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Friday, February 29, 2008

James Cameron's "Avatar" Secrets Revealed: Warning Spoilers !

**UPDATED (March 4th): Just wanted to clarify that until Cameron comes out and states otherwise, the original thought was that "Avatar" would be about 60% CGI. You can see the outdoor green screens here and here; they look ENORMOUS. However, there is a large live action component as well that Cameron must feel deserves the detailed set treatment - mainly interior shots it appears. Also it wouldn't take much to move the Biolabs from inside to the exterior green scene to create the environment. I also wanted to say that we don't know if they are creating life sized plants for this movie - though it would make sense to do so in some cases. Many flora shots would be CGI - my source was referring to "how others had the whole communication thing explained to them" by the powers at be. So whether it is exposed to the audience in a scientific way (sort of how in "Jurassic Park" they explained how they retrieved the DNA from dinosaurs) or whether they plan on "suspending belief" of the audience (i.e. unexplained) remains to be seen. Either way, it is an awesome premise and BEGS my curiosity. One thing is certain - science plays an interesting role in this movie; whether they keep the "theory" behind various communication techniques in a black box or expose it like in Jurassic Park is a guess at this point! My conjecture would be that Grace (Sigourney Weaver) explains it to someone and the audience (of course) listens in. If you want the details, highlight the white text below as it does contain spoilers.

Well I told ya it was coming and here it is.
Exclusive Avatar news you can't get anywhere else. Now a small caveat here: These notes are from a while back and some things may have changed during filming, but what has been noted DID EXIST at one point and these notes are authentic:

Got some VERY interesting news from one of my "Avatar" sources that was involved with getting this 3D motion picture made. AWESOME news in fact. In fact, you may not want to read this as there are definite mini-spoilers in this that may affect your viewing pleasure.

**SPOILERS BELOW** Highlight the white text below to read the contents:

My source was very clear on a number of things including some of the basis for the movie as well as how things looked inside the production buildings:

1. "Avatar" production set:

ON SHIPS:

There were hundreds of workers building the sets for Avatar - MDF was being thrown around like candy to make the sets as realistic as possible - and it was very successful. The transport ships for instance achieved a "matte steel appearance" that was undetectable. Those transport ships look pretty much like the new Battlestar Gallactica transports, but much bigger - like ten times bigger. These sets filled the interior of the set buildings in Wellington - to the rafters. All very real looking and NOT scaled down - it was all life size.

ON THE MESS HALL BUILDING:
This is mainly where the security forces interior scenes were shot. It was large (30 x 30 feet) made to look like steel construction with only a few windows to view the outside world. The feeling that was conveyed with this structure was that the soldiers were trying to bring their own home with them to this alien planet Pandora, and ignore what was happening outside - kind of like what happens when soldiers are deployed overseas today and they set up coffee shops, etc to keep from feeling terribly homesick. On the wall of the mess hall was a large US flag that takes up half the space - something like 10 x 15 feet) - this could indicate political overtones for the movie.

ON OTHER BUILDINGS:
There were other buildings being made that were for science related things. My source only saw these labs from the outside and they seemed very true to their nature. I spoke to some other workers and they said that they look like typical laboratories - one larger lab (about 30 x 30 feet) and one mobile lab (which was about 6 x 15 feet). Sigourney Weaver's character who plays Grace in "Avatar" spends a lot of time in a control room in the bigger one.

2. "Avatar" Story Basics:
ON THE ANIMALS:
Apparently the animals can communicate with the plants of Pandora, but my source was kind of hazy on that. Not only that, but the native Na'vi inhabitants take their own hair and weave it into the hair of Pandora's animals and can communicate that way to them!

ON THE PLANTS:
Many workers were talking about how they are using LED lights to show how plants "talk" to other plants on the planet. They use these lights to show how electrons move back and forth between plants through their root system. Again - my source didn't know much more than that. However, if you examine the plants in the photo here - you can see the luminosity that is being spoken of that seems to be present not only in the plants but also in the Na'vi natives of Pandora.

ON THE AVATARS:
A lot of speculation was taking place on the set about how the Avatar chambers work. This is where humans link up with their native avatars to kind of take over their bodies. The chambers were really very cool and if you can picture the cryo chambers in the Alien movies, take those and put them upright with a darker appearance. I suspect that Sigourney Weaver's Grace plays a key role in discovering the crucial communication methods and applying them to humans.


**SPOILERS ABOVE** Highlight the white text above to read the contents:

One can see a progression here of humans encountering this awesome alien communication system and then taking that idea, studying how it is done in the labs and then applying it to human to Na'vi avatar communication. At least that is my thoughts on it. Wow. This movie is going to really redefine the theater going experience! A great story, awesome effects and all in 3D. Man am I psyched. I also want to add that taking photos of the sets was impossible - so none are available (so far anyway).

Hopefully we will see some exciting new promo materials from Jim Cameron as also exclusively uncovered by my "Avatar" sources in the coming weeks...
As always, I will post new info as I receive it - unless the sensitivity is too extreme and my source asks me to hold back somewhat. This post for instance is missing some truly cool stuff but I cannot divulge it due to the fact it would closely label just who my source in this case is. Let's put it this way: I am smiling a lot more today... :-)

First two images courtesy of HDVideoPro

Time to Talk 3D Movie Rumors!

