Master of film-making

Master of  film-making

 It’s been 12 long years since we last saw your work. So where have you been?
I was divorced with a young daughter. I was essentially gone from the lives of everyone for a year or more at a time, and it just seemed like the wrong time to do that.

What was the spark, the first thing that made you decide that this is the film you wanted to make?
This thing has been generating in fragments for a long time, since the mid 70s, when I first started my hand at screenwriting. I was creating stories with spacecrafts and other worlds and some of these creatures actually are descendants of the creatures that I was creating then.
Since then I’ve been developing these characters over and over again. What happens is that over time you rewrite it, you massage it and you improve the storyline and all those sorts of things.

Tell us more about Avatar.
It is the story of a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle for survival.
For me, as a lifelong fan of science fiction and action, Avatar is a dream project. We are creating an entire world, a complete ecosystem of phantasmagorical plants and creatures, and a native people with a rich culture and language. The story is both epic and emotional.  

How important will the 3D exhibition be to the story?
I don’t think the 2D and 3D really affect the narrative power of the story. I think every film has to have a certain amount of darkness to appreciate the light.
   But the curious thing about this film especially, and one of the reasons that I was attracted to it, is it has real beauty in the film, by design.
We wanted to balance the intensity and the terror, and kind of the darkness, with the moments of just transporting beauty.
And I think a lot of films, especially in the science fiction genre, don’t try to do that. But to me, it was about doing both.

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