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Thompson on Hollywood

Cameron talks Avatar

When I talked to James Cameron at Comic-Con (below), he admitted that he and producer Jon Landau know that they have a lot of heavy lifting to do before the 3D sci-fi epic Avatar hits screens on December 18. 24 minutes of footage played great at the Con, where Cameron announced that Fox will screen 15 minutes in IMAX on August 21 for free on 35 screens around the country. But the VFX-packed fantasy lacks major stars and is not based on anything (god forbid, it's an original), so the movie will need a major marketing push from Fox. Which is what the Con was all about.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2009 2:58 AM
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SDCC Interview: Cameron Talks Avatar

Here's my Comic-Con interview with James Cameron about how his undersea expeditions informed his return to moviemaking, Avatar. He digs into how he perfected the art of performance capture to allow the warmth of his actors to come through. He wants to do some consciousness-raising with SAG on what performance capture really involves. During Friday's panel with Cameron and Peter Jackson, the two men discussed how resistant actors have been to such acting as Andy Serkis as Gollum.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 25, 2009 5:45 AM
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Inglourious Basterds: Tarantino Talks

As Cannes wound down, writer-director Quentin Tarantino sat down for an interview about his long-awaited World War II opus, Inglourious Basterds. We talked about issues of structure, length and purpose:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 23, 2009 7:37 AM
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Star Trek Opens Strong; Kurtzman and Orci Talk

You can look at tracking all you want, and listen to studio marketers downplaying expectations. But truth is, if a movie plays as well as Star Trek does, the word gets out. The movie opened to an estimated $31 million on Friday (including Thursday night numbers), and we know that the WOM will be strong. So it's going to do a lot better than those $50-65 million estimates. UPDATE: It grossed an estimated $76.5 million for the weekend but scored only 35% under 25. Of course the core demo skewed older. Paramount has been spending the big bucks on luring the younger demo--which will likely expand on upbeat WOM.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 9, 2009 6:45 AM
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Twilight's Pattinson Flogs Indie How to Be

While Brit first-timer Oliver Irving's micro-indie How to Be may not be high art, because it stars Twilight star Rob Pattinson, it has a target audience. The flick about a sadsack guitar player who moves back in with his parents after his girlfriend dumps him had been seeking a distrib since its Slamdance debut in January, 2008. I asked Pattinson about How to Be in a Twilight interview back in November (Flip Cam video below), which was seen by IFC Films buyer Arianna Boccho, who tracked down How to Be and bought it one week later for IFC Festival Direct.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 28, 2009 7:00 AM
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Wrestling Tips

Posted by Steven Gaydos
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 11, 2008 9:32 AM
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Jackman Talks Australia, Wolverine, Cleo

Hugh Jackman knows how to work a room.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2008 8:20 AM
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Cameron talks Avatar on CBC

"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 Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2008 11:08 AM
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Avatar's James Cameron Talks 3D

Variety tech wonk David S. Cohen conducts an in-depth interview with James Cameron about something he knows a little bit about: 3D. An early believer and innovator in the technology that looks to revolutionize the way many movies are made, Cameron expounds at length. (He reveals some tech details on his next 3D effort, the long-awaited Avatar, due in 2009.) Here's a sampling of their email exchange:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 11, 2008 6:05 AM
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Sundance Video: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Martin McDonagh

Here's the first of many Sundance video-interviews we're putting up during the fest, with the In Bruges gang:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2008 5:10 AM
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