skull cap, made from a cast of the actor's head, so that it fits comfortably while being tight enough to avoid shifting. It acts as a base for a strut which resembles a concert microphone (visualize Madonna in concert), except instead of a mike in front of the face, it has a tiny camera. The key to it is the software, which interprets the movement of the actor's face, pupils, and eyelid responses as the image flows in from the video feed of the head-rig camera.

In what directions do you see the technology going in the short term?

Improvements to the software and higher computation speeds and storage densities will enable us to have more realistic environments and more refined facial emotions and hand movements. Hand movement, for example, is still at a crude state.

On Avatar, we're working on-stage at a reality level equal to an '80s video game. At the end of the day, after a year and a half of post production, the images seen by audiences will be 100% photo-real, i.e. indistinguishable from photography. But for our day-to-day shooting, the image can be improved a lot.

Another area which needs improvement is the lighting. We need to improve its ability to handle cinematic lighting, the casting of shadows and so on. All of this can be improved as Moore's Law raises the speed of processing and as upgrades to the software become available.

In addition, we're developing ways for [computer-generated] characters to interact with actors who are being photographed on real, live-action set. We will have real-time stereo (three-dimensional stereoscopic, or 3D) composites of characters, which will be viewed by me in the eyepiece of the camera while I'm shooting a live-action scene. This will be revolutionary. We're not quite there yet, but we hope to have that by August, in time for our live-action shoot in Wellington, New Zealand.

Long term, what do you expect?

I expect that more filmmakers will embrace the technique and apply it to different types of scenarios. For the creation of fantasy and science-fiction characters, Perfcap will largely replace makeup and prosthetics.

Actors need not feel threatened by this change in technology. It doesn't replace acting, in fact it's designed to empower the acting and directing process, as opposed to the traditional [computer-generated] animation process, which uses only the actor's voice, and in which a committee of animators perform the character, operate the camera, and do the lighting.

I believe it will make fantasy filmmaking much more user-friendly for filmmakers, actors, and studios, and ultimately bring down costs. It's just now possible to create photo-real human [computer-generated] characters, but it isn't cost effective.

Many other fields, from medicine to automotive design, now use similar motion-capture systems (though on a smaller scale). Do you ever run across or dream up non-entertainment applications yourself?

I'm bore-sighted on the cinematic process. While one can generally imagine all the industrial and science applications, I'm not interested in developing them. However I can visualize a number of uses for the technique in advanced forms of entertainment, at theme parks and so on.

What role will 3D play in the future of film?

Here's what can happen, although it's too early to say if it will: 3D can become ubiquitous as digital cinema replaces film. As digital cinema rolls out, stereo follows—and in some cases leads the charge, as we have seen recently with the digital 3D releases of Chicken Little and Monster House forcing the installation of hundreds of new digital projectors.

There will eventually be major titles available from all studios at some screens in almost all multiplex cinemas worldwide. I would say the horizon for this is five years. 3D can become a fully accepted way in which audiences view movies. It will become another consumer choice, like premium or regular gas. The premium experience of 3D will be the preferred viewing experience for action, animated, fantasy, and science-fiction films.

3D's broad acceptance at theaters will generate enough content that consumer-electronics manufacturers will make home players and monitors available. The technology exists now, but is not readily available as off-the-shelf products. 3D display will become a must for video and computer games.

In 20 years, stereo media may become the preferred method for displaying all information, including news and other broadcast media. The density of information one can place on a small screen becomes much higher if it's stacked in three dimensions.

Is there something beyond 3D in film? Could we ever see in cinema the same kind of physical participation we're starting to see in video-game consoles like Nintendo's Wii?

Imagine a movie in which the viewer is swept along by a narrative, following the action from place to place, but without the intervention of a camera. You can choose which character to watch in a scene, as if you're an invisible witness standing there while a real event plays out. This is still years away, at a level of realism people would consider cinematic, but certainly not decades away.

I can imagine the dense fantasy worlds I like to create for movies having an equal or greater life in a world of interactive play, authored by others, in a partnership. Of course, add massive multiplayer capability to this, and people will never leave their homes.
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Meho Krljic

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« Reply #15 on: 23-03-2007, 16:50:59 »
Quote
Imagine a movie in which the viewer is swept along by a narrative, following the action from place to place, but without the intervention of a camera. You can choose which character to watch in a scene, as if you're an invisible witness standing there while a real event plays out.


Alaha mu, pa ovi ljudi ne razumeju šta je to što film čini umetnošću vrednom praćenja..

Ghoul

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« Reply #16 on: 23-03-2007, 18:05:30 »
Quote from: "Meho Krljic"
Quote
Imagine a movie in which the viewer is swept along by a narrative, following the action from place to place, but without the intervention of a camera. You can choose which character to watch in a scene, as if you're an invisible witness standing there while a real event plays out.


Alaha mu, pa ovi ljudi ne razumeju šta je to što film čini umetnošću vrednom praćenja..


mi smo dinosauri, moj meho.

vidiš da sve ide niz oluk.

film kao video igrica.

film kao 'izaberi svoju avanturu' (jel se tako zvahu one knjigice za decu, sa alternativnim varijantama pravaca plota?).

bulšit.

Meho Krljic

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« Reply #17 on: 23-03-2007, 21:54:40 »
Bulšit indid.... I to kažem ja koji volim videoigre...

crippled_avenger

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« Reply #18 on: 26-03-2007, 15:52:15 »
Michael Biehn has confirmed to Sci-Fi Wire that he has talked with director James Cameron about a role in his upcoming 3D epic "Avatar".

The move would mark a reteaming of Biehn with Cameron and Sigourney Weaver, who last starred together in 1986's "Aliens".

"I've had two very very good meetings with Jim, and they went very well... There have been a lot of other sources that have reported they have sources saying that I'm doing it, but so far I haven't heard anything from Jim. He hasn't cast the role yet" says Biehn.

"Avatar" is the story of a wounded ex-marine who is unwillingly sent to settle and exploit a faraway planet. He gets caught up in a battle for survival by the planet's inhabitants.
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Meho Krljic

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« Reply #19 on: 26-03-2007, 16:11:30 »
Nije rđavo videti da će Majkl Bin da malo profitira. Meni simpatičan vazda bio. Mada može i ovako da se gleda: uzimaju njega jer je jeftin jer će film da bude flop...

crippled_avenger

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« Reply #20 on: 18-06-2007, 17:55:54 »
Imageworks pros talk 3-D
Go deep with the team behind 'Beowulf'
By PETER DEBRUGE
Denise


Engle


Hays
 
At Sony Imageworks, 3-D isn't just a part-time interest but a dedicated production pipeline. In 2005, the company helped convert Robert Zemeckis' "The Polar Express" to 3-D, creating a special stereoscopic version of the toon for Imax theaters. A year later, the effects house gave "Open Season" the 3-D treatment, and now it's wrapping work on Zemeckis' motion-capture follow-up, "Beowulf," due to open on nearly 1,000 digital 3-D screens this fall.
Variety sat down with three of Imageworks' 3-D pros -- exec VP Debbie Denise (who oversees the 3-D pipeline), digital effects supervisor Rob Engle (stereo lead on "Beowulf") and senior producer Buzz Hays -- for a roundtable discussion about the past, present and future of the format.


Variety: 3-D has gone through cycles of popularity before, flaring up in the '50s and again in the '80s. With all these new 3-D movies being produced, the real question is whether this is another fad, or is 3-D finally here to stay?

Debbie Denise: New technology has made stereo 3-D a more viable option for filmmakers and theater owners because it's comfortable -- you're not looking through red-and-blue glasses that give you a headache unless you're 7 years old. And with CG technology getting robust enough to create these virtual worlds, it's a perfect scenario for 3-D.


Variety: On computer-animated movies, you can actually create a second virtual eye to render the 3-D movie, but live-action requires a special two-camera system. Has Imageworks considered crossing over to live-action 3-D?

Buzz Hays: You can already read the press asking how many animated films we need in a year -- we're already getting backlash about that -- and 3-D shouldn't be limited to that. So certainly, live action's an option. One of the problems is that everyone's waiting to see how Jim Cameron's going (on "Avatar"), but that's two years away.


Variety: With a heavy-hitter like Cameron onboard, theaters are now compelled to make the transition to digital. Considering that polarized 3-D technology has been around for decades, why would anyone have gone with the inferior experience of red-blue glasses?

Hays: It's all about cost distribution. With a red-blue (anaglyph) movie, you can literally make a 35mm print and take it to any theater, give out a bunch of red-blue glasses, and anybody can watch it in 3-D. (Before digital, polarization typically required two projectors and a special silver screen.) There is an infrastructure that is needed to do good-quality 3-D, and the way Imax does it is literally with two strips of 70mm film. 3-D technology in theaters has evolved over the years. For example, back when "Dial M for Murder" came out in 1955, they were using two-projector systems for that, and they were actually polarizing them, but because most theaters only had two projectors, they had to put intermissions in these very short movies.

Rob Engle: It really comes down to the availability of the theaters. Had the Real D system (which adapts digital projectors to support polarized 3-D releases) had as much penetration as it does now when "Spy Kids" came out, they certainly would have released it in Real D.


Variety: On "Polar Express," Warner Bros. grossed $65 million from Imax 3-D screens alone -- that's a pretty compelling statistic. Now they've got competition from digital megaplexes, and people believe 3-D could be the "killer app" to drive even more conversions.

Hays: On "Monster House," the 3-D screens were grossing two to three times (more than the standard version), and that's proved itself on every feature since: "Open Season," "Meet the Robinsons." Basically, what it comes down to is exhibitors still need assurances that they're going to have product. Most of them have gone digital -- that's the expensive hurdle -- and then the 3-D upgrade is an incremental cost. That's why DreamWorks has already made a pronouncement that starting in 2009, all their animated features will be in 3-D. Cameron's still a few years out, but it's setting the tone that this is going to be around for a while.

Engle: The other question is, will the public want to see every movie in 3-D or not? When you go back to why people stopped going to see 3-D movies in the past, I think it's because 3-D movies became all gags and no content, it was all "House of Wax" stuff being jabbed in your face. "Polar Express" was not specifically designed to be a 3-D film, but the reason it succeeded was because (Zemeckis') sense of composition lends itself perfectly to 3-D. As soon as you start making a movie that is nothing but 3-D gags, then you start to turn off the public.


Variety: It's an enhancement, just like sound, and some filmmakers know how to use it, while others make your eardrums bleed. I have a hard time believing that we'll reach a point anywhere in my lifetime when we see every movie in 3-D, but I think it can be one of those value-adds for the more spectacular films in the same way that THX was used on selective event movies early on.

Engle: When people watch a 3-D movie, we're asking them to do something they don't actually do in the normal world, which is to disconnect where they're focusing -- because they're always looking at the screen -- from where their eyes are converging. For a lot of people that causes discomfort, and if we start to make every film in 3-D, you're actually going to turn off a reasonable percentage of your viewing population.

Hayes: The biggest thing about 3-D is education. Very few directors have any experience with it whatsoever, but if you get them to step away from the video monitor for a few seconds, the whole world is 3-D. They're so used to this little rectangular box that they've disconnected themselves from it. It seems like a bit of a hurdle having two cameras on set, but it's all fear of the unknown.


Variety: When it comes to visual effects, it's hard enough getting CG to blend with live action. How do you do it when you're working in 3-D, the way Cameron is approaching "Avatar"?

Hays: You pretty much have to use the same technique for all of the elements within a shot. If you don't, it becomes readily apparent.

Denise: Typically, in a CG feature or a live-action feature, you do lots of cheats just to make that final frame look good, and with 3-D, you have to go back to the rendering phase of the shot instead of doing a composite fix.

Engle: When you're doing a film like "Beowulf" where you're simulating humans, people have a really good idea of what looks right and what looks wrong. It's totally different if it's a CG bear or an ant, but people expect humans to look human and to have roundness and shape. We really want to be sure that feels natural.


Variety: A number of companies, from Imax to In-Three, are working to "dimensionalize" live-action movies that were shot in 2-D (for example, Imax converted the last 20 minutes of this summer's "Harry Potter" movie into 3-D). There's talk that George Lucas will try it with "Star Wars." How does that work?

Hays: It's a hard thing to do, as it turns out. It's not just a matter of slicing stuff out and moving them to various points in space. When you're pulling apart a 2-D movie, you have to understand that 3-D space and be faithful to it. If things are just slightly wrong in space, it becomes hard to watch.

Denise: And motion blur is not our friend.

Engle: I don't remember who thought of doing "My Dinner with Andre" in 3-D -- the first response is to laugh, but it's perfect, lots of nice long shots and you could sit there and just soak it in. Sure, it wouldn't be spears in your eyes, but it would definitely be an experience.


Variety: It would be interesting to see a non-spectacle movie in 3-D.

