Jon Favreau Calls James Cameron's Avatar 'The Future'
Jon Favreau is another filmmaker who has really solidified his place in the cinematic world in directing Iron Man earlier this year. He's returning for Iron Man 2, which is a relief, but looking towards the future, the door is open for so much more. Instead of dwelling on Iron Man 2, though, Quint from Ain't It Cool News talked with Favreau in a recent interview about nearly everything else besides the sequel. And one area I was particularly interested in was his thoughts on James Cameron's Avatar, since he's one of the lucky few who has seen a few finished scenes from the film. "He's trying to present this format in a way where it is a game-changer and in seeing it I think it's the future," Favreau explains.
We've been covering Avatar very closely for the last year, publishing nearly every last interview that Cameron has done. However, we still haven't seen a single photo or anything from the film yet, but Favreau has. "I really liked the bits that I saw and I saw all the various stages of finished [footage], but he's a purist in the way he approaches things, and he's very meticulous." Favreau jumps into explaining how Cameron "likes to put on a big show" and strive for cinematic revolution. "He's really pushing the boundaries on motion capture, he's integrating live action with motion capture and CGI. It takes a painstaking technical approach to that. And he really wants to make it a very visceral, emotional experience."
"He's sort of tireless in how much he invests into it as far as his time and effort. You know, he doesn't make a lot of movies, so a lot of thought and effort goes into each one. And I think that he's trying to present this format in a way where it is a game-changer and in seeing it I think it's the future. I don't think it's a flash in the pan. I think it's going to open up a whole new door and I think more so than the glasses it becomes about how many screens could actually present it in its pristine form."
"The amount of screens is just growing at a very, very fast rate in the States and I think in Europe as well and I think Avatar is going to be the kind of movie that's an event that you have to go see and you want to see again just to understand what you're looking at. And then you still have his very effective storytelling. He really creates an adventure and draws you into it in the hero's journey sense of storytelling, the Joseph Campbell sense of storytelling."
Favreau adds that he has learned a great deal from Cameron in regards to motion capture and CGI and will be using similar techniques in Iron Man 2 because the way he made Avatar is such a technical revolution. "It is a game-changer from a production standpoint certainly in the way he's using motion capture and operating a camera within a volume... the line between animation and live action is blurring in many ways." He adds that even the typical process of filmmaking is changing due to Avatar. "The way that Jim's doing it, it's a much more organic process where post-production, production, and pre-production all sort of roll into one another and you're moving back and forth between those media."
I've been saying Avatar will be the next big cinematic revolution for years now, just because I believe James Cameron has achieved something truly spectacular. I don't think any of us can really grasp what it will be like at this very moment. We'll need to see it to believe it, because we can't even comprehend what it's all about until we get our first glimpse, which is why we haven't seen any photos yet. Hearing Favreau say these kind of things only further solidifies my hope that it will be the next revolution. I just get excited thinking about how amazing Avatar could be and how big of a leap forward it will be for cinema.
Quint's fantastic interview with Favreau also touches briefly on IMAX and why Favreau doesn't think it'll really work for Iron Man 2. He primarily believes that CGI at such a high resolution isn't entirely believable yet and it's a pain to lug around enormous cameras on set. I'm not entirely sure I can take his side, only because The Dark Knight looked so amazing, but it sounds like Iron Man 2 probably won't have any scenes shot in IMAX. Either way, I'm very excited to see Favreau take on Iron Man 2 because it seems like he's really going to push his own filmmaking boundaries even further than the first one. As for Avatar, I know I'm anxiously awaiting our first glimpse at the beautiful world the Cameron has created.