Friday, August 12, 2011

Update On What James Cameron Has Been Up To Lately...

**Edited conversion company details on TITANIC (August 14)...

We all know James Cameron is a very busy man with AVATAR 2 and 3 looming on the horizon
but he does have other things on his plate believe it or not! Let's have a quick update:

1. TITANIC 3D - This morning Fox showed the audience at London's BIG SCREEN (sort of UK Comic-Con) 10 minutes of the new 3D conversion TITANIC! Wish I was a fly on the wall.

Here's what a viewer had to say about what he saw:
Opening on the crowd scene in the docks as the ship is boarding, the most noticeable thing about the footage is how much detail there is. When a film is converted to 3D, objects are rotoscoped and separated out onto layers. Ordinarily there are only a few layers in a shot, but with Titanic ...every single object (was put) onto a separate plane**. The effect is astonishing – and completely justifies a 3D version of the film.

Several of the other scenes shown also looked stunning – the sumptuously decorated rooms and the chaotic engine room in particular. That said, the fact that stereography wasn’t a consideration when the film was shot did cause a few issues in some of the scenes we were shown. In the sequence where Rose attends the raucous dance below decks, the frame is often filled with very close up shots of people as the camera tracks past. Every time this happens it seems to interrupt the effect of the 3D for the few moments afterwards.

The other major issue is the contrast between the rich, multi-planed scenes, and those in much less sumptuous locations. The sequences that took place inside the cabins look almost Spartan, and certainly much more flat, simply by virtue of there being fewer points of reference for us. Similarly, the Rose and Jack on the bow of the ship sequence seems to have received little to no conversion at all, again because of the lack of points of reference.

Sounds as though the conversion was done magnificently. This is a must see in my mind for all you 3D aficionados out there! Cameron won't sign off on anything that isn't up to his standards so rest assured that the conversion will be done right!

2. Meeting With Justin Lin And Arnold Schwarzenegger About Terminator 5 - Cameron apparently met with Justin Lin (FAST FIVE) to help him out with another potential installment in the TERMINATOR franchise for Universal. Schwarzenegger was also present.

Lin says: "Just even this week, I had a great meeting with Arnold and James Cameron, just sitting down unofficially. And James is so gracious because he’s not part of the project, he’s not going to be producing, but it was great of him just as a filmmaker to take time out to just talk."

"I don’t know where it’s going to lead, but I never thought at this level I’m going to be able to meet filmmakers and be in situations where they’re that gracious and insightful and so inclusive. And that’s a franchise that I’m working on right now, but again, if I’m going to be kind of the gatekeeper to it, I want to make sure that I can hopefully build it up the right way – and so far that’s been the most fun. Just to be able to take James Cameron’s brain and for him to be so open even though he has no stakes in it, just as a human being, that’s something that I will always remember as a part of my journey as a filmmaker."

Justin Lin is on the fast track with FAST FIVE pulling in a cool $600m. Could he resuscitate the TERMINATOR franchise? Man I hope so. There is plenty more to do in that realm if you ask me.

Isn't that vintage Cameron to be so inclusive to filmmakers seeking his council? I'm sure that Hollywood is very appreciative of that. He's influenced newer directors as well as the top echelon with his creative ideas and technology. Tip of the hat to Mr. Cameron!

3. Lightstorm Entertainment Hires Kathy Franklin (formerly of Disney) To Be The Keymaster To The AVATAR Universe: Cameron has hired on Franklin to head up all their franchises in development and right now AVATAR is at the top of their list. Obviously there is more to running a franchise than producing movies! Much more and on multiple platforms...

Here's the official release:
LOS ANGELES (August 9, 2011) Kathy Franklin has been named President of Franchise Development at Lightstorm Entertainment. Announced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, the hire signifies Lightstorm's commitment, in collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox, to building the franchise and brand of AVATAR beyond the traditional licensing and merchandising avenues.

Cameron commented, "Anticipating the exponential growth of the Avatar universe, we looked for someone who could lead a team that will cement Avatar as a world class brand across all platforms and markets. Kathy’s experience, coupled with her drive and vision for what Avatar can be, made her the right choice."

Franklin is a seasoned leader with a proven record of designing and implementing industry-leading branding, growth and communications strategies. As Vice President of Global Studio Franchise Development for Disney Consumer Products, she led the strategies that drove the Disney Princess, Disney Fairies, Cars and Toy Story franchises while building integrated partnerships with film, television, and online divisions of The Walt Disney Company. Before that, Franklin was Vice President of Disney Worldwide Outreach, during which she ran marketing and communications for all corporate philanthropic outreach and charitable giving. Franklin's first position at Disney was Director of Disney Learning Partnership, a philanthropy focused on supporting creative approaches to teaching and learning, which she helped launch and for which Franklin created and executive produced "The Creative Classroom Series," an award-winning set of videos and educator guides.

"Bringing Kathy onboard at Lightstorm further reflects the unique creative and business relationship shared by Fox and Lightstorm on the Avatar franchise," said Oren Aviv, Twentieth Century Fox's Chief Marketing Officer, and Tony Sella, Fox's Chief Creative Officer. "Jim Cameron created an amazing universe of mass appeal and we're confident that with Kathy in place, this partnership will further capitalize on the tremendous opportunities inherent in this awesome property."

"Kathy has proven herself to be a forward thinker who possesses the ability to bring new ideas to life," said Landau. "With Kathy's leadership, in collaboration with the team and infrastructure at Fox, I'm confident our franchises will grow in innovative ways that remain consistent with the quality and themes of our films."

"From the beginning, Jim and Jon have viewed AVATAR as a franchise whose storytelling has global reach and impact across multiple platforms. I look forward to leading this exciting new phase in the evolution of the franchise and to working with the team at Twentieth Century Fox to drive AVATAR's continued growth," said Franklin.

Franklin will be based at Lightstorm's Santa Monica headquarters.

So glad to hear that Franklin will be helping out the Lightstorm team because quality control is going to be a major issue if they are going to open up the universe to third parties for development. Good luck Kathy!

More when I get it!

Sources: ComingSoon | The PlayList | THR

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