Well, there have been quite a few rumors and some have even been promoted to the official schedule, but as you can see on my Upcoming 3D Movie List - I include rumors as a category to make things interesting. Let's dive into these and see what bubbles to the surface shall we?

1. Transformers 2 (Paramount) (June 2009)
This could seriously happen. I have heard this a few times already and the thing still hasn't been written yet (although they have locked 3 writers in a room). Those effects would look AWESOME in 3D there is no doubt. Perhaps 3D is the only way to trump what has already been done regarding effects! Still a rumor though...

2. Baywatch 3D
(Spielberg/Reitman)
I have it from an exceptionally strong source that I trust dearly that Steven Spielberg and Ivan (not Jason) Reitman paid 7 figures for the movie rights to the all time most popular TV show. Yes, interesting things could be done with 3D effects in this movie to be certain, but what about the artistic value? I ask you - what about the art? Haha. We all know this movie would make a bazillion dollars.

3. Godzilla 3D
Well this has been planned for some time now but financing has always been an issue. It certainly has an international following especially in one smaller Asian country that rhymes with Kapan. Was Cloverfield enough for everyone or shall we revisit this in 3D? Time will tell.

4. The Hobbit Part 1 (2010) (New Line) (Peter Jackson) CONFIRMED. Waiting for official statement that it is in 3D. Lawsuit pending.
5. The Hobbit Part 2 (2011) (New Line) (Peter Jackson)
CONFIRMED. Waiting for official statement that it is in 3D.
Lawsuit pending.
Numbers 4 and 5 above are much stronger rumors than most. My direct sources within Peter Jackson's WETA are the reason why they are here. We know for instance that Jackson's camp held a large internal meeting to discuss the merits of 3D specifically and how they would pull it off. There is immense pressure to kick the Tolkien franchise up a notch and 3D is it. Now that Time/Warner is driving the ship and PJ is in their back pocket,
look for the lawsuits to be settled and "The Hobbit" to take flight. We are still calling for Guillermo del Toro to direct the first movie and PJ to helm the second. Will let you know if the air changes via my sources.

6. LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring (2012) (Re-released in 3D) (New Line) (Peter Jackson) Waiting for official announcement.
7. LOTR: The Two Towers (2013) (Re-released in 3D) (New Line) (Peter Jackson) Waiting for official announcement.
8. LOTR: The Return of the King (2014) (Re-released in 3D) (New Line) (Peter Jackson)
Waiting for official announcement.
These are really no-brainers when "The Hobbit" proceeds in 3D. It breathes new life into the LOTRs and justifiably so - it's not just a "digitally remastered" re-release - 3D brings about an entirely new perspective into the characters and story. Can't wait for this! My bet is that the three LOTRs releases make more than the first three Star Wars re-releases in 3D. The PJ camp internal meeting also talked about the LOTR 3D conversions.

9. The Gate 3-D (Randall William Cook, Director) Rumored 3-D remake of the original 1980s flick about a gate to hell. (JoBlo)
A rumor from our friends over at JoBlo.com - it has garnered some comments in my inbox about how exciting this would be as they remember the original years ago. Yeah - gate, hell, flames, 3D - could work!

10. King Kong (Peter Jackson) Often connected with a 3D re-release may come to fruition soon. Jackson was definitely seen shooting with 3D cameras during the production of King Kong.
Now this would be a great re-release. There are plenty of scenes that beg for 3D: Insect alley for one!

11. Piranha 3D (July 24, 2009) (Alexandre Aja) (Dimension Films) A
remake of Joe Dante's original, Arizona's Lake Havasu ruptures its floor after an earthquake releasing prehistoric piranhas.
There is nothing better in 3D for sheer spectacle than floating objects that come at you - yes, it is a gimmick and yes if done incorrectly is very cheesy - but I hold hope for this genre. Stereo Vision has another 3D Piranha movie in the works too (Aubrey Blaze Piranha 3D).

12. Stewardesses 3-D (Summer 2009) (Condon /Meyer - Remake) (Adirondack International Pictures)
The highest grossing 3D movie of all time (whoops, the second highest grossing 3D movie - hello Hannah Montana) is being lined up for a potential remake. I throw this into the Baywatch moneymaker category.

13. Tron 3D (Spring 2011) (Disney) AICN Rumor - although it sounds like someone just vomited a bunch of great Disney movie franchises and decided to put 2011 as a date. Still it is interesting. Of course a fan might have seen the old "Avatar" Na'vi concept art and thought that "Hey that looks like Tron - let's start a rumor about that".

James Cameron Interviewed in HDVideoPro Magazine: Scanned Pages !

Awesome James Cameron interview here - some "Avatar" tidbits:

A Glimpse of Avatar (James Cameron) "I can't think of a better movie for 3-D - action, creatures, big aerial battles and more. It's going to rock the house. It's another world - a world of great beauty and savagery, a mystical place where humans, with their greed and technology, confront a virgin world of great danger and wonder. When t he humans try to take what's not theirs, as they have done since the dawn of time whenever they inhabit a new land, the land fights back. And the fight is on; the scale is off the chain. And that's all I am saying."

