July 6, 2013

Stop Ruining 3D or 'King of the World' James Cameron Will Chase You Down with His Oscar

James CameronIf you're planning on shooting an independent 3D picture in the near future, just -- hold on. Wait. Take a breath, and ask yourself, "Will this film make 3D filmmaking look bad? Will it remind people of the bad horror flicks of the 70s and 80s? Will it, most importantly, disappoint James Francis Cameron?" Earlier this week, the Academy award-winning director sounded off at Mexico City’s technology forum TagDF about the current state of 3D, why Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 didn't need it, and how post-Avatar 3D films are cheapening the medium that he invented.

James Cameron didn't invent 3D? I'm sorry. He was talking as if he had.

When we think about the history of 3D filmmaking, we often refer to the early 1950s films, like House of Wax and Creature from the Black Lagoon (one of my favorites is Robot Monster,) but 3D films have been around for almost 100 years. What started out as a gimmick to draw audiences into theaters evolved into a sophisticated visual tool, granted, largely due to the work Cameron did on Avatar, and nobody understands that better than -- James Cameron himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJp7Wd6Af2A?start=176

Cameron definitely has a bone to pick with 3D filmmakers about not using 3D properly, even calling out recent big 3D action releases when he sat down to talk to director Alfonso Cuarón at TagDF:

The reason I say that Hollywood is not doing well is because it is automatic. For example, Man of Steel, Iron Man and all those movies should not necessarily be in 3D. If you spend 150 million on visual effects, the film is already going to be spectacular, perfect.

Wait -- didn't James Cameron resurrect the Titanic and sink it in a fake North Atlantic and build Pandora from the ground up for a sum of no less than $200 million each? I would say that's pretty -- spectacular. Why did those need to be filmed in/converted to 3D?

Also brought up in the discussion was the difference between shooting in 3D and converting to 3D. Cameron implies that the two are not equal, and laments about how after Avatar, every movie had to be in 3D (because Cameron made it so popular and awesome, you see.) We started seeing all of these 3D conversions, a lot of them bad -- and that just doesn't sit well with Cameron. But -- Titanic was converted and re-released in 3D.

Check out this video of Cameron speaking at TagDF. (It doesn't capture the full conversation, but you'll get the gist.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyvCSlimtEU

Yes, James Cameron has a knack for helming visually remarkable films that create extreme worlds around seemingly normal people. I'll give him that. But his hubris and hypocrisy make his views on this subject laughable. Not only that, but his films are great because of the talented people who created the visual effects and developed the technology. His films would fall pretty flat if they relied solely on Cameron's screenwriting and directing ability.

Avatar changed 3D for the better. It helped evolve the medium from a niche sideshow attraction to a legitimate aesthetic device, and that's great. But, let's be real here. Film, especially independent film, is not about using the latest technology, casting the biggest stars, or bringing in tons of money. At least I hope not.

To me, film is about holding a mirror up to the human condition -- the human existence and guiding an audience through a narrative. Story is king, and whichever mechanism you choose to tell yours with, whether it's with 3D, a DSLR, a beautiful unknown actress, or through a non-linear narrative, is completely up to you. Those things don't necessarily make a movie great; a great story makes a movie great.

What do you think about James Cameron's comments? Do you agree/disagree? Where do you think 3D filmmaking is headed? Have you shot or are you planning on shooting a 3D film?

Link: James Cameron Says 'Man of Steel' & 'Iron Man 3' Probably Didn't Have To Be In 3D -- The Playlist

Your Comment

89 Comments

Please...I think Mr. Cameron is getting a little too full of himself. 3D enhances any action movie I have seen. Sure a comedy doesn't need to be 3D, BUT I still find it a far better movie experience than even IMAX 2D. So Mr. Cameron needs to get over himself.

July 6, 2013 at 8:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mike

James Cameron doesn't do what James Cameron does for James Cameron. James Cameron does what James Cameron does because James Cameron is James Cameron

July 6, 2013 at 9:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Matthew Rogan

James Cameron!

July 7, 2013 at 3:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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james cameron

James Cameron?

July 7, 2013 at 2:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Edgar

James....Cameron.

July 8, 2013 at 12:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Set sail for Avatar 2!

