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Harry talks to James Cameron, Cracks PROJECT 880, the BATTLE ANGEL trilogy & Cameron's live shoot on Mars!!!

Hey folks, Harry here…. Just had an hour long conversation with James Cameron. In fact, I was asleep when he called. Usually I ignore the cel phone when asleep, but I was expecting a call from my girlfriend.

I answer the phone in garbled sleep voice. The other voice says, “Is Harry Knowles there?” I retort with a sleepy, slightly annoyed… “You got em!”

“Hi Harry, this is James Cameron.”

PANIC! Quint has my recording equipment for the cel phone. My computer is turned off to take notes. 0-60 had to be done in an eye blink. You see – I was expecting this phone call about 2 weeks ago. It all began with Quint in Santa Barbara when he met James Cameron. He deferred to ask about PROJECT 880, because he had heard other reporters getting the door slammed in their faces in regards to it. Well, edited out of that transcript was Cameron telling Quint that he would call me to tell me exclusively what Project 880 was and unload all the nitty gritty details were. He’d shoot 100% straight with me.

Obviously I was anxious. And when the day of his expected call came and passed, I wistfully saw it as another one that… got away.

As a result, all the equipment I had ready to record this historic conversation was gone. It was resting at Quint’s Sea Shack ready to interview the director of V FOR VENDETTA. AICN must get off it’s ass and get equipment to all it’s lead writers for exactly this reason.

Ok – so what’d he say?

PROJECT 880 is AVATAR, or as he put it, “a retooled version of AVATAR” We talked about the scriptment that got out and he said while he was annoyed that it got out, he realized it was really no different than adapting a novel, and that certainly adapting that scriptment, which was incredibly dense as it was, had been a great challenge in and of itself.

Now he still doesn’t know if it is going to be BATTLE ANGEL ALITA or AVATAR that comes next. You see deep within the N.S.A. like security of LIGHTSTORM, Jim has been constructing a Virtual Production Studio completely unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. Within that space are two separate teams concurrently prepping and getting ready to shoot back to back essentially over a 3 year span, BATTLE ANGEL ALITA and AVATAR.

Because of the films’ mutual lack of a BIG STAR in the lead role, his start up on filming isn’t having to be locked down. So both projects can be prepped right up to the last minute before he calls it as to which is getting made.

Why the back and forth? It isn’t because he’s trying to drive us crazy, it’s because he is so in love with both projects that he can’t just emotionally choose one over the other. What has to be decided is which project is the greater commercial introduction to the technology that he’s going to be unleashing upon us. You see. This isn’t just a “next film” to Jim, it’s about evolving cinema as we’ve come to know it. When you’re speaking to him, you’d find yourself not speaking to a crackpot, but to the most lucid evangelical techno-fetishist in the world, who just happens to be a filmmaking god. How can I say that?

Well, one of the side projects that he’s doing is working in conjunction with the MALIN SPACE SCIENCE SERVICES group… those are the guys that developed the M.O.C. Global Surveyor that’s been mapping Mars for the last couple of years. That’s completely changed everyone’s belief of what MARS is. Well, the next big NASA mission is going to have a Live Video Stereo Motion Image device that Cameron has been developing with M.S.S.S. to bring us back live 3D video images in full motion from the surface of Mars… all tied to the back of one of those nuclear powered Rovers that’ll be exploring, if all goes well, for years. See… Evangelical Techno-Fetishist.

I asked if we could expect any of the Cameron Company Regulars to be in BATTLE ANGEL ALITA or AVATAR. His response was, “I really hope so. Listen, I definitely have my favorites. If I’ve chosen to work with an actor once, it’s probably with a good reason, but if I’ve worked with an actor a couple of times, I’ve stayed friends with them.”

Now – BATTLE ANGEL ALITA is seen as the next “franchise” from Cameron. He sees it as a “3 film cycle.” I asked about whether or not he’s seen “Alita” yet, and he confirmed that on both ALITA and AVATAR he’s seen working models that he’s quite satisfied with.

With that we began talking about 3D. The camera he is going to be shooting with is called THE FUSION CAMERA, which is scheduled to shoot a U2 Concert in the next couple of days. I love that he knows where his camera is going. Anyway. Jim’s planning on shooting 3D not so much as the stab you in the eye, throw a flaming spear at you type of thing, but as, what he calls, “A More Lucid Window,” through which to observe the worlds that he’s going to unleash upon us.

When I began talking about the questionable Home Entertainment application in terms of immediate revenue return, like the 2D market today… especially with this film being seen widely in the superior stereoscopic format. Cameron said that all the at home viewing technology is developed and is sitting waiting for content. Before the technology giants like SONY come out with the perfect 3D at home screening units – they need to have at least 30-40 major popular titles to package to offer in an initial offering to the public. That’s where the retro-fitting of 2D films to Stereo Optics is coming in. 3D STAR WARS, INDIANA JONES, etc. I asked him which of his films would get that treatment and at this time he’s really concentrating on T2 and TITANIC. When I asked about ALIENS, he kinda went a little sheepish on me. It seems that he cringes a bit when he watches ALIENS, as the grain of the film bothers him and it was really pushing what could be done with models and costumes and he doesn’t really care to pull a George Lucas and “fix it”, because that is the best that film could be given the tools at the time, and he feels that after all this new fangled technology is out there – that in 30 years time, people will look at those films with a degree of fondness and appreciation for what they represent. And would take into granted their limitations of technology, the same way we do when looking at WIZARD OF OZ or GONE WITH THE WIND or TEN COMMANDMENTS.

Lastly, he wanted people to understand something in regards of the Digital projectors that would be being placed in theaters around the world. These projectors have the capacity to screen things at up to speeds like 120 to 140 fps. The entire industry is going to be shifting to higher frame rates, probably somewhere above 40fps where suddenly the strobing you see or can detect on those big massive battle scenes in films like TROY, which instantly make you disconnect. Those will go away. And on AVATAR and BATTLE ANGEL ALITA it is absolutely necessary to have those higher frame rates, one for the sheer projection of the Stereo images, but also the sort of images he’s planning on putting out there are just the type that at 24 fps, would start to kind of break-up and become unintelligible.

The very last thing I asked was in regards to him having a finish line in his head by which point he’ll know for a fact whether it will be BATTLE ANGEL ALITA or AVATAR – and he said it would be a couple of months and that he’d give me a call to keep me in the loop. It seems that Jim has been very respectful of the legwork that we’ve been doing to track what he’s been up to. And feels he should keep us in the loop.

OK – so the 5 Cameron films he’s going to hit us with look to be AVATAR, BATTLE ANGEL ALITA 1,2,3 and DIVE… which will be a drama shot in and projected with the latest digital 3D technology. Of my hour on the phone with Jim, I can say this. He is giddy, jocular, dead serious and scarily on target. He’s going to be bringing various key filmmakers to his shoot to show them what he’s doing in terms of these films. Basically, he’s the recruitment monkey to try and get the other guys in long pants to set up and play with the toys he’s been helping to innovate. In fact while on the phone with me, he began to inquire about John Carter of Mars and wants to talk to Favreau about the technology he’s using and it’s applications for BARSOOM. It’s this type of evangelical, “I’ve seen the future,” type of self-assured moxie that I love about Cameron.

Did I tell you he was planning on going to the International Space Station and shooting a documentary where he does a spacewalk and the whole 9 yards. Jim is a fascinating fellow to “shoot the shit with” and it looks like we’re going to be doing this again from time to time. Only next time, I hope it is with a bit of warning… and with my equipment bedside and ready. After all… an interview about the future of cinema shouldn’t be left to the waking mind… or maybe, it’s best that it came to mind half in and out of a dream. After all, that is exactly what he’s trying to do. Place a lucid window into the dreams he wishes to share with all of us.

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:28 p.m. CST


    by AtomicHyperbole

    Battle Angel Alita is one of my faves. PLEASE let it be next.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:31 p.m. CST


    by Psalmolive


  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Color me impressed...

    by killduhbassud

    ...I have no smack to talk about this whatsoever. Sounds nifty. Looking forward to both.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:36 p.m. CST


    by SebastianHaff

    Has anyone here read the Battle Angel mnga? Is it really that good? I mean, does Cameron need to visit its univers three times? He didn't even give us three Terminator movies!