Hays: What really sells 3-D for all of us are the subtle aspects of it, not the stuff that beats you over the head. When you see "Beowulf," I think you'll be blown away by the subtle details that just go right by you in 2-D, while in 3-D, you're sort of entranced by it. Bob (Zemeckis) knows where your attention is going to be. He's put a lot of his efforts into making sure that "Beo" looks great in 3-D, and it's the little tiny details that sell it.

Denise: For instance, there's a shot where there's a foreground character speaking, there's a background character that he's address, but in between there's a character that has all this motivation, all this emotion and all these questions in his eyes and in the way he's moving, that I never noticed in the 2-D shot. I only saw it in 3-D.

Hays: The other shot is Beo talking, and the person he's talking to is a reflection in the mirror, and again, it gives you this whole sense now that you're here with these people and you know exactly where everything is in the room, just based on looking at one shot, which you can't do with 2-D.


Variety: Is there anything that frustrates you now or hasn't been solved in terms of this 3-D puzzle?

Engle: There are a couple technological issues. One is that the medium we're working in is really delivering two separate movies, one to the left eye and one to the right eye, and so far there is not a delivery means -- Real D, Imax, whatever -- that is perfect in (separating the two pictures), which creates "crosstalk" or "ghosting." "Beowulf" is a really good example of that. Because of the time frame it takes place in, you don't have electric light, so it's a high-contrast movie. Scenes with high contrast are more likely to be objectionable in 3-D. The other issue is that we need people to start thinking about the consequences of the choices they make in 2-D, how they're going to affect the 3-D.


Variety: When will we reach a point where the filmmakers and distributors say, "This is only going out in 3-D? I'm not creating a 2-D version for the other 90% of theaters that can't display 3-D."

Denise: When (producer) Steve Bing saw our 3-D "Beowulf" work, he said, "If I could, I would only release this in 3-D." But there's not enough theaters.

Hays: But the nice thing is that's a solvable problem. Again, it's hard to convince exhibitors to spend that kind of money when we're all excited about what happens this November, but what about next spring and next summer? We have to make sure we're giving them enough reasons to convert. Back in the days when all that revolutionary stuff was happening, like 3-D and Sensurround, studios still controlled the movie theaters, and they were giving their own reason to get people to come to their theater. They didn't care about the one down the street, so it was a very gimmick-driven thing.


Variety: By the time they convert the number of screens needed to support a tentpole opening only in 3-D, the homevideo side may have figured out 3-D as well. Will this be the cure for the wane of theatrical attendance? Cameron and others are positioning this as a reason to get people back into theaters for an experience they can't get at home, but I see a certain fallacy in that argument.

Engle: I agree. They're making an argument that 3-D is what's going to get people into the theaters, but at the same time, they're saying, the home theater is going to get that technology as well. The way to rectify that is to realize it's going to take a long time before we have 3-D in everybody's home, and yet we can build up an infrastructure of 3-D capable theaters right now.

Hays: The good thing for us is, because we've already done so many 3-D pictures and we have more in mind, it gives us a chance to keep refining all these ideas and making more and more comfortable experiences, hopefully to the point where you don't bring up the point that you're seeing a 3-D movie. Today, no one asks, "Are we going to see a color movie tonight?" You're just going to see a movie.
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« Reply #21 on: 05-08-2007, 00:06:09 »
Stephen Lang ("A Few Good Men," "Defiance") and Michelle Rodriguez have joined the cast of James Cameron's "Avatar" scheduled to hit theatres Memorial Day 2009 reports Variety.

Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, CCH Pounder and Wes Studi have already been cast, and in most cases shot many of their scenes for the performance-capture feature currently in production in Los Angeles.

Lang plays a Marine Corps colonel and Rodriguez an ex-Marine pilot. Production on the $190 million 3D feature, which combines live-action with photorealistic virtual characters and environments, moves to Wellington in New Zealand this October for a month of shooting.
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« Reply #22 on: 08-09-2007, 23:14:47 »
Quint: Speaking of being in a ridiculous situation, aren’t you working with James Cameron now?
Joel Moore: [Laughingly] That is a ridiculous situation, ridiculous in the fact that I could never ever dream that I would be working with the biggest director…
Quint: I got to meet Cameron at the Santa Barbara Film Festival a couple of years ago and that was just the coolest thing ever. I got to sit down and just talk and I totally just geeked out about ALIENS and I probably freaked him out, because there was a point were he was like “Well you know I’ve directed other movies besides ALIENS” and I was like “Dude, I have TERMINATOR posters and stuff, too. I love all of your movies, TRUE LIES… that’s great, but ALIENS is the tip of the top for me, so…
Joel Moore: (laughs) And I’m sure ALIENS is probably the one that he feels less… he created TERMINATOR… he created THE ABYSS… he created, like you said, TRUE LIES and all of these and the whole franchise of TERMINATOR is because of him. ALIENS is actually a sequel that he wrote to a movie that he really liked which shows how creative and passionate he is, but it’s probably the one that he has the least control over, I guess.

In conversation with him, he loves the movie and it’s a big part of his success was making that and because I’m working with Sigourney Weaver as well, they have some stories about that and…

Quint: That’d blow my mind man, that’s so cool.
Joel Moore: Yeah, I’m her right hand man in the movie, but yeah they talk about how… they give great stories about how they were on set together and the shit that happened and the fact that this was a sequel and Sigourney didn’t even know that there was going to be a sequel to ALIEN. She had no clue and Jim wrote this great treatment or script for it and ended up making it and then it sort of turned into a franchise because of him writing the sequel, which I thought was pretty cool.

I think he had already done TERMINATOR by the time he went and directed…

Quint: Yeah, I think he got the gig for ALIENS when he was wrapping up TERMINATOR, if I know my nerd history.
Joel Moore: You’re very right, but Sigourney… it’s such an honor to be in the position that I am in and coming from all of these comedies and movies that people don’t necessarily take seriously, which is fine because they are still entertaining, it’s such a blessing to be a part of something that is so big. It’s literally going to change the history of filmmaking, this movie. It’s crazy and the stuff that we are doing on set and the technology that is involved and the way that Jim’s concept of making this movie is A) completely different than any other movie that I’ve done or anybody has done, just because of the technology involved and B) the story that he is telling and the vision that he has created for it is captivating and not just because it’s 3D or because we are using this whole different motion capture type of thing, it’s because…

I read the script when we were meeting at first and they locked me in a room and made me sign my life away and said “We will start with your pinkies if you say anything,” but I literally was, and I knew that outside of his history and outside of TITANIC, there was a bunch of Sci-Fi stuff that he had done and that’s awesome, because I’m a fan and I had loved those movies, but I thought “OK cool, another huge 200 million dollar Sci-Fi movie… this is awesome and a great thing to be a part of,” but it’s actually this beautiful love story and it’s very politically relevant and it’s almost a coming of age for humanity story. It’s just so developed at all of these different levels and I literally teared up a couple of times just reading the script. It was such a great script. I was so surprised, not that he couldn’t make anything like this, but surprised that it was this. I didn’t think it was this kind of a movie. I thought Sci-Fi from the way that when I had met on the film originally on the phone that they had explained it and I’m sure everybody in the world right now thinks that it’s Sci-Fi, but it’s so much more than that.

Quint: Everybody assumes in Cameron’s Sci-Fi that there’s going to be good action, but at the same time you look at what he did in ALIENS and THE ABYSS, especially THE ABYSS. THE ABYSS is such a character movie all about relationships and all about the emotion.
Joel Moore: This does have a little bit of that in it, if you were to liken it to anything else that he has done. It’s just on such a bigger level, because you’ve got these crazy LORD OF THE RINGS size action sequences in it and it’s that kind of a movie as well.

To be able to put all of that together in one movie is fucking hard and that’s what I think was so impressive to me personally, because I read a lot of scripts and you never see people successfully put all of these things together, you kind of have to pick and choose. If you’re a big budget movie and you are wanting to be a love story, you be a love story. If you want it to be an action movie, you be TRANSFOMERS, you know? You can still have a love story, but it’s just… it’s really cool that all of it happens in the same movie. I’m sorry. I know that I’m being very vague, but…

Quint: No, I understand. I don’t want you to lose your pinkies.
Joel Moore: Exactly, but working alongside Sigourney is such a crazy honor and she couldn’t be nicer and Jim couldn’t be a better director. In as much as directing and filmmaking goes, I honestly can’t imagine ever working with a better director. He doesn’t take lunches. He’s editing on his lunch breaks. He is the hardest working person on set. When other people are on a tiny little break and the people are kind of… like if there’s a computer crash or a whatever is going on, there is people just waiting around to see what’s going to happen next and he’s up and going, sketching a new sketch, creating a new part of the land that we are on and just doing whatever there is to be done; he can’t sit down. They literally have to bring lunch in to him and put it in front of him so that for whatever he is doing he can just walk around and eat a sandwich as he’s going.
Quint: I’ve heard that, because there’s lots of horror stories about him being a really tough director, but each and everyone of them that I have ever heard has always had an epilogue to the story saying “but at the same time, he’s also not somebody who is doing this for any other reason and he’s doing so much work himself that he expects a level of quality from the people around him.”
Joel Moore: Yeah and it’s funny that there are all of these… because that’s what people say to me to and my only response is “If that’s the case, then why is every person that I’m working with, the whole crew, has been his crew for the last twenty years? If that’s the case, then why are all of these people back?”

They understand there is a very much militant attitude toward getting the job done, but I think that, just like I do, they appreciate that and that isn’t always roses and “Can you pleases.” That’s a little bit of “OK, let’s get this… Go do that and let’s get this done.” It’s just like that with us, he is never rude but always “here we are. This what we’re going to do. This is where we are… But he is always careful with his talent, because he knows that the talent are the people that are driving what’s going to happen for the day.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ALONG TO THE NEXT PORTION IN AMAZING SOUND-O-TEXT!!!
He takes a special reservation for the talent and I’m honored to be a part of that reservation, because it’s really a story about a few of us that are going to another planet and it’s me and Sam Worthington and Sigourney that are scientists and Sam’s a marine and we are going to this other planet to sort of assimilate into another society. Because of that, a lot of it happens around us… like I have a girlfriend in this and it’s not an ugly German with a unibrow, like DODGEBALL, it’s a different thing. It’s Michelle Rodriguez and she’s hot.
Quint: And she definitely does not have a unibrow.
Joel Moore: She doesn’t have a unibrow.
Quint: I spent a lot of time in New Zealand and on RINGS I got to watch Andy Serkis work a lot, but I’m hearing that, like you are saying, this is a different mo-cap thing. Is that…?
Joel Moore: Well, we are working with WETA, the famed company that did all of Andy’s stuff and all of Peter Jackson’s stuff of course, but the technology that is involved with what we are doing is on a different level and even WETA would say the same thing. They’re part of the reason that the technology is on a different level.

They have a daunting year ahead of them to make all of this happen, but I think that they’re excited to be able to put all of the pieces together as well, because it’s such a challenge. This is going to look like no other film has ever looked and there’s something that I’m sure is special to that, just like when they were making LORD OF THE RINGS, I’m sure they thought “This is going to go down in history as one of the best trilogies ever.” I think they can look at AVATAR after a ten year break of James Cameron making movies, he come to this one which he’s had in the works, you know he wrote this thing ten or twelve years ago or at least the treatment for it and he had to wait for technology to catch up to him to be able to make it, so I think that there’s also this great and captivating part of the project that is special to them as well.

Quint: I’ve heard that he has actually been shooting live action as well as doing mo-cap stuff?
Joel Moore: Yeah, there is definitely live-action stuff as well.
Quint: That’s awesome.
Joel Moore: Yeah its pretty cool. I’m excited, we are going to New Zealand for a couple months and the New Zealand side… it’ll just be fun to be over there because I am a geek as well and I want to see all of the Weta stuff…
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« Reply #23 on: 21-09-2007, 00:14:14 »
DreamWorks Animation has moved up the 3D CG-animated feature "Monsters vs. Aliens" two months to March 27th 2009 reports the trades.

The date change avoids a head-to-head collision with James Cameron's "Avatar" which would have meant the films would be fighting over the growing number of digital 3-D screens.

"Monsters" will now look to take advantage of the Easter holiday, which falls on April 12th. It will also go head-to-head with Sony's animated feature "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs".
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« Reply #24 on: 22-09-2007, 00:15:47 »
Giovanni Ribisi has signed on to James Cameron's $190 million 3-D feature "Avatar," playing a passive-aggressive character named Selfridge in the Fox film says The Hollywood Reporter.

The story follows a band of humans pitted against a distant planet's indigenous inhabitants. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez also star.

The feature blends live-action photography and new virtual photorealistic production techniques invented by Cameron's team and features six computer-generated actors.

The film is currently in production in Los Angeles and next month starts production in New Zealand at Weta Digital.
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« Reply #25 on: 27-09-2007, 20:23:46 »
Exclusive: Emmerich On Fantastic Voyage
The director talks sci-fi remake

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
 
As you may have heard, Roland Emmerich, the man who obliterated The White House in Independence Day and flooded much of Manhattan in the unfairly maligned Day After Tomorrow, is planning a remake of camp sci-fi classic Fantastic Voyage. Empire sat down with the director recently and he talked about his long history with the project and some major changes he's planning to the film before he gets behind the camera.

