The incredible box-office success of Avatar in 2009 was no surprise for anybody who knew of James Cameron’s name as well as his reputation for making blockbuster movies. But several years later, talk about the movie had died down, and it seemed like no one really cared about it anymore.
Talks about the release of a sequel to the billion-dollar grossing movie were happening, and a 2014 release was earmarked, but it didn’t work out that way and we only got to see the sequel, The Way of Water, after 13 long years. In fact, it probably took that long because Cameron is a pretty difficult man to work with.
Avatar 2 DP Says James Cameron Is Not The Easiest Person To Work With
A huge amount of work must’ve gone into making the long-awaited sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. The movie finally came out last month after 13 years of waiting, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
However, it’s still pretty much the same work ethic for director James Cameron. During an interview with Below the Line, the sequel’s director of photography, Russell Carpenter, expressed how challenging it was to work with the Titanic director and gave us an example of it by talking about matching lighting-
“In terms of matching lighting, everything is fluid. Jim can go in and change things in such a way, and maybe he’s rethinking stuff up until the night before we shoot everything.”
But here’s the challenge-
“That was one challenge. You’ve got to be on your toes because you can’t just say, ‘I saw this scene three days ago.’ You better be seeing the scene [in case] there have been any changes, especially significant changes.”
“If he’s slightly reblocked, it does change where shadows fall, or maybe where you’d want the direction of your light to come from. This whole film was a moving target. Everything’s in play until you lock it in on the live shooting day.”
To any aspiring filmmakers or photographers wanting to work with James Cameron in the future, make sure you can be awake 24/7 mentally and physically because he’s going to grill you real hard!
Has James Cameron Always Been This Way?
Pretty much every movie that James Cameron has directed has become a huge hit, either in the millions or billions. It’s no easy task to earn that reputation as a director in Hollywood with cut-throat competition all around the place, and it would be safe to say that Cameron is a perfectionist, because, after all, he does demand the most minute of details to be perfect.
Various celebrities have talked about working with the legendary director, with a lot of them talking about how hard he is on his cast and crew. Not only that, but he’s also reportedly spent over 20 hours filming scenes, which only furthers our point that he is a perfectionist.
It would only make sense that the 68-year-old director would put all his heart and soul into making the sequel to Avatar (it took 13 years!). And according to what we can make out from Avatar: The Way of Water cinematographer Russell Carpenter, Cameron really worked hard for it (as did others!).
Avatar: The Way of Water is currently available for viewing at your nearest theater.
Source: Below The Line