Archive for September, 2009

A new depth to Hollywood…

1 September, 2009

James Cameron’s hype machine has been whirring frenetically for what seems like several decades in anticipation of his upcoming film Avatar, which – according to Cameron at least – will revolutionise cinema and the way we watch films.

For those not in the know, Avatar is Cameron’s come-back superhit (his first feature film since 1997’s record destroying Titanic) and is set to change all of our lives forever on its release this Christmas.

The trick here is the new 3d cameras Cameron has spent the past decade developing, promising an unparallelled depth of field and a type of 3D which is not possible using current techniques.

Unfortunately for Cameron decades of developments and around 12 months worth of clever marketing may have worked on Hollywood’s production gurus  – with production firms including Disney and Pixar, as well as directors like Guillermo Del Toro pledging their allegiance to his new system – but the fans seem yet to be convinced.

After the release of the first official teaser trailer for the film – which came initially at the cringingly titled ‘Avatar Day’ where selected cinemas around the world screened 15 minutes of 3D tit-bits for the film – floodgates opened, and the torrent of hate for Cameron’s latest began – with many claiming the promised 3D revolution was nothing more than a mediocre, video-game like cut-scene.

The problem Cameron now faces is to find a way to win back his fickle fans. And with the internet churning out more and more hate propaganda like this by the day, it’s hard to see how that will turn around.

Luckily for Cameron his ‘future of cinema’ idea which was such a hit with panicky studio bosses also happens to be a rather superb business model. Despite the resentment of fans, Cameron has the luxury of insisting he is right, and that his new 3D system, unlike the one currently being utilised by an increasingly large number of new releases, is as breathtaking as he claims. The problem here for the haters is that, for the time being at least, no one can prove him wrong. Slating Avatar for it’s video-game like look on a computer screen is easy, and can be just as easily defended by claiming the true image is only revealed in the cinema.

I’m also certain that the only victor of this stand-off will be curiosity. Fans who berate the trailer will be the first in line come the film’s release, just to be certain that they were right. And anyone who wants to decide for themselves will have  to fork out at the big screen.

And here we come back to those panicky studio bosses. The Hollywood big cheeses have been fighting a losing battle against piracy for years now. And with films now commonly leaking out and spreading almost instantly through internet in higher and higher quality before they even hit the cinemas, the studios are running out of options to stamp the problem out. Cameron’s vision of the future is, therefore, particularly appetising to the powerful people – his revolutionary technique is one which can only be leaked in an inferior quality, and one which punters will have to fork out for to see properly.

The money recouped from salvaging hollywood’s nose-diving box office receipts would more than outweigh the cost of Cameron’s Avatar (rumoured to have smashed its $200m budget way back) flopping. So a 3D film future is more appealing than ever to those who hold the purse strings tightly, making Avatar’s popular and critical success all but irrelevant to the impact of Cameron’s jazzy technology.

So no wonder Cameron is confident, the future of cinema looks all but decided already.

But enough with these nonsense conspiracy theories, it might be alright. Take a look and tell me what you think…