“I was attached to this project 15 years ago with [former producing partner] Dean Devlin and then we gave it back because we wanted to do some other original projects we had developed,” Emmerich remembers of his long association with the much mooted remake of the 1968  movie, in which a titchy crew in a tiny submarine is injected into a human body to do battle with corpuscles. “Then James Cameron came in and worked on the project.  Two years ago Jim called me up and said ‘Roland I want you to look at the script for Fantastic Voyage – it’s not there yet’. And he sent it over and I hated the script.”

Key among Emmerich’s gripes was the screenplay’s futuristic setting. “ I said why have you put this in the future? I said let this happen now. It’s so much more cool and fun when we can say to a normal person from now, 'well we’re going to make you microscopic and put you in  some submarine which we will shrink down and you have to do this stuff inside a body.’"

The signature Cameron militarism also didn't sit well with Emmerich's vision. “There were two submarines in the body. It was like a Navy SEALS film. And then the president of production at Fox – me and my partner and him all go surfing together – says 'Well, will you do it with a page one rewrite and we won’t start until you’re happy with the script?' So then I said yes. The key is I won’t do it unless it’s going to be a good movie.”

Marianne and Cormac Wibberley (National Treasure 2) are currently rewriting the script. It seems unlikely that shooting will commence pre-strike, so we could potentially be looking at a 2010 release for the movie.
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« Reply #26 on: 18-10-2007, 19:11:46 »
Oscar-winning director James Cameron has arrived in Wellington in time for the world's first sneak peek at his new movie Avatar.
Blog: Latest news from sci-fi blockbusters


The Dominion Post understands Cameron is in Wellington to start shooting scenes for the $US200 million science fiction film.

A secret Wellington location was uncovered yesterday where 80 imitation-gun-toting, camo-wearing stuntpeople and actors had gathered for days of rehearsals.

The men and women had split into pairs to learn how to provide covering fire for their partner. The manoeuvres included plenty of macho shouting and wide-legged posturing.

Cameron is shooting the film using a new 3D process and will feature a blend of live-action photography and virtual photorealistic production techniques invented by his team.

The film will also feature six computer-generated actors known as "synthespians".

Some work on the film has already been done in Los Angeles and Hawaii.

Peter Jackson's Weta Digital is supervising the special effects, and 31 days of additional live photography will be carried out on Weta's soundstages. The cast includes Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Zoe Saldana and Michelle Rodriguez.

The film, written by Cameron, is about an ex-marine who finds himself amid hostilities on an alien planet.

As an Avatar - a human mind in an alien body - he falls in love with a local girl and joins resistance fighters in a battle for survival.

Cameron's blockbuster, Titanic, holds the world box office record for a film, at $US1.8 billion. It won 11 Oscars in 1998, a record it shares with Ben-Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
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« Reply #27 on: 12-11-2007, 13:24:28 »
Matt Gerald ("S.W.A.T.," "Terminator 3") will play the lead villain in James Cameron's epic 3D sci-fi actioneer "Avatar" reports Variety.

The story follows a wounded ex-marine (Sam Worthington), 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.

Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Peter Mensah, Laz Alonso, Wes Studi and Stephen Lang also star. Shooting begins this month in New Zealand and Los Angeles for a release in May 2009.
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« Reply #28 on: 29-11-2007, 18:19:50 »
evo kako, po tatku, izgleda vanzemaljska inteligencija: kao PLAVUŠA!  :roll:


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« Reply #29 on: 29-11-2007, 18:53:20 »
Tatko je puko ko balon.

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« Reply #30 on: 03-12-2007, 07:31:51 »
A evo sta TATKO kaze na ovu gore slicicu...

You recently posted some artwork of a supposed Na'vi character. Don't know where you got it but it's spurious. I've never seen that piece of art. We had a lot of free-ranging conceptual stuff in the early days of design two and a half years ago, and it might be something that was done then but not shown to me, but it is definitely not remotely our actual character design. Aside from two legs, two arms and a tail, it doesn't have any features in common with our final designs. If I had to guess I'd say it's a piece of fan art based on the description of the Na'vi from the old treatment which was leaked twelve years ago. That description is obsolete relative to the shooting script, since things have changed a lot over the years.

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« Reply #31 on: 03-12-2007, 12:52:06 »
Milane, ne uzbuđuj se, pusti zlobnike da se podsmevaju tatku, kao što si video ja nisam ni reagovao na poslednje podmetačine...
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« Reply #32 on: 03-12-2007, 20:17:09 »
Mogu svi da svircaju kolko oce,kod tatka nema greske...
ope ce gi razbuca svi sas zaradjeni milijoni ...

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« Reply #33 on: 04-12-2007, 00:20:40 »
Kad tatko krene u akciju, ima da se desi novi Titanik  :twisted:

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« Reply #34 on: 04-12-2007, 07:19:10 »
Pismo od TATKA Hariju sa AICNa

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/34952

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« Reply #35 on: 12-12-2007, 22:17:56 »
Twentieth Century Fox announced Tuesday that it will delay the release of James Cameron's 3-D Avatar to Dec. 18, 2009 in order to give the director additional time to devote to the titanic post-production work on the film. It had originally been scheduled for release over the Memorial Day holiday, a time that generally produces the biggest box-office returns of the year. Instead, the studio indicated, it plans to open Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian, starring Ben Stiller, on May 22, 2009. In addition, Fox has set Ice Age 3 in digital 3-D for the Independence Day weekend. Noting that the release of Avatar will come 12 years almost to the day of Cameron's Titanic, the most successful film of all time, Fox executive Hutch Parker told reporters Tuesday: "This is a win-win for us. ... Avatar goes to the Titanic date in December, which was obviously auspicious for Jim and us, and by the time of the release, there will be more worldwide 3-D screens available."
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crippled_avenger

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« Reply #36 on: 16-01-2008, 12:34:26 »
The Noble Clyde Boudreaux, an oil-drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, will serve as the basis for many of the key sets on James Cameron's upcoming sci-fi action-adventure "Avatar".

ComingSoon.net reports that in the film, the off-world mining colony the actors inhabit will have the look and feel of inner workings of the Boudreaux, and the design team at Cameron's production company Lightstorm visited the rig to learn more about how it is all put together.

During a guided tour of the facility in early June, the design team photographed and videoed almost every aspect of the Boudreaux with the goal of replicating key aspects of the rig's working and living environment in the form of real and virtual sets at a studio in New Zealand.

The movie will utilize a blend of live-action photography and new virtual photorealistic production techniques invented by Cameron's team. "Avatar" will open in theaters on December 18th 2009.
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« Reply #37 on: 13-02-2008, 12:11:11 »
Worthington
 
Sam Worthington will star in "Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins."
The fact the Australian actor just played the lead in the James Cameron-directed "Avatar" is no coincidence. Cameron recommended Worthington to "Terminator Salvation" director McG, indicating that the director of the first two "Terminator" installments might be warming to the new pic.

While the "Terminator Salvation" plot has twists and turns that are being kept under tight wraps, Worthington will play the role of Marcus, a central figure in a three-picture arc that begins after Skynet has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust. A group of survivors led by John Connor (Christian Bale) struggles to keep the machines from finishing the job.

Cameron kept his distance from "Terminator 3," the first he didn't direct.

Cameron never took a public position on the Jonathan Mostow-directed "T3," which grossed more than $430 million worldwide. Speculation is his history with some of the producers could have prompted him to stay on the sidelines.

"T3" was owned by Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna, who years ago bought the rights at a Carolco bankruptcy auction out from under Cameron, prompting the director to remove himself from involvement. And the "T3" rights package included a multimillion-dollar rights buyout and exec producer credit for Gale Anne Hurd, Cameron's former partner and ex-wife. He famously signed over his "Terminator" rights for $1 to her before they made the first film, in exchange for a guarantee he wouldn't be replaced as director. It was a deal that left him on the outside looking in as everyone else cashed in on "T3."

The slate is clean after Halcyon Co. bought out all franchise rights from Kassar and Vajna and set the new film for domestic distribution at Warner Bros. for summer 2009.

Sources said McG spoke on the phone recently with Cameron, who is in New Zealand working on "Avatar." It was during that chat that he recommended Worthington, who in "Avatar" plays a paraplegic war veteran from Earth who's brought to another planet inhabited by a race of humanoids at odds with Earth's inhabitants.
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crippled_avenger

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« Reply #38 on: 21-02-2008, 14:50:41 »
Harry,

Good to hear from you.

This art is not from us. I don't know where it comes from. More overactive fan imaginations? It's not bad though.

Things are going well on Avatar, or at least as well as can be expected on such a ridiculously complex project. We've wrapped principal, and most of the live action portion of the movie is already cut. It's starting to look and sound like a movie. I'm ecstatic with the performances and the look. The cast chemistry worked out perfectly.

I'm in New Zealand right now, working on effects, while Steve Quale shoots some second unit. We've worked together a lot (he did the engine room scenes on "Titanic", plus co-directed "Aliens of the Deep" with me) and he's the only guy I trust to shoot stuff for me, especially in 3D. We still have a little performance capture work to do with Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana in March, when we get her back from Star Trek (she's Uhura -- but of course you already knew that.) And we have a couple of days with Stephen Lang in April or May, to shoot his character's last scene, which is so technically difficult it will take us until then to figure out how to do it.

You can see how spread out the schedule is -- it's just the nature of this type of CG animation/live action hybrid. Most of my time now is spent editing, because on this type of film you edit every CG scene twice -- once to edit the raw performance capture, before it goes to virtual camera, and then again when you have the virtual camera shots, you do the final edit of the scene. It's very complex and taxing, but the result is amazing. The Weta animators are ON FIRE, and seeing the world and the creatures come to life is what keeps us going. There's a spirit on this film, an esprit de corps amongst the virtual team, that comes from knowing we're doing something absolutely groundbreaking. It's why people still have good morale after working on this thing for two years or more. And we still have more than a year and a half to go. I don't know if this will be a good film, great film, awful film, but I can say with absolute certainty that you will see stuff you've never imagined, and that the process of making this film will generate a lot of interest within the technical side of the biz. When I edit with some of our early stuff, "shot" using our virtual camera system over a year and half ago, it already looks laughably crude. Our process has evolved so much, just within the making of this one movie. Of course the final standard of photoreal animation will be consistent throughout the film, because it all gets rendered in a big frenzy next year.

It's all very exciting to be doing, and that (usually) compensates for the grind of the seven day weeks. Well, no rest for the weary. Gotta get to the cutting room. Back to Pandora.

Jim out
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« Reply #39 on: 12-04-2008, 11:04:01 »
James Cameron supercharges 3-D
'Avatar' helmer reveals the art & science of stereo
By DAVID S. COHENMore Articles:
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Director James Cameron's upcoming "Avatar" must rank as one of the most anticipated film projects in recent memory. His first narrative film since making the No. 1 box office hit of all time, 1997's "Titanic," "Avatar" will be the realization of Cameron's long-held dream of melding digital 3-D stereo with epic bigscreen storytelling. Variety's David S. Cohen conducted this email interview with Cameron; it is the director's most extensive exploration of 3-D to date, however he is keeping specifics about "Avatar" under wraps.
(An abbreviated version of this interview appears in print on April 11, 2008 and is also available online)


You've worked in 3-D before and have been an evangelist for this technology. We've heard lots of people in the industry talk about the importance of delivering an in-theater experience that goes beyond what people can get in the home. We're seeing that audiences like 3-D and it's becoming a main driver for adoption of digital cinema systems in movie theaters. But speaking strictly as a storyteller and director, what does 3-D add to the creative side of a project?


I believe that Godard got it exactly backwards. Cinema is not truth 24 times a second, it is lies 24 times a second. Actors are pretending to be people they're not, in situations and settings which are completely illusory. Day for night, dry for wet, Vancouver for New York, potato shavings for snow. The building is a thin-walled set, the sunlight is a xenon, and the traffic noise is supplied by the sound designers. It's all illusion, but the prize goes to those who make the fantasy the most real, the most visceral, the most involving. This sensation of truthfulness is vastly enhanced by the stereoscopic illusion. Especially in the types of films which have been my specialty to date, the fantasy experience is served best by a sense of detail and textural reality supporting the narrative moment by moment. The characters, the dialogue, the production design, photography and visual effects must all strive to give the illusion that what you're seeing is really happening, no matter how improbable the situation might be if you stopped to think about it -- a time-traveling cyborg out to change history by killing a waitress, for example. When you see a scene in 3-D, that sense of reality is supercharged. The visual cortex is being cued, at a subliminal but pervasive level, that what is being seen is real. All the films I've done previously could absolutely have benefited from 3-D. So creatively, I see 3-D as a natural extension of my cinematic craft.

