Tired. So... tired.
After a 5 am flight and literally going close to 48 hours with no sleep I've made it through my first big day at the San Diego Comicon. The beginning of the day was a true test of sanity, A mix-up with the hotel, walking long distances while hauling heavy equipment like an overpacked mule, and two stomach knotting occasions where we were almost denied our press badges only added to our weary stressed out bodies. Yet I still managed to not collapse in the middle of the convention room floor and claw my eyes out screaming as thousands of costumed geeks watched in horror. Leon has seen my meltdowns. He had his badge and he was still more nervous than I was.
The rest of the day was filled mostly attending round table discussions with the cast and filmmakers of features such as 'Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs', Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland', and 'Tron 2'. I won't lie to you. As exciting as these titles may sound, and as eager as I was to hear about them firsthand from those closely involved, I always walk away from these events feeling unsatisfied. My interviewing style is conversational. I want to feel as though I'm talking to a person who could possibly be sipping a beer with me in my living room. Call me arrogant, but I'm not meant to compete with others around me as we yell out questions to get what may or may not be a very formal answer or quick snappy joke.
However, I must say I found James Cameron to show genuine enthusiasm for his upcoming sci-fi epic 'Avatar'. Boasting groundbreaking advancements in 3D technology, 'Avatar' is Cameron's space opera love story centering on the forbidden emotions between a human played Sam Worthington and an alien voiced and modeled after Zoe Saidana. Cameron brought 3D clips to show the audience members who stood for hours to get into the now famous Hall H. He also wanted to impress attendees with the realism of his CG alien characters. Afterwards he spared some time to sit with a small group of press to talk about the process behind creating his fictional blue creatures that inhabit the lush fluorescent world of Pandora, his approach to storytelling, the pressures of filmmaking (an answer to my question - hell yeah!) and his view on the role of visual technology in filmmaking.
The love he had for his movie was apparent . Here's a man who, regardless of what you may think of his body of work, has such a gift for storytelling that every answer draws you in like a good narrative. It was a real pleasure to be a part of his discussion. To sit a few feet away from one of the most innovative directors of our time and have him stare you in the face as he answers your question is a true privilege.
And hey, it's James Cameron. To quote the words of Jules Whinnfield from 'Pulp Fiction', "Shiiiiiit negro, That's all you had to say." Below is an edited video version of the roundtable. Enjoy.
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