Sept. 21, 2012 | 3:29 p.m.
James Cameron has a rule at his house — TV and movie viewing is a family event, not a solo pursuit. “More and more people, especially kids, are taking in their entertainment on tablets and laptops,” said the father of five and director of “Avatar” and “Titanic.” “It’s the, ‘I’m gonna isolate, single viewer’ kind of scenario. I’m not in favor of it personally, ’cause the family fragments…. Everybody’s got their own screen, their own experience.” Cameron has been thinking a lot about couch potato habits lately, as he attempts to help usher 3-D into homes with the introduction of 3-D Blu-ray versions of three of his movies this fall: a “Titanic” 3-D Blu-ray set was released Sept. 10; his Titanic documentary “Ghosts of the Abyss” hit stores Sept. 11; and an “Avatar” 3-D Blu-ray set will debut in North […]
Sept. 10, 2012 | 3:30 p.m.
James Cameron has always said the hardest part of moviemaking for him is the solitary, unforgiving process of writing, which is precisely where he finds himself now on the “Avatar” sequels. Cameron has devoted most of the last several months to his many, globe-spanning, non-”Avatar” projects — making a record-setting dive to the Mariana Trench, converting “Titanic” to 3-D and expanding his 3-D production company into China. Now the director said he’s about to sequester himself in his “top secret writing cave” to finish the next two “Avatar” scripts by the end of the year. “It’s a little bit of a daunting writing task because it’s two scripts and they’ve both gotta be done at the same time,” Cameron said in an interview last week, while promoting the 3-D Blu-ray release of “Titanic.” Cameron plans to shoot the “Avatar” sequels […]
March 30, 2012 | 1:46 p.m.
James Cameron’s alpha geek extracurricular hobby of deep-sea diving has always influenced his day job. The bioluminescent life on Pandora in “Avatar,” the story-framing voyage to the wreck in “Titanic” and the underwater traumas of “The Abyss” all emerged from how the director spends his downtime — way, way down in the ocean. Now Cameron’s recent record-setting solo dive to the Mariana Trench is providing further inspiration for the “Avatar” sequels, which will head to the oceans of Pandora. The filmmaker said the seven-year preparation for his dive–a plunge of nearly seven miles to the deepest point in the world in a torpedo-shaped, one-man submersible called the Deepsea Challenger — sparked ideas for the “Avatar” followups by exposing him to the small island nations of the Western Pacific where he staged the project. “The best inspiration I got for ‘Avatar’ […]
Oct. 07, 2011 | 1:37 p.m.
Director Justin Lin has set aside his plan to make a “Terminator” film but if you wanted a phrase to sum up his mind-set, a good one might be “I’ll be back.” Lin had been ramping up a fifth installment in the classic killer-robot franchise (despite the history of business challenges that have complicated the franchise’s status), but now that effort has taken a backseat after the success of his action film “Fast Five” and his desire to take that high-velocity franchise to its narrative finish line with a planned trilogy that now has a lot more industry fuel in its box-office tank. “Creatively, I’ve had to put some stuff on hold and walk away from some projects that I’d really love to do, but this is an opportunity for me and for us to close out the franchise the right way,” Lin said of the car […]
Sept. 21, 2011 | 6:39 a.m.
When James Cameron’s “Avatar” hit theaters in 2009, many moviegoers were so dazzled by the lush, 3-D world of the alien moon Pandora that they wanted to step right inside. Now the Walt Disney Co. is aiming to offer that kind of experience to its theme park patrons. Disney’s Imagineers are working with Cameron, his producing partner Jon Landau and studio 20th Century Fox to bring the fantasy world from “Avatar” to its theme parks, beginning with a multi-attraction themed land at the Animal Kingdom park in Orlando, Fla. Though the attraction is still in its earliest development stages, Cameron has clear ideas about what he’d like any Pandoran land to include, which he shared in an interview on Tuesday. “I definitely want to do a flight attraction of some kind,” the director said, citing the “Soarin’ Over California” flying […]
June 06, 2011 | 2:03 p.m.