A 3-D film immerses you in the scene, with a greatly enhanced sense of physical presence and participation. I believe that a functional-MRI study of brain activity would show that more neurons are actively engaged in processing a 3-D movie than the same film seen in 2-D. When most people think of 3-D films, they think first of the gimmick shots -- objects or characters flying, floating or poking out into the audience. In fact, in a good stereo movie, these shots should be the exception rather than the rule. Watching a stereo movie is looking into an alternate reality through a window. It is intuitive to the film industry that this immersive quality is perfect for action, fantasy, and animation. What's less obvious is that the enhanced sense of presence and realism works in all types of scenes, even intimate dramatic moments. Which is not to say that all films should be made in 3-D, because the returns may not warrant the costs in many cases, but certainly there should be no creative reason why any film could not be shot in 3-D and benefit from it.

When I started down the path of developing the 3-D cameras with Vince Pace in 2000, we were looking for an alternative to the massive film-based cameras I'd used in the past. Two years later, while deep in stereo technology development and production, I had an epiphany: that the digital projectors being proposed to replace 35mm film, could support 3-D perfectly, because of their high frame rates. They could actually display 3-D by projecting left and right eyes sequentially, at crazy high frame rates, which we perceive as simultaneous. So I figured this would mean that a whole new era of 3-D was now possible, and that our humble 3-D efforts would ride to market on the broad back of the digital cinema rollout, which was seen as imminent and inevitable.

It is ironic that half a decade later, the rollout is happening, but largely because it has been catalyzed by 3-D. D-cinema is riding 3-D to market. And that's because audiences are seeing something they like and are demonstrating a willingness to pay more for it. The new 3-D, this stereo renaissance, not only solves all the old problems of bad projection, eyestrain, etc., but it is being used on first-class movies that are on people's must-see lists. These are fundamental changes from what happened with the flash-in-the-pan 3-D craze of the '50s. 3-D is also a chance to rewrite the rules, to raise ticket prices for a tangible reason, for demonstrable value-added.

Quick definition of terms: I say stereo instead of 3-D, because I deal with so many CG artists who are accustomed to using the term "3-D" as a CG term of art. So I use stereo, a shortened form of stereoscopic, instead, so there is no confusion. However, when dealing with the public, I say 3-D, because they know what that means in that context -- they're going to get to wear the glasses and see something really cool.


Are there any myths about 3-D you'd like to dispel?


I sort of hit the myths one by one in the answers to the questions below.


Trailers and TV commercials are important for marketing, and homevideo is a vital revenue stream, yet right now there's no 3-D TV and you can't always count on trailers being seen in 3-D. How do you handle that as the film's director?


All films are made to serve many masters. Every director knows his film will be seen by more people on DVD or network TV on a small screen than in a theater. Does that change the way we direct? Not much. First and foremost the film must be a good movie. It needs to be firing on all eight cylinders whether it is conceived as a 2-D or a 3-D film. As a result, a 3-D film when screened in 2-D, on a screen of any size, should still deliver. The 3-D should always be thought of as a turbocharger, an enhancer, to a work whose raison d'etre is vested in its story, its characters, its style, etc.

In any case, with the number of screens currently available in North America, and certainly for some years to come internationally, it will be necessary to release in 3-D and 2-D day and date. So the film must be fully competitive as a 2-D title as well. Before I decided to make a major movie in 3-D, I had to resolve to my own satisfaction that the 3-D would not degrade in any measurable way the 2-D viewing experience. Could I shoot the same way? Would the camera placement or lighting be compromised? Could I cut as fast? Etc. Only when I had done enough 3-D production and testing to answer these questions was I willing to proceed.

As for 3-D in the home: The only limitation to having stereo viewing in the home is the number of titles currently available. When there is more product, the consumer electronics companies will make monitors and players. The technology exists and is straightforward. Samsung has already shipped 2 million plasma widescreens which can decode an excellent stereo image. There's just no player to hook up to it right now. They may be a little ahead of the curve in future-proofing their monitors, but it indicates how easy it would be for the big electronics companies to get onboard. It should be remembered that good 3-D requires a more immersive relationship between audience and screen. Unless you're willing to sit within 4 feet of a 50" monitor, which all but a few geeks (like me) will not do in a home setting, then you're not going to get the same bang for the buck out of a 3-D movie on a home system as you would in a theater, regardless of whether the resolution of the image is the same. So there may always be a greater distinction between seeing a 3-D movie at home vs. seeing a 2-D movie at home. Which is good. Because 3-D then becomes a technology which will help preserve the health of the theatrical exhibition business in a time when it is besieged.


Do you think it's possible to make a film that is too dependent on 3-D for the economics of today's movie business, and if so, how do you avoid that?


I don't think the economics of 3-D are clear yet, and won't be for a few years. So much depends on the number of screens, and more importantly (ultimately) the number of filmmakers who want to play in this new space, because the success of the 3-D renaissance is going to be content-driven. I think it is a mistake under any circumstances to make a film which is dependent on 3-D for its success, either aesthetically or commercially. The film should not be marketed first and foremost as a 3-D experience. The film should be sold on its merits (cast, story, imagery, etc.) and the consumer should be informed that they can purchase the experience in 2-D or, for a couple extra bucks, in 3-D. It should be like ordering at Starbucks. Lots of choices. If the new media of the last decade has taught us anything, it is that people like choices, and they like control.


WORKING IN 3-D:


How do you shoot differently because of 3-D?


On "Avatar," I have not consciously composed my shots differently for 3-D. I am just using the same style I always do. In fact, after the first couple of weeks, I stopped looking at the shots in 3-D while I was working, even though the digital cameras allow real-time stereo viewing. I had someone else checking them for good stereo as we were shooting, in a small theater we set up near the stage for that purpose. I would get real-time feedback from my "golden-eyes" team in the theater, if a shot needed to be adjusted to increase or decrease the stereospace.

Having said that, I am not above milking a good 3-D moment, as long as it doesn't interrupt the narrative flow. And there are a couple of minor adjustments that need to be made to lighting and camera placement to create a smooth and unobtrusive stereo experience. But once you learn these few tricks, you stop thinking much about them.

In general I found that good lighting was good lighting, and worked quite well in 3-D. Wide lenses are fun in 3-D, but long lenses work well, too. The Fusion cameras can dynamically shift from hypo-stereo, which is to say less than normal interocular distance, (the distance between the left eye and the right eye lenses) for closeups -- to hyper-stereo (wider than normal) for long lens shots where the subject is relatively far away. The new cameras work well on Steadicam, on cranes and dollies, on SpiderCam and Cablecam rigs, and work very well handheld. So all the normal types of shots can be done. I compose the shots on a 2-D monitor, while in the back of my mind I'm imagining it in 3-D. That way I know I'm always making a good 2-D movie as I go along. I also edit in 2-D, for the same reason.


Someone told me that "Citizen Kane" was a great example of how to shoot for 3-D: great depth of field, wide-angle lenses, etc.


I think it's a myth that you want deep focus in 3-D shots. I find the opposite is true. Selective focus, created by working at low f-stops with longer lenses, evolved as a cinematic technique to direct the audience's attention to the character of greatest narrative importance at a given moment. With 3-D, the director needs to lead the audience's eye, not let it roam around the screen to areas which are not converged. So all the usual cinematic techniques of selective focus, separation lighting, composition, etc., that one would use in a 2-D film to direct the eye to the subject of interest, still apply, and are perhaps even more important. We all see the world in 3-D. The difference between really being witness to an event vs. seeing it as a stereo image is that when you're really there, your eye can adjust its convergence as it roves over subjects at different distances. Convergence is the natural toe-in that the eye does to align the left and right eye images of objects at specific planes of depth. In a filmed image, the convergence was baked in at the moment of photography, so you can't adjust it. In order to cut naturally and rapidly from one subject to another, it's necessary for the filmmaker (actually his/her camera team) to put the convergence at the place in the shot where the audience is most likely to look. This sounds complicated but in fact we do it all the time, in every shot, and have since the beginning of cinema. It's called focus. We focus where we think people are most likely to look. So I've found that just slaving the convergence function to the focus works exceedingly well, and makes good stereo a no-brainer on the set.

Every time I watch a movie lately, from "300" to "Atonement," I think how wonderful it would have been if shot in 3-D.


How does that third dimension change or complicate those directing techniques?


Shooting 3-D is more complicated, undeniably, because you're doing all the stuff you normally do (blocking, lighting, performance, etc.) plus dealing with stereospace. From a director's perspective, the camera team should be handling most of this, and the director need only get involved to the extent that they choose to, because they're excited by the new format and tools.


How does working in 3-D change the way you cut a film? The current trend toward very quick cuts, so popular now in action films, seems not to work in 3-D. Or does it?


The new cameras allow complete control over the stereospace. You should think of interocular like volume. You can turn the 3-D up or down, and do it smoothly on the fly during a shot. So if you know you're in a scene which will require very fast cuts, you turn the stereo down (reduce the interocular distance) and you can cut fast and smoothly. The point here is that just because you're making a stereo movie doesn't mean that stereo is the most important thing in every shot or sequence. If you choose to do rapid cutting, then the motion of the subject from shot to shot to shot is more important than the perception of stereospace at that moment in the film. So sacrifice the stereospace and enjoy the fast cutting. Stereo is just another color to paint with, and the new camera tools allow complete control. I think it takes a few frames, maybe the better part of a second, for the eye to properly assimilate the stereospace of a shot. If the shot only lasts 18 frames, you're not getting much value out of the 3-D, so let that drop down in priority below the flow of the motion.

The real issue here is that when you're shooting action photographically (as opposed to CG animation) you can't predict at the moment of shooting exactly how you're going to cut, so it pays to be conservative on the stereospace. In a CG action sequence, you can pump the stereo up a bit more because you can optimize each shot after the scene is cut. The interocular continues to be malleable up to the final render of a CG shot, but it gets baked into a photographic shot the moment you pull the trigger and can't be changed later.


Does directing in 3-D require that the director and producer have a thorough grasp of the technology, or is this something an inexperienced director could mostly delegate to a d.p. and stereographer the way a writer or actor turned director might delegate camera angles and lighting to the d.p.?


Most directors couldn't load a film magazine or balance a Steadicam to save their lives. But that doesn't stop them from using these tools brilliantly. Stereo should be thought of in the same way. A good, experienced camera team which has shot a stereo movie using the new tools should be able to make the stereo as invisible to the director as focus. Meaning, sometimes the director gets asked where they want the focus in a shot, or the director may have an idea before the fact to do something stylized, but generally it just gets taken care of by the camera team. I do believe in the need for a "stereographer" to assist the d.p. This should be an experienced person who watches each and every image as it is laid down, and advises the director and d.p. regarding the stereospace decisions, based on what they're seeing at the moment.

Of course many filmmakers will be drawn to shooting in 3-D because it is fun, new and challenging, and they will meet that challenge by learning the ins and outs themselves, and learning-by-doing how and when to push the envelope. Fortunately, the new 3-D cameras are able to meet their revolutionary performance specs, that no film camera could dream of matching, because they are HD. So that immediate real-time stereo image is there for the filmmaker to experiment with.

And every single director will approach 3-D in their own way, and use it differently. So even though I believe that a standardized methodology is necessary for widespread adoption, that methodology needs to be open to the creativity of the individual filmmaker.


DIRECTING ACTORS:


Last year Variety did an article on how digital capture changes the way actors work (The actors said no reloading means fewer breaks to prepare, much more continuous shooting, more of their process recorded for posterity so they have to have less ego). I've recently talked to the "Beowulf" vfx team, which said performance capture let them shoot very fast, with very little downtime for the cast. They were moving so quickly that the actors had to ask for breaks to work on lines, because they weren't expecting to get to the next scene so soon.


I didn't experience that. We were doing lighting, figuring out shots, moving assets around in the CG environment on production days with actors. This took significantly longer than the smash-and-grab mo-cap techniques used previously. Also, I tend to spend a lot of time on performance, so nobody was complaining about the speed.


Does 3-D also change the way actors work or the way you work with actors, and if so, how?


I made it my mission to keep the 3-D out of the actors' consciousness completely. Most of them forgot we were shooting 3-D, because we did playback on set at a 2-D monitor. Every once in a while one of them would go over to the theater and watch some dailies, and come back wide-eyed. But it really didn't change a thing they were doing on set. As a director, my work with the actors was not affected in the slightest by the 3-D component of the shooting.

As for the lighting and photography, we found that the normal gutsy lighting that I like worked beautifully in 3-D. Every once in a while we would have to make an adjustment to hide or reduce "ghosting" of a bright light in the background. Ghosting is an artifact of projection, not photography, but we decided to mitigate it in the photography to improve the experience in the theater. Hopefully, as projector technology improves, we can forget about that.


Right now, 3-D is pretty much being used for films that have some spectacle in them, whether it's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" or "U2 3D"; nobody's talking about using it for domestic dramas. But there are people wondering whether it will actually enhance the impact of character-driven stories. What are your thoughts on how 3-D changes the experience of watching actors act?


