A friend of ours the other day, opining about the general state of 3-D filmmaking, studios' financial successes and failures and the sense of anxiety that pervades both Hollywood and the country at large, noted that Hollywood treats James Cameron like he's Warren Buffet: a grand oracle who understands the deep mysteries of the universe and has learned how to control them. Like in Washington with Buffet, Hollywood is always looking for Cameron to save it, and treats him like an artist genius solely because of his ability to bring in loads of cash when there seemed to be none. Pretty good for a fella from Omaha, and pretty good for a guy who used to beg Roger Corman to let him hold the camera.
Thus, when James Cameron says he plans on "Avatar 2" and "Avatar 3" to be shown at 60 frames per second -- as opposed to the traditional 24, or even the more advanced 48 -- you can suspect everyone is diligently taking notes.
"The reason I went down that path is because I believe it makes for better 3D," Cameron said of his advocacy of higher frame rates in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "There were lots of arguments for why 48 and why 60. My feeling is if it is a software upgrade (for digital cinema projectors), do both. It doesn't change anything at the projector; you don't have to change the lamp house or the lenses. If you are uploading software you can upload it for 48 and 60 and let the filmmakers decide."
In terms of how he will decide at what rate to shoot the Avatar sequels, Cameron said, "If the exhibitors will adopt the idea of a dual standard, than I'll probably want to shoot 60. If they don't, then I will have to look very carefully at the pros and cons of 60 and 48."
This surely sounds very technical, and it is, but it's still important. The reason we've had so many 3-D movies in the first place is because of Cameron's success with "Avatar." A whole industry has changed almost everything it does, solely because of one man's success. You can talk all you want about how 3-D may or may not be dead. But James Cameron, the Buffet leading the rest of Hollywood, is doubling down on 3-D technology, for projectors and distributors and the special effects industry. That's what the frames-per-second mean. He's talking. Everyone's listening.
Everything in four years is still gonna be in 3-D and cost 20 bucks a ticket, that's what we're saying here.
James Cameron Eyeing 60 Frames Per Second for 'Avatar' Sequels [The Hollywood Reporter]