Tuesday, May 12, 2009

3D Shorts: AVATAR Trailer Update! ...And Totem Poles On Pandora?

**SAME DAY UPDATE: Wow. Apparently the trailer material hit close to home and may be closer to the actual trailer than first thought! The source emailed me and said that the person he/she got it from is worried about career, etc and well MarketSaw will have no part in that. I assumed that MANY people would know what is in any potential trailer and that posting this, especially an older version would not point fingers at anyone. Guess not.

In the interest of the said person who is worried about his/her job and at the request of the source I am taking down the trailer description. If you missed it - sorry. That's Internet time for you. Hope everything is ok with the originator on this one.

Jim here. This first photo is a representation as to how close we have gotten to an AVATAR trailer - suitably you can take a cold shower inside it! What's with all the mystery surrounding the movie? Why no promotional material or trailers or heck even a poster yet? Let's try to answer those questions RIGHT NOW.

AVATAR is going to be a masterpiece. I stake my reputation on it as well as MarketSaw's. We are going to see things in new ways after viewing the movie and by that I mean our expectation of what Hollywood needs to deliver for a cutting edge movie will change. The industry knows it too. Why do you think so many directors have paid set visits to AVATAR and walked away in complete awe? Moveover, these directors in most cases have changed what matters most to them: Their personal artistic vision because of what James Cameron is doing. Spielberg and Jackson finally agreed to do TINTIN. Ridley Scott agreed to do THE FOREVER WAR (and maybe even an ALIEN prequel). 3D and performance capture is opening up the minds of our best directors and we are witnessing it first hand.

So with this kind of revolutionary change in cinema, how do you do justice to a movie that will definitively draw the line of pre and post AVATAR in Hollywood with a trailer? You can't - at least not effectively. It would be akin to trying to promote a full color movie on a nation's black and white television infrastructure. You just can't effectively do it. We do not have the capability to see 3D movie trailers at home yet. An easy parallel isn't it?

Fox will have to show trailers of AVATAR in both 2D and 3D. In fact many of the theaters that will be showing AVATAR in December will still be 2D. I am sure it will look stunning in that format as well but will it be the best way to see it? Hardly. Those 2D trailers will not be the way Cameron has envisioned it - or shot it. Everything in AVATAR is purposely been focused at 3D. But there will be a 2D trailer to be sure - Fox can't risk a 3D trailer being cammed and leaked in 2D - it would look horrible. So expect a trailer to be released in 2D and 3D at the same time or only in 2D (far, far less likely).

So where does that leave us? Aside from drooling for official AVATAR material, we are caught in between. Fox can't show us the best stuff because it will not look as great as it is intended to be (Why show off great scenes in 2D as it will spoil the full 3D experience) - yet it can't leave out enticing material for fear that audiences who have not heard of AVATAR (I know, hard to believe) will not buy into it.

I have been given the MONTH in which the AVATAR trailer is supposed to be delivered by (first time source from New Zealand, but seems VERY trustworthy - he/she is in a position to know) and that month is JUNE. In fact the scenes for the trailer have already been cut. Specifically the trailer is initially destined for a show or event. Not sure which one (guessing Cinema Expo International; June 22-25, 2009; Amsterdam, Netherlands) but that is the word. Fox is unveiling ICE AGE there on June 23 @ 4:30pm in 3D - perfect for showing off the trailer for AVATAR. LATER that day at 6:30pm it is even more interesting: 20th Century Fox International Invites You to Attend an Exclusive Product Presentation - could this be extended AVATAR footage? Fox then hosts a dinner at 8pm. Seems to me to be a perfect venue to show off their AVATAR goods. Of course we already know that something AVATAR related will be happening at Comicon in July as Tom Rothman has suggested.

What does that mean for general audiences?
Well you can expect to see it in theaters shortly thereafter perhaps the 2D version in front of TRANSFORMERS (June 24) and the 3D in front of ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS (July 3). Potentially both the 2D and 3D versions are premiered in front of ICE AGE (as ICE AGE will be shown in 2D as well). That, my friends is a guess, but it is my best guess at this point in light of this new information. So the content will not be all that adult oriented as it will be in front of a younger ICE AGE audience. With knowledge that it will be ready a month ahead of Comicon I can't see it being held back that long.

I also received this information about an AVATAR trailer that was being put together months ago. It got quashed obviously. Now this source is also unproven and I have no background on him/her. I have had no previous dealings with him/her whatsoever. Read this with a grain of salt! This will most likely NOT be what we will be seeing soon for a trailer, but this is what they were apparently going to do awhile ago:


To me - this approach makes sense. I want to believe this is real and not some guys imagination gone wild from reading the scriptment. I almost did not post it but because I am not claiming this as absolutely true and even if it was it was, the ideas were from months ago so it has probably changed. But what makes sense to me is the fading in and out of black so often. The trick with the AVATAR trailer is to show LESS and let your mind wonder as it will be filled with wonder during the movie. It makes sense to focus on Jake in the trailer as he will be in every scene in AVATAR according to Cameron himself. Could this have been an overstatement by Cameron?

I did have a source send in some cool photos too of what is supposed to be snaps of an AVATAR trailer. MANY have asked to see them, but I cannot prove they are authentic - I have sent them to other trusted sources who all say that they are dubious at best. You can't make out what is in the photos and they have been photo-shopped without a doubt. So I am not posting them - believe me it is hard to not do so, especially when this post is all about the AVATAR trailer!

And in the interesting FACT department, we have another little interesting tidbit of information (source: Total Film): There are totem poles in AVATAR. This is taken from the magazine article where they are interviewing Cameron:

"When I visited the AVATAR set, for example, there was only one other guy on stage with James Cameron," says Damon O'Beirne of Dreamworks. "He's standing there with a cable, looking unbelieveably bored. Because all he does is move the cable out of Cameron's way. If he f**ks up then Jim is going to yell at him! But everywhere around the stage, it's like NASA," continues O'Beirne. "There are 40 people at computers and monitors making sure everything gets recorded." Then Jim goes, 'Um, that totem pole is a little bit high.' Apparently there is a totem pole in part of the virtual world he's standing in! And you just hear, 'Got it.' Click, click, click... and Jim's like, 'Yeah, that's about right.' It's bizarre, but amazing."

Can you imagine shooting a film like that? It actually reminds me of the scariest parts of some horror films where someone is looking through a viewfinder of a camera and sees another world (can anyone tell me the name of the movie where a girl is looking through her camcorder and sees an evil looking surgery taking place, but when she lowers it all she sees is an empty lab table?).

So what do you make of the AVATAR trailer in light of this new information? Stoked? :-) We are close to something very exciting anyway...

Stay tuned as I have a couple of very interesting AVATAR posts under development! The countdown is on and of course MarketSaw is THE place to be...

Also as an added treat from the Total Film magazine's 3D extravaganza is a bunch of anaglyph shots (red / blue) of our favorite past movies - here are a few I am hoping we see converted to modern 3D REAL soon (click to blow up). Enjoy!

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Jim Dorey
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