It’s not everyday someone the caliber of director James Cameron will make an appearance on Reddit to answer questions about literally anything. Still, that’s what the man behind “The Terminator” and “Avatar” did to promote his new Showtime documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously.”
Cameron talked about the movies he’s made, the ones he wants to make, his time on “Entourage” and more. He even revealed that he thinks every movie should be made in 3D, which is bound to ruffle quite a few feathers.
Check out some of the Cameron AMA highlights below, then head over to Reddit to read the entire thing.
I am beyond excited to be able to step foot into Pandora. Any details you could share with us about the park expansion at Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World?
Well, Disney are doing a first-rate job designing it. It’s going to be completely spectacular. It will be like being on Pandora. You will see real floating mountains. It’s going to be a very magical experience just to be there and walk around. And the two rides will be absolute state of the art. But I don’t how much they want to say about what those rides specifically will be, so I probably shouldn’t say anymore than that. But from what I’ve seen so far, it will be amazing. I will be sad it’s in Florida, because I won’t be able to go a lot to it.
A Na’vi, the Alien Queen and the T-800 Terminator get in a fight. Who wins?
Is the T-800 armed or not armed?
An Armed T-800 with a plasma rifle will clean house, all it has to do is shoot the Alien Queen, and have it bleed on the Na’vi. I would think that all three of them unarmed. Queen beats Na’vi. Queen beats T-800, because the T-800 would tear the arm off a queen, which would dissolve the mantel and shut down the cyborg.
Now a Na’vi riding a leonopteryx, or a Na’vi riding a thanataur, that would be a different story.
What is the best advice ever given to you?
As a film director, the best advice I ever got was from Roger Corman. He said “film directing is hard work, sit down as much as possible.”
The funny thing is, I never followed it! I always come in on first day of production, and there’s a producer chair with my name on it, and I say “take it away! It won’t be used.”
Are there any timelines where Skynet wins? If yes. How is this achieved?
Well, if one believes in a multiverse of an infinite number of parallel universes, or even a large number of them, then there have to be a few where Skynet wins. But you know, I don’t know how it’s done exactly. And if I did I wouldn’t say.
One could argue that the machines have already won. All you have to do is look around at how many people are face-down texting 100% of the time, everywhere they are, and it’s hard to imagine the machines haven’t won.
Favorite guilty pleasure movie to watch.
Oh, probably “Resident Evil,” the first one.
How did it feel when Neil DeGrasse Tyson pointed out that your sky in “Titanic” was wrong?
I wasn’t particularly embarrassed because I think that’s an unbelievably specific nitpick and if that caused him to not enjoy the film, he may need to reevaluate his priorities. That said, because I’m such a perfectionist, I challenged him to provide me with the correct star fields and incorporated them into the future rereleases of the film. So, if you watch the film now, the stars are correct.
Do you still have nightmares about Terminators?
No, I’ve never had nightmares about Terminators after I made the film. I had nightmares that inspired the film. But I always feel that making the film is the catharsis that stops the nightmares, if you will.
What is your favorite song to sing in the shower?
Depends on my mood. If I’m feeling aggressive, it’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” though it might just as easily be a Bruce Springsteen song.
What is your response when an actor like Sir Ian McKellen says, “this is not why I became an actor” in reaction to acting in front of a green screen without any other actors?
Well, different actors have a different tolerance for green screen work. usually theater trained actors have the confidence to work alone, or work in the absence of props and scenery and so on, because they are used to sort of black box theater and/or one person shows, and they know that part of an actor’s power and the magic is their ability to create when nothing’s there. Other actors simply just don’t like it. So it’s always good, if you’re making a green screen heavy film, to talk to the actors before you cast them about that issue. Because you don’t want to have to be buying someone’s talent, certainly actors are well-paid, but you also want them to want to be doing that.
Did you enjoy your time on “Entourage”? Any thoughts of making an actual “Aquaman” movie?
Haha! “Entourage,” for me, consisted of half a day’s work, during which they filmed segments for five different episodes. So it looked like I was on that show a lot more than I was. It might have been a full day’s work, come to think of it.
You have made some of the most successful and best films of the last 30 years, or ever for that matter. Where do you want to see the feature film industry go? That could include, but is not limited to, the stories being told, digital vs film, 24 vs 48 fps, reboots, IMAX, you name it.
48 fps to me is not a format, it’s a tool, like music it’s good to use sparingly and in the right spot. I believe all movies should be made in 3D, forever, but the projection needs to be better, and brighter. I want people to see in the movie theaters what I am seeing in my perfectly calibrated screening room, and people aren’t seeing that. Larger formats. I’d love to see screens get bigger. In terms of storytelling, I’d like to see Hollywood embrace the caliber of writing in feature films that we’re currently seeing in the series on television – more emphasis on character, and less on explosions and pyrotechnics. And I’m talking the big tent pole movies, I think they’re obnoxiously loud and fast.
Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or one hundred duck-sized horses?
Wow, I think that’s pretty easy, I think you’d rather go with the little duck sized horses. Ducks can be aggressive, geese are worse, but ducks can fuck you up. I have a hard time imagining duck-sized horses fucking me up, what are they going to do, rear up and kick me in the ankle? Then you could just kick them!
Why the shift from “Battle Angel” to producing more “Avatar” films? Is it the overwhelming success Avatar generated or the drive to develop the world “Avatar” exists in more? How much more do we not know about their world/universe?
My intention when I made “Avatar” was to do “Battle Angel” next. However, the positive feedback for “Avatar” and the support of the message of “Avatar,” encouraged me to do more of those films.
For me, the success was a factor because I was encouraged by the fact that an environmental film, or a film about nature, could be successful. It’s certainly not just about money. I’m considering success to mean the measure of the ability of the film to communicate. Every director wants their film to communicate. The biggest factor, however, is the drive to continue developing the world — more characters, more creatures with unfettered creativity.