James Cameron Compares Avatar Work to Trench Warfare
It's about that time again that we had another update from James Cameron on Avatar. Our last update from Cameron was dated August 9th, so I'm glad we've finally got some new quotes. This time he makes an appearance on the Canadian talk show "The Hour" for a brief interview (you can watch the video below) and obviously talks about how challenging the post-production work is on the film. By the time we get to the December 18th release date next year, he'll have been working in post-production for over two years on Avatar. Not only is that an impressive feat on its own, but Cameron compares it to "trench warfare."
"We finished with the actors…. We're just in this kind of CG hell - trying to create a world from scratch," Cameron explains. "It's like trench warfare. We're working with computer-generated characters that we want to be photorealistic. Its been tough. We've set the bar high. We're just now getting the confidence that it's really going to work." Like Kevin Smith, I really love hearing Cameron talk about almost anything, because he's an absolute genius. Not only is he a great filmmaker, but he's brilliant with cinematic technology, too. While this is obviously grueling work that has "consumed all [his] life," Cameron admits that "its been simultaneously the hardest and the most rewarding film project" he's even worked on.
For the sake of comparison, Cameron throws out this statistic. In Terminator 2, there were 42 CG shots with characters, while in Avatar there are over 1700. They're "of creatures, and characters, and this whole world, an entire alien rainforest and ecosystem." I'm personally very excited for Avatar. But I'm also worried that those who aren't necessarily die-hard James Cameron fans are getting a bit tired of hearing about all this CG content in Avatar over and over. Not only are they concerned that this much CGI might hurt the film, but it's hard to get excited without actually seeing any photos or imagery at all.
Watch the complete interview with James Cameron on "The Hour" below (thanks to Anne Thompson). It's great to watch if you're a Cameron fan, otherwise stick with the quotes we've provided above.
What a better way to finish up this update on Avatar than with a bit of filmmaking wisdom from Cameron himself? He reveals that "I'm pretty passionate about what I do and try to inspire the other people working with me to give 100%… Deriding them doesn't work." That's a belief that everyone should stick to when working on anything. And while you might not necessarily think leadership is important for filmmakers, Cameron assures us that it is, even admitting that he's not the best leader himself. "I think I'm a good filmmaker, but I'm not a natural leader. I've had to teach myself that as I go along." Even if he's not the best leader, he still makes some great movies, and in the end that's what we really want to see the most.