Take a look at the pages that have been scanned and consider buying the copy of HDVideoPro magazine - they are a great resource!

If you thought this was cool - you haven't seen anything yet. I have been in conversation with one of my "Avatar" sources and do I have news for you! There will be spoilers so consider yourself warned now. The information I have is so sensitive that I am allowing the source to review my post BEFORE it is published. Can't argue with that, working with Cameron would be a dream. Look for this post just as soon as I hear back from my source.

"My Bloody Valentine 3-D" Coming on January 23rd, 2009 !

I can hear all the horror fanatics around the world rejoicing that their genre will not be left behind in the new 3D craze that is revolutionizing Hollywood and theater entertainment!

"My Bloody Valentine 3-D" has been announced via Lions Gate's publicity site for release on January 23, 2009. Patrick Lussier is apparently the director of the remake based on Zane Smith's script.

If you have been a reader of MarketSaw over the past year, you know that I simply love certain genre's in 3D. Sure, I believe that everything across the board can be not just be made, but made in a superior fashion than 2D ever was - but I especially believe that for horror, fantasy and sci-fi. Why? Because suspension of belief is so important in these films - 3D makes it easier for us to become immersed in the story and actually feel as though we are part of what is going on. That makes it a better experience. So bring 'em on horror franchise owners - all of 'em!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's Time. Warner Swallows New Line!

** UPDATE: Both Shaye and Lynne are leaving Time/Warner. Again, I am not surprised.

As I suspected, Time/Warner has dropped the gauntlet and it was more than only a massive reorg, but rather a complete ingestion. Reported by Variety today, New Line has been dissolved. It is unknown what Bob Shaye will be doing or not doing with the company.

Further, there is no word on what this does to appease the lawsuit with the Tolkien Trust regarding LOTRs revenue sharing. Hopefully this is cleared up fast so that "The Hobbit" may proceed! In 3D of course.

Farrelly Brothers to shoot "The Three Stooges" in 3D?

Well this is very interesting! After other failed attempts to resurrect the hallowed halls of Stoogedom - 3D is coming to the rescue of the trio of trouble.

Apparently the Farrelly brothers will be shooting the movie after they finish "Hall Pass" which incidentally may soon have Sacha Baron Cohen attached if they have their way. They are also looking at Elizabeth Banks to play one the "Hall Pass" wives who decides that if their husbands can't control themselves, then they should be free to cavort too.

The Farrelly's would shoot "The Three Stooges" in 3D in Rhode Island - no detail on dates yet.

Now this would be an experience! I was also thinking how much fun it would be to see the old 2D black and whites converted to 3D. If anybody could pull off this caper it would be the Farrellys. They can make me weep with laughter.

Source: The Boston Globe

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In the Works: "Step Up 3-D" - Disney to Dance in 3D!

For all of you "Step Up" fans, due to the outstanding success of the franchise (Step Up 2 cost only cost $20m to make and made $28m it's first 5 days) Disney will be calling on 3D to bring us closer to all the action.

Jon Chu (Step Up 2) is in negotiations to direct the movie.
Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot of Offspring Entertainment will head the development of it. No dates set yet.

While I am not really a fan of these dance movies, I haven't really given them a chance yet either. Now I will. I will definitely check this one out when it hits theaters!

New Outlander Production Stills Online! Promo Reel at Berlin Film Festival...


Well I am pleased that production stills are finally available from the Berlin Film Festival for "Outlander", the viking meets alien Sci-Fi movie that I have been posting about for over a year now. I am a background actor in this movie so you will have to put up with me commenting on it even though it is NOT IN 3D.

I loved my time on the set and it seems now is the time to enjoy the fruits of everyone's labor. The production of Outlander is by Barry Osbourne (Matrix and LOTRs) and the The Weinstein Company is distributing in North America. The movie stars Jim Caviezel, Sophia Myles, John Hurt and Ron Perlman oh and Jim Dorey! :-)

No word on exact release date yet, but it is fast approaching!

**SPOILER ALERT ** Moorwen monster shown below!

Looks awesome! Can't wait. Remember to look for the 6'6" viking running around with his pants falling down (that would be me!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Google Talk Chatback Enabled !

Hey guys - thought I would add a brand new spankin' piece of functionality to the blog. It's called Google Talk Chatback and you can implement for your own site here. I think it is a great idea - so if I am available when you visit - drop me a quick instant message and I'll see if I can't have something witty to say :-)



Of course if I get a bunch of spam or anti-3D types then maybe I will change my mind, but I doubt it - the calibre of MarketSaw readers is way beyond such childish actions, right? Of course.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Scarlet 2K Pocket Pro Trademarked!

As I suspected in an earlier post, RED has trademarked the name "Scarlet 2K Pocket Pro" which obviously means that the new pocket sized digital high definition camera from RED will be capable of 2K resolution! In your POCKET!? Can you imagine that? Speculation is that you will be able to add a 16mm lens too.

