James Cameron Promotes Panasonic 3D HDTV and Avatar

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James Cameron will be collaborating with Panasonic to promote 3D TVs. James Cameron and Panasonic is expecting the new movie Avatar to be a success to catalyze 3D home theater. James Cameron on 3D:

I believe 3D is how we will experience movies, gaming and computing in the near future. 3D is not something you watch. It’s a reality you feel you could step into.

Panasonic’s GM Masayuki Kozuka agrees: “We went to get global interest rolling. For people to want to watch 3D at home, the movie has to be a blockbuster.” Panasonic’s 3D HDTVs will be arriving in 2010. The first prototypes were on 103-inch plasma TVs sporting a 1920 x 1080 resolution. You will need to wear 3D glasses to experience the effects on the plasma TVs.

On August 21, 2009 there were screenings at select 3D IMAX theaters showing an extended trailer of Avatar lasting 16 minutes. “This is a place where I can speak from the heart. I’m a fan of fantasy and science-fiction and other worlds, and it’s a privilege to unveil this sucker I’ve been working on for four years and dreaming of for 14. Even though my mind was trapped in Chippewa, my mind was travelling the galaxy thanks to Star Trek and 2001 Space Odyssey… when I was a kid, reading a science-fiction book a day on the bus. So this film is for that 14-year old boy in the back of my mind,” shared Cameron during Avatar Day. Cameron first envisioned the idea for Avatar while CEO of Digital Domain in the 1990s:

We were lagging behind in 3D technology, so I wanted to create a film that would push the art of CG. When I got the script out again four years ago, I thought it was timely because of the environmental situation. But we had to develop the performance technology to live up to what the actors could do.

For two years, Cameron developed the Na’vi language with the help of University of Southern California linguists. The actors and actresses had to learn a brand new language for the Avatar film.

According to Wikipedia, James Cameron’s “directorial efforts have grossed approximately US$1.1 billion domestically…” That’s a lot of movies that Cameron has directed and some of them have been very successful. Aliens and Titanic (link to Amazon) come to mind. He is also the co-developer of the digital 3D Fusion Camera System commercialized by Sony. Cameron and Vince Pace developed this system to shoot film in stereoscopic 3D. This system was used on Cameron’s Aliens of the Deep and Ghosts of the Abyss (link to Amazon).

Cameron will be extensively using the 3D Fusion Camera System to film his next movie Avatar (link to official movie site), which has been in the works for about three years. The story is simply stated as: “On the distant moon Pandora, a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization.” The protagonist, Jake (played by Sam Worthington), is a paraplegic soldier without any hopes to serve in the army. He hopes to join the ‘Avatar’ program where his consciousness is transferred into the body of Na’vi to infiltrate and learn about the Na’vi race, who are 10-feet tall, blue skinned with elf-like ears. A group of soldiers with Na’vi bodies, simply called avatars, infiltrate Pandora but Jake gets separated from the group. While assimilating Jake meets Natiri (played by Zoe Saldana), a Na’vi princess, and falls in love.

3D is certainly going to get a massive boost thanks to Avatar. The experience of watching Avatar on a massive 3D IMAX will certainly be exciting. I plan to watch it the day it comes out. But will that excitement transfer back into the home and lead us to buy very expensive 3D HDTVs (that are significantly smaller than IMAX screens) to watch just a select few titles that are available? And those 3D glasses…

Ubisoft will be coming out with “Avatar, The Game” on November 24, 2009. You can play as a Na’vi, Pandora’s indigenous people, with bows and arrows or as humans representing the RDA Corporation with high-tech gear. I wonder if the game will be in 3D?

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