July 8, 2013 at 5:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ole Greg

On a "pro" or tech savvy blog such as NoFilmSchool I would expect you to use the right terminology for the technical stuff : 3D is not stereoscopy. It took me a few moments to understand what this article was about since 3D was not existing in the 50's but stereoscopy was ;)

July 6, 2013 at 9:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Sam

Sorry, did you think I was referring to the 3 physical dimensions of space in which we exist in the universe? I'll be more clear next time. ;)

July 6, 2013 at 9:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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V Renée
Nights & Weekends Editor
Writer/Director

yeah, please, because we can get very picky 'bout that ya knowwww?!!?!

July 6, 2013 at 10:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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hansd

wait a second... isn't this the same guy who directed Piranha Part Two: The Spawning?

July 6, 2013 at 9:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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steve

No, he was fired after 5 days.

July 7, 2013 at 5:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mark

Yeah, it's also the guy who wrote and directed T2 so any argument anyone has against James Cameron is invalid.

July 8, 2013 at 8:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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adrian

Another lovely, unbiased, completely informative and non-redundant article on NFS. Koo, it's gone downhill since you got the new people.

July 6, 2013 at 10:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tyler

Tyler, most of V Renee's work is incredibly informative, and is she my favorite columnist next to Joe Marine. Yes this article is biased. Yes she is definitely pushing her opinion. And you know what? It would've sucked if it didn't. Not every article can be like Joe's where he is comparing definitive camera specs and sensor sizes (where he definitely has his bias as well). Renee is commenting on a much larger/broader topic that doesn't necessarily have a right or wrong answer. I appreciate that she is giving me her opinion while still giving me info for why someone (Cameron) feels different.

July 6, 2013 at 10:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Taylor C

+1

July 6, 2013 at 11:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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hansd

What about filmschool lessons? I appreciate the articles about filmmakers but this isn't a sight to learn filmmaking.
I mostly come here for camera specs coverage.
Check out lightsfilmschool websights filmmaker blog section. They have tutorials for most filmmaking positions.

July 7, 2013 at 1:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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vinceGortho

"This isn't a site to learn filmmaking"? Well, I seem to have missed the point entirely, then. :) I'm afraid I disagree with you, and Koo's always been upfront about wanting to broaden NFS's scope beyond tech specs. Because this is a filmmaking site and there's more to filmmaking than camera specs. It's not called NoCameraSchool, after all. And I love Renée's articles; they're crisply-written, informative and imbued with a point of view that maybe I don't always agree with but can always respect. They deserve to be here right alongside the tech articles.

July 8, 2013 at 1:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Agreed, garbage article.

July 6, 2013 at 11:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nate

+1000

July 7, 2013 at 6:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jesuan

This. It's supposed to be a film news blog, not a "let me rant my feelings on this subject" blog. I'd appreciate these opine articles not being done under the guise of news, and highlighted as "Op-Ed" or whichever term best describes fully biased copy in lieu of information. Or eliminate them entirely.

July 8, 2013 at 3:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Robert

Cameron is entitled to think what he wants.

My main bone to pick with him is that he wants to codify what technology other professionals should use.

July 6, 2013 at 10:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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moebius22

I was totally disappointed with Avatar. 3D made it look more cartoonish and unrealistic.

July 6, 2013 at 11:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Neil

Great article! Im really enjoying V Renee’s peices! Thanks for adding a new voice to NFS. Cameron has always been a little too far up his own ass - Im not a huge fan of 3D in any scenario, but to be high brow about it seems ridiculous.

July 7, 2013 at 12:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Alex

dam little renee! you are on a blogging spree! you are out blogging the rest of them son! keep doing you

July 7, 2013 at 12:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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thadon calico

Two immutable factors keep dooming 3D, every time it is reinvented: human biology and human psychology. First, 3D violates the biology of sight...humans cannot simultaneously focus on screen elements that are physically reflected from the same focal plane but which give conflicting visual cues about where they are located in 3D space. Second, the psychology of story immersion depends on forgetting that you are in fact watching a fiction; however, being repeatedly subjected to artificial 3-dimensionality continuously changes the psychological state of the viewer from introspective participant in the narrative drama to that of a passenger on a thrill ride, being given sight and motion cues that jolt our awareness through false but realistic impressions that we are not in fact just watching a story on a screen, which in itself continually disrupts natural story immersion. Bottom line, there's no substitute for reality, and our brains are programmed either for reality or story immersion, but not both at the same time. We are programmed to expect interactivity in reality, and passive immersion in story event participation. 3D is a technology best suited for VIDEO GAMES, not for films, and the sooner creatives figure that out, the more fun we will all have. If they would put all hat money into better scripts, they wouldn't have to rely on gimmicks to try to attract moviegoers.

