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Laz Alonso Already Calling Cameron's Avatar a Revolution

by
April 6, 2009
Source: Collider

Laz Alonso

With eight more months left to go, I'm trying not to over-hype James Cameron's Avatar, but sometimes I just can't help myself. Steve at Collider sent over an interview he did with actor Laz Alonso recently, pointing out that Alonso mentions that Avatar is part of a trilogy. That news was first confirmed way back in the day (see this MTV article from 2006), so that wasn't worth bringing up, but reading through the rest of the interview and the things he says about Avatar, I just had to feature it anyway. Alonso, who plays a character named Tsu'Tey, did eventually talk about how even he believes it will revolutionize cinema.

We've heard it from Joel Moore, we've heard it from Jon Favreau, we've heard it from Josh Quittner. Everyone who has seen the footage from Avatar has said it's phenomenal. Alonso reiterates the same: "All I can say is that the technology is something that no one has ever seen or used before. We were being filmed by 197 cameras, simultaneously, in real time. It was something that took two and a half years to do, and when you see it this December, you're going to know why it took that long. It is just unrivaled by anything that my eyes have ever seen in cinema. It blew me away, when I saw some of the finished scenes."

While Alonso obviously couldn't talk about his character or the story, he did talk briefly about what it was like shooting with Cameron. "So, there's a whole ritual that takes place, at the beginning of the day, but once you get on set with Jim, you literally get transported into a different place. Once you're there, you're there, and you don't leave for the next 15 hours, until you wrap." Reminds me of the article I wrote last year about Cameron comparing working on Avatar to "trench warfare" - read that whole thing here. And speaking of over-hyping Avatar, Alonso spoke a bit more about just how revolutionary he thinks it'll be.

"I believe in my heart that Avatar is going to be the revolutionary sci-fi movie for this generation, in this era. I am always the guy who doesn't like to oversell because, in this business, you can get so excited about something and, if it doesn't pan out, you have egg on your face. But, this is one movie that I feel very, very confident selling, standing at the top of a mountain and screaming at the top of my lungs how great this movie is because I've seen it with my own two eyes."

Damnit, why isn't it December 18th yet?! Thankfully, in retrospect, we don't have too much longer to wait, given it's already April, and the summer movie season is coming up fairly soon. As I said, I'm trying not to build up my expectations too much, but when I consistently keep hearing things like this from almost everyone who has seen any footage, I can't help but be insanely excited for Avatar. And I know it's Alonso's job to try and sell the movie, but this interview felt very genuine, and his statements don't seem crafted for the sake of promotion, by any means. As always, we'll keep you updated on all the latest with Avatar.