And knowing RED the price will be so affordable (I am musing $3k to $4k) that many will be able to buy it for day to day use. We will all know soon enough, it is being formally announced at NAB 2008. The only reason why we know early is that Jim Jannard, RED's CEO let the cat out of the bag in their forums as there were some leaks taking place.

For those catching up, the Scarlet is coming from the creator of the RED One, an affordable ($18k) 4K professional digital camera used by such directors as Peter Jackson and Steven Soderbergh. The RED One has been tested and used in 3D configuration as well. For more info check out there website: www.red.com

Beowulf Available on DVD February 26th!

FYI - Beowulf is available on DVD and *cough* HD DVD starting tomorrow, Feb. 26th. You can order the unrated directors cut from Amazon here.

-OR- order it from Amazon's Unbox downloads:



Here is one of the Restricted trailers for the movie:



Note that the movie is not available in 3D for home entertainment as of yet. Look for 3D compatibility in the next year to two years. It is coming, believe me. It is still an awesome story and well worth the purchase.

New Photo of U2 Wearing RealD Glasses Custom Designed by Bono: Jameson Dublin U23D Premiere

You can click on the image to enlarge it. Clayton looks a little tipsy - but those glasses look damn good! Nice design Bono.


Time to check these guys out in RealD - I have already seen "U2 3D" in IMAX when it was initially released but now that the wide release is happening... Well, let's just say the movie deserves AT LEAST two viewings. I don't often say that.

Thanks for the image Gina! Send 'em if ya got 'em!!

"Final Destination 4" Extras Casting Call in New Orleans

Interested in being in a cool 3D movie? Traveling to or live near New Orleans? Check this out:

Reply to: fd4casting@yahoo.com
Date: 2008-02-22, 12:27PM CST

Attention all those interested in movies! We are holding a casting call for extras for the major motion picture Final Destination 4. Anyone is welcome to come and sign up! We are looking for all types of people.

Here are the details:

When: SATURDAY MARCH 1st
Time: 11am-3pm
Where: CLEARVIEW MALL (CENTER MALL PAVILLION)
What: Just bring your smiling face and a recent photo! (if you have one)

Please call us if you have any questions! 504.593.1676

Can't make it to the casting? We want to see you anyway! Please send the following information to fd4casting@yahoo.com :

Name, Age, Height, Weight, Contact Phone Number, Recent photo!

  • Compensation: all extras positions are PAID positions
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
  • Phone calls about this job are ok.
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
Hey - good luck if you get into it! Background acting can be a lot of fun; I did it in the upcoming viking movie "Outlander" starring Jim Caviezel, John Hurt and Ron Perlman and it was a ton of fun. This one is in 3D though so all the better!




Sunday, February 24, 2008

"U2 3D" Solves Vertigo: Box Office Up 242% !

Finally, Hannah Montana is starting to subside for all you U2 fans out there. While "U2 3D" is now listed as showing in 686 3D theaters, it's per screen revenue is going to be lower than previous weeks because it is still SHARING most of these screens with Hannah Montana which dropped slightly to 613 3D screens on Friday.

So you should see declining box office for Hannah Montana right away due to audience drop off AND fewer showings - and the exact opposite for U2 3D.

In fact U2 3D is up 242%. Check it out! You will NOT be disappointed. Awesome experience.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

"Star Wars: The Clone Wars", "Monsters vs. Aliens", "Journey To The Center of the Earth 3D" & "Fly Me To The Moon" Sneak 3D Previews at ShoWest !!


Jeffrey Katzenberg is going to be giving the audience at ShoWest 2008 an advance sneak peak of 2009's "Monster vs. Aliens" during his Opening Day Welcome Remarks. It will be presented with RealD 3D technology. Katzenberg will begin his speech at 9:15am, Tuesday, March 11th 2008.

Summit Entertainment is also giving attendees a sneak 3D preview of this year's "Fly Me To The Moon" on a first come - first served basis at the Jubilee Theater, Bally's Hotel. There will be two presentations - one at 11am and another at 11:45am on Wednesday, March 12th. The movie will be in wide 3D release on August 22nd. Dolby 3D will be used for these screenings.

New Line Cinema & Walden Media are giving ShoWest patrons an FULL advance screening of "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D". There will be two screenings - one at 3:45pm (Jubilee Theater, Bally's Hotel) and the second at 4:15pm (Le Theatre Des Arts, Paris Hotel), both on Wednesday, March 12th. The movie is pegged for a July 11th wide release in 3D theaters. RealD 3D technology will be used for the presentations. Expect an appearance by Brendan Frasier there as he is also picking up the "Distinguished Decade of Achievement in Film" award at 6:30pm later that day.

**UPDATE: Variety has posted a correction that "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" will NOT be in stereographic 3D. Needless to say I will be watching them much closer now before I post them as being gospel. Now I have to change half a dozen things on the blog, along with being very disappointed.
As part of a group exclusive footage presentation of several Warner properties including "The Dark Knight", "Get Smart" and "Speed Racer", Warner Bros. Pictures is presenting a sneak peak at "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" which is a 3D movie slated for an August 15th wide release. The screenings will both happen at 2:45pm at Le Theatre Des Arts, Paris Hotel and the Jubilee Theater, Bally's Hotel on Thursday, March 13th.