July 7, 2013 at 12:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John Green

A truly enlightened comment.
The film industry increasingly depends on VFXs, thinking that they will attract more people to the cinemas. These are the results, more and more stories are linked only to the visual aspects, putting aside those people, like me, who see in the movies, the opportunity of projecting themselves in a well-told story.

July 7, 2013 at 12:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Hollywood needs to provide an experience that you can't download on your computer. What do you think all this is about? A lot of the good film writers have moved to television leaving Hollywood relying on spectacle. Avatar is the highest grossing picture of all time. James Cameron holds the number 1 and 2 spot on that list. Imho, he has every right to be cocky. He revolutionized 3D, spending 10 years developing the technology to what it is now. He has passion, and he's irked by other filmmakers who make half-assed 3d films because they're undoing the progress he made with Avatar. People who just want good story can download that off the internet for free. I hope you see the big picture now ;)

July 7, 2013 at 3:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mike

Mike....you are my hero!!!! +1000

July 7, 2013 at 7:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jesuan

nobody would want to see Goya's Black Paintings in 3D (stereoscopic) and the reason is so simple: our mind, our deepest trace of imagination and dreams, hasn't ever needed it. The same with cinema

July 7, 2013 at 5:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John, your post is very well written and makes logical sense. My own experience with 3d tells me other wise. I have been completely immersed in 3D film, even more than the 2D version of the film. It just has to be done correctly like any film technique. Usually I hate 3D but there are a few rare examples (if you can somehow see DREDD 3D with active shutter glasses, I would highly recommend it).

When film was just getting started they discovered, almost by accident, the magic film editing. It turns out that if you edit on an action to a completely different angle people just accept it and do not even notice the edit. You were effectively teleporting the viewer and they accepted it so much that the edit was invisible! You can even change your lighting setup. Now after years of training we can watch jump cuts all day while checking our text messages. Youtube lives off the jump cut, the very antithesis of invisible editing. If we can handle all the extreme forms of editing we can learn to handle 3D.

And I absolutely agree video games are the perfect place for 3D to evolve. I am very excited about Oculus Rift. Video games push technology. Film is much more stagnant technologically but gets the benefit of trickle down.

July 7, 2013 at 8:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dan

3D didn't really take off in sports coverage either. I watched a bit of the 2010 World Cup in 3D and the players looked like the paper cut-outs. It wasn't worth putting the glasses on. Now, Dolby demoed a glass-free 3D at the most recent CES but there doesn't seem a lot of general interest in the technology.

July 7, 2013 at 12:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

3D and HFR suit visual films, rollercoaster-type entertainment movies and so on. I think post-converted 3D in Man of Steel was bad, even worse with jumpy editing and constant zoom-zoom.

July 7, 2013 at 1:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Natt

I agree that Iron Man 3 shouldn't have been in 3D. It looks like they shot in 3D but with 2D blocking and directing. Over the shoulder shots looked like post-blurred chroma keys. And the movie sucked anyway.

July 7, 2013 at 2:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I think James Francis Cameron is upset because he goes through all this trouble to "raise the bar", and none of his fellow blockbuster directors match his high standards. Say what you will about Avatar, but we all know how passionate Cameron was for his story and the technology that created it. I really don't think you can say that about someone like Hack Snyder. Movies like Man of Steel are so bad that it becomes painfully obvious that the filmmakers behind them really don't understand their characters or the worlds they are trying to create... and that really pisses off Ol' JFC. Anyways, I dig the article, and from here on out I'm always going to refer to him as James Francis Cameron hahaha.

July 7, 2013 at 4:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Wayne

Exactly.

July 7, 2013 at 5:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mark

+ 2

July 7, 2013 at 9:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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To be fair, that story in Avatar was about as original as Man of Steel was - not a lot. Cameron might be known for talking to the masses very well, but a unique storyteller he is not.