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Donald Trump - like optimism

    by pencil-man

    Bullshit, this technology won't get any further than Captain Eo for fux sake. He sounds just like the Trump, getting us all hyped and ready to invest our time in spending time watching a movie. How about s t o r y t e l l i n g folks? What makes movies cool is that regardless to how they are projected, if the vision is unique and styled, there is no need for "gimmicks" (see City of Lost Children, or In The Mood For Love, or Primer). That is just what this is, a gimmick. Thanx pojo.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:44 p.m. CST


    by covenant

    Wow...that was impressive. Cameron, like Lucas, seems to have a natural instinct for new technology and innovation. Unlike Lucas, however, Cameron still knows how to tell a story--well, I hope so, since it's been close to a decade since his last major theatrical release. Do his innovations represent the future of film technology? I hope so.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:48 p.m. CST

    covenant, can you tell a story?

    by pencil-man

    Lucas can tell a story, episode 2 is a prime example of young love: melodramatic, forced, and eventually tragic and traumatizing. Nuff Said !!

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Cameron talks a lot about shit he may or may not do.

    by Childe Roland

    Kind of like Tarantino. I can only hope that, unlike Tarantino, he doesn't forget how important story and character are to the movie experience. Stuff "looking cool" is really pretty inconsequential in the final analysis. Even shiny, technically sophisticated turds are still turds. Don't believe me? Check out Alien3 or Ressurection. Check out the Star Wars prequels. Hell...check out Titanic again. Smell the turdage on those stories and characters.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Battle Angel

    by AtomicHyperbole

    I didn't read the manga, but, well, I wanted more of the film when it was done. It's got legs on the story and infinite opportunity with the setup. As long as its a trilogy, it'll do well!

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Very exciting stuff.

    by Psyclops

    I'd love to see BATTLE ANGEL happen first but I would see anything Cameron had to offer. The man is really pushing the envelope here and just the thought of what he has planned is causing me to geek out like crazy. Welcome back, Mr. Cameron!

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Actually I did read the manga...

    by AtomicHyperbole

    ... just a LOOOOOONG time ago... in a magazine. Fiiine it was too.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Childe Roland : looking cool

    by pencil-man

    Umm, film is a visual medium too, so it better damn well "look cool". As for the prequel trilogy, it looks prettier than a Michael Bay production, even the characters have motivation beyond, "Run!!". Alien 3 and 4 were pointless monetgrabbers, just like T3. Don't believe me? If the title design of a movie is the same in the credits as it is on the VHS box, it's gonna suck.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Too bad.

    by zombiekillah

    Que lastima Harry didn't get to record the conversation. Instead we get what Harry remembers.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:57 p.m. CST

    The Future

    by ShaolinDolemite

    I'm all for whatever he wants to do (and I'm not a huge Cameron fan) but he's gonna have to throw his weight around getting theaters up to speed because it seems to me that film isn't really slowing down (or should I say digital isn't exactly storming in). What I did find interesting is the part about frame rates. I saw Ep.III in digital and I didn't notice a bit of bluring. And how does this affect editing? And as far as technology as a whole where does the whole "3-D" thing land indpendent filmmakers? Does he think everything could/should be in 3-D? Anyways it should be intereseting where this all goes- between Cameron, RR and Lucas I'm really excited about where things may be going.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 5:57 p.m. CST

    the Battle Angel anime are pretty good...

    by zombiekillah

    but c'mon. You're telling me Cameron ISN'T casting Jessica Alba as his Alita? Fft.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:02 p.m. CST


    by covenant

    EP 3 was reasonably good, but I have to disagree with you on EP2: The stilted dialogue, the awkward acting--it just didn't register with me. If you liked it, then you are entitled to your opinion and I won't insult you for it (flame wars on TBs are just plain juvenile). For the record, I can tell a story: I'm a published author (just short stories, mind you, but published nonetheless). Peace!

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Talk about Geeking out!

    by Mad-Maximus

    Great job Harry on the interview, I think you did a fine job from using whatever material you could come up with from memory....I am soo excited about the future of cinema.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Is it just me...

    by Darth Bladder

    or is everyone pretending to know what "Battle Angel" and "Avitar" are? I have heard "Battle Angel" mentioned before but I got no idea what the heck it is. Can someone shed some light on both of these?

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:19 p.m. CST

    JC Can Come Off as an Egomaniac...

    by hipcheck13

    ...but I don't know of any film maker so eager to stretch the bounderies of what a film can do. He talks like a zealot, and in this age of shitty remakes/reimagining/whatever, it's great to have a guy with REAL pull in the movie industry getting so fired up about pushing the technological and filmmaking envelope.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Have to agree with one half the board

    by hank quinlan

    What made James Cameron such a great filmmaker was that he was also an amazing writer. That is the only reason I am excited about his films. He has the ability to realize the worlds he creates. But I agree...I think these could make for some amazing films. But I think I am just as happy to watch a movie beautifully shot on film as a 3-D film (and I LOVE 3-d). But really, I saw Lawrence of Arabia on 70mm a while ago...and 70mm is so gorgeous and big and looks 3-D. There is a wonderful lost artform. What sucks now is most big budget movies are really almost animated movies. There is something to be said for somebody going out there with a camera and making a real movie. Someone mentioned of the best sci fi films ever. Or whatever...Chungking Express, Breathless, Pi etc. I hate digtal. Its fucking video. And I'm willing to stave off the future as long as it takes. I'm not a purist. But the Miami Vice trailer...shit thats digital video. Its ugly. Can't wait to see what Cameron does. He's never made a bad movie. But the best scene in the Abyss (when Ed Harris revives his wife) has no special effects. People who went to see Titanic don't remember the boat. They remember the love story. And I don't care what anyone says...those Aliens were fucking awesome. I'd rather watch them then some CGI monster any day of the week. Maybe if it was in 3-D...maybe...

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Annnnnnd there it is...

    by Rowley Birkin QC

    Got that cursory girlfriend mention out of the way in the opening paragraph. Congrats Harry, consider yourself validated.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:26 p.m. CST

    A phone call from Cameron AND a girlfriend?

    by Acappellaman

    Harry must be in Heaven! Sounds like we've got some very interesting times coming down the pipeline for us. I do wonder, though, why such a high framerate. In my schooling they always told us the human eye can't detect a framerate higher than 30fps. Does anybody know whether or not this is a fact? If so, then why the necessity for a framerate over 100? 'Splain it to me!

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:28 p.m. CST

    covenant's short stories

    by pencil-man

    Thx for the respect, where can I read your stories? I have some stories of my own I'd like to get off the ground. 10Q.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Lets make the decision for him: Avatar.

    by chickychow

    Okay? We good? Avatar sounds like the shit, whereas Battle Angel, I dunno, don't know enough about it yet obviously, but it just doesn't get me geeky like Avatar does (what I've read about the scriptment that is). So James, listen to your old friend chickychow: Avatar is the next movie you're gonna make. (also, just scrap The Dive. I don't care about it)

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Mr Cameron?

    by ILK

    Please make the films THEN go to space. Not the other way around. Scary.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:29 p.m. CST

    JC Kicks Ass!

    by VFXpert

    Jim will always make great entertaining movies, no matter what the subject, genre or technology. He knows how to make interesting characters and put them in exciting stories. These films will be great - whenever they come out!

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Harry has a girlfriend?

    by Bender-Wiggins

    Man, you have to love Cameron.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:38 p.m. CST

    I vote Avatar

    by Chogokin

    Because I'm a Battle Angel fan. I'd much rather see him work out any bugs in the system with a one-shot movie like Avatar before taking on a trilogy. Speaking of Avatar, I read a copy of the scriptment that someone linked to when this business was first discussed around a month ago. Definitely gorgeous eye-candy, but I thought the story was a little too stereotyped, and the protagonist was just a vehicle for the story. Hopefully we'll see Cameron the writer again, and he'll invest the characters with some personality and the story with some balance.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Darth Bladder...

    by Acappellaman

    I won't pretend to know every detail about it since I didn't read it from the first issue, but from what I understand, Battle Angel Alita was a manga publication about a scientist who create a (cyborg?) girl from scrap metal. I read maybe half a dozen issues and it is really interesting. I pretty much remember there are a lot of fights, some of them contests, some were just bad guys Alita was battling to save somebody else. Not too much unlike a lot of Anime out there where the good guys fight increasingly difficult enemies in a very graphic and destructive manner. Very interesting stuff, though. This one is way different from the rest and should make for a really interesting trilogy. Here's a web site that may explain the basic concept a bit:

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:40 p.m. CST

    pencil-man, I don't think we're that far away...

    by Childe Roland

    ...from agreement on what it takes to make a good movie. Obviously it would be great if a film looked cool, being a visual medium and all. But it isn't enough for a movie to simply look cool. I can think of a fair number of movies that, especially by today's heightened standards, kind of look like shit. But the stories and characters (and, critically important, the performances) elevate them beyond their visual elements (Sling Blade, is just one fairly recent example of a film that shines despite some technical warts). As a writer, I know you appreciate the power of well crafted plot, dialogue and characters. Let's hope JC hasn't forgotten all that stuff in his enthusiasm for the latest toys (like Uncle George did).

