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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Yesterday once more

I’ve always tried to push the envelope but this time it pushed back. So we had to push harder. I compare the experience of making Avatar to jumping off a cliff and knitting the parachute on the way down.

Written by PriyankaPereira |
December 17, 2009 4:27:56 am

You have always pushed technology one step further with each of your films. What’s new in Avatar?
I’ve always tried to push the envelope but this time it pushed back. So we had to push harder. I compare the experience of making Avatar to jumping off a cliff and knitting the parachute on the way down. It is the most challenging film I’ve ever made. We were in an uncharted territory,figuring out the answers as we went along. We spent almost 18 months developing the performance capture “pipeline” before a single scene was captured with the cast.

What was your inspiration to make this film?
I’ve dreamed of creating a film like this—set in another world of great danger and beauty,since I was a kid reading pulp science fiction and comic books by the truckload,and sitting in math class drawing creatures and aliens behind my propped up textbook. With Avatar,I finally got my chance.

With special effects and 3D having a huge market these days do you feel Avatar stands a good chance of making big money?
Technologies are just tools in the filmmaker’s “toolbox,” and are always in the service of the story,emotion and characters. It always boils down to this question: Is it a good story? Ultimately the discussion is going to be about the characters—alien and human—and their journeys. The technology is at such a high level that it disappears,leaving only the magic,the feeling that you’re really there,and that the story,the characters,the emotions are real. I also think that 3D is a revolution that’s taking place and Avatar will have its part in that revolution.

Titanic was one of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters in India. How much did life change post the movie?
Titanic gave me a lot of popularity but then all my films have done well at the box office. After doing research for The Abyss and Titanic,I became fascinated with deep-sea diving. So I took some time off to do some underwater expeditions. I was having a lot of fun doing hard,challenging work,filming several documentaries. I was also learning the craft and trade of 3D production and gearing up for my next film. Whatever movie I was going to make,it was going to be in 3D.

With a career full of hit films,what is the pressure like when a movie is up for release?
The pressure never stops. With every hit,I think the stakes go up. You start playing with more money. On one hand,I think the pressure is a good thing because I think it makes you really think about what you’re doing,it makes you really think about your audience.

Have you planned a sequel to Avatar?
I honestly don’t know how I feel about a sequel right now. I’d love for us to be successful enough to warrant it,but I don’t know if I actually want to spend another three years making one.

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