Academy-Award winning director James Cameron’s “extraordinary” upcoming feature-film, Avatar, will revolutionise 3D cinematography and production, according to those who witnessed a preview screening at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego last week.
The US$237 million film, which is still five months away from release, is Cameron’s first as director since the monster that was Titanic in 1997.
The film features cutting-edge 3D production and performance capture techniques including a new 3D camera system conceived by Cameron. Audience members at Comic-Con were required to wear polarised glasses during the 25-minute preview screening.
"I'm speechless," said audience member Nahum Villalobos after the screening at the comic book convention. "It's more extraordinary than any other movie that is out there, or has been."
According to published reports, Cameron originally conceived Avatar in 1995 in a bid to challenge special-effects firm Digital Domain, where he served as chief executive.
"In the same way that I wrote Terminator just to get a directing gig, I decided to write a story that was full of creatures and characters that would push the art of CG for that company," he told reporters at Comic-Con.
"The ideal movie technology is so advanced that it waves a magic wand and makes itself disappear.
"The technology could be made (for it) to happen, but also (it) was just wanting to do something, I don't want to say important. But something that has this spoonful of sugar of all the action and the adventure and all that, which thrills me anyway as a fan, but also wanting to do something that has a conscience, that maybe in the enjoying of it makes you think a little bit about the way you interact with nature and your fellow man."
The production also marks the debut of Cameron’s ‘virtual camera’. The technology employs a handheld monitor that Cameron used to walk-through 3D scenes in real-time and record certain aspects as live-action sequences.
Avatar is scheduled for worldwide release in December.