July 8, 2013 at 3:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Spider

I don't think you will find many unique heroes journeys out there. The strength of the film for me was simply in the realisation of Pandora and a good simple Pocahontas love story.

July 8, 2013 at 11:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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http://johnaugust.com/2011/no-one-stole-your-idea

Story doesn't mean shit. Execution is everything. It's about story telling, NOT story.

July 9, 2013 at 7:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gabe

"his films are great because of the talented people who created the visual effects and developed the technology. His films would fall pretty flat if they relied solely on Cameron’s screenwriting and directing ability."

I suggest you actually research how Cameron's career started. He is an incredibly talented production designer, and a pioneer in filmmaking technology.

I'm no fan - hell, I don't even like Terminator 2 - but this article is just plain nasty for the sake of it.

July 7, 2013 at 5:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Fresno Bob

I completely agree with Renée.
"Yes, James Cameron has a knack for helming visually remarkable films that create extreme worlds around seemingly normal people. I’ll give him that. But his hubris and hypocrisy make his views on this subject laughable. Not only that, but his films are great because of the talented people who created the visual effects and developed the technology. His films would fall pretty flat if they relied solely on Cameron’s screenwriting and directing ability."
James Cameron is not a great or engaging story-teller. He is brilliant with the visual effects. He took Terminator to a completely different level with the liquid metal terminator. Also, the visuals in Avataar were mind boggling.
Having said that, I would say, his story-telling skills Are mediocre, at best.
There should a face-off between all the biggest directors of Hollywood, with 1 Camera (either a Full HD Camcorder, or a DSLR with 2 lenses, of their choice), 1 mic, one stabilizing device, and one assistant, and a Single Story for the Ultimate Face-off. The editors and post guys should be common. And, the whole things should have 2-3 days of shoot (for a Short Film), and 1 week of pre and post (totally). Lets see, who can make a film, without all the Visual Extravaganza.

July 7, 2013 at 7:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Zack

I think most viewers (including me) would disagree with you on that point.

July 7, 2013 at 11:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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moebius22

Yeah, cause Titanic wasn't a great story or engaging. I guess that's why like a billion people saw it in theatres?

July 7, 2013 at 12:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mitch

I suspect some of you guys must be fairly young, since Cameron's filmography isn't limited to Titanic or Avatar.

July 7, 2013 at 12:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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moebius22

His best movie of all time was True Lies. I wish he could continue to write story like that.

July 7, 2013 at 12:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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VinceGOrtho

I totally agree. It was obvious from the start that V Renee wrote this as a "fuck you" piece to a person she dislike. Pretty unprofessional way to blow steam.

July 7, 2013 at 9:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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FabDex

I fucking hate 3D, it's annoying and it gets less interesting after the first two minutes. Also people should stop listening to James Cameron, just send him to the bottom of the ocean and let his head explode.

July 7, 2013 at 7:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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TorSven

It seems James is still bitter about being used as mop at the 82nd Academy Awards by his ex-wife. 16mm rules!

July 7, 2013 at 7:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Cameron made a fairly innocuous comment, one that was completely his own opinion, and you are making it seem like he wrote some binding declaration for all filmmakers. I come here for camera reviews and DIY filmmaking tips, not to listen to butthurt rants about non-issues. This article was a complete waste of time.

July 7, 2013 at 8:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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kirk

I liked the linked video because I really respect both directors, especially for their technical achievements.

The article itself left a bad taste in my mouth. It feels like I am reading a political piece critiquing an opposing candidate. I do not feel like this article encourages film makers.

July 7, 2013 at 7:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dan

I don't really agree with your take on this. I know what you're saying, but Cameron has been saying this from the getgo. He's saying: don't make 3D movies just so you can charge a 3D surcharge. And he's not just saying that now: he said that just after Avatar came out and they decided to do crappy 3D conversions of 'Clash of the Titans' and 'Last Airbender'.

And like him or not, the guy does stuff. If I remember right, he has, like, 27 patents based on filmmaking. He's not just an idea guy.

Did he invent 3D? No, but he initiated this modern surge of 3D films. And he really believed that this was the next evolution of film. I remember some of those old interviews. He LOVES 3D. And that's the thing: I think he's pissed that people who don't give a crap about using the technology properly are ruining the audiences appreciation for it.