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:57 p.m. CST


    by Rindain

    I too want Battle Angel to be the best it can be, and I understand the idea that doing Battle Angel after Avatar may result in a better movie because the kinks in the production process will be worked out, Cameron's feature directing skills will have had a good warm up, etc. However, another part of me just wants to see Alita as soon as possible, and another part worries that Alita won't get as big a budget as Avatar if Avatar goes first, since, as Cameron said, the first film will be the one that is the best commercial introduction to the technology. Thus, it might get the bigger budget in order to make the greatest commercial impact. In any event, both projects are more exciting to me than any other potential blockbusters on the horizon, so I'm more than happy with either (although being a huge fan of the manga, Battle Angel currently excites me more).

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 6:59 p.m. CST

    I absolutely loved 5 out of James Cameron's 6 features.

    by one9deuce

    The Abyss doesn't really work for me, but it is still a pretty good film. I defend James Cameron left and right on talkbacks, but now I am feeling some doubt start to creep in. I can't understand how he could possibly feel that way about Aliens. That film feels real, and no CGI fest is ever going to have that kind of visceral impact. Some examples: When Ripley and Hicks get into the elevator, and as the door starts to close and Alien tries to force it's way in from an impossible angle; When Newt is in the water and an Alien comes up from behind her; When Vasquez has the Alien drop onto her from above, then sticks her boot and her pistol against it's head and fires until it's empty. I could go on and on, that stuff looks like it was actually happening. When it looks like reality, you can't improve on it. Is this 3D thing going to take off? I think it will be sort of like Imax. Something that does well, but it isn't going to take over the film business. People DO NOT want to wear a pair of 3D glasses when they are watching a film. James Cameron sounds like George Lucas a few years ago. He is "waiting for the technology" to catch up to his "vision". And we all know how the Prequel Trilogy turned out: Shitty. All the technology in the world isn't going to help poor storytelling. A good example of this would be Jaws vs. The Matrix Reloaded. The scene in The Matrix Reloaded where Neo "fights" Seraph. It looks and feels like a dance.....because it is a dance. I like watching people dance, but not when they are supposed to be fighting. And in the next scene when Neo fights a hundred or so Agent Smiths. Fake looking Agent Smiths I should say. It looks like a bunch of cartoon people being flung around because it IS a bunch of cartoon people being flung around. Not for 1 second do I believe there is a real fight going on. Now for contrast, use the scene in Jaws after the Tiger Shark is caught. Chief Brody is very pleased that they have caught the shark (blissfully unaware of just how big a problem he was facing), and Mrs. Kintner walks up to him on the dock. She is dressed all in black because a Great White had killed her son. She looks at Chief Brody for a beat, and then slaps his face. That 2 seconds of Chief Brody getting slapped has 100 times the emotional impact of the two scenes I described in The Matrix Reloaded. I felt the embarrassment from Chief Brody, and the agonizing pain of Mrs. Kintner all in one well choreographed slap. It felt real. That is what works for an audience.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:02 p.m. CST

    just so long as he casts jessica alba in something

    by newc0253

    that's all i care about.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:06 p.m. CST


    by invalid entry

    real cool harry.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:09 p.m. CST


    by conniebrean

    Cameron has made 7 narrative features. Although he'd probably like to forget The Spawning.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:11 p.m. CST

    I hope it's Alita

    by Killah_Mate

    Yes, I've read Alita, and yes, it's that good. To me personally it's better than Avatar, for what it's worth. Avatar has a cool world, but I feel Alita is the better story. Also, all you people saying you don't know what Avatar and Alita are, well, you're *on the Internet*! Go Google. And pencil-man, if it weren't for people like Cameron, we'd still be watching 20fps, 16mm, black and white movies. With no sound. And he's an honestly brilliant filmmmaker (storyteller) and all-round renaissance man (designer and engineer), so I don't know what you believe the problem is. I mean, how many of you guys made a movie? And how many of you guys *made a Mars probe part*? Also, Acappellaman, the human eye *stops detecting flicker* at about 25-30fps. It can still tell the difference, all the way up to about 80fps or so. Ask any computer gamer to show you the difference between Quake at 24fps and at 80fps, and you'll see the light, trust me. Or, for example, imagine you're watching a Lord of the Rings battle, one of the hectic ones with the camera real close. The way it is now, all shaky and low-framerate, you can barely tell apart the characters. If Jackson shot it at, say, 48fps or (my favorite) 72fps, you'd probably be able to recount it afterwards. Ebert's been praising a 48fps analog projection system for years now, campaigning for it over digital. But with digital we can have both.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:22 p.m. CST

    This is why I love AICN

    by Koola_Norway

    Thanks Harry, this was like AICN 1999. Mucho appreciated.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:24 p.m. CST

    I was going to joke about Battle Beyond the Stars...

    by Sir Loin a 3D remake with Richard Thomas back in action, but after reading the interview and talkback, I'm further in awe of Mr. Cameron's technical expertise and therefore abandon any snide intentions. The man's brilliant and keeps moving forward and I'm happy to be along for the ride.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Harry...are the fx...

    by Shaner Jedi

    in-house or from an outside facility?

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:28 p.m. CST


    by Killah_Mate

    That was also for Childe Roland; the point is, Cameron *is* a storyteller and not just a tech head, we already have evidence for that. No need to worry. Also, Chogokin, you raise a good point. I'm really not sure if Alita would benefit more from being first or second. Also, being realistic for a second, whatever 3D extravaganza he makes could still easily tank, the technology being simply too advanced for it's time, blowing the chances for the other 4 movies. So I hope he makes Alita, so that we have it even if the others don't get made.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:37 p.m. CST

    James Cameron is a Legend

    by allfunandgames

    Sounds like he will be blowing Lucas out of the water in terms of advancing the medium. Exciting Stuff - I can't wait!

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Killah_Mate, Cameron's made some good movies...

    by Childe Roland

    ...but the last big movie he made, Titanic, was the very definition of flash over substance. The romance was hackneyed down to the villain's handlebar 'stache. Contrary to what someone above posted, it is not the story that made the impression there. It was the spectacle. The movie doesn't hold up because it was a delivery system for Cameron's then-burgeoning shipwreck fetish and the latest in visual effects. Granted, that's one real stinker of a story amidst a slew of pretty entertaining ones. But it was his most recent outing and he really hasn't done shit as a story teller since. That's why I'm worried. And all he talks about now is the technology. That also worries me. Some great artists and innovators in all media have done shit work in their later years. For example, Stevie Wonder just called to say he loves you. See what I mean?

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Fucking awesome, Harry! THX for all the infos!

    by CurryIce

    Can't wait to be blown away by Avatar & BattleAngelAlita trilogy in 40 fps or more. Too bad we have to wait YEARS and YEARS until we get the chance to see it.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Childe Roland

    by Killah_Mate

    All true, but that's exactly why I'm not worried :) The thing is, Cameron basically admitted in an interview once that he pitched "Titanic" to the studio so they'd give him the money to dive into the wreck. That's why there's that whole framing story set in 1997 - that's the actual main reason he made the film. The Leo/Kate flashback (and the whole story, basically) is little more than an afterthought. He said on several occasions that he left to do documentaries to get that out of his system, so that he can fully concentrate on movies once he goes back to making them. And I like the sound of that.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:53 p.m. CST

    FINALLY, no more 'what is Project 880?' crap

    by performingmonkey

    And FINALLY we know that Cameron is gearing up to make these fuckers. I really hope he can still do what he used to be able to do. You can lay into Titanic all you want but it was a very good merging of story and tech.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:55 p.m. CST


    by Killah_Mate

    The fucker is making an MMORPG to go with the movie. I mean, that's just too much. Is there anything he isn't good at? Does he ever *sleep*?