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  • 197 cameras. Simultaneously. That is incredible.
  • skywarp
    This movie is going to be amazing. I hope it lives up to the hype.
  • AG
    A cinematic revolution? Like The Dark Knight?
  • Shane
    I am incredibly excited for this. I just hope the visuals effectively compliment the story without overshadowing it.
  • scotty
    "197 cameras, simultaneously, in real time" I'm thinking he means more of a motion capture rig rather than a live action scene. If not then I'm intrigued, how would you light and shoot something like that? Hidden cameras? I'm really unsure about this movie, the hype seems to be purely based on the technology being used rather than the film itself. Oh and without stating the obvious Cameron himself. The guys a genius so I'll just wait and see.
  • kindbuddy
    A cinematic revolution? Like The Dark Knight? AG on Apr 6, 2009 ---------------------------- That was a revolution for the comic adaptation genre....
  • John J
    I was at a Blade Runner screening with a Q&A with Ridley Scott in London recently and he said that what he saw of Avatar just blew him away and that his next film after Robin hood will be in 3D.
  • #7 - Aww crap, right! I meant to add the line "we've heard it from Ridley Scott," too! That just goes to show that EVERYONE has been blown away by the footage, no matter who it is!
  • Adam
    You also forgot Spielberg and Soderbergh.
  • Ray
    197 cameras filming at once suggests that all angles of the character and scene will be recorded. Maybe a head tracking 3d POV system??
  • Blake
    Considering December is just around the corner - and we've seen no footage and no trailer, I'm thinking Cameron better get his ass into gear and start marketing his new movie to the masses. Little articles like these on blogs and sites like this one, are not enough the bring in hordes of mainstream movie goers. Fox or whoever the studio is - need to begin churning out some content. WE'VE SEEN NOTHING YET!!!! Were's the proof about all this 3D stuff? None of us have seen a single image.
  • This movie is going to be terrible, horrible, the worst thing ever! (okay, okay... I don't really believe that in the slightest, I'm just trying to keep from over-hyping the movie and then being disappointed when it isn't the second coming of scifi.) :) Oh, and #11 - the reason Cameron has kept a tight lid on this is because he doesn't want to break the anticipation. If he releases a trailer and it's not everything the fans had hoped for, then the fanboys start dissing him on forums, reviewers will start panning the trailer, the studio will start asking questions... it's probably better that he keep this under his hat until at least Sept or so. There's always someone out there that's going to start hating on it.
  • bozoconnors
    Absolutely agree w/Pete - Honestly, this movie can't live up to the hype. Seriously, still 8 months to go and nothing but a couple of set photo's, some tech briefs, some celebrity comments, et al, and IT'S THE GREATEST MOVIE EVAH MAAAAADE IN HISTORY TIMEZ ONE GAZILLIONNN!!!! I'm the biggest sci-fi fan in the world, but guys... give it a rest already. Sheesh. It's not a surprise party unless it's a surprise. Feeling disappointed already actually. I hate the media.
  • Matt S
    Is anyone else extremely skeptical of "Avatar"? I'm sure technologically what they're doing is pretty spectacular, but how noticablyspectacular? I find it extremely hard to believe that it is so advanced that it is impossible to see the difference between the real stuff and the CGI stuff, or that it has conquered the UncannyValley (if I'm wrong I will choke on my words and bow at the feet of Mr. Cameron). Also, the fact that it may end up being the most expensive movie ever made doesn't give me a ton of hope for the story. Remember, "Titanic" was the most expensive film of it's time and it was no where near revolutionary in the narrative department. It was a story we'd heard a million times before, only it was set in an exciting setting. Which is understandable, who wants to spend $300 million reinventing the wheel, it might not even roll right in the end. But I still hope Avatar has a good script and not just fluff and Sci-Fi explosions. I know this is getting a ton of hype by a ton of people, but we live in an age of overhype. Everyone wants to believe that The Golden Age of film is happening in their lifetime, so it's really easy to convinceyourself of that sort of thing. SO many people were saying that "The Dark Knight" was one of the greatest films of all time.... Come on??? Yes, it is a really great movie, but I'm a firm believer that a statement like that needs at least a few years of hindsightbefore acuratelybeing able to make a decision with a level head and no hype surrounding it. Maybe Avatar will be a revolution, I don't know, but right now I'm still extremely sceptical..... I'm not a fan of hype. Last thought, how long will it take Hollywood to catch on to this supposed revolution, if it takes 197 cameras,two and a half years to just film, and insane ammounts of money??? That's pretty crazy, plus will this Sci-Fi story draw in the Titanic crowd at all? Even if they say in the ads "from the director of Titanic" will they care at all? And since this is a trilogy will there be an 11 year gap between each one, or will Cameronbe able to streamline his workflow a little better?
  • Timothy
  • maturin
    jim cameron is god
  • RandyG
    #16 maturin: jim cameron is god Not really, Cameron is just your average Canadian.
  • Trey
    very Interesting
  • John J
    Speilberg, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Soderbergh have all said that the film is gonna change cinema for ever, so who are we to disagree?
  • I'm still curious on how we are suppose to watch it when it comes to DVD? Are we going to have to buy a whole new DVD player with 3D compatible just to watch it?
  • Mr j Money
    I know this is a bad, bad, bad, analogy but it will probably be that technological bound that films like Star Wars, The Abyss & Jurassic Park prompted in their days. Technologically, they all seemed ahead of their time, It's definately time for one this decade.
  • Looks like Laz Alonso beat you to it, Alex.
  • Timothy
    # 20 It's been articulated clearly numerous times that Avatar WILL release in 2D at theaters. IN fact, it'll probably have more 2D theaters than 3D theaters. With that in mind, the DVD release will probably be like any other DVD release, with some kind of advanced 3D viewing probably further down the road. Either way, I can't see it not releasing a normal 2D version for DVD and Blue-Ray.
  • Blake
    @ #12 Pete The Geek -- Did it ever occur to you that the majority of movie goers around the world have never even heard of Avatar. There is no anticipation, outside the online circles of sci-fi nerds, fanboys and movie buffs. So your "anticipation" argument is moot.
  • Karl
    please Baby Jesus give Mr. Cameron the ability to have written good dialouge
  • Matt Stifler
    i heard there's going to be a trailer out for it by transformers 2

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