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James Cameron profiled

10.20.2009

The New Yorker has an absolutely massive profile of uber-director, James Cameron, in its latest issue online. It chronicles his early life, making spaceship models as a boy, to his most recent battle trying to hammer AVATAR into the greatest movie ever made. It's a fascinating look at the man, and the method behind his madness, and believe me, there’s plenty of madness to go around.

Here he is talking the media’s initial reporting on how much of a disaster TITANIC was going to be:

Even now, Cameron resents the media’s treatment of the film. “We were branded as the biggest idiots in movie history,” he told me. “They were just sharpening their knives so they could really take the film apart. Then they couldn’t. So, fuck them. Fuck ’em all.”

And here you can see his absolutely insane commitment to detail as he reviews a creature in AVATAR:

The meeting ended on a boisterous note. “That fuckin’ rocks!” Cameron called out in response to an image of a snarling maw of thin blue-veined tissue, the mouth of the pterodactyl-like banshee that Jake’s avatar domesticates for his ride. “Look at the gill-like membrane on the side of the mouth, its transmission of light, all the secondary color saturation on the tongue, and that maxilla bone. I love what you did with the translucence on the teeth, and the way the quadrate bone racks the teeth forward. It’s a sharky thing. As wacky as this creature is, it looks completely real. Maybe I’m getting high on my own supply.” He was practically out of breath. “The banshee lives! He’s a fierce-looking sonuvabitch."

And finally, one quote that appears to sum up what it’s like to work with the man:

“Even though he knew I was on his side, nobody’s ever on his side,” Bill Mechanic, who ran Fox Studios during the making of “Titanic,” said. “It’s like you’re in the trenches and your infantry-mate is shooting at you, even if you’re the only one there who can save his life.”

After just finishing the entire twelve pages, the conclusion I draw is one that I’ve suspected all along. The man is absolute hell to work for, but his insane commitment to every single detail (the man can do, and often does, every job on the set, from lighting to make-up), is the reason that he’s created some of the greatest films of all time, and really, has yet to disappoint.

It gives me faith in AVATAR, because he doesn’t seem like a man who would release a movie it was just eterrible, and if he had to, would spend another ten years trying to fix it.

I highly suggest reading the entire piece for yourself here.

Extra Tidbit: When someone in the audience asked about his 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.”
Source: The New Yorker

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