Avatar director James Cameron’s inspirations laid bare in art book


LOS ANGELES, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Director James Cameron has created some of the most striking images on screen, from the sinking ocean liner in ‘Titanic’ to Sigourney Weaver battling an alien creature in ‘Aliens’.

The original concepts and characters stem from his beginnings as a young artist in Canada, as revealed in the book “Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron”, which shows how his early ideas evolved into films.

Scholars have collected sketches and paintings of Cameron in his youth and compiled them into thematic chapters. When Cameron first read the book, he was amazed.

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“I think those strong thematic threads were the surprise or the eye-opener for me, because I always thought it was all scattered,” he said.

Cameron started drawing as a child, and as a young man he focused on scenes based on his favorite science fiction stories and comic books.

One of his first forays into filmmaking was creating the fantasy world of “Xenogenesis,” a film that never saw the light of day but a pilot of which can be seen on YouTube.

Director James Cameron poses for a portrait in Manhattan Beach, California April 8, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

The book shows pages of concept art from the unproduced film with much of the footage announcing scenes from “Terminator”, “Aliens” and “Avatar”.

“Every idea I ever had for a plant or an animal or a planet or a technology or a robot or whatever, I just stopped my life for a year and a half and drew it all. C It’s really all I was playing with, kind of on the fringes of my life,” Cameron said.

“The Terminator” was based on a dream in which he saw a robotic man emerging from the flames; an entire sequence in “Aliens” was based on a nightmare; and the blue Na’vi humanoids in “Avatar” came from a dream his mother told him about.

Cameron based his fantasy designs on reality, creating anatomically correct aliens, fully operational machines, and streamlined spacecraft.

“It feels like what’s happening is very real and very immediate. You can kind of project your mind into the screen and into the story because… what’s happening feels like it’s real,” he said. -he declares.

“Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron”, published by Insight Editions, is now available in bookstores.

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Reporting by Rollo Ross; Editing by Leslie Adler

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