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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Avatar 2 not delayed as no release date fixed: Producer

IANS  Mumbai, March 26, 2012
First Published: 17:23 IST(26/3/2012) | Last Updated: 17:26 IST(26/3/2012)

Oscar-winning producer Jon Landau has rejected rumours about delay of Avatar 2, saying there is no question of delay as a date for its release was never set.

In India to oversee the 3D release of Titanic, Jon told IANS, Avatar 2 has not been delayed. We never set a date for it to delay it. We are in very early stages of pre-production and we want to put all the pieces together before we formally announce a date."

Jon is James Cameron's partner in producing both Titanic and Avatar.

And like the first, the next two sequels of Avatar will also push the technological frontiers of filmmaking and viewing. Both the films will be shot on an increased frame rate giving the audience a perceptible difference in quality of images.

Though Hollywood experimented with a faster frame rate in the 1970s, the technology could not gain traction.

"Things like higher frame rate have existed in the industry before, but using them meant converting all film projectors. Digital projectors however have no such issues and can run at a higher frame rate without changing anything," he said.

As a strong proponent of 3D, Jon added: "A film ultimately is about the story. But how you present the story and how you manage engagement from the audience is enhanced by the use of technology. 3D activates more of your mind and the brain has to work more to process the imagery you see leading to greater audience engagement."

Many feel that despite large admission numbers, India is still a small market for Hollywood movies in terms of revenue. Jon however does not think so.

"I think India is an emerging market and will grow steadily. My coming here signifies that as an industry we acknowledge that. Secondly, I bring a message for the industry in the country asking them to use technology the right way.

"For example, a theatre may go for a cheaper 1.3K projector, but I'd ask them to go for the 2K ones because it has better quality and gives you a competitive edge and thus profits in the long run."

He is enthusiastic about Titanic 3D that has been restored at a cost of $18 million.

"We are treating and promoting it as a new film," he said, before adding, "We want to share the movie with a generation of moviegoers who have never seen it on the big screen and, for those who have seen it, 3D will enhance the dramatic story leading them to be more engaged with the characters in the movie than ever before."

Jon is the son of film producer parents who made some landmark films in the 1960s and 1970s like "Long Day's Journey Into Night" and Sidney Lumet's "The Pawnbroker".

Ironically, it was not easy convincing them to allow him to join the 'family business'.

"Knowing how hard producing films was, they wanted me to become a teacher or do computer science."

How then did he become a producer? "Like all kids, I rebelled," he said with a laugh.

Having seen the film business up close, he is in a perfect position to comment on what's changed in the business.

"A lot has changed and we now have newer technologies to tell stories. Movie marketing has also changed drastically."

Yet, before signing off he reiterates, "Despite all these, a movie is still about the script and the story. And that is something that won't change forever."

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