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 7:57 p.m. CST

    conniebrean, Piranha 2 is not a James Cameron film.

    by one9deuce

    It's an Ovidio G. Assonitis film. If James Cameron would have had total control it would have been immeasurably better.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 8:21 p.m. CST

    And I've gotta give props to Harry... finally.

    by chickychow

    We all know this site is on the ball about 2 days after all other sites, but this is at long last a REAL exclusive. Good job Harry. Now go back to sleep and keep on dreamin of that "girlfriend" (aka poster of Cameron Diaz's ass)

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 8:29 p.m. CST

    If You Want to Sample Battle Angel

    by ScottGreen

    Pick up (Amazon link, no BS affiliate stuff) The second volume is a perfect sci-fi tragedy. One of my favorite single volumes of manga. Character work, drama, action and sci-fi ideas are all top notch. It would definitely make a great movie. The first volume has good material, but the aesthetic is a bit dated and it isn't purely required. Movie on, the third and fourth volumes are a surprisingly excellent riff of roller derby of all things, and there's an interesting progression of the character from there. The second series Last Order is a must for manga fans, but it plays more to anime/manga people.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Could Cameron call Moriarty next time?

    by 3 Bag Enema

    Because it would be nice to get the scoop from someone who is actually fluent in English.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 8:29 p.m. CST


    by kuryakin

    I don't think he was saying what you think about Aliens. He wasn't saying it was unreal-looking, just that T2 and Titanic relied on visual effects generated by computer and that these other two could be updated to incorporate new technology without losing anything. Aliens was doen with model work and costume so would lose something in an update. At least that was how I interpret it - and I have to agree. I like that he loves his films but has the emotional distance to see that Aliens will be regarded in 20 years time as a great film of its time. Look at the way people talk about The Empire Strikes Back, with the model work there. The idea of Lucas going over every effects shot an re-doing them completely in CG is just...shit. And Cameron knows that people would feel the same about Aliens being done this way. I think he's being perfectly sensible and more thoughtful than I had imagined him to be.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 8:38 p.m. CST

    How can your choose to ignore your phone

    by Windowlicker74

    or not when you are asleep? you either wake up or you don't.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 8:45 p.m. CST

    reminds me of orpheus

    by Octaveaeon

    and the tale of Prometheus. I'm for anything that helps this era read and "learn the value of human life"... paling

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Take THAT, fuckers.


    Sorry to be so acerbic, but damn. All these snotnosed fanboys calling Cameron out for I don't know how many years now... "he's washed up," "he's burned out," "Titanic sucked," "he'll never make another good movie," "it's too late," "He hasn't made a good flick since T2," "he's out of the game," yadda yadda yadda. Cameron's actually changing the game as we know it. And now, not only with the 3D technology he's pioneered but also the projectors showing film at 140 fps or so? Are you kidding me? Movies are going to look a hundred times better and more realistic than they ever have, and it's cause of this "washed up burnout" who happens to have made some of the best damn movies of the past 20 years. And then it really will become a matter of "it's not the technology involved in the process, it's what you do with it," when he makes some flat-out badass movies that will freak everybody the fuck out, and lesser filmmakers will be trying to catch up, shamefully putting out their 2nd-rate movies shown by 1st-rate projectors. And then we'll see who's the man. Go, Jim. Bad muthafucka.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 8:58 p.m. CST



    Not that Cameron didn't **try** to take control of the flick. . . one of my favorite JC legends is how he was stuck in Rome after Assolitis fired him (he told Jim, "It's shit! Nothing cuts!" and refused to let him see the dailies,) and Jim, broke, jobless and in a foreign country, stuck around and jimmied the editing room door open with his credit card in the middle of the night, taught himself how to work the Italian KEM machine, and re-cut the footage to his liking. It was upon reading that story when I realized who my favorite filmmaker was.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Harry!

    by Anti-fanboy

    Wish you'd had that recorder going, but nice getting the jist at least. No Titanic backlash here against Cameron. I saw the movie opening night -- ppl couldn't leave the theater for being slumped forward in their seats crying. When you create a movie that connects emotionally like that, you create a phenomenon. Can't fault Cameron for being a God. "King of the World"? That's how he felt. You'd feel like a fucking King too if you were him at the time. He's an egotistical asshole? Nah -- from what I've read, Cameron is better at most of the jobs on set than ppl working for him -- it's not ego, it's impatience with imperfection -- it's not about himself, it's about the work, it's about making the best film possible. Anyway, who gives a shit about him personally so long as he makes awesome movies. And I'm not worried about him having lost his touch for telling a story -- I think it's innate, that sensibility, and while some prattle about the differences between documentaries and fictional films, he's no doubt busy crafting some fine screenplays for Avatar and Alita -- and, HOLY FUCK, Alita's gonna be a trilogy! ...I should change my ID to Cameron-fanboy, heheh.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Harry should do the next "Dancing With The Stars"

    by darthferris

    His dance partner could be Lee Iacocca.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Nice one, Harry

    by tiredpm

    But maybe it's time to use some of those producer dollars on equipment for the job that got you where you are today? :-) Whatever, congrats on the scoop. Much though I'd love to read the interview verbatim, I think your enthusiasm for film probably mirrors Cameron's, so it was a good read. Sounds like there's cool stuff on the horizon, I hope that Cameron's hopes for film and technology are more fully realized than Lucas' were with the prequels. And, no, I'm not bashing, just stating an opinion.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Actually, almost none of this news is new...

    by genro

    Just finally confirmed. I said in the last Avatar thread that this was all geared to his 3D work with FOX, and...ta-friggin-da. Outside the name of the camera and that U2 is using it, all of this info has been floating around from the days of Cameron's Solaris interviews.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 9:31 p.m. CST

    My God! Does everything have to be explained?!?

    by Luvs269er

    First, if you have even a casual interest in the film business then you should know producers normally do not get paid until the FIRST DAY of principal photography... And then they normally only get HALF their negotiated fee. That said-- Harry great interview. However, you did commit a huge "sin" by not recording the damn interview... BUY SOME FRIGGIN' EQUIPMENT (especially if you make 150K yearly like you boast that you do on your MySpace page)!

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 9:33 p.m. CST

    JC is the MAN.

    by Gilkuliehe

    Seriously, this guy will leave his mark. The Mars 3D footage thing sent chills down my spine... And Harry, please tell your girlfriend to throw some equipment in the giftbag, next to William Shatner's CDs and yoghurt. A full interview would've been great.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 9:41 p.m. CST

    This whole 3D thing is a bunch of malarkey

    by glitzless

    You're not going to get Woody Allen making his next film with the 'Wazoo Camera 3D' in this lifetime. Or the Spielberg's for that matter. Not saying cinema won't head in that direction just not until we are 82 years old and when ALL the theaters upgrade. By that time we'll all be eating tapioca putting for dinner.. I mean how can 3D really change the audience emotionally thand what 2D films have already done? 2D films make us laugh, scared, and cry. These are the hardest human emotions to stimulate from a artists prospective and Cameron has already achieved that with his 2D films. Just add some sound to a old BW silent film from the 20's and you have already changed film in a big way. But I guess if anyone is ingnorant enough and thinks they can change the face of cinema I'd want it to be Cameron.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 9:42 p.m. CST

    I'm always interested in any director trying new things

    by AwesomeBillFunk

    and this is James motherfucking Cameron. So it's not like he doesn't have a precedent for succeeding. I await patiently, with cautious optimism.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 9:47 p.m. CST


    by Gungan Slayer

    Fucking A. Kudos to Cameron and kudos to Harry, damn son, nice fine reporting. Keep the stuff coming. We need someone like Cameron to revive cinema, because the cinema going expierence, the spectacle and all, is slowly dying.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 10:01 p.m. CST

    read my interview with W.C. Fields. we spoke yesterday

    by HypeEndsHere

    my tape recorder was busted, but hey, the next time he calls, i'll take a photo of the phone to prove it.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Didn't he already make this??

    by Jiggaman671

    I'm all for new technology but didn't he already make BAA for Fox a few years ago

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Cameron emerges from behind the curtain

    by slder78

    and announces to the masses (especially the Whedonites) "Kneel before Zod! Cameron!"