I plan to shoot a small dramatic film in 3-D, just to prove this point, after "Avatar." In "Avatar," there are a number of scenes that are straight dramatic scenes, no action, no effects. They play very well, and in fact seem to be enhanced by the stereo viewing experience. So I think this can work for the full length of a dramatic feature. However, filmmakers and studios will have to weigh the added cost of shooting in 3-D against the increased marketing value for that type of film.


3-D POST AND PROJECTION:


We've only just seen an all-digital pipeline come into being.


I've been doing it since 2001.


What about an all-3-D pipeline?


You don't need to be in 3-D at every step of the way. And as long as your work will be viewed in 2-D as well as 3-D, whether in a hybrid theatrical release or later on DVD, it is probably healthy to do a lot of the work in 2-D along the way. I cut on a normal Avid, and only when the scene is fine-cut do we output left and right eye video tracks to the server in the screening room and check the cut for stereo. Nine times out of 10 we don't change anything for 3-D. I operate most of the shots myself, including the handheld (I defer on the Steadicam shots), and we use 2-D monitors and eyepieces to operate. On-set playback is in 2-D. A shot is judged on the merits of performance, operating, lighting, etc., and not 3-D. I think this is a healthy approach.


Where is the existing pipeline working well and where do things still need to be improved -- or invented -- in 3-D production and post?


3-D post is mature and pretty straightforward. If the material is shot properly, you don't need to do much to "fix it in post." Witness the Hannah Montana concert movie, which was posted in less than three months. The visual effects pipeline could use some good stereo tools, to aid in compositing.


I'm hearing that there are already calls to increase the frame rate to at least 30 fps for digital 3-D because certain camera moves, especially pans, look jumpy in 3-D. I saw that in the Imax 3-D "Beowulf." You've been an advocate for both 3-D and higher frame rates. Have you seen the problem and do you have any thoughts on it?


For three-fourths of a century of 2-D cinema, we have grown accustomed to the strobing effect produced by the 24 frame per second display rate. When we see the same thing in 3-D, it stands out more, not because it is intrinsically worse, but because all other things have gotten better. Suddenly the image looks so real it's like you're standing there in the room with the characters, but when the camera pans, there is this strange motion artifact. It's like you never saw it before, when in fact it's been hiding in plain sight the whole time. Some people call it judder, others strobing. I call it annoying. It's also easily fixed, because the stereo renaissance is enabled by digital cinema, and digital cinema supplies the answer to the strobing problem.

The DLP chip in our current generation of digital projectors can currently run up to 144 frames per second, and they are still being improved. The maximum data rate currently supports stereo at 24 frames per second or 2-D at 48 frames per second. So right now, today, we could be shooting 2-D movies at 48 frames and running them at that speed. This alone would make 2-D movies look astonishingly clear and sharp, at very little extra cost, with equipment that's already installed or being installed.

Increasing the data-handling capacity of the projectors and servers is not a big deal, if there is demand. I've run tests on 48 frame per second stereo and it is stunning. The cameras can do it, the projectors can (with a small modification) do it. So why aren't we doing it, as an industry?

Because people have been asking the wrong question for years. They have been so focused on resolution, and counting pixels and lines, that they have forgotten about frame rate. Perceived resolution = pixels x replacement rate. A 2K image at 48 frames per second looks as sharp as a 4K image at 24 frames per second ... with one fundamental difference: the 4K/24 image will judder miserably during a panning shot, and the 2K/48 won't. Higher pixel counts only preserve motion artifacts like strobing with greater fidelity. They don't solve them at all.

If every single digital theater was perceived by the audience as being equivalent to Imax or Showscan in image quality, which is readily achievable with off-the-shelf technology now, running at higher frame rates, then isn't that the same kind of marketing hook as 3-D itself? Something you can't get at home. An aspect of the film that you can't pirate.


Other than that, for digital 3-D, would you rather see energy going into moving from 2K to 4K, or into moving from 24 fps to 48 or 72 fps, and why?


4K is a concept born in fear. When the studios were looking at converting to digital cinemas, they were afraid of change, and searched for reasons not to do it. One reason they hit upon was that if people were buying HD monitors for the home, with 1080x1920 resolution, and that was virtually the same as the 2K standard being proposed, then why would people go to the cinema? Which ignores the fact that the social situation is entirely different, and that the cinema screen is 100 times larger in area. So they somehow hit on 4K, which people should remember is not twice the amount of picture data, it is four times the data. Meaning servers need to be four times the capacity, as does the delivery pipe to the theater, etc.

But 4K doesn't solve the curse of 24 frames per second. In fact it tends to stand in the way of the solutions to that more fundamental problem. The NBA execs made a bold decision to do the All Star Game 3-D simulcast at 60 frames per second, because they didn't like the judder. The effect of the high-frame-rate 3-D was visually astonishing, a huge crowdpleaser.

I would vastly prefer to see 2K/48 frames per second as a new display standard, than 4K/24 frames per second. This would mean shooting movies at 48 fps, which the digital cameras can easily accommodate. Film cameras can run that fast, but stock costs would go up. However, that could be offset by shooting 3-perf, or even 2-perf, because you'd get the resolution back through the higher display rate. The 48 fps negative or digital master can be skip-printed to generate a 24 fps 35mm DI negative for making release prints, so 48 is the magic number because it remains compatible with the film-based platform which will still be with us for some time, especially internationally. 30 and 60 fps are out for that reason. Anyway the benefit of 30 is not great enough to be worth the effort, especially when 48 is so easy to achieve. SMPTE tests done about 15 years ago showed that above 48 frames the returns diminish dramatically, and 60 fps is overkill. So 48 is the magic number.

Of course, the ideal format is 3-D/2K/48 fps projection. I'd love to have done "Avatar" at 48 frames. But I have to fight these battles one at a time. I'm just happy people are waking up to 3-D.

Maybe on "Avatar 2."


It's turning out that 3-D that's optimized for one screen size doesn't look right if the screen gets a lot bigger or smaller.* One potential solution would be correction built into the software at the projector, but the people I've spoken to who actually make 3-D movies think that these are creative decisions and different 3-D masters will be needed for different screen sizes. Do you think this is something you would ultimately trust to software or will you need to do it yourself?

*(Specifically, the interocular changes by the same multiplier as the screen size. Double the screen size and the interocular doubles too, and can be so big that it's difficult for the eye to resolve the stereo. On the other hand, cut the screen size in half and the stereo effect flattens out.)


I don't agree with this at all. I think the effect you are describing has more to do with the fact that people tend to sit farther from monitors than they do from cinema screens, when calculated as a ratio of viewer distance to screen width. If you sit close to a good stereo monitor, like the Samsung I demo'ed a few months ago, the stereo effect is the same as a cinema screen. The stereo effect even works on smaller monitors. The advantage of small individual monitors, like laptops, is that they will be available as autostereoscopic displays, meaning no glasses. I've seen demos of these, and the effect is good. The ones I saw just suffered from low frame rates (flicker), but they'll work that out.

I certainly would never change the stereospace of a film to fit different screen sizes. In fact, for photographic films, it can't be changed. The interocular is set at the moment of photography. People will tell you they can fix it later, in post, by changing the convergence, but they are wrong. Convergence does not change stereospace, it only changes the ease with which viewers can fuse a shot after it appears onscreen.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that 10 or 15 years from now, stereo displays will be ubiquitous, from cinemas to open-air advertising, to home screens and down to handheld devices. IPhones will be in stereo. Small displays will especially benefit from stereo because the small size of the screen can be offset by using Z-depth to stack information, which will reduce visual clutter, or conversely increase the density of information held within a single visual field. It may be that eventually all of our news and information, as well as our sports and entertainment, will come to us in stereo.

In the future world shown in "Avatar," all display devices, including handheld devices and even photos, are all in 3-D.

We evolved to see in 3-D for a reason. It made us better hunters, or allowed us to spot and avoid predators. Why wouldn't we want this Darwinian edge in our workplace, in our sports and entertainment, in all our peak visual experiences?

You know what I think.

-- Jim out
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« Reply #40 on: 05-05-2008, 12:33:51 »
Wow - "Avatar" has been in development for a looooong time! This t-shirt was made back in 1996 when Digital Domain was working on preliminary concepts - and the guy who obtained this shirt says he has no idea what "The Ultimate..." means. Hmmm. Well it sure sounds as though the confidence level for this movie has been high for a long time too.

That "longevity of conception" as my t-shirt owner friend says, gives us hope that this movie will not turn out to be a dud like other super hyped sci-fi films (Matrix sequels, etc). That and the fact that James Cameron is helming it! The idea for "Avatar" has been around for so long that it really has grown into its own. Man, JC must be so passionate about this film - like a parent would be for a child really.

We are still working on obtaining some of those Avatar T-Shirts that someone saw being worn on the Star Trek set last year. I can't wait to see those - those creatures sound so hostile don't they?

http://marketsaw.blogspot.com/2008/04/old-james-cameron-avatar-t-shirts.html
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« Reply #41 on: 08-08-2008, 10:47:34 »
James Cameron's 'Avatar' creating tech buzz
3-D project using visionary new techniques
By Carolyn Giardina

Aug 6, 2008, 08:36 PM ET
With 17 months to go before the release of James Cameron's sci-fi epic "Avatar," his first narrative feature since 1997's "Titanic," anticipation already is enormous. The wildly ambitious project will be made in stereoscopic 3-D and combine live action and computer animation using visionary new filmmaking techniques.

Slated to open Dec. 18, 2009, the production already has been in the works for 2 1/2 years. When completed, Cameron expects "Avatar" to be about 60% CG animation, based on characters created using a newly developed performance capture-based process, and 40% live action, with a lot of VFX in the imagery.

"It is the most challenging film I've ever made," Cameron said.

Still, the innovative filmmaker and digital 3-D pioneer and champion has never shifted his emphasis from storytelling.

"You have to make a good film that would be a good film under any circumstances," he said. "You have to put the narrative first. The reality is no matter how many (3-D) screens we get, you are still going to have a large number of people -- possibly the majority of people -- who see the film in a 2-D environment."

The live-action principal photography for "Avatar" was shot in New Zealand last fall and winter using the Fusion 3-D camera system. Cameron first used the Fusion to make his 2003 Imax 3-D film "Ghosts of the Abyss"; he and "Ghosts" director of photography Vince Pace invented the camera system for the project.

Now, Fusion camera systems are available for rental via Burbank-based 3-D provider Pace, through which president Vince Pace and Cameron continue to innovate and develop the technology. The system already has made its mark, having been used on such pioneering live-action digital 3-D titles as "Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth."

Said Pace: "The systems themselves, in my opinion, can handle any creative challenge. We've learned a lot since shooting 'Ghosts of the Abyss.' "

With "Avatar's" principal photography completed, Cameron is focused on CG production. The helmer said his team has completed the performance capture (sometimes referred to as motion capture) of the actors and is in the post process of performance capture 3-D.

The CG involved a large amount of additional R&D that afforded the director new creative options and flexibility. For one, the film used a new performance capture production workflow.

"The way we developed the performance capture workflow on 'Avatar" is we have our virtual camera, which allows me to, in real time, hold a camera -- it's really a monitor -- in my hands and point it at the actors and see them as their CG chartacters," Cameron said.

The actors wear leotards and a "head rig" with a tiny standard-definition camera that takes an image of an actor's face. "That is going though facial algorithms and going back into the camera as a real-time CG face of the character," the helmer said. "You see it talk; you see the eyes move. It is pretty phenomenal.

"Once we've laid down a take, the take exists in the digital asset management system," he said. "It an be accessed at any time. Long after the actors have gone home, I'm still out there with the virtual camera, shooting coverage on the scene. I just have to play the take back. I can do the close up, the wide shot. ... I can even move them around on a limited basis. We relight it. We do all kinds of things.

"It's this amazing ability to quickly conjure scenes and images and great fantasyscapes that is very visual. We call it 'director centric' because I can use the camera to block the actors," Cameron related. "When you are doing performance capture, creatively it's very daunting. It's very hard to imagine what it will look like. But if you can see it, if you can have a virtual image of what is it going to be like, then you are there. As the processing power goes up our models get more sophisticated and our lighting tools get more sophisticated, even while we are making this movie. I'm still doing a lot of virtual camera work on the film ... on stuff that was shot six months ago."

Cameron also used what he calls FPR, or Facial Performance Replacement, which he likens to the film sound technique of ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement).

To describe the process, the director relates that he recently wanted to redo a line spoken by actor Laz Alonzo. "We changed the words and he redid the dialogue. We didn't have to recapture (his body performance) and he didn't have to put the performance capture suit on again. We were just creating new words, and we were creating a new face."

On the cinematography, Cameron related that his goal was to create "one movie where the aesthetics of physical production and the aesthetics of virtual production are, to the extent that we could do it, pretty much it identical."

Reaching this goal involved development of what Cameron calls the 'Simulcam,' which essentially treats a real camera like the virtual camera and in turn helps to remove guesswork. "We're taking our virtual production toolset and superimposing it on physical production," Cameron said. "We turned the set on the soundstage into a capture volume and turned the physical camera into a capture virtual camera, so we were able to integrate CG characters and environments into our live action."

