Sunday, December 16, 2012

Making Magic: The Cinematic Innovations of James Cameron

James Cameron

Many people simply know James Cameron as the Canadian director who made films such as The Terminator, Titanic, and Avatar, but he is much more than a mere filmmaker. James Cameron is renowned in the film industry for pioneering new technologies. He has done for film what Walt Disney has done for animation, by taking risks and setting new precedents. Let's take a look at some of the innovative things Cameron has done that helped his movies gross over 6 billion dollars.

Fusion 3-D Camera System

Fusion 3-D Camera System

The Fusion 3-D Camera System was co-created by James Cameron to record film in stereoscopic 3-D. It works by combining two HD cameras that film a scene simultaneously allowing editors to digitally overlap the image giving the illusion of three dimensions when finished. Cameron's system has been used in such films as Avatar, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tron: Legacy, and Life of Pi.


Simulcam was invented for the filming of Avatar. It takes what the actors are doing and instantly transforms their actions into the world of Avatar. Movements can be seen as if the CGI characters were performing them. This instant digital representation took a lot of the guesswork out of making Avatar for Cameron. He didn't have to wait until post-production to see if something didn't look quite right. He could make changes on the fly with absolute certainty, which is invaluable for a filmmaker. 

Underwater Dolly

James Cameron's Underwater Dolly
James Cameron's Underwater Dolly hasn't actually been used in filmmaking yet, but it will be. It's a propeller/suit system that attaches to a camera and allows the camera operator to move seamlessly through water creating smooth and fluid shots. With this new device, it is expected that future underwater scenes will be as smooth as land-based ones, which will open up a world of possibilities for filmmakers.

In summation, James Cameron is not just a wonderful director, but also an amazing theatrical innovator. His inventions and innovations will be used for years to come to make movies as realistic as possible. He's already helped spark the 3-D revolution. What comes next, Cameron only knows.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Cool inventions. No wonder movies keep getting more spectacular.