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Avatar 2, 3 & 4? & 5? - Now Officially James Cameron's next directing gigs

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So I take it this is the secret project that Gov. Schwarzanegger has been tweeting about? He's been teasing some sort of Cameron collaboration for days now.

Personally I think this is the best way for him to get back on the big screen.

He looked like shit in The Expendables.

EDIT: from his twitter about an hour ago - Jim Cameron and I are going to announce our project this afternoon with a special screening. Stay tuned and I'll tweet a web address

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I heard to today that Arnie was planning on returning to movies. I assume he's going to be in Avatar 2, which would start shooting once his role of Governor was up? Unless Cameron is producing something he's going to star in.

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Anything that keeps Sam Worthington from appearing in other films is a good thing.

Haven't there been noises about a Clash of the Titans sequel, or am I making that up?

Worthington and Avatar work well though, in that they are both deviod of any character and awful at what they (try) to do.

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It's not even so much that he's bad, he's just so lacking in anything that I can quite easily forget what he looks like whist watching him in a film.

Well I do err on the side of him just being bad, but I agree with you in that there is just nothing noteworthy about him; you easily imagine him working in a bank or in B&Q - he just doesn't have a presence.

Plus he has no expressions. He should get some comedy eyebrows or something, just to show willing.

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I'm actually quite pleased that he's talking about going into the oceans and onto other planets. If there's one thing that worked in the first film, it was seeing weird dangerous alien stuff in 3D. With any luck that means the sequels won't be more stuff about the Na'vi, who I don't think have any use in storytelling beyond the Dances with Wolves thing. I mean, they're the filmic equivalent of an egg slicer.

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The first was a bit of a boring predictable mess if you ignored the incredibly stunning, luscious and amazing visuals. I say let him have a chance to write a story worthy of the tech. If he doesn't manage it at least we'll have something to argue about on the internet.

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:(

It's like those Capcom announcements when you're expecting it to be Resident Evil 4 - 360 HD and it turns out to be a Japan-only Megaman compilation for the PSP.

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So Cameron is looking at ditching 24fps for Avatar 2 and 3:

Well we are going to see the oceans of Pandora and the lifeforms and ecosystems there, so we’ve got to do more with CG water, both underwater with the caustics, the lighting, the optics of bringing light through water and with the surface of water, which is one of the big challenges in CG. But that’s all doable, those are just plug ins, that’s all an iterative process. The only sweeping change between now and when we release the second Avatar film is I want to natively author the film at a higher frame rate and project it at a higher frame rate. I want to get rid of the motion artifacting associated with 24 frame display. Because movies are way behind, they’re a century out of date.

48, 60, 72, we’re looking at the efficacy of the different ones and different solutions. The projectors can do it right now, the projectors can run at 144hrz but they’re still displaying 24 frames content at 144hrz. The trick is how do you display 48 or 60 frame content, multiflashing it, the way 3D projectors do. So that’s one little bump I’m working on.

Then there’s some software development that we’re doing to make the process, our real time virtual production process more intuitive, faster, more real looking, more like the finished product. Right now we work at a proxy resolution. We create a 1980s video game looking end product, we give it to the visual effects company and they start over mapping all new high resolution assets to those low res assets. They start all over and do it all again and come out with a photo real end product. What we want to do is eliminate that middle step and start to close the gap between what our real time looks like and what the finished photo real looks like. Eventually, 15 years from now, we should be working real time in at a photo real image, almost like you do with photography. So it’s getting to the point where it’s indistinguishable from photography at the moment your doing it as opposed to waiting six months or a year.

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These are going to be exactly the same as the Matrix sequels.

Sequels that don't expand upon the effects and show the original film to have been nowhere near the intelligent movie some claimed it to be. With the lack of the intelligent aspect and no real change in the action and effects they turn out to be not only more of the same but they sour the original.

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So Cameron is looking at ditching 24fps for Avatar 2 and 3:
Because movies are way behind, they’re a century out of date.

Yeah, film just looks rubbish compared to, say, the cutscenes from Final Fantasy XII. I'm so glad we have a visionary like Cameron shaking us out of our hundred year-old stupor to bring cinema bang up to date to fulfil its manifest destiny:

We create a 1980s video game looking end product, we give it to the visual effects company and they start over mapping all new high resolution assets to those low res assets...

...to create a 2010 video game looking end product. I can't be alone in thinking that his time and effort would be better spent invested in creating an engaging script, great characters, and interesting stories, than fixating on high resolution assets and extra FPS. But, hey, those other things are, like, so early 20th century, and at the rate Cameron is advancing the state of the art, maybe his next breakthrough will be to invent some tech that allows us to 'interact' with his movie and manipulate objects in its universe! Then he could release it on Xbox 360, where everything he dreams of in filmmaking is already not only possible, but passé.

