"They assume from the success of [Avatar] that they can then turn movies into 3-D in eight weeks," Cameron says. "It should be a filmmaker-driven process, not a studio-driven process. Now it's getting crammed down from above. It should have been the other way around."
He partially refers to the upcoming Clash of the Titans, which stars Avatar's Sam Worthington and which is being retro-fitted for 3-D despite not being shot in or for the format. His acknowledgment that the Grammys also got 3-D wrong and the inference that we're in for lots more shoddy exploits reminds me of how all the terrible, cheap and half-assed CG effects that have come with wannabe blockbusters in the two decades since the groundbreaking innovations of Cameron's Terminator 2.
What I unfortunately don't agree with Cameron on is the belief that people won't stand for such low-quality followers. The success of so many films that should have featured better and more careful effects (including my old stand-by example, LOTR: Return of the King), goes to show that audiences are fine with settling. Still, I appreciate that he urges filmmakers to keep evolving rather than making the same mistakes over and over for ten years.
Check out some more choice quotes from the interview after the jump.
On the Avatar sequel: "It would be a continuation of [the key characters'] story. I expect that those nasty humans didn't just go away forever [and say], 'well, that didn't work.'"
On the Avatar prequel: "There's plenty of detail on the characters and what they're thinking, and I think that's what people really want. Sure, there'll be the back story...but it's really about what the people are feeling."
On Avatar's environmentalism: "You have to fight an emotional response with an emotional response. I think there is an opportunity here for a film to evolve beyond just a platform of pure entertainment, in a way that people will embrace."
On the Terminator franchise: "I have stepped so far from the Terminator universe. And I'm happy with that. Frankly, the soup has been pissed in by other filmmakers, so I don't have any personal desire to go back to it."
On Mark Webb's Spider-Man reboot: "I'd like to see him reinvent it in the same way Batman got reinvented. I think that there's a possibility there."
On the Oscars: "I already got my statues."
With that last statement, Cameron means that there are others who'd benefit more from an Oscar win, whether it be his ex-wife, director Kathryn Bigelow, who he wants to win Best Director, or his own crew members up for tech awards, believing that his Titanic victories have done little for his own career.
Be sure to check out the rest of the interview, with plenty more juicy morsels from the King of the World over at MTV.