“Avatar” fans eager to revisit the lush alien rain forests of Pandora now have their chance with “AVATAR: The Exhibit,” which opened Saturday at Seattle’s EMP Museum. The show, like the more than $2 billion-grossing James Cameron film about humans colonizing a distant moon, is high-tech and interactive, according to EMP Museum curator Brooks Peck. “‘Avatar’ fans would definitely enjoy [the exhibit], but we’re using it as a way to look at how filmmaking is changing,” Peck said. Visitors can transform into one of “Avatar’s” CG alien characters and act out a scene, create Pandoran plants with a kit based on scientific facts and walk by a life-size projection of the Pandoran forest where animated woodsprites react to human movements. Some key costumes and props from the film will be on display, including the 13.5-foot armored AMP suit worn by […]
May 26, 2011 | 1:08 p.m.
The sequel to “Avatar” will dive beneath the oceans of Pandora and perhaps visit neighboring moons as well, but the 2014 film will also be imprinted with the soul of Southern California, according to Richard Verrier of the Los Angeles Times business section. Verrier took a tour of the new home of the “Avatar” filmmaking team and its ambitions to follow up a film that pulled in a historic $2.8 billion in worldwide box office. Here’s an excerpt from Verrier’s report … Over the din of buzz saws and beeping forklifts, producer Jon Landau can barely contain his excitement as he strides into a 45-foot-tall sound stage that is barren except for workers building sets for a commercial shoot. “We’re taking over these two buildings here. We’ll have 200-plus people working down here. This is going to be the heart of the […]
May 19, 2011 | 10:20 a.m.
Michael Bay and James Cameron have a lot in common — they both blow up shiny things with a particular élan, wrangle their massive film crews military-style and earn studios the kind of money that makes a guy walk with a swagger. But, as evidenced by a talk the two action directors gave Wednesday night on the Paramount Pictures studio lot, they’re not entirely on the same page on the subject of 3-D. Bay screened about 15 minutes of footage from this summer’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” much of which he shot using the Fusion 3D camera system Cameron designed for “Avatar.” In a technical and sometimes contentious conversation about shutter speeds, rigs and lenses that will probably be very informative for the half-dozen people about to direct a $200-million-plus movie in the next year, Bay and Cameron debated […]
March 23, 2011 | 9:22 a.m.
This story ran on the cover of today’s Los Angeles Times Calendar section… The strange, alien hybrid was born in a beige-bland corporate park just off the freeway in San Diego and, after three years and $25 million in development, it still has no name but it does have a mission — to meld a television series and a global online video game in a dynamic way that will allow players around the world to become proxy members of the show’s creative team and digital extras on the weekly episodes. “It’s the holy grail and nothing less than that,” says Dave Howe, the president of NBC Universal’s Syfy channel, which would air the still untitled series beginning next year. “To have a television show and open-ended game that becomes a community, that is something that no one has ever done […]
March 01, 2011 | 5:54 p.m.
Lady Gaga has always claimed she was a geek in high school. Based on her new video for “Born This Way,” a sci-fi mini-epic with stylistic nods to “Aliens,” “Superman” and “Metropolis,” we believe her. (For music critic Ann Powers‘ take on the video, check out our sister blog, Pop & Hiss.) In the seven-minute origin story, the singer’s “Mother Monster” emerges as a nightclub-ready heir to the extraterrestrial queen from James Cameron‘s “Aliens.” She’s nasty, maternal and ready to produce a whole new race. Gaga introduces the video’s extra-planetary premise in voice-over, saying, “On G.O.A.T., a government-owned alien territory in space, a birth of magnificent and magical proportions took place.” G.O.A.T. sounds like it might share a system with LV-426, the planet where Sigourney Weaver‘s Ripley and the rest of Nostromo crew pick up trouble in “Alien.” Gaga births […]