James Cameron is one of those rare filmmakers who makes big budget spectacle films which have massive box-office appeal, whilst at the same time has seen two of those works win multiple Oscars – “Titanic” and “Avatar”.
He’s an exception though as often the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences scores criticism for not recognising populist entertainment enough – not just films driven by visual effects, but even films which are more traditionally mainstream.
Speaking with The Daily Beast, Cameron says he sees the bias in the system and isn’t a fan:
“There’s definitely a bias. The Academy still has a majority of its members that are actors. Look, I love actors, but that’s how they think – they’re generally skeptical of technology. So when they see a film that’s too dependent on visual effects, they say, oh, that’s not an acting movie.
Well ‘Titanic’ was a visual effects movie in sheep’s clothing, you know? Yes, it had visual effects, but it was about the people and about the story. The visual effects were eclipsed by that.
But if you do a movie like ‘Avatar,’ the effects are right out front, and even though I felt the acting was just as good, and the story we were telling was just as good, they’re not going to reward it the same way. That’s just a fact of life.
I had made a decision way before ‘Titanic’ that I wasn’t going to serve two masters: I was going to put my visual cinema first. Even though I’ve spent an awful lot of time on scripts and on performance, I still love doing big, visual cinema. I doubt I’ll even get nominated again, but if I did, I’m probably going to lose to a Woody Allen movie. That’s the nature of it. So you don’t try to serve two masters.”
Cameron also said in the same interview that you shouldn’t expect him to take a meeting about make a Marvel or “Star Wars” movie any time soon as he wants to so his own projects: “I’m not the slightest bit interested in laboring in someone else’s house.”
Motion capture filming on the four “Avatar” sequels is slated to begin in August.