ShoWest is at Bally's and Paris in Las Vegas from March 10th to 13th.

Umm, damn. Wish I was going! What a lineup... Can't wait for the reviews!!

Final Destination 4: Finally Cast

The upcoming 3D splatter movie "Final Destination 4" has been cast. Much interest was generated in this process due to some of the auditions being posted online (you can view them here). The final cast members are: Shantel VanSanten, Bobby Campo, Hayley Webb, Nick Zano, Krista Allen and Andy Fiscella.

The movie starts shooting in New Orleans this month. As posted earlier, the plot centers on a race car crash that sends huge car parts into a watching grandstand full of people. The movie is being directed by David R. Ellis for release in 2009.

I am really looking forward to seeing this actually. The premise has been proven to work, and by throwing in 3D I expect to be thoroughly shocked with some of the ingenious ways for these characters to met their demise. Once in awhile you just have to let go don't ya??

Real D Brings "U2 3D" Home To Dublin

RealD announced yesterday that they had brought the 3D concert movie "U2 3D" home to Dublin; the band originated from that wonderful Irish city. The movie made its European premiere at Parnell Street's Cineworld on the 20th as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. Echoing the Sundance premiere, the band showed up in their RealD 3D glasses, customized this time though - as they were designed by Bono - and all the fans who attended also landed these! If there is anyone in the world who knows cool shades - its Bono.

With the Hannah Montana craze dying down now from a frenzy to mere chaos, "U2 3D" should be in wide release very shortly. Some Real D engagements have already started in North America after its January limited run. If you have not seen "U2 3D" yet, seriously consider it. You can check out more details about the movie as an event from my Facebook group: 3D Movies and Technology. Thanks Gina for bringing this to my attention!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

G-Force and Alice in Wonderland Get Dates From Disney!

The best 3D movie list of rumored, planned, in production and in theaters has been updated yet again - nothing new here, I do it probably 4 or 5 times a week. However there are a couple of important dates being added:

1. Disney's "G-Force" (Jerry Bruckheimer) has been set for July 24th, 2009 - Its a 3D movie with mixed Live Action and Animation and voices by Penelope Cruz, Nicolas Cage, Steve Buscemi, Bill Nighy and Tracy Morgan. The story revolves around an elite guinea pig commando force try to stop a billionaire from taking over the world. :-)

2. Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" (Tim Burton) has been set for a March 19th, 2010 release date. I believe you are familiar with the plot for this one...

Check out all the new 3D movies lining up here!

Coraline 3D Trailer Now Available Online


**UPDATE (Feb 21st): My apologies - the originating source stated that this trailer is in 3D and of course it cannot be polarized as it would need to have a 3D system like a theater would have. It does not even appear to be in anaglyph 3D (red and cyan glasses). Enjoy it anyway! It is much clearer than the older hand held camcorder one.

Guys - here is the new Coraline 3D trailer and if you have got 3D polarized glasses - USE 'EM! It is much clearer than the hand held camcorder version that I posted back on January 16th. Check it out. Thanks for the heads-up Andrea.

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More on Avatar: Weaver Speaks!

Now I enjoyed this interview much better! Sigourney Weaver is of course starring in James Cameron's "Avatar" and she speaks with Premiere magazine about her experiences there. I will skip straight to the Avatar related material for you:

How much screentime will you have in Avatar? Would you describe your part there as a supporting role?
No, I have the female lead. You know, live action. I guess I would have to say that Sam and Zoe play the romantic leads, but I probably have the next biggest, or as big a part.

Has Jim mellowed any? Is that possible?
I think, you know, he gets impatient trying to get his ideas across to people, but I think he's very mellowed. He was always a sweetheart. [She responds to my raised-eyebrow look] He really was always a sweetheart! He can get impatient with people. I think as long as you don't take it personally... so that hasn't changed. And he always puts so much on himself — in this case, he invented the cameras, he did the sets, he designed the guns, he designed a lot of the creatures that are going to be in this other world — it's all from his head. He's operating the camera. Because people can't read his mind, that makes him a little impatient. I think, considering what he's taken on, he's quite angelic, actually.

Did you guys spend a lot of time talking about the old days, or was it down to business?
Well, it's both. We're very fond of each other because that was quite an experience in itself. So there definitely is a happy vibe working together and then we do try to get on with it. I mean, he created a wonderful character for me. She's a lot like him — she's very impatient, she's very driven, she's got a big heart, she's very complicated and you see very different people in the human world and in the avatar world. It's a fantastic canvas for me to paint on — it's certainly not a supporting role in any way.

Has he let you read the whole Avatar script? Is he keeping it to himself?
Oh no, I've read the whole script.

What would you compare it to?
I can't think of anything, frankly. I can't think of anything. It's gonna blow the mind of this industry, I think. It's gonna be an experience for people. I don't think they're going to want to come out of the theater. I think kids will want to stay in the theater with their sleeping bags so they don't have to go out into the real world. It's about something. It's about ecology in a lot of ways. About greed.

