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James Cameron Interview - Sanctum and 3D Conversions
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James Cameron Interview - Sanctum and 3D Conversions
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James Cameron - Executive Producer of Sanctum

What is the fascination with continuously going underwater?
James Cameron: "I personally just love being underwater and I love deep ocean exploration, I love underwater exploration. I've never done much cave exploration although I've done a little cave diving. I've done a lot of shipwrecks which is very similar in that it's a highly technical form of diving. But you know my producing partner in this, Andrew Wight, is the cave explorer. He had an unfortunate incident that happened in his life in 1988 where he got trapped inside a cave for several days by a big collapse caused by a storm. So we show the same type of event in this story. Even though it's a fictional movie, we're showing the same sort of thing that sets in motion really a survival story - a nail-biting, white-knuckle survival story."

3D has come a long way and Avatar was gorgeous in 3D. Where can it go next?

James Cameron: "Well, I mean I think what we were trying to show with Sanctum is that 3D can be done inexpensively. Everybody thinks of it as something that has to be a $200 million or a $100 million movie, but Sanctum cost a fraction of that and we were able to do world-class 3D. So it's about using the right cameras and having the right methodology for doing it, and it can be done inexpensively."

If that's true, why are there so many conversions then? Why not just shoot in the first place?

James Cameron: "Exactly! I don't know the answer. It's because people have a... There's a fear factor associated with 3D and people think it's going to be really complicated and expensive. We were making a very, very complex film with some of the worst things in filmmaking, aside from kids and dogs, which is water. Right? We were shooting underwater with actors; we were shooting above the surface but with water pouring in and all sorts of complex water effects, and doing it with electronic cameras in 3D, did it on time and on budget."

And with a director who hadn't made a 3D movie before, right?

James Cameron: "And the director had never done 3D before. So you rack it all up and you say, 'How is that possible?' Well, you use the right methodology, anybody can shoot in 3D and that's kind of what we were trying to say with this movie - is to drive a stake through the heart of that fear factor, that mythology around 3D. And to get people away from these after-market conversions which I hate."
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