‘Avatar’ Director James Cameron & ‘Piranha 3D’ Producer In Word Battle Over Comments On 3-D
Looks like we’ve got a good old battle of wits on our hands here that involves one of the biggest directors in the world against a producer of medium-sized movies. It ain’t pretty, and it’s in 3D. The battle is between ‘Avatar’ and ‘Piranha 3D’. So here’s the nitty gritty. James Cameron started off his [...]
Looks like we’ve got a good old battle of wits on our hands here that involves one of the biggest directors in the world against a producer of medium-sized movies. It ain’t pretty, and it’s in 3D. The battle is between ‘Avatar’ and ‘Piranha 3D’.
So here’s the nitty gritty. James Cameron started off his film career by directing a cheesy ‘Piranha 2′ hence when ‘Piranha 3-D’ (he was considered for a cameo in it too), reporters wanted to know what fond memories he had and what he thought about a new Piranha movie. And it backfired.
Turns out James Cameron had not one good thing to say about ‘Piranha 3D’. In fact, he downright attacked the movie. In an interview with Vanity Fair, this is his response to the question of whether Piranha 3D brought back “any sense of nostalgia”:
Zero. You’ve got to remember: I worked on Piranha 2 for a few days and got fired off of it; I don’t put it on my official filmography. So there’s no sort of fond connection for me whatsoever.
That’s still fine, until of course you take his extended answer about the movie itself into consideration. Then it’s outright ugly:
In fact, I would go even farther and say that… I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but that is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the 70s and 80s, like Friday the 13th 3-D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip. And that’s not what’s happening now with 3-D. It is a renaissance—right now the biggest and the best films are being made in 3-D. Martin Scorsese is making a film in 3-D. Disney’s biggest film of the year—Tron: Legacy—is coming out in 3-D. So it’s a whole new ballgame.
This is where Cameron’s ego has dropped in. His comments over the use of 3-D as a ‘cheap’ tactic for the movie is uncalled for and he sounds like the inventor of 3-D wary about its uses. It’s a downright insult on the movie that he probably hasn’t even seen yet.
If you want to know my real reaction to his words though, producer of ‘Piranha 3D’ Mark Canton stepped forward to reply to James Cameron’s damning words and it’s exactly how I feel. Albeit long, his response is a perfect explanation from his side that also manages to diss ‘Avatar’ in many possible ways. Read more about this below.
Movieline has the full deal, but here is the meat of the reply:
Mr. Cameron, who singles himself out to be a visionary of movie-making, seems to have a small vision regarding any motion pictures that are not his own. It is amazing that in the movie-making process – which is certainly a team sport – that Cameron consistently celebrates himself out as though he is a team of one. His comments are ridiculous, self-serving and insulting to those of us who are not caught up in serving his ego and his rhetoric.
But just like Cameron didn’t stop at the first words, Mark Canton takes a stab at Cameron himself:
“What it comes down to, Jim, is – that like most things in life – size doesn’t really matter. Not everyone has the advantage of having endless amounts of money to play in their sandbox and to take ten years using other people’s money to make and market a film….like you do. Why can’t you just count your blessings?”
And there comes a brilliant hit at ‘Avatar’ that needed to be said:
“Let’s just keep this in mind Jim….you did not invent 3D. You were fortunate that others inspired you to take it further. The simple truth is that I had nothing but good things to say about AVATAR and my own experience since I actually saw it and didn’t damn someone else’s talent publicly in order to disassociate myself from my origins in the business from which we are all very fortunate. To be honest, I found the 3D in AVATAR to be inconsistent and while ground breaking in many respects, sometimes I thought it overwhelmed the storytelling. Technology aside, I wish AVATAR had been more original in its storytelling.”
He concludes with this:
“While we are all awed by your talents and your box office successes – and I compliment you on all of them – why don’t you rethink how you address films with which you are not involved? You should be taking the high road that is being travelled by so many of your peers, and pulling with them to ensure that we, as an industry, will have a continuum of talented filmmakers that will deliver a myriad of motion pictures both big and small, with 3D or any other technologies yet to come that will entertain audiences throughout the world. That is the challenge that we face. That is the future that we should deliver.”
Click the source to read the whole letter but it pretty much comes down to this – audiences and critics enjoyed the hell out of ‘Piranha 3D’ and loved the 3D in it, so Cameron has no right labeling the 3-D anything since it has successfully done its job. A perfect reply that should bring the director back to the ground.
This will probably be the end of it, but it would be cool to hear a rebuttal from Cameron again.