Friday, March 10, 2017

James Cameron and Avatar

The question I had for this week was “How do media industries shape media audiences?” I answered this question by talking about the famous filmmaker James Cameron and I focused specifically on his movie Avatar for my research. I introduced to the class all of the CGI and 3D technologies Cameron used in making this movie such as the PACE Fusion 3D Camera, Facial Performance Recognition technique, and the Swing Camera. Cameron co-designed the Fusion Camera that changed the way 3D movies were filmed, this allowed for better quality of footage from the multiple stereoscopic cameras within the set up and it helped producers cut down editing time. The FPR has been used before but Cameron changed it by inventing the “head rig” which was able to record their emotions and facial expressions. This allowed for real human emotion to be to be displayed in the avatar characters, which made it more realistic and emotional for the movie viewers. The Swing Camera was a technology Cameron used for directing that allowed him to see the actors in “Pandora” through an LCD screen device that displayed and detected the movements of the actors’ performance suits as they acted out a scene. This used virtual reality technology and helped Cameron visualize whatever scene he was trying to film better, this allowed him to critique the actors in the moment and fix mistakes. 
I believe these technologies have impacted the way audiences view 3D movies now, we want to be able to get lost in the movie and feel like we are actually there. Cameron has changed not only the way we watch 3D movies but also how 3D movies are filmed with the Fusion camera, the swing camera, and the FPR. I think these technologies blur the lines between computer animation and reality. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what is isn’t. I think that’s what an audience looks for when searching for a good movie.


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