"We finished with the actors…. We're just in this kind of CG hell - trying to create a world from scratch," Cameron explains. "It's like trench warfare. We're working with computer-generated characters that we want to be photorealistic. Its been tough. We've set the bar high. We're just now getting the confidence that it's really going to work." Like Kevin Smith, I really love hearing Cameron talk about almost anything, because he's an absolute genius. Not only is he a great filmmaker, but he's brilliant with cinematic technology, too. While this is obviously grueling work that has "consumed all [his] life," Cameron admits that "its been simultaneously the hardest and the most rewarding film project" he's even worked on.
For the sake of comparison, Cameron throws out this statistic. In Terminator 2, there were 42 CG shots with characters, while in Avatar there are over 1700. They're "of creatures, and characters, and this whole world, an entire alien rainforest and ecosystem." I'm personally very excited for Avatar. But I'm also worried that those who aren't necessarily die-hard James Cameron fans are getting a bit tired of hearing about all this CG content in Avatar over and over. Not only are they concerned that this much CGI might hurt the film, but it's hard to get excited without actually seeing any photos or imagery at all.
Watch the complete interview with James Cameron on "The Hour" below. It's great to watch if you're a Cameron fan, otherwise stick with the quotes we've provided above.