July 7, 2013 at 10:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dave Mueller

Took the words out of my mouth.

July 7, 2013 at 12:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Damon

yeah!!!!

July 7, 2013 at 7:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jesuan

+1

July 8, 2013 at 9:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andrey

Sorry V. Seemed pretty innocuous to me also, and dare I say even reasonable given the bad 3D jobs that so many people seem to complain of.

Personally, I desperately want a huge influx of well made stories that deeply examine the human psyche and what it means to be a human being in the 21st century, or as Danny Boyle puts it, adult cinema. But the world is full of people with different tastes. So I have to disagree that Cameron is a mediocre story teller. All things in context. In his niche, which happens to be a preeeetty big one, he's proven to be quite a remarkable story teller. Certainly better than most other aspirants. Something I realise from your article will likely cause you to be sick in your mouth in trying to accept :) - but it's true none the less.

From a guy whose major inspirations were Star Wars, the ocean, VFX, and pioneering... what else to expect? Indeed with that in mind he's carried his torch pretty bloody admirably. Honestly, I'd be thrilled
to realise my own inspirations half so well. And that's the single most wonderful thing about art, we are all allowed to pursue our own dreams. Truth is I don't want to see James Cameron turn his hand to a social realist drama in Scotland about heroin junkies. And I don't want to see Danny Boyle make Avatar 2. But if they do, we can always choose to just tune in elsewhere.

Reading this blog, I'd hazard that Cameron's huge success has gone to his head at times and it's clearly upset and shaped your opinion of him quite strongly. But ironically, in that particular interview I just don't think it warrants such a heavy critique. We all make mistakes, and even hugely wealthy and successful people who make films we don't like... probably need to be forgiven for them too.

July 7, 2013 at 10:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Really, you wouldn't want to see Danny Boyle make Avatar 2? Man, that'd blow my mind. :)

July 8, 2013 at 1:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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+1

July 11, 2013 at 8:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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georg

Cameron isn't contradicting himself. He's one of the smartest people working in Hollywood - scary smart according to many accounts. He's saying that stereo should be used for spectacle, I.e. it's not a thing to be exploited for it's commercial value; it's like a rack focus or a dolly move: it's part of the film language and he is bemoaning it's misuse.

July 7, 2013 at 11:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brett

No. He said himself that he would love to see all movies in 3D of any genre, he is definately not a sage. He even predicted that broadcasting in 3D is THE next big thing and 3D is not going away - the last IBC showed something different...Cameron destroyed himself with and after True Lies, that movie showed very well how far his hubris had developed, he thought whatever shit he makes is gold. One can only pray that talented directors never get too much success, I feel that`s what causes all of them to crumble apart...

July 7, 2013 at 12:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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mariano

3D usually looks great if the film is shot in 3D via a beamsplitter rig. But the " Lets shoot celluloid and cookie cutter our the people" bullshit needs to stop. I'm surprised Chris Nolan would allow superman to be converted to 3D. Maybe he's getting a little soft?

July 7, 2013 at 12:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Leland

Actually I read an interview in Empire magazine with Nolan quite a while back in which he said if he did 3D it would be a post-conversion so there would be more control, and - this seemed to be the real reason - because he believes digital acquisition is still far inferior to film (IMAX in particular, I believe). He likened the post-conversion of 3D to the way he has the sound done for his movies: everything captured in mono and then mixed and layered and interpolated into a surround sound mix. The problem being that sound is a lot easier to do that with convincingly than visuals. No "pop-up book" look in audio.

July 8, 2013 at 1:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I worked on Avatar and some other stereo movies, and I can tell that if you want to see the best of the technology, just go see any CGI movie that was made for 3d. It's simple, in a CGI movie artists have TOTAL control of the camera and stereo settings, like convergence vs parallel, parallax, etc, plus they work and rework framing and editing to better suit your eyes. Versions after versions are tweaked just to maximize the experience. Avatar was so good because most of the movie was CGI. You can't even compare it with a camera stereo rig for a live action shoot since you might have only one take to get the convergence points right, moreover, any editor would pick the actor's performance shots over any stereo flawless shot. I don't even need to mention about stereo converted movies.

