Tuesday, September 01, 2009

New Cameron Interview: Avatar Edit "100% Done"

Michael here. The Phillipine Daily Inquirer has a great interview with James Cameron that includes some updates on the status of Avatar.

Interestingly, he says that the edit is now 100% done. During the Comic-Con roundtable interview he mentioned that they were still cutting, and that he would take the Hall H reactions into account while finishing the edit. I would love to know if he did indeed incorporate any of the feedback, and if he did, what he changed - especially since he said that the Comic-Con sequences themselves would "probably not change."

“In the most important respects as a director, I’m 100 percent done because the film is shot and edited,” the silver-haired auteur replied when we asked what he still needs to do between now and December. “My job for the next few months until we deliver at the end of November is more as a visual effects person, working to make sure that the shots look real, that they’re all up to an even standard.”

Cameron says that he is working 14 to 16 hour days making sure the VFX shots are all up to an even standard of photorealism. That leaves 3 entire months dedicated to perfecting the VFX before the final cut is delivered at the "end of November." And, I would guess, to finish the music, sound mix, color timing, and other finishing touches. I'm very curious to hear more about James Horner's score - I find it strange that no one has asked Cameron or Landau about Avatar's music yet, given the iconic scores Horner composed for Aliens and Titanic.

Another interesting anecdote from the article:

On Avatars having tails, James smiled and said, “The studio asked me the same question. They asked, ‘Do they have to have tails?’ We’re very happy with the way the Na’vi worked out because what we found is the tail and the ears show the characters’ emotional state. A cat owner knows that you can tell a cat’s mood by what its tail is doing. Just as we created a verbal language, we created a vocabulary for the tail and the ears.”

It makes me giddy that we are about to see 2 and a half plus hours of pure, unadulterated, un-studio-tinkered James Cameron sci-fi in brain-altering 3D. It only occurs a few times a century that a new cinematic universe is created from the ground up where the filmmaker has the budget and support to truly melt audiences' minds with something never seen before. The inclusion of the tails (and animation thereof) are emblematic of the unabashed creativity and technological ingenuity we will be experiencing this December.

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