Imperialism?
Yeah. About love. About becoming a man. You know, a lot of his favorite themes. It's a very dense piece of work. I've only seen the motion-capture 40 percent done, but it's pretty awesome. The live action I've seen almost all of, and it's a very affecting story. When you see scenes that are very affecting in 3D, you can't keep them out.

The movie isn't slated for release until December '09, but it sounds like you've seen a lot of completed work. I imagined it was mostly not done yet.
Oh, it is mostly not done yet. I saw something someone else had edited of my scenes. For some reason, they wanted me to see most of my scenes before I left, so I was forced to do that. I think he's very proud of how it's going. Then I got to see certain scenes that are in the script at Weta, when I was over there talking to the animators about Grace, my character. They're just doing a fabulous job. Everyone is going to want to go to this place.

What does Grace look like, by the way?
She's got beautiful, bright red hair and big eyelashes. No make-up. She's a scientist, and she's an attractive woman who has given up a normal life to devote herself to this planet and fight this fight. She learns a lot over the course of the story.

So there ya go - more information than we had before! Grace has red hair and no make-up. Well at least we learned something, officially anyway!

James Cameron Speaks. Well, kinda...

Cameron sent an email to AICN and told them that the recent poster artwork is fake. Oh and he also said that they have just about finished shooting too. And there might be some callbacks.

Unfortunately, the communication didn't really give us anything new and I found it to be quite honestly boring - really. I had already posted LAST WEEK that they will be finishing principle shortly. We had already mused whether or not the artwork was fake or not YESTERDAY. Callbacks? Happens all the time. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

AICN has to start using that email addy to their advantage! Ask some probing questions about things that really matter like what the budget will finally be (AICN is still saying $200 mil even well you damn well know that its going to be a heckuva lot more with 6 more months of Weta and lighting rendering that I posted about here) or something else that is, well... COOL.

Oh well. I shall just endeavor to get that elusive email addy myself. Just a matter of time Jim. Talk soon my friend :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Avatar Poster? Ice Age 3 Poster? Perhaps...

** UPDATE (Feb 20th): Jim Cameron emailed AICN and said that this Avatar artwork is fake. Here is the link. Time for me to get Cameron's direct email it seems.

Andrea over at BadTaste have sent me what they are calling authentic promotional material for both "Avatar" and "Ice Age 3". They have also quoted my previous exclusive post regarding James Cameron's upcoming March announcement that is intended to generate some PR and update the VERY hungry public with anything Avatar.

I do not know their sources and I do not read Italian so fill your boots if you can by checking out their link. My opinion is that it is more than likely authentic - a smuggled scan(s) presumably - they do have an older version of the Avatar poster that was resident on the internal Weta "creative board" along with other items found here.

I would have posted sooner, but I was finally checking out "Juno" which stars my hometown heroine Ellen Page (Oscar Best Actress Nomination no less!). Rock on! Yeah, its only 2D - will have to talk to her about that!

So yeah - this is kinda cool if genuine - certainly it is fitting in close to my original time line of a major James Cameron announcement in March. We shall see what we shall see! :-)

Thanks for the note Andrea.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Secrets of "Avatar": Photo Realism and Lighting Compensation For Dark 3D Scenes

I just got some very interesting insider info about "Avatar" and one that I have been pondering for quite some time. Lighting. Its different for 3D movies...

In 3D movies, effective lighting is quite often an issue and the end result is that sometimes the movie can appear much darker than originally intended (Beowulf at times had lighting issues). This is a result of what happens to the light beam AFTER it leaves the theater's movie projector. Essentially it is divided for both eyes, so the light that we see is reduced at any given time. The screen is 'refreshed' extremely quickly - once for each eye with slightly different perspectives. We see the awesome 3D, but it could be dimmer than intended.

So of course, Jim Cameron has come up with a way to work around this and it is simply elegant. Once again I have heard from one of my "Avatar" sources and he has passed on the secret of just how Cameron is doing this: Radiosity / Global Illumination Techniques.

Ok - now in English - what does that mean Jim? :-)

Well, allow me to SHOW you. Let me underline that this is not the 100% solution that many 3D cinematographers are looking for, but believe me it helps a great deal. I would also imagine that the 2D movie files for "Avatar" may not use these techniques as lighting would be adequate. So until such time as there is a technical 100% solution in the theater, the best answer is to compensate while filming.

Here are several images: The first image is the baseline - this is what we want all actors to look like (regarding lighting). The second image is what was actually captured during shooting. The third image is what was processed and the final picture is what was finally rendered!

This process is the great equalizer. It will maintain uniform lighting even after shooting has been completed - in post-production. Why not use this process to AUGMENT lighting uniformly for 3D? You got it. Cameron now has the ability to shoot as his vision dictates without worry of lighting as long as he has a reference baseline image of what he eventually wants - AND apparently he can integrate this into his real-time performance capture viewing that we have heard so much about! Something called: "Real-time Post-production Illumination Editing" could be adapted for his purpose. It also has the benefit of producing "Photo Realism" too which is what all this extra processing time is for - remember shooting for "Avatar" ends shortly and they will have almost 2 years of post production time for this process!

