How James Cameron Updated the 2009 Hit Movie – The Hollywood Reporter

When Avatar opened in December 2009, on its way to becoming the biggest movie of all time, topping $2.8 billion at the worldwide box office, for many moviegoers, it was the first time they experienced digital 3D. Now, filmmaker James Cameron and producer Jon Landau will reintroduce their groundbreaking film to audiences with a stunning version newly remastered for theaters today.

Beginning Friday, audiences will return to a Pandora full of vivid color and detail they didn’t see the last time the film was in theaters, when many theaters were equipped with first-generation digital cinema projectors combined with new 3D systems. And for younger moviegoers, this may be the first chance to experience Pandora in 3D on a big screen. Cameron and Landau’s Lightstorm Entertainment remastered the film in 4K in high dynamic range, with select scenes at 48 frames per second.

“For us, 3D is about that window to the world, and not about a world that comes out of a window. We want the screen shot to disappear and the audience to be transported into our narrative story,” says Landau. the hollywood reporter. “By doing all these things, the 4K, the high dynamic range, the higher frame rate and the enhanced sound, it transports the audience even further into the world of Pandora.”

The experience is fueled by remastering, along with theaters offering projection systems capable of doing more than was possible in 2009. Landau recalls the first time he saw the first proofs for a remaster of a scene from Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) first. riding the banshee, the flying creature ridden by the Na’vi.

“There were colors and details in the banshee that I didn’t know existed. I was like, ‘Oh my God, look at that. Look at that iridescent quality,’” says Landau with a smile. “When Jake walks into the rain forest in the night time bioluminescence, the colors, the details and the range of colors and how rich the blacks can be and how bright the whites can be, without blowing things out, you’re like, ‘Wow.'”

Selective use of a high frame rate of 48 frames per second was also employed as a creative tool in the remaster, a step that was incorporated by Pixelworks’ TruCut Motion mastering software. Landau notes that at those times, 48 ​​frames per second made the image appear smoother and more consistent with what the human eye would see in real life.

“Forty-eight frames for us is not something that necessarily has to be present in every shot,” says Landau. “Forty-eight frames wouldn’t necessarily improve a close-up. We want to use it as a creative tool… where it helps, but where it doesn’t take you away from the cinematic feel of a movie. It’s a creative tool that you would use the same way you would use focus.”

Sound has also advanced since 2009. For example, Dolby Atmos wasn’t introduced until 2012. Four-time Oscar winner Christopher Boyes gave the new Avatar master an improved mix. Boyes was the supervising sound editor, designer and re-recording mixer on the original. Avatar and return to this paper for Avatar: The Way of Water.

“When you present an image on screen that has more detail, you need to complement it with sound that has more detail,” Landau says, noting that mixing and much of the post-production for the new version was completed at Peter Jackson’s Park Road. Post in Wellington, New Zealand.

To get an idea of ​​how far Landau and Cameron go to achieve the best possible presentation quality, consider this. In 2009, more than 100 different delivery versions of Avatar —an unprecedented number at the time— were created for launch on the day and date in 102 countries. That included various grades at different light levels to best suit each type of projection system. for this disney republish that number will be considerably higher. And at the end of this year, the path of the water it could encompass the largest number of results ever created for a single movie.

“We drive the studio operations team crazy,” admits Landau. “We sit there and say, ‘Okay, if we’re doing this, let’s present the best possible image.’ If a theater is capable of presenting 14 foot-lamberts (a measure of light), we deliver a 14-foot-lambert master. If they are able to deliver three and a half, those consumers should have the best possible experience. And we make a master for the three foot and a half lambertos”.

The master collection is also tailored to various aspect ratios and specific requirements for auditoriums set up for Dolby Cinema or Imax.

“We take the maximum width and maximum height when we can, the brightest light levels,” says Landau, noting that the number of unique versions also includes those that accommodate local languages, subtitles, and the hearing impaired. . Landau says, “It’s astronomical.”

the Avatar The re-release is not the end of Cameron and Landau’s quest to revisit previous record-breaking films. The duo’s Lightstorm Entertainment also plans to remaster Titanic in 4K, in high dynamic range and incorporating a frame rate of 48 frames per second.

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