July 7, 2013 at 2:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Marcus

I agree on this. CG movies can look amazing in 3D. The biggest issue with 3D I see is that people shoot it like it is 2D even if it is a 100% CG movie. Then occasionally they throw in a 3D gag like something being thrown towards the audience. They are tacking 3D on at the end, not planning it from the very beginning so we end up with flat 3D most of the time.

All the lens characteristics we are used to in 2D become magnified to an insane amount in 3D. Sports games look awful in 3D because they are using super telephoto lenses which compress space. A wide angle lens emphasizes 3D volume but messes with your convergence point and can make people look very strange. I think 3D requires a different thinking process and I wish that the DP's shooting in 3D were looking at zdepth readouts as much as they are looking at histograms.

Mostly I see 2D techniques translated to a 3D world. Nothing drives me crazier than a rack focus or shallow depth of field in 3D (avatar was guilty of this twice that I remember with the flying bird zoom and the ash of the tree house). I think that it that will take some time before a definitive 3D codex of techniques arises.

July 7, 2013 at 6:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Dan

I agree. Shallow depth of field doesn't work in 3D. For me the idea of 3D is that it is supposed to immerse me in the world. In the real world I can look anywhere and my eyes focus. It pulls me out when I look around a frame in 3D and can't focus because the image is out of focus. I either look exactly where the filmmaker is asking me to or I fall off the roller-coaster. And people falling of roller-coasters generally gets theme parks shut down.

I tend to try to see movies the way the filmmakers created them. The way they intended them. I try not to see 3d converted movies. if you want it to be 3D than shoot it in 3D. (we have yet to have a filmmaker who intended for the crappy look of converted 3D as a story telling device) But even then I have on occasion been burned by bad filmmaking. I felt "Gatsby" did not benefit at all from being shot in 3D. But I'd rather see a film how the filmmaker intended for it to be viewed. And as you say if the filmmaker (not the studio) is tacking on 3D to what they are generally shooting as a 2D picture, than that's just poor choices and bad filmmaking.

July 8, 2013 at 9:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Truth doesn't care who's telling it. Even if Cameron hasn't lived up to his own standards (as even greek philosophers occasionally did), he is pretty right in saying that 3D, especially converted 3D, isn't at all a neccessary thing for blockbusters. It enlarges the budget, makes cinema tickets more expensive and in the end doesn't always enhance the cinematic experience. It also distracts from content even more, not just the audience but the filmmakers themselves. Few of the new 3D films actually benefitted from 3D: couple of animation films (Pixar, the better ones from Dreamworks) and films like "TinTin", "Hugo" and, yes, "Avatar". Question here is not, whether Jim Cameron is right, unfortunately he is, now, get over the fact that this guy's ego just has an orbit with three moons, now, and that he at the same time, is not who he is, because he couldn't utter one or two straight thoughts about filmmaking. The question is: Was this SO unexpected? Hollywood, TV, lets say capitalism (please, no anti-capitalism debate here, it's not a judgment) exploit trends wherever they can, milk the cow dry till the next one shows up. That's how sound, color and CGI became a standard (hollywood) audiences expect and ways to distract from poor content.

July 7, 2013 at 9:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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MattN.

Well, if/when the near-real-time photo-realistic 48 fps CGI comes to fore, the (alleged) beauty of 3D might be revisited. As of now, it's a decent fit for the summer action flicks and not much beyond that.

July 7, 2013 at 10:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I agree with Fresno Bob that this article is mean for the sake of mean because James Cameron is the big bad man in Hollywood and Godard is the best.

July 8, 2013 at 8:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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adrian

Apologies. I didn't know Ryan didn't write this. I retract the Godard bit, but people need to get over hating on Cameron. He's a great storyteller.

July 8, 2013 at 8:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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adrian

HAHA! Your opening paragraph was brilliant. I was like, WHAT, JAMES CAMERON INVENTED 3D?! HOW CAN THIS BE????!

July 8, 2013 at 9:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

Bad, bad article...
...
a shame...

July 8, 2013 at 10:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I went through three years of uni and came out with a degree in Screenwriting and Producing. The whole time I was there, I had to put up with every other student saying how his films are trash and that pissed me off. I want to make big films with good stories and to have a horribly biased and venomous article on a site that is supposed to be about learning and growing as filmmakers makes me feel like I've not left uni at all.