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 10:24 p.m. CST

    I dont know if we'd all be in our seventies...

    by moondoggy2u

    I mean, we all know how studios imitate any picture that makes a bazillion dollars, right? Well, although its been nearly 10 years since his last film, everyone knows who James Cameron is and will undoubtedly be interested in his new movie. Now, if it truly is a good movie, it will receive even more money. Factor in the new spectacle, and everybody will be clamoring to see this film. I can already see the headlines proclaiming the next star wars. I know thats a lot of what if's, but if it works, do you really think other studios wont want a piece of the action? I dunno, maybe you are right and I'm wrong. But I got a hunch that Cameron is on to something. At the very least, he probably has the single best chance to instigate studios to follow his lead. I dont have an opinion either way, but I am curious to find out what happens.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 10:25 p.m. CST

    I would've asked him what he would've done with Spidey

    by Terry_1978

    Just to hear his response.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 10:27 p.m. CST

    I mean, can you imagine the media hype?

    by moondoggy2u

    "The First James Cameron Flick Since Titanic." Titanic will be bandied around so much. The fact that he has never had a flop will also get the media wags talking. It wont be like Phantom Menace hype, but it could be awfully darn close.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 10:28 p.m. CST

    If you honestly believe Cameron will make up his mind i

    by Liberty Valance

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Actually, terry, Cameron has gone on record

    by moondoggy2u

    as saying that he would have casted Leonardo Dicaprio. He honestly felt Dicaprio(sp?) was the only actor who could convincingly play spidey. I'm sure he would have made better effects through ILM, but I kinda find it hard to envision Leonardo doing his bit. Then again, the show probably would have been less about depression and more about the joy of being web head. Guess its kind of a give and take thing.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 10:31 p.m. CST just a few months

    by Liberty Valance

    I've got a video of Lindsey Lohan fucking a shetland pony I'd like to sell you. The guy's had the better part of a decade to make up his fucking mind. Trust me, come May it'll be, "Oh, just a little more time for development..." Hate to be the voice of cynicism but after 8 years of bullshit I'll believe he's ready when I see a picture of him behind a camera.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 10:57 p.m. CST

    cameron shmameron!

    by casinoskunk

    i hope that this movie is better than that piece of crud Titanic.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Fuck Yeah!

    by Veraxus

    I just can't wait for Stereo 3D to become mainstream. I've been a huge fan of the technology since I saw Captain Eo (sp?) at Disneyland as a kid. I've even owned several computer headsets, goggles, and other various home 3d technologies over the years. Unfortunately, it only has a shelf life of 3-4 months before the company behind the technology ceases to exist or backs out of support.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Yes, movies entertain...

    by Raschied

    ...But what Cameron is talking about is the ability to maintain the actual theatres. Right now, the motion picture houses' fear of television taking over is finally happening. Home Theatre has become mainstream technology, and over the next few years, there's a lot of talk about the movie theatre going away, with simultaneous DVD/screen releases, and the quality of the movie theatre experience getting worse and worse (cell phones, no ushers, etc) things are on a serious downward spiral. What Cameron is looking at are ways of updating the essentially 80-year old technology to bring back the theatre magic. I, for one, can't wait to see what he cooks up. As much as I hated Ep. III, I'd kill to see the big duel at the end in 80fps 3D glory.

  • Feb. 28, 2006, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Speaking of 3D....

    by Raschied

    Does anyone else remember a demonstration of 3D television without glasses? It was broadcast in the early 80's on a cheesy 80's show called "That's Incredible." I distinctly recall seeing 3D clips, specifically, one of two people throwing a frisbee back and forth. There was a weird undulating-warping of the image, but the 3D effect was pretty dramatic, especially since NO GLASSES WERE REQUIRED! I always wondered what killed the technology behind it.

  • March 1, 2006, 12:42 a.m. CST

    I'll believe it when I see it

    by Buck_Turgidson

    Step 1: Conceive a Movie Idea Step 2: Write Script Step 3: Shoot Movie Step 4: Repeat Steps 1-3 The rest is just atmospherics to distract from the fact that he hasn't put a feature out for a decade. Enough about the hardware, tell some stories, already!

  • March 1, 2006, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Next, James Cameron goes back in time...

    by Flim Springfield

    "Passion of the Christ" filmed LIVE!

  • March 1, 2006, 1 a.m. CST

    Again Harry flaunts his girlfriend...

    by Hideo Kojima

    in the first paragraph no less! I stopped reading there.

  • March 1, 2006, 1:02 a.m. CST


    by performingmonkey

    "As much as I hated Ep. III, I'd kill to see the big duel at the end in 80fps 3D glory." Er, you saw the same duel as I did, right? Really really lame is what I call the HUGE MASSIVE DUEL TO END ALL DUELS which is what it was supposed to be. The Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan/Maul duel from Episode 1 was a lot better, a lot more exciting, a lot better staged (no swinging around and dumb lava platforms, not to mention POS dialogue like 'I have the higher ground' etc.). I would like to see the TPM duel with that tech, also with updated effects shots. Lucas still had quite a fresh mind at the time of Phantom Menace, but Clones was shit and ROTS very predictable and boring (I mean, exactly how many Padme apartment scenes can one movie sustain?) with questionable acting from all except Ewan McGregor. Way too much focus on making the Coruscant wide shots look better when they could have spent those months trying to find an Anakin and Padme that could act.

  • March 1, 2006, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Ultra-high frame rates for 3D

    by Ktak

    If I'm not mistaken, the reason for such a high frame rate is because Cameron's 3D process requires that each projected frame alternate with a matching frame that is slightly offset. Polarized glasses synchronized to the projected image then essentially act as high speed "shutters" to keep each eye from registering frames that are meant for the other eye. The result is that your mind perceives stereoscopic (3D) visual information even though it's coming from a single two-dimensional projection. If this is true, an 80 fps projection would actually be perceived as 40 fps, which should be enough to eliminate strobing or flutter.

  • March 1, 2006, 1:26 a.m. CST

    of course Harry has to insert the girlfriend reference

    by jrbarker

    fine, you have a girlfriend. we get it. who cares.

  • March 1, 2006, 1:51 a.m. CST

    it's about gay cowboys


    hey cameron how bout a crazy awesome blood soaked gun shooting explotion shitting ninja zombies movie.

  • March 1, 2006, 1:58 a.m. CST

    "Guy's a pro"

    by Archduke_Chocula

    - Michael Bluth

  • March 1, 2006, 2:06 a.m. CST


    by monorail77

    Cameron is Cinema God!! Wonderful news, and kudos on the scoop, Harry. See, this site still got the respect when it count, eh? Ironic that in a talk concerned with high, next-wave technology, AICN went low-tech and revealed it only has one crappy recorder it passes around. Ha! Oh the painful irony!

  • March 1, 2006, 2:25 a.m. CST

    the best thing is...

    by stackpointer

    that at last they increase the framerate.

  • March 1, 2006, 2:41 a.m. CST

    What I really want to know is...

    by seppukudkurosawa

    What did the technopiliac, 3d-obsessed old coot think about your Aquaf@g article?

  • March 1, 2006, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Cameron is the the HOWARD HUGHES of film technology...

    by DoctorWho?

    ...wihout the hand washing fixation of course. This guy loves pushing the envelope...ROCK ON CAMERON!

  • March 1, 2006, 4:22 a.m. CST

    Ask James Cameroon from African nation of Cameroon

    by Regis Travolta

    I got a phone call from James "Oombabwe" Cameroon he's very pissed that James Cameron is stealing all of the internet publicity. Cameroon is currently at work on a 3-D documentary of his native land Cameroon located on the central west coast of Africa. This documentary will be released throughout sub-Saharan Africa in Summer 2007. The United Nations is financing the budget of $2.3 million. The Republic of Cameroon is a unitary republic of central Africa. It borders Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Gulf of Guinea. Originally a German colony, it was split after World War I among the French and British. In 1960, French Cameroun became an independent republic, merging with the southern part of British Cameroons in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. It was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972, and the Republic of Cameroon or R

  • March 1, 2006, 4:50 a.m. CST

    oddly enough I had a dream last night too.

    by Fortunesfool

    And in it Jim Cameron woke me up with a phone call and told me about his goal of changing the world of cinema as we know it. But I fell asleep again and couldn't remember what he said. Typical.

  • March 1, 2006, 5:15 a.m. CST

    ALITA Trilogy

    by godoffireinhell

    Funny thing is, there's definitely enough to the original manga series to make a trilogy of movies. First film could be about Alita and Hugo and as such a very tragic love story. Second film could be the whole Motorball thing, which I hope won't turn into a tired rip-off of ROLLERBALL. We already had the remake, thanks a lot. And finally, the third film would be about Alita vs. Desty Nova, the revelation of the truth about Salem/Zalem etc. HOWEVER, every fan knows that there's already several books out of the new series, BATTLE ANGEL ALITA: LAST ORDER so, if Cameron is willing, he could probably keep making ALITA films for much longer than just a trilogy. Or maybe they'll get Fincher, Jeunet and Paul WS Anderson to helm the sequels. Yeah, that'd be just great.

