25 years later, there is a big difference in directing for James Cameron 9 months ago

25 years later, there is a big difference in directing for James Cameron

Avatar: The Way Of Water arrives on the 25th anniversary of James Cameron's Titanic.

Released afloat some tremendously bad press, James Cameron released what was at the time the single most expensive movie ever made, Titanic.


As we all know, it turned out really well for Cameron and the movie, making the most money at the box office of all time, winning 11 Oscars, etc.

He wouldn't direct again for another 12 years, and upon the release of Avatar in December 2009, he once again broke all of the box office records (after a recent re-release, it is once again the highest grossing movie of all time), and it won three of the nine Academy Awards it was nominated for.

Now, here we are another 13 years later, practically on the eve of the release of James Cameron's second movie in a quarter of a century.

It arrives with a reported budget of between $350 and $400 million, making it either one of or THE most expensive movie ever made. Cameron himself has said it needs to be in the top five biggest box office grossing movies of all time just to break even.


But as we've seen before, time and time again, it is never wise to bet against James Cameron.

In the run-up to the release of Avatar: The Way Of Water, which will see James Cameron reunite with Kate Winset, JOE had the opportunity to sit down and chat with film producer Jon Landau, who has worked on Cameron's movies since Titanic, and produced alongside him on the likes of Solaris and Alita: Battle Angel.

We asked Landau what would be the biggest difference in making this new sci-fi action sequel compared to how Cameron worked on Titanic 25 years ago?


Landau told us the following:

"I think that one of the great things about performance capture, which Kate [Winslet] probably noticed was when you are a director of a large-scale movie that is live action, like Titanic was, you need to be a general. And you need to move the cranes and you need to move the lights and you need to move thousands of extras.

"And you need to do that and you still need to work with the cast and get the performances you want. When you are doing performance capture, you're not worrying about the crane. You're not worrying about lighting, You're not worrying about the sun coming up in a half an hour or is it gonna rain tonight or is the fog rolling?

"That was all stuff that we had to deal with in Baja [Mexico, where they filmed Titanic] and in the moment, it's just all about the performance. And I think that that is a difference that Kate would have seen. That Jim, who's his favourite part of directing is working with the actors, but when you're on a live action set the scope and scale of Titanic, you're torn.


"And you have to wear many different hats. But here in the performance capture moment, his hat was all just on the performance."

Avatar: The Way Of Water arrives in Irish cinemas on Friday, 16 December, and you can check out our interviews with the new generation of the cast - Jack Champion, Bailey Bass and Jamie Flatters - right here: