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Cameron talks Avatar on CBC

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 15, 2008 at 11:08AM

"It's going to be interesting," Cameron said on CBC's The Hour back in October 2008. The director is talking about "Avatar," a movie that has already eaten up two years of his life, and has one more to go. "We finished with the actors," he says. "We're in CG hell. We're trying to create a world from scratch. It's like trench warfare. We're working with computer-generated characters that are photo-realistic. That's tough. We set the bar high. We're just now getting confidence that it's going to work."
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"It's going to be interesting," Cameron said on CBC's The Hour back in October 2008. The director is talking about "Avatar," a movie that has already eaten up two years of his life, and has one more to go. "We finished with the actors," he says. "We're in CG hell. We're trying to create a world from scratch. It's like trench warfare. We're working with computer-generated characters that are photo-realistic. That's tough. We set the bar high. We're just now getting confidence that it's going to work."

By way of comparison, Cameron's "Terminator 2" had 42 shots with CG characters. Avatar has 1700. This film is both "the hardest" and the "most rewarding," of his films, Cameron says. "Filmmaking is a world of complete madness. You have to have a strong personal ethos in the film business. Being a person of your word is very important."

Cameron knows he's pretty tough to work for. "I'm pretty passionate about what I do and try to inspire other people working with me to give 100%," he says. "Deriding them doesn't work." He says that working on deep-sea docs like Ghosts of the Abyss taught him leadership. When he reverts to his "old behavior pattern," he apologizes now. "I'm a good filmmaker but not a natural leader," he admits. "I've had to learn that as I go along."

Here's the full interview:


This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Video, James Cameron, Sci-fi, Interviews


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.