  • March 1, 2006, 5:19 a.m. CST

    check this out

    by Fortunesfool this may be similar to the ideas being mentioned by Jim.

  • March 1, 2006, 5:43 a.m. CST

    FYI Cameron was fired off "Piranha 2" after 2 weeks...

    by Monkey_King

    yet his name was still credited as Director, much to his dismay.

  • March 1, 2006, 6:15 a.m. CST

    OH MY GOD!!!!!!

    by skynetbauxi

    Harry has a girlfriend?? ;-) sorry, I'm just jealous... about your phone call from Jim Cameron I mean (and about the girlfriend too) ;-)

  • March 1, 2006, 6:17 a.m. CST

    Regis Travolta

    by skynetbauxi


  • March 1, 2006, 6:19 a.m. CST

    but seriously...

    by skynetbauxi

    a BATTLE ANGEL TRILOGY??? finally there's a reason to live on! JC = GOD!

  • March 1, 2006, 6:53 a.m. CST


    by Killah_Mate

    That's exactly true, but 40fps is still better than 24fps.

  • March 1, 2006, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Pictures of Harry's Girlfriend?

    by godoffireinhell

    are there pictures of her on the internet?

  • March 1, 2006, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Oh, THAT'S why I disconnected from "Troy"...

    by Laserbrain

    The *frame rate*, I see... all this time I thought it was because Troy was complete fuckin' garbage.

  • March 1, 2006, 8:46 a.m. CST

    JC is in the pipe, 5 by 5!

    by Jugs

    ..and I also thought I hated Troy because of Brad 'I can do angry, but my hair has to look good' Pitt.

  • March 1, 2006, 9:32 a.m. CST

    When Titanic was released

    by emeraldboy

    We Were all wowed by its technical achievement and less wowed by its screen play and dialouge, for which it wasnt nominated. Its only competitor for best picture that year was Curtis Hanson Superlaitve LA confidential and now that the dust has settled, some 7/8 years later, hanson was robbed of the trophies that were and are rightfully his best picture and best director. It will be very interesting to see what depalma does with the black dahlia, which is to me one of the greatest modern crime novels ever written. Regarding James Ellory no one has ever done a better job than hanson did. Black Dahlia is also one of my favoutires. To quote Big Jim less isnt more. more is more. I have seen nearly all of his films. The Terminator has dated at least the effects have, the story is one of the great horror stories of all time. Its horror springs from the fact that could happen and may well do so in the furture. because of mankinds ability to fuck up. I was amazed to hear that cameron cringes when he see Aliens. Maybe its time for the finale of ALiens. it does seem that it aint happening which is a shame. the prospect of a cameron/ridley scott final alien film is probably just a pipedream. Hopefully none of these films are going to take 5 years to make.

  • March 1, 2006, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Just assuming Rothgar stretched out the talkback.

    by Childe Roland

    And, if so, making the obligatory call for his blood. Also, Killah_Mate, I hope you're right and that Cameron's time away helped center/focus him. I'd love to have him back in Terminator/Aliens/Abyss story-telling form.

  • March 1, 2006, 11:15 a.m. CST

    James Cameron - Making theatres relevant again.

    by Flim_

    Theatre projection needs new things to keep it relevant and profitable. I always thought that Douglas Trumbull's Showscan (60 fps on a 120 mm negative, I believe) was a good idea, though I sadly never got to see it in action. IMAX is great, but too unwieldy, really. I want to shoot a feature on those wicked 70 mm cameras that Ron Fricke developed for BARAKA. Now that would be something. Anyway, Cameron scares me a bit because he talks like Lucas talks, and Lucas basically comes across in his work as someone who would eliminate the human element altogether, if he could. Cameron has yet to disappoint me, or hell, even to put forth a bad argument, so there's that. But it still scares me, because I want so much to hope that 3D will work. I used to think 3D was a bad idea, and dated, until I saw SPACE STATION 3D. Turned me around completely. You could see the dust in the air, and read the labels on equipment in the deep background. It was the most immersive film experience I've ever had. Incredible. I hope Cameron can pull this off, and I hope he keeps updating with technical details for goons like myself, because it's uberinteresting. End ramble.

  • March 1, 2006, 11:46 a.m. CST


    by USCBubba

    Is this the same as the cartoon on NickTV? Or is this Avatar something different? The cartoon is fantastic.

  • March 1, 2006, 11:55 a.m. CST

    "Avatar" could be "The Forever War" !!!!

    by johnfromparis

    Hi, Very interested in reading what James Cameron could realize concerning "Avatar", I invite everybody to read Joe Hadelman's book "The Forever War", released in 1974, awarded by the most famous international sciFi prizes, the Hugo and Nebula ones. Joe Hadelman is an American writer who did the Vietnam war and decided to tell his own experience of war and love through Forever War's main characters, 2 lost spacetroopers, Mandella and his beloved girlfriend Potter, fighting together far from Earth the Tauran people, jumping together centuries and different worlds at the beginning of the 21st century. This visionary love story was pleasantly released in 3 parts comics format (Marvano - french collection : "Aire Libre") a few years ago. If you read this, you will certainly noticed that Cameron could adapt it for his "Avatar" story... Great site, great news. Paris loves you all !!! C U soon ! Jean-Marc

  • March 1, 2006, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Aint No News

    by bigdickmcgee

    In keeping with AICN's policy of not printing any actual "news", Harry's talk with Cameron told us what has already been on the internet for months. So Cameron can't choose his next project because he's "emotionally attached" to both of them? Wow. A business decision worth hundreds of millions is delayed because of emotional attachment? Doesn't sound like Cameron, frankly. My guess is, since the budget of both projects would exceed $300 million, Fox executives might have an emotional attachment to their jobs. Cameron hasn't been given a green light. All this masterbation about 3D cameras blah blah totally avoids the real issue of skyrocketing costs, declining boxoffice and the massive turbulence within the film industry now. Do your homework. Call the studio. Ask the execs what the word is. Cameron may not get the green light for any of this shit.

  • March 1, 2006, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by FilmZ0mbie

    This is an exciting time to be starting an education in Film... pwn.

  • March 1, 2006, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Hey Harry! One minor point.....

    by Manaqua

    I was under the impression that the strobing effect you refer to as being prevalant in large battle scenes was a creative choice and not a product of 24fps. In fact I know thats the case. It is possible to stage a large battle scene and not have the action look strobed. That is a deliberate creative choice to add a frenetic energy to the shots. I know i'm not telling you anything you dont already know! I was just a bit surprised to hear you imply that the strobing was simply a byproduct of 24fps when that is not the case. M

  • March 1, 2006, 12:19 p.m. CST

    So he's asking us to where shades?

    by dirtsandwich

    Does JC mean that any project using his 3-D technology has to viewed using these polarized shades? We know that they will be filmed digitally and shown digitally but with out the glasses how will they appear? It takes about $150,000 to switch to digital for every auditorium. I don't see it being everywhere that soon. Getting just one digital projector in my town will be like pulling teeth. I'm for anything JC does. I hope it's Avatar. I want a space adventure. Get me the fuck off this planet. Even a Mars rover farting around in 3-D would fuckin rock. With home cinema seriously kicking ass, with Blue-Ray and eventually roll-down, up, or out TVs, whatever the fuck you want to call it, theaters are seriously gonna need a boost.

  • March 1, 2006, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Edit, Harry

    by Trazadone

    Blag! I wish Harry could actually write. Every time I read something he pens, I feel confused at the end. He spends all this time trying to use the big words but he's got no rhythm or organization. Anyway, the Cameron stuff sounds interesting. I'm not convinced by the imminent explosion of 3D, but the statement that it's not about "stabbing you in the eye" and is instead something subtler is encouraging. We'll see.

  • March 1, 2006, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Editing, Harry

    by Trazadone

    Plus he just likes everything because he's still so starstruck by the people he "gets to" meet. I gave up on him when I realized he was unable to dislike a movie that he's seen any kind of special preview or showing of -- particularly when cast members were present. "I was lucky enough to sit three rows behind Ben Affleck at the Pearl Harbor screening... Folks, I loved this movie! Something about the airplanes...yeah! You know what I mean?" etc. No thank you.

