James Cameron Wants ‘Avatar’ Sequels to Run at Higher Frame Rates, Escape Reality
It was just this past April that blockbuster alchemist James Cameron made the promise/threat of four sequels to his massively lucrative sci-fi fantasy Avatar. Having apparently calculated “eight years or so” as the optimal amount of time to let Avatar fever percolate before reaching a boiling point, the filmmaker hinted at plans for his follow-up(s) while accepting his honorary membership into the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers on Friday night. Indiewire reports that while entering an elite group of industry professionals devoted to expanding the technological reach of film, Cameron stated his intentions to bring Avatar even further into the future with groundbreaking techniques and equipment.
Cameron told the gathered listeners that he planned on employing some state-of-the-art methods moving forward: “I’m going to push,” Cameron said. “Not only for better tools, workflow, high dynamic range (HDR) and high frame rates (HFR) — the things we are working toward.” High frame rate — a technique that smoothens out the motion in a shot by showing up to 120 images per second instead of the standard 24 — has been a hot topic of conversation recently, as Ang Lee‘s upcoming film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk used the 120fps approach (to varying levels of success, as the critics would have it).
Cameron’s aspirations don’t stop there, either. “I’m still very bullish on 3D,” he added, “but we need brighter projection, and ultimately I think it can happen — with no glasses. We’ll get there.” Though the viability of higher frame rates has come into question recently, Cameron’s willingness to adopt it comes as no surprise; the director has always approached his films as an opportunity to push the boundaries of what’s possible, from the pioneering liquid-metal effect of the T-1000 in T2: Judgement Day to the extensive underwater shooting of The Abyss to the sheer scale of his truly epic Titanic. If someone can figure out how to make 120fps work and feel right, it’ll probably have to be Cameron.