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on Aug 22, 2009 at 8:07:06 pm
Not to belabor the point, but some early reviews of the screenings are rolling in. Several of the raves noted in
come from people who specifically mention how disappointed they were in the trailer. :-)
"And it's not even a continuous 16 minutes," Cameron said. "There are a number of scenes, about three or four minutes apiece. And the idea was to let people come in and really sample the quality of the goods."
No surprise, the AP coverage above is pretty shallow, and mostly positive. I was far more impressed by the blog notes at Entertainment Weekly. (Also no surprise: not that every word is gold or anything, but I'm a proud charter subscriber to the magazine, and love the website too.)
I didn't see the preview of course, but the writer there rings true when he says:
Avatar is, without a doubt, an audacious motion picture, and I tip my hat to Cameron for having the cojones to try to pull this off. Nevertheless, I predict moviegoers won’t be able to completely surrender themselves to this movie’s appearance. I think we’re all going to be watching Avatar from a distance, desperately trying to figure out why a film with such mesmerizing visuals still doesn’t feel quite right.
Although web comments to ANY mass-market publication tend to be inane, if not insane, and any movie with even a vague possibility of fanboy love tends to draw morons like flies, the comments to this piece also ring true: people were mostly very impressed with the look, less than impressed with the overall experience, and not all of them will be rushing to see it. There seemed to be about as many "I'm glad I saw it but I can't take 2 hours of this" responses as "omigod the best thing I've ever seen." Sounds about right, right?
Anyway, this is no doubt going to be a billion dollar-plus event, and it will without doubt rewrite the rules for CG storytelling. If you're curious, the EW piece is an
entertaining, thoughtful read
A final note about what technology IS and what it AIN'T: Cameron is one of the most famously nerdy gear guys ever. Much of what he has been doing since Titanic is pushing the boundaries of production with documentaries, notably with 3D. He co-developed a camera system that could finally do exactly what he wanted it to do.
Its core: the Sony F23, shooting 1920x1080.
Especially interesting to me: his rig can in fact work with virtually any camera, but 2K is where it's at for now...and quite a bit further down the calendar....and, in practice, 2K and 1920 are interchangeable. Indeed, note that Monsters vs. Aliens was rendered at 1920x1080, with some very slight tweaks for IMAX.
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