If you want YOUR films to hold a mirror up to the human condition, then that's great. Go you and I wish you all the best - sincerely, I do. I want something I can't experience by picking up a book or putting an album on. I like to sit in the dark with 300 other people packed wall to wall watching time-travelling cyborgs riding motorcycles whilst being chased by an 18-wheeler. Doesn't make me, Cameron or the rest of the audience stupid. It's horses for courses.

July 8, 2013 at 11:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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adrian

I didn't know James Cameron knew anything about cinema, apart from making corny pop-corn crap.

July 8, 2013 at 8:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john doe

That might be the dumbest thing anyone has ever said on this website. Which puts it in rarified company.

July 13, 2013 at 3:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jim

To be honest, I totally agree.

July 15, 2013 at 6:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Titus

Sorry... I love this site, but are you SERIOUSLY implying the man who who wrote and directed Terminator, Aliens, T2 and the Abyss isn't a talented director and screenwriter???? Like his acceptance speeches or not... you cannot deny that James Cameron is one hell of a director when it comes to action cinema. Even if his films aren't for you (which for me Titanic and Avatar, admittedly are not) you can't deny his technical knowledge and skill.

He created two of the biggest films in history (one of them from literally nothing) and they both became huge hits DESPITE the critical community rallying against them pre-release, because people know Cameron is one of the top 3 'big movie' directors who will make you leave the cinema knowing you just experienced something you've never seen before. That's hardly a 'knack'

He did 'create' 3d as we know it today, you admit as much in your article. Before avatar 3d conversion was just not done. But Cameron;s vision was to create an immersive experience... which he did. He used 3d to give weight to the fake world he made... to help the story, not sell tickets.. basically it had a reason to be there.

Then the execs saw the numbers and rushed the 3d conversion of Clash of the Titans, (which made a bucket load of money despite being near unwatchable in 3d) and now most major big movies come in 3d whether they were filmed in it or not. So in my opinion..... Cameron has a point.

July 9, 2013 at 9:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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kev

What the hell? So this site lambasts Cameron for not giving credit to other people and in that clip he actually credits everybody in the first sentences. Cameron is extremely talented and what I read was just complete horseshit. If he has some hubris, so what? Talented guys can have them.

July 9, 2013 at 7:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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It also seems like the article writer completely misses HOW good Cameron really is at directing. Those who miss this will NEVER, EVER be good directors. They may make a good film here and there, but they will never really get the leadership aspect of filmmaking. That's something that Cameron gets completely. Directing isn't just waiting for an opportunity to say something, it is about taking charge and controlling everything to get the perfect outcome. Is this site about learning actual filmmaking or bullshit?

July 9, 2013 at 7:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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So every great director now must think Cameron is god's gift to film then?

-_-

July 10, 2013 at 8:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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You can acknowledge someone's talent without liking their work.

July 11, 2013 at 4:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gabe

My comment got deleted. I didn't swear. Others have used far worse language. I just implied that we had enough of Renee's crap and she should take her editorial "talents" elsewhere. I am a huge fan of nofilmschool, have been for almost three years now, I find it tremendously helpful, I read almost every article that comes out, but I find articles like these an utter disgrace to what this site stands for. It's pure rant, and bashes a really talented and even more so IMPORTANT director, who is responsible for the likes of ALIENS, T2 and THE ABYSS. I really don't want to see any more of this horrible, shameful, mean spirited, poor excuse for articles on this site. And from what I've read here, in the comments section, assuming other comments weren't deleted, LIKE MINE WAS, so do a lot of others. The vast majority. Renee, goodbye.

July 10, 2013 at 9:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Cosmin Gurau

Completely agree. there are enough websites out there for axe grinding. The thing I've always liked about this site is that its overwhelmingly positive. This stuck out like a sore thumb, and wasn't even written well.

