This is a slow-spreading tidbit coming out of Oscar-winning producer Jon Landau’s keynote speech at the NAB Technology Summit on Cinema earlier this month; we could be seeing the first instance of full underwater performance capture for a film in Avatar 2, loosely scheduled for release in 2015.
The big name producer – who has also worked on Titanic (1997) and Solaris (2002) – stated during his speech;
“We have kept a team of digital artists on from Avatar in order to test how we can create performance capture underwater. We could simulate water [in computer graphics], but we can’t simulate the actor’s experience, so we are going to capture performance in a tank.”
Landau also praised Peter Jackson’s decision to shoot The Hobbit at 60fps, believing “it is a better experience for the audience”. On that note, he related such adoption of new technology to the M.O. of Cameron and the crew in developing the Avatar sequels;
“We want to take advantage of the technology that people are putting out there to make the next two movies more engaging and visually tantalizing, and wrap up the story arc of our two main characters.”
That being said, he recognises that movie-goers “don’t watch for technology”, proving that the film-makers haven’t lost sight of what’s important (doesn’t apply to all film-makers). Oh and you can expect Avatar 2 and 3 to remain in 3D as “the 3D screens market is phenomenal” overseas. And with the box-office numbers Avatar pulled, I think that’s evident. Again, don’t expect Avatar 2 until at least 2015.