  • March 1, 2006, 1:01 p.m. CST

    i don't care yet

    by reckni

  • March 1, 2006, 2:11 p.m. CST

    A shoot can be both remote and live...

    by Childe Roland least as those words are commonly used by modern media. The "live" refers to the timing of the event being broadcast. If it's happening now, in real time, you're watching it "live." Whether an actual person is running the camera (and, technically, even if it's a remote cam, there's usually a person on one end running it remotely) is inconsequential to the claim. Even robo-cams can do live feeds.

  • March 1, 2006, 3:03 p.m. CST

    From JC's mouth, via "The Howard Stern Show"...

    by ComputerGuy68

    he was on promoting "Titanic", December 1997: 1) Gave up his pay and points after the budget ballooned from $120 million to $200 million and after three years on this film will make no money on it. He also felt that it would NOT win any awards. 2) Stated that he wants to do Spider-Man next, (after the legal issues were fixed) talked to Leo about being Peter/Spidey, ("amazing moves for a white guy"). 3) Was fired after 10 days from "Piranha 2" He should team up with Lucas, imagine what Lightstorm and Lucasfilms could do together?

  • March 1, 2006, 3:10 p.m. CST


    by Billy_Batts

    As long as people have to wear those stupid goddamn glasses. This is a guarantee. Someone quote me.

  • March 1, 2006, 3:18 p.m. CST

    I really liked avatar...

    by misnomer

    I'm glad to hear its coming.....

  • March 1, 2006, 3:23 p.m. CST

    it will never happen

    by Rupee88

    at least half of that stuff and probably north of 75% will never be produced.

  • March 1, 2006, 3:26 p.m. CST


    by zooch

    I hate anime. sounds neat though.

  • March 1, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Great to see Big Jim back in the (movie) saddle

    by ol' painless

    I have a huge amount of respect for Jim Cameron: I just re-watched bits of Aliens again yesterday. Seriously, you could release that film TOMORROW and it would outshine any action movie from the last 5 years. Now I'm not one of these all CGI is bad old-timers, in fact most movie I dig have extensive CGI in them, but the complete lack of this in Aliens gave the movie a real authentic feel. The representations of the dropship, LV-426 and in particular the Queen Alien are stunning and "in the flesh". It may be time for some action directors to rethink how they present their action sequences. Another reason I like Big Jim C is that he consults with me all the time for his movies: you know, story ideas, tips on directing, camera placements . . . . umm . . . except when I'm wearing my hat made of tinfoil . . . you know . . . to block his telepathy and stuff . . .

  • March 1, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Cameron won't turn into another Lucas

    by Raschied

    I can't see Cameron ever turning into a soulless filmmaker like Lucas. Yes, Cameron is into the technology aspect of production, and that has held true for years (he sat on T2 until the tech caught up with his idea of a morphy-melty terminator.) However, Cameron can direct. Lucas's idea of directing actors has always been weak ("Faster, More Intensity!") while Cameron always writes and directs from a human perspective. I don't expect that to change just because he's moving into new tech.

  • March 1, 2006, 5:11 p.m. CST


    by one9deuce

    Here is a picture of Harry's girlfriend standing in a room

  • March 1, 2006, 5:28 p.m. CST


    by Flim_

    That is incredibly mean spirited, but I must admit that I laughed. Incidentally, is it just me, or does the word TRAFFICKED just not look right? I know it's right, but man, I think all the dictionaries are wrong.

  • March 1, 2006, 6:48 p.m. CST

    it took a few seconds for the penny to drop....

    by misnomer

    very funny tho! : D I was a little anxious to click the link fearing that it may be a picture of a morbidly fat naked woman......

  • March 1, 2006, 6:55 p.m. CST


    by JDanielP

    Glad you're still alive and breathing without the help of medical science, Harry. James Cameron may be doing more than we're talking about here, in the way that this technology will likely one day help medical science. You have to figure that some day, Doctors will be able to bring up such 3D images of a damaged heart, for example, ...and virtually fix complex problems before attempting to do so in reality. Maybe to an extent, it's already being done this way. (I couldn't tell you.) But whatever the case, this technology has got to have possibilities for saving lives. (Maybe in 20 years when Harry gets another early morning call from Cameron.) (heh,heh)

  • March 1, 2006, 6:57 p.m. CST


    by ZombieSolutions

    Thank you Mr. Cameron. We love you (when you aren't fetishizing boat wrecks.)

  • March 2, 2006, 1:29 a.m. CST


    by Babba-Booey

    I've got a movie boner again.

  • March 2, 2006, 2:01 a.m. CST


    by JDanielP

  • March 2, 2006, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Why was it called "Project 880"?

    by slder78

    After the freeway? Cause it's been development since the year 880?

  • March 2, 2006, 2:38 a.m. CST


    by Johnno

    Well okay, I've got no idea what Avatar is about, but Battle Angel Alita (the manga) was good! And the new Last Order series is going places even crazier than the original! Alita has it all! And 3D without glasses is already a reality. HDTV was invented for 3D in teh first place, but they're deciding to make you wait... Phillips plans to roll em out by 2008. Can't wait to see where we're going with that... fo course there will always be regular hi-def films today as we love em, animated or otherwise... However 3D is going to kick ass for those who love their action! :D

  • March 2, 2006, 3:16 a.m. CST


    by Killah_Mate

    As long as people have to use those stupid goddamn glasses. This is a guarantee. You have been quoted.

  • March 2, 2006, 8:03 a.m. CST

    So in summary

    by Trazadone

    So in summary, his next projects will be a sci-fi story on an alien planet and an adaptation of a Manga series, making the only logical next film for Cameron a static shot of him giving some nerd a handjob. Instead, he's making some crap about diving. To each their own.

  • March 2, 2006, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Theaters have to do something

    by PhilConnors

    I hate going to the theater to see movies these days. It's just not worth putting up with sitting through a half hour of commercials, getting kicked in the back of my chair, screaming kids, cell phones, 5$ popcorn, etc. Waiting me at home is a better picture and sound. I hope Cameron can help theaters become relevant again.

  • March 2, 2006, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Indiana Jones and the Bad Interview

    by BilboRing

    Man, that gave us NO news at all. Great job there. Very interesting. From what I can tell, Cameron is doing nothing. He is just having a good time and "thinking" about doing things.

  • March 2, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST

    I'm still wondering if 3D is the answer...

    by dr_buggerlugs

    ...but anything that helps to keep the theatre alive is welcome in my book...we're entering a time where cinema is slipping away and some people/digital nerds/pixelated twats who call films, books and music 'content' (I hate that fucking's art, people's work...not fucking 'content') essentially want the filmmaking experience to nothing but a movie of the comes out on every platform for a week, gets lost on the DVD and pay tv ether and well that's it (Fox want to offer new films as H- Def ppvs withing 60 fucking days of cinema release! WTF??!?) Cinema is where a film is alive and what creates it's lasting impression...if Cameron is devoted to that ideal, then I'm with 3-D all the way.

  • March 2, 2006, 1:56 p.m. CST

    What would a REAL movie director think of 3D movies?

    by Stollentroll

    Hmmm...I'm wondering when Steven Soderbergh or Quentin Tarantino start working with 3D-technology. My guess: they never will. 3D is for people like Cameron or George Lucas who are bad directors with a certain talent for making big money.

  • March 2, 2006, 3:19 p.m. CST

    By the time Tarantino actually gets around to...

    by Childe Roland

    ...making his next movie after Grindhouse, there's a good chance that 3D digital cameras will be the oldest-school option available to his cryogenically preserved (and still stoned) head. Sorry, Stollentroll, but QT ain't all that or even the bag of chips on the side. He's made a couple of good, highly derivative films in cinematic styles that ape his influences. And he hasn't done anything worth a warm shit lately. Not a whole lot worse than Cameron's track record, but certainly no better.

  • March 2, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST

    For those curious about Avatar...

    by 3 Bag Enema's Dances with Wolves. On another planet.

  • March 2, 2006, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Yeah stollentroll

    by Shaner Jedi

    that's why QT's best bud Robert Rodriquez swears by 3D.

  • March 2, 2006, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Agreed Trazadone...

    by TELF

    Seriously, all Titanic bitching aside, if you have even only minor geekosity how can you not be a wee bit excited about a new Cameron Sci-fi spectacle? It's just nice to have something to look forward to I guess. Can't remember the last time I saw an action movie that really blew me away. I mean, The Matrix was about 6 years ago. Say what you want about the guy, but Cameron really understands how to write, shoot and cut action sequences better than most anybody else. The climatic sequence of Aliens, with Ripley going it alone into the bowels of the Queen's lair to save Newt, and ending hand to hand in the Loader/Queen face off, is just relentless. The super inventive (and silly-in-a-good-way) Harrier set piece in TL. The Mack truck/motorcycle chase in T2. And, let's face it, the sinking of the Titanic. Just great. When it comes to nailing a set piece it's Cameron and Spielberg, and then everyone else.