Wow. Awesome stuff and of course the master himself is using it. Avatar is gonna seriously kick ass and look great doing it.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Quick Post: Hey why not? Here's a Star Trek Update!

Yeah, I know J.J. Abrams is not making "Star Trek" in 3D, but I have been a huge fan of Star Trek since I was 5. I've always thought of myself as a Trekkie - definitely not fanatically, but still enough to know a 'little' Klingon. Enough said.

I have a source who is close - ok - he is ON the Paramount set of Star Trek and he keeps me up to date on things. Well I thought this was interesting so I will pass it on...

"Yeah it's a bummer about Trek getting pushed back...I'll be back on the set on (Edited on for obvious reasons) so I'll let you know what transpires there. I hope I get to see Nimoy again..that was pretty awesome. Zachary Quinto does an absolutely perfect job playing Spock, too...it was funny watching him on set...he was eating constantly. J.J. and the rest of the cast were always ribbing him for it. Oh, and Zoe Saldana is freakin HOT."

So you heard it hear first folks - Quinto is a catering connoisseur!! LOL. Nice to see that JJ keeps a humorous set - hard to keep those damn green bloods from eating so much! Personally I am so psyched for this film and I wish they would consider 3D for the franchise. Perhaps for the next one. ...Meeting Leonard Nimoy - I am sooo jealous!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Quick Post: "Avatar" Shooting To Wrap By February 22nd

Just a fast post for you 3D Avatar fans out there: Principle shooting in Wellington, New Zealand will wrap by February 22nd, 2008. With the release date in December, 2009 - James Cameron is giving Weta is getting loads of time to deliver a top notch, effects laden sci-fi spectacle. Barring call backs, Sam Worthington will be free to jump ship to Terminator 4 with Christian Bale. Jeez I wish McG would make Terminator in 3D - that would seriously rock.

Friday, February 15, 2008

New Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D Trailer Available

Here you go guys! The new trailer for New Line's Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D.

I've got to say that the movie had better be better than the trailer - I'm not particularly fond of it. The premise requires a whole lotta suspension of belief and it is a challenge for me to get that done with just a trailer. The humor looks like it could save the movie - don't know about the effects yet.

Don't get me wrong - I'll be first in line; but I will be blunt if the movie warrants it in my review when it happens. I hope it really surprises me - I really do. Heck I enjoyed "Blast From The Past" so who knows? Brendan Frasier could pull this out of the lava for me.

I would be interested to know your thoughts on the trailer...

Jessica Biel Lands on Planet 51

Variety reports that Jessica Biel is teaming with Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott and Justin Long to voice New Line's first animated feature film "Planet 51". The movie is also being produced in stereoscopic 3D. July 24th, 2009 has been pegged as the release date with its actual production completed in March 2009.

The premise is that Johnson (astronaut Chuck Baker) lands on Planet 51 thinking it was barren but discovers that it is really inhabited with a 1950's type of civilization that is frightfully concerned about being invaded by aliens! Of course hilarity ensues.

The writer of "Planet 51", Joe Stillman has boatloads of obvious talent as he wrote Shrek and Shrek 2. The movie is being made by Ilion Animation out of Spain.

Looks out of this world!

MarketSaw's Best List of Upcoming 3D Movies has been updated.


Photo courtesy of WireImage

*Sigh* WSJ and Jupiter Research Don't Get It. Still.

I am not going to post at length about these posts by the Wall Street Journal and Jupiter Research, but I will say this: They need to get their act together and catch the hell up. Its like reading a book report on "Facebook for Dummies" by my grandfather.

I had to laugh at times - but in particular, Sarah McBride irked me enough that I had to email her to set her straight. I invited (challenged) her to post about my blog and to present the other side of the story and I laid this gem at her feet:

She claimed this about 3D: "...the novelty will likely wear off" as a summary statement of her post. I simply said that 3D is IMMERSIVE. It brings the audience closer to reality (like color films did) and what is wrong with reality? Why would I treat reality as a novelty? I wouldn't.

3D in the home theater is coming too. David Card at Jupiter went off on this. Sure, it just won't be here affordably for a little while. It is already here for 3D gaming with iZ3D, I know - I have their 22" 3D gaming monitor and it ROCKS. And as far as wearing 3D glasses - doesn't bother me at all! Instead they reference an interview with Mark Cuban that is what, 3 years old?? I have the inside track on Cuban's efforts to bring "glass-less" 3D to his Landmark Theaters - now that is current news guys - c'mon.

Of course I mentioned the outstanding per screen revenues that Hannah is bringing in (was a jaw dropping $45,000+ per!). Might be trying to teach old dogs new tricks here - but lets see if Sarah responds. I hope so. She must be smart enough to work for such an esteemed institution as the WSJ. Bring it on Sarah... :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Source: Cameron Elated With Terminator 4 and More New Line / "The Hobbit" Trouble Brewing

Firstly, I am sorry to pass along that things are not looking rosy at all for "The Hobbit" getting made on Peter Jackson's original schedule. Of course the Tolkien Trust lawsuit throws a huge wrench into the works, but on top of that my source reports that Time/Warner is seriously considering a large cutback in personnel at New Line. A very large cutback that will order New Line to trim itself relatively soon; no exact time line yet on this.

