If you’re a fan of sci-fi or film in general, I highly recommend Dana Goodyear’s interview with James Cameron in the latest issue of the New Yorker. It’s an incredibly insightful, well written examination of one of America’s best auteur filmmakers, living or dead. (If you don’t think so, best be prepared for a heated bar stool discussion — how can you argue with Terminator, Abyss, T2 and Aliens?…and you know what, I even liked Titanic too. There, I said it: I liked Titanic.)
Goodyear lifts the blanket off Cameron’s maniacally detailed creative process, taking you through some of his most famous past productions (successes, obstacles, failures), and highlights the technological advances that are being employed in Avatar which promise to make it one of the most revolutionary films of present day. And it’s all fleshed out with personal anecdotes from some of Cameron’s closest collaborators, friends, and enemies, including former wives Gale Anne Hurd and Linda Hamilton, Fox executives, actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Paxton, and even legendary peers like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Great stuff.
A peek into the madness of scale that is a James Cameron production:
He designed a seven-hundred-and-seventy-five-foot-long set—a seven-eighths-scale replica of the Titanic, which could tilt on hydraulics and be flooded at will. There was no tank big enough to contain it, so Fox, for the first time in its history, built a studio from the ground up, in Rosarito, Mexico. There were thousands of actors; Cameron directed, over a loudspeaker, while sitting on top of a tower crane.
Now that’s insane. And here’s a nice little quote about expectations for whatever he has planned after Avatar…
When someone in the audience asked about Cameron’s next movie, he replied, “You know, it’s not a great time to ask a woman if she wants to have other kids when she’s crowning.”
For all 4 people that haven’t seen the Avatar trailer yet, here it is below…