  • March 2, 2006, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Rodriquez & Tarantino & Shaner Jedi

    by Stollentroll

    I admit: I was always wondering how they get along. To me, Rodriquez is pretty close to Cameron and Lucas concerning the love for stupid technology. Look at "Sin City": all art - and no matter.

  • March 2, 2006, 6:44 p.m. CST

    TELF, True dat, yo!

    by one9deuce

    You wrote: "When it comes to nailing a set piece it's Cameron and Spielberg, and then everyone else." You are 100% correct.

  • March 2, 2006, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Schwarzenegger and Cameron back together again!

    by ABking

    Thanks to Popular website AINT-IT-COOL recently conducted a phone interview with legendary genious mastermind filmmaker James Cameron. Jim is the perfectionist behind such classics as THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS, THE ABYSS, TERMINATOR 2, TRUE LIES and TITANIC. The entire interview can be read at this link: After reading that indepth piece over at AICN, Arnold fans finally realize that TRUE LIES 2 won't ever happen! It's sad, but very true! Jim Cameron has 5 films he is very passionate about that he will direct back-to-back and a True Lies sequel got left in the dust. But rest assured Cameron's great friend and film collaborator Arnold Schwarzenegger will have a role in either AVATAR or BATTLE ANGEL ALITA. According to, the 5 Cameron films he

  • March 2, 2006, 7:53 p.m. CST

    But stollentroll

    by Shaner Jedi

    one could make an argument that Tarantino is all style no substance. So maybe they do have something in common? :D

  • March 2, 2006, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Jessica Alba in 3D

    by ikkyu

    ...sounds like a good idea to me.

  • March 2, 2006, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Frame rates, Space stations and 3D

    by BendersShinyAss

    Thats really interestingabout shooting frame rates over 100fps over the current 24/25/30. It seems to me that to do that will just mean a shit load more work on detail. And I mean an absolute shitload - from special effects, to motion control, to the hoe viewer freezframing through a scene. The films will need to initially be transfered back to 25/30 frames for current dvd. and 24 for film prints that don't allow for digital projection. We're going back to the days of VHS pan scan in terms of differing quality. But it'll change. Wonder how lucas is going to handle the loss of his pioneering status... and if he'll join in. Cameron has been talking about going to space to shoot a doco since I was in fucking primary school. My kids are almost in primary school now. Pull your finger out Cameron. You've made 2 doco's under water. 2! Persoanlly, I'd rather see 3d images sent back from the moon than from mars. I don't know why, But the moon appeals to me more than Mars. And I want to see if the moon really does look like a dark area under an industrial light :P Seriously, there are some MAD mountainous landscapes up there that I would kill to see close ups of from the surface. Why did the Apollo missions go to such boring locations? And finally, 3D. So many men have tried to bring 3D to cinema as a constant. I'll be very interested to see how things change with Cameron.

  • March 2, 2006, 10:26 p.m. CST

    hoe viewer? I meant home

    by BendersShinyAss

    who cares? I should have also mentioned editing. Editing 24/25 fps is time consuming enough. Image editing over 100fps. It'll do 'this' film makers head in getting the precise cut. Also, the battle strobing effect is not a result of frame rate. It's a result of shutter speed. At 24 fps the shutter speed has a blur which is undetectable in static and simple shot set ups. however, fast moving pans, tils and what not will increase the blurr effect making a frozen frame really look blurry. Shooting at a faster shutter captures the frame faster which makes for a really clear image, however it gives a jarring jittery look to battle scenes ie, Gladiator, Mummy returns - I can't stand it personally. There's something to be said about currant standards. There is a perfection to them. adding more frames really doesn't sound as if things are being 'enhanced' persay. Mathematically it just sounds like the same equations. Like shooting shutter 500 with an aperature of f5 will give the exact same image as a shutter of 125 with an aperature F11. know what I'm sayin?

  • March 3, 2006, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Michael Biehn would rock as Alita's mentor!

    by Neo Zeed

    sorry ABking.

  • March 3, 2006, 3:05 a.m. CST

    ABking, you really ARE crazy.

    by one9deuce

    I just thought talkbackers were giving you a bit of a hard time, but you seem totally out of your mind. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Governor of California. HE IS NOT GOING TO BE IN ANY MOVIES FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. I can only guess that you have no clue as to how either feature films OR politics work. And to add to the frame rate discussion: Think about what kind of money doubling or even quadrupling the frame rate would add to the budget of an animated film.

  • March 3, 2006, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Michael Biehn!!!!!

    by Kyle.Reese

    Come on Jim, cast Michael Biehn in something!... Probably won't happen though, for a big studio film he's not famous enough for a lead role or even a supporting one.

  • March 3, 2006, 6:56 p.m. CST

    It NOT gonna be ACTUAL 120 frames per second!

    by Killah_Mate

    The hardware is CAPABLE of outputting 120fps, but they can't use ALL of it if they want their movies to be 3D! Moray's right, 60fps (60/60, that is) or so is probably the smoothest framerate, and that yes, that means 120fps total, but it's still 60fps for each eye! And editing would also be at 60 fps, but in 3D. In fact, everything would be done at 60fps! Don't forget that the framerate is implicitly doubled *by the stereo frames* that form the 3D image, but all of the operations (editing, viewing, freeze-framing) are still done on the *3D image*, which has a framerate of 60fps, and not its components! That's, of course, all from our point of view - our computers *will* have to process *all* of the frames, and they *will* hate us for it... :-) Not to mention the poor, doomed CGI render farms, whose render speed per second will suddenly drop to one fifth...

  • March 4, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Live 3d video on Mars!

    by Ingeld

    Now we can watch nothing happen in 3d! Lets follow the progression of theme. Aliens: machines bad-humans good, to Titantic:human nauture good--human nature bad, to Avatar: humans bad--nature good. Now to Cameron--Movie machines (technology) good--ideas (trite) bad.

  • March 4, 2006, 2:21 p.m. CST

    RE: Anchorite

    by Ingeld

    Depending on where Mars is relation to earth the signal travel time is anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes. Not quite "live" but not too bad. Technically, the lunar landings weren't live either--as it take 1/2 second for a signal to travel between earth and moon. And if you want to get very technical, on earth in front of you there is a infintismally small lapse of time between an object and your perception of the object. When you look out at the night sky, you never see the universe as it is. That is impossible. You only see the appearance of various elements at differing points in time. (cue Twilight Zone music.)

  • March 5, 2006, 11:47 p.m. CST

    The proof is in the movie

    by Harry's Bitch

    Lately we've gotten a lot of talk from JC, and that's all it's amounted to, is talk. The truth is that JC is not a storyteller, he is a technician most of the time and at his best he is an engineer. All of his great stories were "lifted" from other works, including The Terminator, for which the author of the original story sued JC and settled out of court. Give JC credit for having a good eye for a good story, but when left to his own devices, his stories are cliched and stale, like the love story in Titanic. Take away the boat and you've got nothing. T2 was pretty good, but then there was True Lies, an abomination of a film, with hackneyed stereotypical villains and a oh so touching love story about a man who spies on his wife out of jealousy. Yeah, real moving. Then Titanic showed that JC still had the directing chops, but was in need of a good story. Then - nothing, for a decade! A whole decade! Entire genres of film are spawned and forgotten in a decade, and during this time Cameron gave us a few documentaries not half as original or interesting as a good episode of Nova. Now we get all this talk of how technology has caught up with his vision and he can finally make the movies he's wanted to all along. Gee, where have we heard that before? From another film maker who forgot that good films are about people, who transmogrified into something more machine than man... IMO, JC is washed up. He's lost his focus, his drive, his ambition. What else is there to aspire to when you've made the highest grossing film of all time? His fab actor, The Gropinator, is busy trying run CA into the ocean, so no go on True Lies II: Stereotypical Villains Redux. Could he still pull out a rabbit from his hat? Sure, but if his next film is fully written by him, expect a flopper. He's out of practice, like anything else, you lose your directing chops when you take ten years off (Tarantino knows all about that). Will I go see his movie? Probably, but I'm expecting a special effects sampler concept flick.