As an example of how this works, he explained: "We have people in flying vehicles, and I can see what is outside the window, fed in, in real time."

On 3-D, both Cameron and Pace are looking ahead.

"The real question is 'where does all this go?" Cameron said. "Are we looking at a situation maybe 10-15 years out where most laptops are sold with 3-D stereoscopic screens, most montors are stereo compatible, most DVD players can run stereo content? ... I can see this becoming much more pervasive that we are thinking now."

He and Pace believe content is the key.

Pace addressed one last--and not often addressed--aspect of 3-D: The archival value.

"I think back of our shots at Titanic (lensed for "Ghosts of the Abyss"). Those have incredible, future proof, archival value," Pace said. "When we look at (3-D) display devices in the home (which are already becoming available)--a lot of filmmakers and studios need to be making 3-D right now. Those production commitments are often based on the here and now, instead of thinking about how much value there is to this 3-D product in the future. Why not master in 3-D now if there is only an incremental expense? Why not think about that now?"
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« Reply #42 on: 06-09-2008, 18:07:22 »
Studios wary of big budget auteurs
'Avatar,' 'Benjamin,' 'Wild Things' are gambles
By ANNE THOMPSONMore Articles:
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Comic-Con summons industry 'Spirit'
Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
The figure that haunts every studio chief's dreams is a high-profile auteur whose artistic vision outweighs his financial constraints.

Sometimes the gamble on a marriage of artist and epic pays off. James Cameron's "Titanic" went way over budget and behind schedule, but resulted in $1.85 billion at the worldwide box office, the highest-grossing blockbuster of all time.

On the other hand, execs can't forget "Cleopatra" and "Heaven's Gate."

Blood pressure has risen for execs at Fox, Paramount and Warner Bros. over, respectively, "Avatar," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Where the Wild Things Are." The studios say that the cumulative budget of the three is $500 million. Others say the pricetags total closer to $800 million.

Each film represents a different set of risks -- technological, artistic and, of course, fiscal. Each film started big and got bigger.

While the studios will continue to push for new eye-popping ways to lure audiences into massive event-movies, the days of lavish spending on high-end dramas is under scrutiny by conglom parents.

One note of caution: The major studios, notoriously secretive by nature, are especially protective when it comes to their high-budget entries. Many studio execs associated with these films were reluctant to give details, so the information was augmented by talk with the craftsmen themselves and their supporting casts.


THE TENTPOLE

Fox execs are sweating as Cameron again pushes the frontiers of f/x and motion picture technology with the CG/motion-capture/live-action 3-D "Avatar." The filmmaker worked on advance R&D for six years -- incredibly, studio execs say they plowed only $10 million into that, gambling that Cameron's new process would even work.

The director, working with VFX whiz Rob Legato, showed the studio advance pre-viz footage demonstrating how high-def video cameras could track actors moving inside a virtual CG set. Initially budgeted at $200 million, the sci-fi epic was pushed back from May to December 2009 to give the director more time to combine in the computer all necessary elements: 3-D motion-capture data of the actors on bare sets, CG environments, and final animation of the human avatars (Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver) and alien characters (Teresa Saldana, CCH Pounder). The photo-real digital film is 20% live-action with humans shot on location and 80% live-action mixed with CG elements. "It's a CG film with live-action in it," Legato says.

Sources close to the studio admit there was a time when it was terrified that Cameron's process wouldn't work. Execs relaxed a tad when they got to see finished footage. Giving Cameron and Weta Digital in New Zealand (where substantial rebates make everything cheaper) extra post-production time made sense.

The later release date leaves exhibitors time to add more 3-D screens. The movie could go out on a three-tiered basis: high-ticket super-charged Imax 3-D, regular 3-D and old-fashioned 2-D -- unless Cameron gets his way and refuses to show the movie on 2-D. That's a tough one, as 3-D capability exists in only about 1,000 North American screens and a few hundred overseas.

More are scheduled to be built in the next year, but several senior execs at rival studios predict Cameron will persuade Fox to push the movie back, because the prospect of releasing a $300 million movie on 1,500 screens worldwide is too nerve-wracking.

Fox is sharing the negative cost with several hedge funds to protect its downside. With 14 months to go, the final budget is hard to estimate, depending on whether Cameron does a lot of last-minute tweaking, and the film's running time, which should wind up at about 2½ hours.

ESTIMATED COST: $250 million to $300 million. Cameron knows how to play to the mainstream -- fanboys, soccer moms, trailer park dads, city folk and overseas auds. His goal is to change motion pictures as we know them. Fox could score another global commercial blockbuster.


THE KUDOS PLAY

David Fincher is whittling down "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," starring Brad Pitt as a man who ages backward, to about 2½ hours.

"Button" had a long and tricky gestation before Paramount gave it the greenlight. Producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall brought the movie to Fincher, who brought in Pitt, but cost and visual effects concerns bedeviled the project until Brad Grey took over as chairman of the studio and asked, "Do we have anything for Brad Pitt?"

Trained at ILM, which Fincher has called his film school, the filmmaker was well-suited to meeting the greatest challenge: creating a believable Button from his birth as an old man/baby to his death as a baby/old man. The use of Digital Domain CG and makeup effects to put Pitt's head on varying-sized bodies is not an issue, judging by the 20 minutes of footage screened at the Telluride Fest Aug. 29 (which Fincher described as a "palate cleanser").

Shot in New Orleans, the movie starts at the end of World War I and moves through Button's life (WWII, romantic entanglements with Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton, etc.) all the way to his deathbed. It has taken the director some time to trim the movie to two hours and 38 minutes. He loses his final cut above 2½ hours, but the studio has worked with him. Meanwhile Fincher is taking his next, "Heavy Metal," to Sony. (Par passed.)

Fincher's previous film, "Zodiac," grossed $84 million worldwide. The question is whether "Button" is a $150 million art film, or an emotionally accessible movie with broad appeal. Par exec Brad Weston insists it is both.

"It has an old-fashioned, epic, feel-good quality," says Weston. "It's not dark or brooding. It's a big movie about life that will be appealing to everybody."

One on-lot recruited test screening went well enough to push the studio to open the movie wide on Christmas Day.

ESTIMATED COST: $150 million-$170 million. The studio is sharing 50-50 with Warner Bros. In order to make back its costs (including marketing, especially through award season), the movie has to win over critics and audiences alike.


THE OXYMORON

Director Spike Jonze has never made a wide-audience commercial studio movie. His highest-grossing pics, New Line's "Being John Malkovich" and Sony's "Adaptation," were considered arthouse crossovers, grossing $46.4 million and $32 million worldwide, respectively.

He has never made a family movie, nor a visual effects picture.

Thus it is not a huge surprise that his and Dave Eggers' adaptation of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" has run into some turbulence at Warner Bros., which took the $75 million-budget movie in turnaround from Universal.

Jonze's initial idea was to shoot the wild things in nine-foot suits with animatronic faces in the jungles of Australia and New Zealand. CG-faces would be required. After a disastrous December 2007 preview of Jonze's first cut, the studio shut down the project. The movie is "dark, adult and deep," wrote Cinemaniac1979 on aint-it-cool-news, "heart-wrenching and scary. This isn't a movie for children -- it's a movie about childhood."

Jonze did reshoots a year after he first shot the movie, mostly of the young lead, Max Record. About 10 minutes were added: two scenes at the start and one at the end.

"We wanted more emotion for the story on the whole," says Warners president Jeff Robinov, who will screen the new cut this month. "He's making a Spike Jonze family movie. I can't tell you how young it's going to play or its intensity. It's magical and beautifully shot. It was a long process to end up in a good place." The visual effects won't be added until Jonze has locked the final cut.

ESTIMATED COST: $78 million-$80 million. While the studio is aiming for a fall 2009 release, the movie doesn't seem to be the family-friendly commercial picture the studio had in mind.


The above "estimated costs" are from within each studio, but the figures may be much higher. While some are likely to fret over such pricetags, it's doubtful if these mark the end of this trend. Megabudget pics may be another signal that Hollywood is moving in two simultaneous directions: behemoth event pics, and smaller personal films -- with little middle ground.
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« Reply #43 on: 15-09-2008, 01:05:34 »
jebi ga, trebalo je da čoek umre (tačnije, obesi se) pre neki dan, pa da pročitam ovaj njegov davni i mega-odlični članak – najzad još neko ko, kao ja, misli da je kameron puko počev od T2 i da je ovo posle toga čist kreativni brodolom čoveka koji je toliko obećao sa svoja prva 2 filma (ne računam piranu 2)!

OVO JE TEXT NAD KOJIM VREDI MEDITIRATI (iako u suštini ne kazuje ništa što nama danas nije bolno očigledno):



F/X PORN
David Foster Wallace
Waterstone's Magazine
Winter/Spring 1998

What's the difference between a Hollywood special-effects blockbuster like "Terminator 2" and a hard-core porn film? Very little, claims novelist, essayist and footnote fetishist David Foster Wallace.
________________________________________
1990s moviegoers who have sat clutching their heads in both awe and disappointment at movies like "Twister" and "Volcano" and "The Lost World" can thank James Cameron's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" for inaugurating what's become this decade's special new genre of big-budget film: Special Effects Porn. "Porn" because, if you substitute F/X for intercourse, the parallels between the two genres become so obvious they're eerie. Just like hard-core cheapies, movies like "Terminator 2" and "Jurassic Park" aren't really "movies" in the standard sense at all. What they really are is half a dozen or so isolated, spectacular scenes -- scenes comprising maybe twenty or thirty minutes of riveting, sensuous payoff -- strung together via another sixty to ninety minutes of flat, dead, and often hilariously insipid narrative.

"T2," one of the highest-grossing movies in history, opened six years ago. Think of the scenes we all still remember. That incredible chase and explosion in the L.A. sluiceway and then the liquid metal T-1000 Terminator walking out of the explosion's flames and morphing [1] seamlessly into his Martin-Milner-as-Possessed-by-Hannibal-Lecter corporeal form. The T-1000 rising hideously up out of that checkerboard floor, the T-1000 melting headfirst through the windshield of that helicopter, the T-1000 freezing in liquid nitrogen and then collapsing fractally apart. These were truly spectacular images, and they represented exponential advances in digital F/X technology. But there were at most maybe eight of these incredible sequences, and they were the movie's heart and point; the rest of "T2" is empty and derivative, pure mimetic polycelluloid.

It's not that "T2" is totally plotless or embarrassing -- and it does, admittedly, stand head and shoulders above most of the F/X Porn blockbusters that have followed it. It's rather that "T2" as a dramatic narrative is slick and cliche and calculating and in sum an appalling betrayal of 1984's "The Terminator." "T1," which was James Cameron's first feature film and had a modest budget and was one of the two best U.S. action movies of the entire 1980s [2], was a dark, breathlessly kinetic, near-brilliant piece of metaphysical Ludditism. Recall that it's A.D. 2027 and that there's been a nuclear holocaust in 1997 and that chip-driven machines now rule, and "Skynet," the archonic _diabolus_ ex_ machina_, develops a limited kind of time-travel technology and dispatches the now classically cyborgian A. Schwarzenegger back to 1984's Los Angeles to find and terminate one Sarah Connor, the mother-to-be of the future leader of the human "Resistance," one John Connor [3]; and that apparently the Resistance itself somehow gets one-time-only access to Skynet's time-travel technology and sends back to the same space-time coordinates a Resistance officer, the ever-sweaty but extremely tough and resourceful Kyle Reese, to try desperately to protect Ms. Sarah Connor from the Terminator's prophylactic advances [4], and so on. It is, yes, true that Cameron's Skynet is basically Kubrick's HAL, and that most of "T1"'s time-travel paradoxes are reworkings of some fairly standard Bradbury-era science fiction themes, but "The Terminator" still has a whole lot to recommend it. There's the inspired casting of the malevolently cyborgian Schwarzenegger as the malevolently cyborgian Terminator, the role that made Ahnode a superstar and for which he was utterly and totally perfect (e.g. even his goofy 16-r.p.m. Austrian accent added a perfect little robofascist tinge to the Terminator's dialogue [5]). There's the first of Cameron's two great action heroines [6] in Sarah Connor, as whom the limpid-eyed and lethal-lipped Linda Hamilton also turns in the only great performance of her career. There is the dense, greasy, marvelously machinelike look of "The Terminator"'s mechanized F/X [7]; there are the noirish lighting and Dexedrine pace that compensate ingeniously for the low budget and manage to establish a mood that is both exhilarating and claustrophobic [8]. Plus "T1"'s story had at its center a marvelous "Appointment-in-Samarra"-like irony of fate: we discover in the course of the film that Kyle Reese is actually John Connor's father [9], and thus that if Skynet hadn't built its nebulous time machine and sent back the Terminator, Reese wouldn't have been back here in '84, either, to impregnate Sarah C. This also entails that meanwhile, up in A.D. 2027, John Connor has had to send the man he knows is his father on a mission that J.C. knows will result in both that man's death and his (i.e. J.C.'s) own birth. The whole ironic mess is simultaneously Freudian and Testamental and is just extraordinarily cool for a low-budget action movie.

