In cinematic circles, James Cameron and bleeding-edge technology go hand in hand. Whether it’s overseeing the construction of the world’s largest indoor water tank for Titanic back in 1997 or pushing the envelope for Avatar with ultra-realistic motion capture, the filmmaker likes to establish his own filmic parameters.
And now, it seems as though Cameron is eyeing up the possibility of shooting the Avatar sequels in full 4K resolution through the use of Douglas Trumbull’s patented gizmo, MAGI — an experimental process that renders the image in 4K 3D at 120 frames per second.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Trumbull states that discussions are currently ongoing with Avatar producer Jon Landau. Here’s what the visual effects maestro had to say:
“I know that Cameron admired Showscan [Trumbull’s earlier invention of a large-format high-frame rate projection system] and that he is a huge advocate of high frame rates [HFRs]. The use of HFRs for Avatar would be very appropriate and very successful. I don’t know if Cameron is interested [in using MAGI for the Avatar sequels]. He’s in seclusion writing the screenplay for Avatar. I am talking to Jon Landau, and we plan to have a screening [of UFOTOG] soon.”
For reference, UFOTOG is Trumbull’s recently-released short film that essentially acts as a tech demo for this type of high-end display — one that wholly eradicates motion blurring between scenes. Stepping away from the mystical realms of Pandora, though, the only other major release to push the frame rater higher than the standard twenty-five was Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey three years ago, which itself was met with mixed reviews for its use of the higher frame rates.
What do you make of this speculation? Indeed do you think filming Avatar at such a high resolution would make much of an impact?