Secondly, Kirsten Myburgh has NOT been confirmed as being cast as the lead in "Tintin" but rather is simply another one of the casting calls at this point. A short list if you will. However there remains strong interest in him and he could very well be chosen.

Thirdly, I can confirm without a shadow of a doubt the James Cameron is NOT directing one of the "Tintin" trilogy movies. The term used by my source is, and I quote: "Absolute Bullshit". You can take that to the bank. We still stand behind our man Robert Zemeckis as being the third director for the "Uber 3D Director Trio" joining Spielberg and Jackson. As I previously posted today, Cameron is more than likely lending out his 3D facilities for the "Tintin" shoot.

Lastly, we can confirm that James Cameron is elated with McG who is directing the fourth Terminator picture. He is especially happy with the selection of Christian Bale as the older John Connor. After being somewhat distance and vocal about his disappointment in Terminator 3 (he said: "The film is very spunky, perhaps too spunky") Cameron is now feeling the pride of a father as he sees his child grow up and he wants to help out. Despite losing control over the franchise, he did indeed recommend Sam Worthington to McG for the Marcus role. The audience will be able to identify with Marcus a great deal even as the movie turns very dark in the future time line. They also spoke at length about visual style and what events should take place in the movie. Call Cameron's involvement: "Executive Producer-In-Law".

I simply LOVE that Cameron is even a little involved here! Yes, Terminator 4 is not in 3D but heck I have got the info so I am gonna share! When Terminator came out and I heard all the effects and story hype I was skeptical because they didn't spend all that much money at all. But Cameron really pulled it off and in typical style - changing Hollywood. I have a deep seeded feeling that "Avatar" is going really blow the lid off of things for the industry - the guy has the guts AND the budget! Cameron is the very definition of "paradigm shift".

The Hobbit stage photo courtesy of Ian Umlauff

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Tintin Lead Role is Cast? Kirsten Myburgh Tapped...

**SAME DAY UPDATE: I have heard backed from my trusted source from within the James Cameron camp and I am posting a separate post right now to cover it.

According to LeTinTinMovie.com they have read on IMDB that Kirsten Myburgh has been tapped for the lead role of Tintin in the trilogy of movies of the same name directed by Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and well LeTinTinMovie claims that James Cameron is the third director.

I find that hard to believe. Cameron is up to his eyebrows in the Avatar effort and even though directing Tintin would not take a heckuva long time (performance capture - animation). I doubt this very much. Now it could be that they have their wires crossed and someone like Jackson, Spielberg or Zemeckis is USING THE AVATAR GREEN SCREEN SET for the filming of Tintin (hence confusion that Cameron is directing). I mean, all the 3D equipment is there and tweaked - ready to go - it makes sense. But Cameron as the third Tintin director? Not gonna happen - at least on the first one. I'll check with my sources, but I'm shaking my head.

I do not have the upgraded membership at IMDB and I am really not that interested in paying for something that should be free so I cannot confirm this yet. It could very well be that he is simply reading the comments section where just about anything is written, supported or not. Even the information in the DB could be suspect at times.

We should have more information soon - I'll keep you updated!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

U23D Delayed In Some Markets: Hannah Montana To Blame?


The wide release of U23D has been delayed in some markets from February 15th to the 22nd while at the same time Disney extended Hannah Montana's "Best Of Both Worlds" concert movie by at least a week and giving an option for theater chains to keep it even longer if the demand exists.

There are only so many 3D enabled theaters that have been converted (between 800 and 900 currently) so a lot of negotiations must take place for what films get that capacity - demand counts. With the reviews U23D has been getting, the response should be overwhelming - just like Montana's was.

Let's hope everyone gets their fair allotment of time in the 3D theaters. I'm sure they will - interesting to watch!

From the Makers of Baywatch and Pirates of the Caribbean: "Booty 3D"!

CPT Holdings, Inc. (a Sony Pictures Television service mark) has contracted with Stereo Vision Entertainment (SVE) for the script of "Booty 3D".

Doug Schwartz, CEO of SVE
(and creator of Baywatch) said: "Booty 3D is a frolicking family fun film about eight women who get kidnapped by a crew of cutthroat pirates. Upon arriving at the pirates island hideout, they turn the tables when they snatch the pirates ship filled with all their booty. A chase across the high seas ensues that rivals Thelma and Louise as the desperate band of pirates attempts, by hook or by crook, to track down their treasure laden galleon, and the crafty wenches that tricked them out of it. This is a movie about female empowerment, a true David and Goliath tale with a twist. Booty 3D is to be filmed on the South Seas paradise island of Fiji, in state-of-the-art digital 3D. It will be filled with blue skies, spectacular South Pacific scenery, beautiful women, and despicable pirates. Booty 3D is the kind of film that will be fun for the whole family."

Jim Byrkit, the Conceptual and Creative Consultant on all three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies for Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski, is co-creator of "Booty 3D" along with Schwartz.


Sounds like the right people are attached to this movie creatively, so we may see a really nice production here! I will keep you up to date with further developments. Movie has been added to my growing 3D movie list found here.

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