Its big-budget sequel adds only one ironic paradox to "The Terminator"'s mix: in "T2," we learn that the "radically advanced chip" [10] on which Skynet's CPU is (will be) based actually came (comes) from the denuded and hydraulically pressed skull of "T1"'s defunct Terminator...meaning that Skynet's attempts to alter the flow of history bring about not only John Connor's birth but Skynet's own, as well. All "T2"'s other important ironies and paradoxes, however, are unfortunately unintentional and generic and kind of sad.

Note, for example, the fact that "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," a movie about the disastrous consequences of humans relying too heavily on computer technology, was itself unprecedently computer-dependent. George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic, subcontracted by Cameron to do "T2"'s special effects, had to quadruple the size of its computer graphics department for the T-1000 sequences, sequences which also required digital-imaging specialists from around the world, thirty-six state-of-the-art Silicon Graphics computers, and terabytes of specially invented software programs for seamless morphing, realistic motion, digital "body socks," background-plate compatibility, congruence of lighting and grain, etc. And there is no question that all the lab work paid off: in 1991, "Terminator 2"'s special effects were the most spectacular and real-looking anybody had ever seen. They were also the most expensive.

"T2" is thus also the first and best instance of a paradoxical law that appears to hold true for the entire F/X Porn genre. It is called the Inverse Cost and Quality Law, and it states very simply that the larger a movie's budget is, the shittier that movie is going to be. The case of "T2" shows that much of the ICQL's force derives from simple financial logic. A film that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make is going to get financial backing if and only if its investors can be maximally -- _maximally_ -- sure that at the very least they will get their hundreds of millions of dollars back [11] -- i.e. a megabudget movie must not fail (and "failure" here means anything less than a runaway box-office hit) and must thus adhere to certain reliable formulae that have been shown by precedent to maximally ensure a runaway hit. One of the most reliable of these formulae involves casting a superstar who is "bankable" (i.e. whose recent track record of films shows a high ROI). The studio backing for "T2'''s wildly sophisticated and digital F/X therefore depends on Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger agreeing to reprise his Terminator role. Now the ironies start to stack, though, because it turns out that Schwarzenegger -- or perhaps more accurately "Schwarzenegger, Inc.," or "Ahnodyne" -- has decided that playing any more malevolent cyborgs would compromise the Leading Man image his elite and bankable record of ROI entails. He will do the film only if "T2"'s script is somehow engineered to make the Terminator the Good Guy. Not only is this vain and stupid and shockingly ungrateful [12], it is also common popular knowledge, duly reported in both the trade and the popular entertainment media before "T2" even goes into production. There's consequently a weird postmodern tension to the way we watch the film; we're aware of what the bankable star's demands were, and we're also aware of how much the movie cost and how important bankable stars are to a big-budget movie; and so one of the few things that keeps us on the edge of our seats during the movie is our suspense about whether James Cameron can possibly weave a plausible, non-cheesy narrative that meets Schwarzenegger's career needs without betraying "T1"'s precedent.

Cameron does not succeed, at least not in avoiding heavy cheese. Recall the premise he settles on for "T2": that Skynet once again uses its (apparently not all that limited) time-travel device, this time to send a far more advanced liquid metal T-1000 Terminator back to 1990s L.A., this time to kill the ten-year-old John Connor (played by the extremely annoying Edward Furlong [13], whose voice keeps cracking pubescently and who's just clearly older than ten), and that the intrepid human Resistance has somehow captured, subdued, and "reprogrammed" an old Schwarzenegger-model Terminator -- resetting its CPU's switch from TERMINATE to PROTECT, apparently [14] -- and then has somehow once again gotten one-time access to Skynet's time-travel technology [15] and sent the Schwarzenegger Terminator back to protect young J.C. from the T-1000's infanticidal advances. [16]

Cameron's premise is financially canny and artistically dismal: it permits "Terminator 2"'s narrative to clank along on the rails of all manner of mass-market formulae. There is, for example, no quicker or easier ingress to the audience's heart than to present an innocent child in danger, and of course protecting an innocent child from danger is heroism at its most generic. Cameron's premise also permits the emotional center of "T2" to consist of the child and the Terminator "bonding," which in turn allows for all manner of familiar and reliable devices. Thus it is that "T2" offers us cliche explorations of stuff like the conflicts between Emotion and Logic (territory already mined to exhaustion by "Star Trek") and between Human and Machine (turf that's been worked in everything from "Lost in Space" to "Blade Runner" to "Robocop"), as well as exploiting the good old Alien - or - Robot - Learns - About - Human - Customs - and - Psychology - From - Sarcastic - and/or - Precocious - but - Basically - Goodhearted - Human - with - Whom - It - Bonds formula (q.q.v. here "My Favorite Martian" and "E.T." and "Starman" and "The Brother From Another Planet" and "Harry and the Hendersons" and "Alf" and ad almost infinitum). Thus it is that the 85% of "T2" that is not mind-blowing digital F/X sequences subjects us to dialogue like: "Vhy do you cry?" and "Cool! My own Terminator!" and "Can you not be such a dork all the time?" and "This is intense!" and "Haven't you learned that you can't just go around killing people?" and "It's OK, Mom, he's here to help" and "I know now vhy you cry, but it's somesing I can never do"; plus to that hideous ending where Schwarzenegger gives John a cyborgian hug and then voluntarily immerses himself in molten steel to protect humanity from his neural net CPU, raising that Fonziesque thumb as he sinks below the surface [17], and the two Connor hug and grieve, and then poor old Linda Hamilton -- whose role in "T2" requires her not only to look like she's been doing nothing but Nautilus for the last several years but also to keep snarling and baring her teeth and saying stuff like "Don't fuck with me!" and "Men like you know nothing about really creating something!" and acting half-crazed with paramilitary stress, stretching Hamilton way beyond her thespian capacities and resulting in what seems more than anything like a parody of Faye Dunaway in "Mommy Dearest" -- has to give us that gooey "I face the future with hope, because if a Terminator can learn the value of human life, maybe we can, too" voiceover at the very end.

The point is that head-clutchingly insipid stuff like this puts an ever heavier burden of importance on "T2"'s digital effects, which now must be stunning enough to distract us from the formulaic void at the story's center, which in turn means that even more money and directional attention must be lavished on the film's F/X. This sort of cycle is symptomatic of the insidious three-part loop that characterizes Special Effects Porn --

ONE: Astounding digital dinosaur / tornado / volcano / Terminator effects that consume almost all the director's creative attention and require massive financial commitment on the part of the studio;

TWO: A consequent need for guaranteed megabuck ROI, which entails the formulaic elements and easy sentiment that will assure mass appeal (plus will translate easily into other languages and cultures, for those important foreign sales...);

THREE: A director -- often one who's shown great talent in earlier, less expensive films -- who is now so consumed with realizing his spectacular digital vision, and so dependent on the studio's money to bring the F/X off, that he has neither the leverage nor the energy to fight for more interesting or original plots / themes / characters.

-- and thus yields the two most important corollary formulations of the Inverse Cost and Quality Law:

(ICQL(a)) The more lavish and spectacular a movie's special effects, the shittier that movie is going to be in all non-F/X respects. For obvious supporting examples of ICQL (a), see lines 1-2 of this article and/or also "Jurassic Park," "Independent Day," "Forrest Gump," etc.

(ICQL (b)) There is no quicker or more efficient way to kill what is interesting and original about an interesting, original young director than to give that director a huge budget and lavish F/X resources. The number of supporting examples of ICQL (b) is sobering. Have a look, e.g., at the difference between Rodriguez's "El Mariachi" and his "From Dusk to Dawn," between DeBont's "Speed" and "Twister," between Gilliam's "Brazil" and "Twelve Monkeys," between Bigelow's "Near Dark" and "Strange Days." Or chart Cameron's industry rise and artistic decline from "T1" and "Aliens" through "T2" and "The Abyss" to -- dear Lord -- "True Lies." U.S. entertainment media report that Cameron's new "Titanic," currently in American release, is (once again) the most expensive and technically ambitious film of all time. Doubtless, Britons have been pricing trenchcoats and lubricants in anticipation of its arrival in the UK.
________________________________________
FOOTNOTES

[1] (Actually defined in the film as "mimetic polyalloy," whatever that's supposed to mean.)

[2] The 1980s other B.U.S.A.M. was Cameron's second feature, the 1986 "Aliens," also modestly budgeted, also both hair-raising and deeply intelligent.

[3] (Whose initials, for a prophesied saviour of humanity, are not particularly subtle.)

[4] The fact that what Skynet is attempting is in effect a retroactive abortion, together with the fact that "terminate a pregnancy" is a pretty well-known euphemism, led the female I first saw the movie with in 1984 to claim, over coffee and pie afterwards, that "The Terminator" was actually one long pro-choice allegory, which I said I thought was not w/o merit but maybe a bit too simplistic to do the movie real justice, which led to kind of an unpleasant row.

[5] Consider, for example, the now famous "I'll be back" line took on a level of ominous historical resonance when uttered by an unstoppable killing machine with a _German_ accent. This was chilling and brilliant commercial postmodernism at its best; but it is also what made "Terminator 2"'s in-joke of having Ahnode repeat the line in a good-guy context is so disappointing.

[6] It is a complete mystery why feminist film scholars haven't paid more attention to Cameron and his early collaborator Gale Ann Hurd. "The Terminator" and "Aliens" were both violent action films with tough, competent female protagonists (incredibly rare) whose toughness and competence in no way diminish their "femininity" (even more rare, unheard of), a femininity that is rooted (along with both films' thematics) in notions of maternity rather than just sexuality. For example, compare Cameron's Ellen Ripley with the panty-and-tank-top Ripley of Scott's "Alien." In fact it was flat-out criminal that Sigourney Weaver didn't win the '86 Oscar for her lead in Cameron's "Aliens." Marlee Matlin indeed. No male lead in the history of U.S. action films even approaches Weaver's second Ripley for emotional depth and sheer balls -- she makes Stallone, Willis, et. al. look muddled and ill.
[7] (There is a ponderous, marvelous built-looking quality (complete with ferrous clanks and/or pneumatic hisses) that -- oddly enough -- at roughly the same time also distinguishes the special effects of Gilliam's "Brazil" and Paul Verhoeven's "Robocop." This was not cool only because the effects were themselves cool, but also because here were three talented young tech-minded directors who rejected the airy, hygenic look of Spielberg's and Lucas's F/X. The grimy density and preponderance of metal in Cameron's effects suggested that he was looking all the way back to Méliès and Lang for visual inspiration.)

[8] (Cameron would raise the use of light and pace to near-perfection in "Aliens," where just six alien-suited stuntmen and ingenious quick-cut editing resulted in some of the most terrifying Teeming Rapacious Horde scenes of all time. (By the way, sorry to be going on and on about "Aliens" and "The Terminator." It's just that they're great, great, commercial cinema, and nobody talks about them enough, and they're a big reason why "T2" was such a tragic and insidious development not only for 90s films but for James Cameron, whose first two films had genius in them.))

[9] (So actually I guess it would be more like "Luke Skywalker's Appointment in Samarra" -- nobody said this was Art-Cinema or anything.)

[10] (Viz. a "neutral net processor" based on an "uncooled superconductor," which I grieve to report is a conceit ripped off from Douglas Trumbull's 1983 "Brainstorm.")]

[11] The industry term for getting your money back plus that little bit of extra that makes investing in a movie a decent investment is ROI, which is short for Return on Investment.
[12] Because Schwarzenegger -- compared to whom Chuck Norris is Olivier -- is not an actor or even a performer. He is a body, a form -- the closest thing to an actual machine in the history of the S.A.G. Ahnode's elite bankable status in 1991 was due entirely to the fact that James Cameron had had the genius to understand Schwarzenegger's essential bionism and to cast him in "T1."

[13] It augurs ill for both Furlong and Cameron that within minutes of John Connor's introduction in the film we're rooting vigorously for him to be Terminated.
[14] A complex and interesting scene where John and Sarah actually open up the Terminator's head and remove Ahnode's CPU and do some further reprogramming -- a scene where we learn a lot more about neural net processors and Terminative anatomy, and where Sarah is strung out and has kind of an understandable anti-Terminator prejudice and wants to smash the CPU while she can, and where John asserts his nascent command presence and basically orders her not to -- was cut from the movie's final version. Cameron's professed rational for cutting the scene was that the middle of the movie "dragged" and that the scene was too complex: "I could account for the Terminator's behavior changes much more simply." I submit that the Cameron of "T1" and "Aliens" wouldn't have talked this way. But another big-budget formula for ensuring ROI is that things must be made as simple for the audiences as possible; plot and character implausibilities are to be handled through distraction rather than resolved through explanation.