July 13, 2013 at 3:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jim

re: "His films would fall pretty flat if they relied solely on Cameron’s screenwriting and directing ability"
I have been a fan of Cameron's since Terminator. I also do not agree with his "hands on" approach to directing where, if his crew are not doing what he envisions, he simply shoves them aside and does it himself. And, yes, the story in Avatar is a disappointment in the ripping off Dances With Wolves, but,.. most of MAINSTREAM Hollywood are rip-offs.|
OK, now that you know i'm not some "fanboy" (I have yet to see his 1st film Piranha, I believe), I have to disagree with that "fall pretty flat" opinion.
Read the TERMINATOR 2 making of book. You will get inside the mind of Cameron when writing. It really shows how pacing and motivation are key elements in getting a lean story told. And, it shows his logic in stories - yes, he is the original pre-Into Darkness JJ Abrams. And Cameron has a way of writing very natural dialogue. (Yes the dialogue during action sequences are cheesy, but, that's just a cinema thing since most non-military humans are never in that situations.

July 11, 2013 at 3:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Shannon Shaw

Piranha II actually. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082910/
And if you'd like to keep your rosy view of Cameron's filmmaking skills, you'd do best to skip this one. Though many believe it was the experience on this film that made Cameron the filmmaker he became. He replaced the original director and was tasked with filming a script written primarily by the Executive Producer with a crew that did not speak English. The set was reportedly a war zone between Cameron and the Producer (Ovidio Assonitis). According to Cameron, Assonitis locked him out of the edit bay and would not let him see any of the footage. Cameron claims he broke into the edit suite to do his own cut, but was caught and the version that was released was the Producer's cut. The story behind the movie is more interesting than the film itself, but one can see how Cameron may have developed into such a control freak (or become more of one) in the wake of that experience.

July 12, 2013 at 11:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rich G

“The reason I say that Hollywood is not doing well is because it is automatic. For example, Man of Steel, Iron Man and all those movies should not necessarily be in 3D.”
I have to say I completely agree that most movies do not need to be in 3D. There are only two films I’ve seen in my life that I felt truly benefited from 3D(in a way that it helped tell the story). The first, interestingly, was Avatar. I’ve only seen it once in theatres and it was a new and different experience. I would imagine the movie wouldn’t be nearly as interesting in 2D as it was in 3D. The second was Tron: Legacy. I loved how they used 3D to help make the two different worlds feel even more different. Everything else I’ve preferred to watch in 3D.

July 11, 2013 at 4:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Whoops. Meant to say “everything else I’ve preferred to watch in 2D” at the end.

July 11, 2013 at 4:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Chase you down with the Oscar he did not win, when his ex wife won for Hurt Locker/

July 11, 2013 at 4:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rob Manning

I used this Sites Search Bar (with the term "3D") and came across this Article. I missed how the second video portrayed him badly. Perhaps we need a larger Clip or someone mistyped a URL.

I have 3D on my YT Channel and while it may not be the most breathtaking the quality (of the 3D) is something I stand behind. I use the Fujifilm W3 (less than $400) 3D Camera and in light of people's recent interest in 3D it seems (in hindsight) a better decision than spending a few grand and not getting ten times better results.

I have 3D Conversions on my YT Channel that are about as good as they could possibly be (almost flawless) BUT if anyone has constructive criticism about how to improve them you are more than welcome to post comments (over on youtube, don't SPAM here) so others, and myself, can learn from everyone's experience.

I have tried for a while to find someone who claims expertise in 3D to point out what is wrong with the Conversions without success. If anything I think my Conversions have added more than a new dimension to the original work. You can see more than you could in the original work and dare I say actually transported into the scene (maybe that is too hopeful, but judge for yourselves)

A purported example of a quality Conversion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwDxTIKlf-w (of which I boast).

I wish this Site had more content about filming in 3D. I am always willing to learn more and perhaps I will be better at the craft in time for 3D to be more popular. I do not know if it the cost (to view at home or to go to the Theatres), the discomfort of the glasses, or the eyestrain which is supposedly driving people away.

YouTube is an excellent delivery mechanism for 3D since you can choose various resolutions and methods by which to view it. I have limited resources to produce and view the 3D but have tried to accomodate various viewing screen sizes and means to view it. I hope it is enjoyable and welcome comments.

March 11, 2014 at 5:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Rob

........l will go anywhere iron jim goes

April 1, 2014 at 6:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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eric jim nem

I do not give a R*&* A*&^*&& what Cameron thinks. He has never and will never be a film maker. He is a Reality TV Maker under the fake guise of a film maker.

August 31, 2014 at 9:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joe