Legendary director James Cameron has dished on what he would like to use on his upcoming Avatar sequels, and how he is determined to extend the capabilities of 3D technology and higher frame rates for filmmaking.
On Friday night, the 62-year-old filmmaker accepted an honorary membership into the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers at the society's black-tie Centennial Gala. The distinctive honor was previously bestowed upon the likes of Walt Disney, George Lucas, and Ray Dolby, according to Indie Wire.
While accepting the honorary membership, Cameron promised to "push" innovation in filmmaking in his planned sequels to his 2009 film Avatar, which was the most successful movie ever made in regards to box office earnings.
"I'm going to push," Cameron said. "Not only for better tools, workflow, high dynamic range (HDR) and high frame rates (HFR) — the things we are working toward. I'm still very bullish on 3D, but we need brighter projection, and ultimately I think it can happen — with no glasses. We'll get there."
During the ceremony, Cameron emphasized how science influences the way that art is delivered and how it is instrumental in helping the filmmakers tell their stories.
In front of an estimated 500 guests, Cameron said that movie "magic has to amaze." He continued by saying, "That involves constant creation of new tools and techniques. The audience's eyes adjust to what we did, and so we need to up our work."
Cameron then went on to address the tech experts in the room. "You're my peeps," he said. "To be acknowledged by engineers is so much more meaningful to me, truthfully, than all the glitz of the artist side of Hollywood...I like sitting in a room with a bunch of smart people and solving technical problems."
On the red carpet for the event, Cameron talked The Hollywood Reporter about the usage of high-frame rates (HFR) and how it might eliminate the issues in 3D that can cause viewing discomfort.
"I think HFR is a tool, not a format," Cameron said. "I think it's something you want to weave in and out and use it when it soothes the eye, especially in 3D during panning, movements that [create] artifacts that I find very bothersome. I want to get rid of that stuff, and you can do it through high frame rates."
He continued by saying, "In terms of that kind of hyper clarity, there may be some films that benefit from it," he continued. "But I feel you still have to have a little bit of that veil of unreality that comes with [today’s commonly used] 24 frames per second. This is my conclusion now. I don’t think you do it wall-to-wall, I think you do it where you need it."
In regards to the upcoming Avatar sequels, Cameron said that in addition to HFR he would be working on "HDR, 4k for native stereo reduction." He said, "I'm going to need a lot of water [simulations], dynamics sims. And merging water, air, fire, all that sort of stuff together into complex simulations is going to be essential for the Avatar films."
Are you excited to see James Cameron's upcoming Avatar sequels?