[15] (Around which the security must be shockingly lax.)
[16] That's the movie's main plot, but let's observe here that one of "T2'''s subplots actually echoes Cameron's Schwarzenegger dilemma and creates a kind of weird meta-cinematic irony. Whereas "T1" had argued for a certain kind of metaphysical passivity (i.e., fate is unavoidable, and Skynet's attempts to alter history serve only bring it about.) "Terminator 2"'s metaphysics are more active. In "T2," the Connors take a page from Skynet's book and try to head off the foreordained nuclear holocaust, first by trying to kill Skynet's inventor and then by destroying Cyberdyne's labs and the 1st Terminator's CPU (though why John Connor spends half the movie carrying the deadly CPU chip around in his pocket instead of just throwing it under the first available steamroller remains unclear and irksome). The point here is that the protagonists' attempts to revise the "script" of history in "T2" parallel the director's having to muck around with "T2"'s own script in order for Schwarzenegger to be in the movie. Multivalent ironies like this -- which require that film audiences know all kinds of behind-the-scenes stuff from watching Entertainment Tonight and reading Premiere magazine -- are not commercial postmodernism at it's finest.

[17] (His hair doesn't quite catch on fire in the molten steel, though, which provokes intriguing speculation on what it's supposed to be made of.)
________________________________________
[The author of the novel "Infinite Jest," David Foster Wallace has been called by The Guardian's James Wood "a superb comedian of culture." His new book, "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," is a collection of sharp, playful and humorous essays that touch on everything from David Lynch to the equivocal relationship between novelists and television. Full of astonishing verbal dexterity, impish wit and off-the-wall analysis, the is fresh, funny and hugely entertaining.

"A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" is published in paperback by Abacus on 5 February at £6.99]

crippled_avenger

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E sad više nema zajebavanja! Tatko se vratio. Kreće AVATAR
« Reply #44 on: 04-12-2008, 12:03:25 »
Cameron says he can't live up to 'Avatar' hype
The Associated PressPublished: December 3, 2008

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LOS ANGELES: Director James Cameron said Tuesday that his upcoming big-budget 3-D movie "Avatar" couldn't possibly live up to the hype on the Internet ahead of its release late next year.

The Internet has been buzzing about the sci-fi thriller shot with motion-capture technology and the 3-D camera system he helped develop with partner Vince Pace. There are even movie trailers made by fans that apparently have nothing to do with the movie.

"Whatever they think it's going to be, it's probably not," Cameron said on the sidelines of a conference on 3-D entertainment in Los Angeles.

The $200 million movie is in production ahead of its planned Dec. 18, 2009 release and Cameron does not yet have a trailer prepared.

"We are making the movie in blocks. You can't cut a great trailer right now because so much of the movie would be unrepresented," he said.

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When asked about high expectations, the director of all-time U.S. box office record holder "Titanic" said he had stopped trying to meet them.

"I went out and got drunk, contemplated the whole thing and got over it," he said, adding, however, that "Avatar" was "really cool" and "groundbreaking" for its combination of motion capture, computer graphics and live action.

"Sometimes we stop working on it and just stare at it because it's just mesmerizing," he said.

He said he had not met with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. executives about the marketing plan, but that the movie studio did not want to put out anything too early. The studio is a unit of News Corp.

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Harvester

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Hm...
« Reply #45 on: 04-12-2008, 16:26:45 »
Quote
"Avatar" couldn't possibly live up to the hype


He got THAT right!  :evil:

Ghoul

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« Reply #46 on: 23-12-2008, 22:46:26 »


(da, glup je fazon, al nekako mi se čini prikladnim...)
 :roll:  :oops:

crippled_avenger

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« Reply #47 on: 12-03-2009, 16:54:35 »
Hey folks, Harry here... Got an email from a panicky ABking pointing to this story over at Marketsaw regarding an alleged 8 Trailers that Fox has cut for AVATAR that were then all rejected by James Cameron due to their inherent lameness. Plus rumors on ShoWest, and even some particularly off-putting rumor about Spielberg & Jackson on TINTIN (also not true btw). Now - shortly after the email from ABking - I began getting a flood of similar emails from some of you other readers also wanting me to address this story.

So I wrote Cameron to get his reaction and here's what he wrote back this afternoon...

Harry,

Good to hear from you. As usual the rumor mill is grinding out mostly spurious stuff. I have no plans at present to go to Showest, and in any event we have decided not to unveil material there.

As to the trailer story, I have no idea where that came from but I haven't rejected any trailers (yet) since I haven't seen any yet. They're still working on them for presentation, which presumably will be soon. I'm sure I'll reject a couple once I have the chance. Right now I'm just focused on having a movie to sell.

The cut is shaping up nicely and the stuff coming in from Weta Digital is astonishing. Every once in a while, as we are absorbed in some intensely detailed discussion about sub-surface scattering or the way a tail is moving in the animation, I'll just stop and have this moment of clarity, as if seeing it for the first time. And I realize that's what the lunar astronauts must have felt like. They'd be in the middle of some complex set of procedures and they'd look out the window and go "Oh, yeah. That's the frickin' moon!" It feels like that.

Anyway, back to the grind.

Jim out




So there you go, that's where things are currently on AVATAR.
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crippled_avenger

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« Reply #48 on: 24-03-2009, 11:36:11 »
The Next Dimension
By Josh Quittner Thursday, Mar. 19, 2009Cameron, center, revolutionized the 3-D business with his Fusion high-definition video cameras.
Art Streiber for TIME
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The lights dim in the screening room. Suddenly, the doomed Titanic fills the screen--but not the way I remember in the movie. The luxury liner is nearly vertical, starting its slide into the black Atlantic, and Leonardo DiCaprio is hanging on for life, just like always. But this time, I am too. 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. (See the 100 best movies of all time.)

Had digital 3-D been available a dozen or so years ago when he shot Titanic, he'd have used it, director James Cameron tells me later. "But I didn't have it at the time," he says ruefully. "Certainly every film I'm planning to do will be in 3-D."

Digital 3-D, which has slowly been gaining steam over the past few years, is finally ready for its closeup. Just about every top director and major studio is doing it--a dozen movies are slated to arrive this year, with dozens more in the works for 2010 and beyond. These are not just animations but live-action films, comedies, dramas and documentaries. Cameron is currently shooting a live-action drama, Avatar, for Fox in 3-D. Disney and its Pixar studio are releasing five 3-D movies this year alone, including a 3-D-ified version of Toy Story. George Lucas hopes to rerelease his Star Wars movies in 3-D. And Steven Spielberg is currently shooting Tintin in it, with Peter Jackson doing the 3-D sequel next year. Live sports and rock concerts in 3-D have been showing up at digital theaters around the U.S. nearly every week.

With the release on March 27 of Monsters vs. Aliens, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head of DreamWorks Animation SKG, is betting the future of his studio on digital 3-D. While he's not the first to embrace the technology, he has become its most vocal evangelist, asserting that digital 3-D is now good enough to make it--after sound and color--the third sea change to affect movies. "This really is a revolution," he says.

Over the past few years, Katzenberg has repositioned DreamWorks as a 3-D-animation company. From Monsters on, all its movies will be made, natively, in 3-D. (Many animation studios create the 3-D effect in postproduction.) That's a pretty big commitment since 3-D involves even more computer power than usual. The DreamWorks crew invokes "Shrek's law," which holds that every sequel takes about twice as long to render--create a final image from models--as the movie that preceded it. Authoring the movie in 3-D effectively doubles the time called for by Shrek's law.

That requires an extreme amount of horsepower--the computational power of DreamWorks' render farm puts it roughly among the 15 fastest supercomputers on the planet. The studio partnered with Hewlett-Packard and Intel and built an enormous test bed on more than 17,500 sq. ft. in California. The Silicon Valley companies are hot on 3-D because they believe it's how people will navigate the Web and the desktops of their PCs and that it will be standard on computers and HDTVs.

At DreamWorks, I watched a Monsters filmmaker peer through an elaborate camera rig that allowed him to "previsualize" a scene before shooting it. As he panned across the room we were standing in, he flew over a computer-generated 3-D image of the White House war room--the set for a scene in which the President (voiced by Stephen Colbert) meets with his staff to discuss an alien invasion. The camera let the director precisely manage the z-axis and decide which elements in the background, midground and foreground needed to be lit and focused.


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Katzenberg says going 3-D adds about 15% to his costs--which is nothing compared with the profits studios anticipate as the digital transformation takes hold. Digital 3-D movies usually gross at least three times as much as their flat-world counterparts--thanks in part to the higher ticket prices and longer runs they garner. Another benefit: 3-D films are far more difficult for digital-camera-toting moviegoers to pirate. (See pictures of movie costumes.)

Beyond the venal, however, filmmakers say that 3-D, like sound and color, really breaks down the barrier between audience and movie. "At some level, I believe that almost any movie benefits from 3-D," Lord of the Rings director Jackson says. "As a filmmaker, I want you to suspend disbelief and get lost in the film--participate in the film rather than just observe it. On that level, 3-D can only help."

3-D Movies, Take 8
If the return of the 3-D movie sounds like a rerun, that's because it is. By some counts, this is 3-D's eighth incarnation, and to date, it hasn't exactly revolutionized the industry. The first stereoscopic movies appeared in the U.S. before the last Great Depression, disappeared, then enjoyed a schmaltzy revival in the 1950s with such blockbusters as House of Wax (1953). They've cropped up intermittently ever since, typically attached to high-camp vehicles like Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1973).

"To me, 3-D has always been the circus coming to town," says Daniel Symmes, a 3-D historian and film-industry veteran. Symmes worked on the soft-core 3-D hit The Stewardesses, which was produced in 1969 for around $100,000. It grossed more than $27 million, making it the most profitable 3-D movie ever. Symmes scoffs at today's digital 3-D and its big budgets and says it's déjà vu. "Does the circus stay around?" he says. "No. If it does, attendance drops off, the novelty is gone and the circus goes away."

But proponents say digital 3-D is a different animal from the analog stuff that came before 2005. Viewers often wore cardboard glasses with red and cyan cellophane lenses (similar to but somewhat different from what you see in this magazine). As just about everyone knows, old-school 3-D was less than awesome. Colors looked washed out. Some viewers got headaches. A few vomited. "Making your customers sick is not a recipe for success," Katzenberg likes to say.

It was cumbersome to produce too. In the old days, two 65-mm, 150-lb. film cameras--each shooting the same scene in sync--were used to make a 3-D picture. The gap between the lenses simulates the space between our eyes, adding space perception. But with film, you never knew how the shot would turn out until later.

The birth of high-definition, digital filmmaking changed all that. Cameron and an associate, Vince Pace, developed the 3-D-capable Fusion camera system, which is cheaper, smaller--13 lb. each--and way more versatile than the old film rigs. "Every movie I made, up until Tintin, I always kept one eye closed when I've been framing a shot," Spielberg told me. That's because he wanted to see the movie in 2-D, the way moviegoers would. "On Tintin, I have both of my eyes open."

A Beverly Hills company called Real D took the lead on the theater side. It leases out a kind of digital shutter system that sits in front of digital projectors, alternating the two views of each frame 144 times per sec.--fast enough to achieve stereovision. The new system uses polarization, rather than color-coding. Gone are the completely cheesy cardboard glasses, replaced with slightly less cheesy disposable plastic-frame glasses that have gray lenses. "Someday," predicts Katzenberg, "people will buy their own movie glasses, which they'll take to the movies--like people have their own tennis rackets."


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Even if you're willing to grant him the glasses, there's still one problem. For digital 3-D to work, the movie theater must first convert from analog to digital--that is, from reels of film to data feeds. Theaters have been slow to do it, citing the expense and security. Disney chairman Dick Cook is credited with breaking the initial logjam with Chicken Little in 2005. About 75 theaters converted to digital to show the film, and a surprising thing happened: 3-D theaters reported three to four times the box-office gross as those that showed the 2-D version. (All 3-D movies can easily be stepped down to 2-D and are typically shown in both forms.) That was the jump start digital 3-D needed. Katzenberg predicts that more than 2,000 theaters will be 3-D-ready by this week. (See the top 10 movie performances of 2008.)

But in this economy, will people spend as much as $15 a ticket for a movie? Katzenberg is optimistic, pointing out that consumers are cutting back on everything but cheap entertainment. "The movies have been the greatest beneficiary of this," he says. "So to offer a new, exciting premium version of a bargain will be a big winner."

The Future of 3-D
Cameron's Avatar, due in December, could be the thing that forces theaters to convert to digital. Spielberg predicts it will be the biggest 3-D live-action film ever. 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.

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.

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 original version of this story misstated the cost of the film Avatar as being in excess of $300 million. The correct figure is in excess of $200 million.
Nema potrebe da zalis me, mene je vec sram
Nema potrebe da hvalis me, dobro ja to znam

cutter

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Re: E sad više nema zajebavanja! Tatko se vratio. Kreće AVATAR
« Reply #49 on: 26-05-2009, 06:30:31 »
Ovo bi trebalo da je power odelo.