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I thought that the fact that 3D films have to stick the same framerate as 2D films had been one of the big causes of people's complaints about them causing headaches. I'm sure we've discussed that before in other threads - search isn't great at the moment, but here's one post from the Avatar thread about it:

The issue is that studios don't want to work in higher framerates than 24fps*, because of the expense. As we all know from games, that's borderline useless for following action. The action would break up just as much in 2D, but when you add the need for your brain to follow an apparently-3D object at that shitty temporal resolution, it's even worse. Roger Ebert and various other movie buffs have been trying to sell people on the idea of 48fps cinema for years, but as I say, the studios don't want to pay twice the bill for film and a doubled rendering cost for CGI.

*3D films project at 72fps per eye, but it's just repeating the same frames three times, to stop flicker.

That said, Cameron had the sense to use slow motion on really cool action bits so you could actually see them.

So if increasing the framerate means that fewer people are affected by the headache-inducing aspects of 3D films, I don't see what the problem is? (Other than it being more expensive for filmmakers, cinemas - and therefore for punters too.)

The comment about cinema being "a century out of date" is a provocative wording, but if filmmakers are tied to the 24fps convention even though the technical limitations that made it the standard in the first place no longer apply, it seems accurate to me. (I had a search online for the reasons why 24fps became the standard - a Yahoo Answers page linked to this book about it, and Wikipedia referenced this this article, which I found pretty interesting.)

Also, Cameron isn't the first to experiment with increasing films' framerate - I came across this Wikipedia article about how Douglas Trumbull developed a process for filming and projecting 70mm film at 60fps.

Oh Christ, now we're going to have cineastes arguing about frame rates as well as gamers. :(

They already do! See the Cinemaweb page I linked to above. :)

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Unobtanium, i literally groaned when i heared that in he film. I was really hoping he'd do BAA, two more Avatars, no thanks.

It has long been used in sci-fi.

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Yeah, film just looks rubbish compared to, say, the cutscenes from Final Fantasy XII. I'm so glad we have a visionary like Cameron shaking us out of our hundred year-old stupor to bring cinema bang up to date to fulfil its manifest destiny:

...to create a 2010 video game looking end product. I can't be alone in thinking that his time and effort would be better spent invested in creating an engaging script, great characters, and interesting stories, than fixating on high resolution assets and extra FPS. But, hey, those other things are, like, so early 20th century, and at the rate Cameron is advancing the state of the art, maybe his next breakthrough will be to invent some tech that allows us to 'interact' with his movie and manipulate objects in its universe! Then he could release it on Xbox 360, where everything he dreams of in filmmaking is already not only possible, but passé.

Christ Gorf. I know you don't like the film, fair enough, but it looks like a 2010 cutscenes? Don't be ridiculous. Avatar was absolutely a landmark in visual effects and saying it looks like a 2010 Videogame cutscenes is absurd.

As for the thing about framerates, I think Cameron knows his onions when it comes to the technical stuff. Hes just talking about cinema in a technical way, I don't think you have to be so prissy and hostile just because you didn't like AVATAR.

Anyway, great news. I really enjoyed Avatar. Oh and I thought it counted as a great action movie.

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It seems these days though, Smitty, the only way he understands cinema is in a 'technical way'. It's all he ever seems to talk (at least convincingly) about, and I don't think it's doing his films - or film in general - any favours, especially when he implies that everyone else is living in the past. (Nolan, for example, must be positively stone age, what with his eschewing even 3D for the sake of his flat, low frame rate primitivism.) There are some interesting conversations to be had about the directions that an increasingly culturally safe, blockbuster-led mainstream cinema is headed in, and this sort of comment marks Cameron out, in my opinion, very much on one side of the fence. I think Cameron's a great horse - a thoroughbred - if you're a money man, but I wouldn't bet on his making any genuinely interesting films again, which I happen to think is a great pity. And not just for Cameron fans, but for cinema as a whole.

But I doubt it's possible for you and I to argue creatively or constructively about that, or about the broader point about the way we're being sold all these new technologies to drive film (and TV) into the rest of the century. That's because of your ad hominem opening post gambit about my being 'prissy and hostile' (for which comment you must surely take the crown for Forum King of Irony). I'll be straight with you here Smits, I simply can't be bothered to engage with your mode of argument any more, so this'll be the last reply I make to any posts of yours. Sorry about that, but I find it a pointless exercise. If you don't like my opinions on cinema, technology, politics, or anything else, that's great. But if you were able to keep on the subject at hand rather than easing the thread gently in the usual direction by employing misplaced characterisations of those you disagree with, you might get a bit more actual conversation and a bit less of this. I don't think it's possible for me to have an interesting discussion - or even a proper argument - with you, so rather like in that other Avatar thread I'll take my leave of this one and leave you to it, except this time I'll quit early instead of wasting several hours on replies before I get the message.

Oh, and creatively, Avatar did look just like a video game to me, but with better tech; which was my point. You may start posting photos of Palestinian refugees now to add to my shame at such manifest wrong-headedness. Toodle pip.

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