On Tuesday morning, eight separate scenes of 'Titanic' -- now converted to include the dimension of depth (scientists call this "3D") -- were screened for the press. Director James Cameron (who spoke one-on-one with Moviefone last night) was also in attendance to discuss what's in store for the public when we all head back to 'Titanic' in April. What's that? You're too cool to see 'Titanic'? Oh, come on, admit it: you're going. I'm going. We're all going to see 'Titanic' on the big screen again. Regardless, with Cameron in attendance -- and with eight finished 3D scenes to show -- here are the nine things learned while attending the 'Titanic' in 3D press conference.
1. 'Titanic' in 3D Looks Absolutely Stunning
This shouldn't come as too big of a shock considering that Cameron is directly involved, but after watching screening after screening of shitty 3D films, it was more than refreshing to see what can be done to a film -- even a film not originally filmed in 3D -- if the appropriate amount of time and effort are applied. The scenes presented were:
- Right before Rose and Cal board 'Titanic,' "You can be blasé about some things...."
- Jack waiting for Rose at the bottom of the staircase before dinner.
- Jack and Rose attending a "real party."
- Jack and Rose "flying" at the front of Titanic.
- The first sighting of the iceberg, "Why aren't they turning?!"
- Rose freeing Jack with the use of an axe.
- The montage of Titanic passengers accepting their fate.
- The last part of Titanic sinking, "The ship will pull you down."
2. James Cameron Wants to be the Opposite of George Lucas
When Cameron was asked if any tweaks were made to 'Titanic,' a la George Lucas, Cameron responded, "George helps me with that. I see the example of what I don't want to do." Slam! Oh, wait, he continues, "I don't consider that a slam, I think he considers his movies a perpetual work in progress. For me, the problem is once you pull that thread, it all unravels. Where do you stop?" Never, James. The answer is never.
3. The Interior of Titanic, as Depicted in the Film, is Wrong
Expanding on the idea of tweaking his film, Cameron did reveal there are a few changes that he'd like to make, but won't. The main one being the historical inaccuracies of the ship itself. "I've done three expeditions to Titanic. I've done, literally, hundreds of hours of exploration of the interior of the wreck using robotic vehicles," Cameron explained, "so I know the places where the film is wrong. We didn't know when we made it, because we were working with the very best archival photographs that existed, but most of the photographs were of the sister ship, the Olympic." And, yes, Cameron was tempted, but he did resist temptation, "So I had to resist the impulses to say, 'I've got to fix that door... I just thought it would take the film completely out of its time... every film is a snapshot of its time."
I would like to restate Cameron's quote for effect, "every film is a snapshot of its time."
4. James Cameron Admits He's a "Greedy Motherf-cker"
When asked if Cameron has any aspirations of 'Titanic' becoming the number one movie of all time again, surpassing 'Avatar,' Cameron answered, "Yeah, we're just greedy motherf-ckers. And we didn't make enough the first time around."
5. James Cameron Was Just Kidding About Being a "Greedy Motherf-cker"
"That's a lofty goal, I think we should manage our expectations," Cameron admits, in terms of passing 'Avatar." He makes the comparison, "Was 'Lion King' just pure greed? Or was it giving people something that they want?" Probably both, actually.
6. James Cameron Actually Does Have Some Lofty Goals for 'Titanic'
Not as lofty as passing 'Avatar,' but -- after what he admits will be a full on marketing campaign -- he does feel that 'Titanic' can recapture that sense of a communal experience that happened in theaters back in 1997 and into 1998, "So that's why I'm excited about the possibility of putting it back into theaters and seeing if that phenomenon will occur again. I suspect it will, only because we know, anecdotally, what was going on with 'Avatar.'"
7. Smoking is Hazardous to 3D Conversion
Water has a way of looking like absolute hell after 3D conversion in a, "here's your close water and here's your far away water," kind of way. According to Cameron, each droplet was addressed, "They go droplet by droplet. They go in and, literally, each droplet gets moved spatially forward." Keep in mind, there's a lot of water in 'Titanic.'
But water wasn't Cameron's biggest challenge, his biggest challenge turned out to be a circa 1912 cigarette smoker, "It turns out that one of the hardest problems was somebody smoking a cigarette. Where you get a little smoke wafting up and you're actually seeing them through the smoke -- but the smoke has to be put on a different plane. There's no solution to that. So we came up with the solution of doing a physics based fluid simulation of the smoke and laying it in over the smoke."
8. James Cameron Approves of Martin Scorsese's 'Hugo.'
"There you have a legitimate, auteur filmmaker, Martin Scorsese, embracing the 3D as a new color to paint with -- having fun with it. That's the way that it should be. It shouldn't be coming from the studios telling the filmmakers to shoot in 3D, it should be the filmmakers wanting to do it."
9. Cameron Doesn't Want You to Think of it as 'Titanic in 3D,' but just, 'Titanic.'
"From my perspective, I like that to be the lead line. That it's 'Titanic' being re-released after 15 years away on the 100th anniversary of the event itself to a new generation that's never seen it in theaters. And it's in 3D."
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