Avatar's James Cameron urges producers to embrace 3D TV

Thu May 13, 2010 10:36am EDT
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By Christine Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - Director James Cameron, whose blockbuster "Avatar" set off a 3D frenzy in the movie industry, on Thursday told television producers to put aside their worries about higher filming costs and embrace the technology.

Manufacturers hope the technology will be as big a boost for the industry as the transition to color television from black and white, but growth is being restrained by high costs for content makers, leading to a dearth of programing.

Consumers who just paid major sums for new flat screen sets may not be ready for another major payment for 3D TVs when there is little to see in the format that requires special glasses for viewing, analysts said.

"(Big entertainment companies) can't be afraid to shoot in 3D because tens of thousands of people all over the world are shooting in 3D every day," Cameron said.

"We're going to have 3D TVs all around us ... and we're going to need thousands of hours of sports, comedy and music and all kinds of entertainment," he said at a technology forum in Seoul.

"Avatar", the highest-grossing film of all time, taking in more than $2 billion, was also reportedly one of the most expensive movies to make with a budget of at least $300 million due in part to its 3D filming.

Cameron said it would prove cost effective over the long run for TV producers to learn how to shoot in 3D instead of trying to convert existing 2D content to the format.

"There's not going to be the time or the money to convert that. It's going to have to be shot live. We're going to learn how to do live shooting. The cost will come down on live 3D production," Cameron said.   Continued...

<p>Director, writer and producer James Cameron is reflected in a visitor's 3D glasses as he speaks at a panel discussion for his upcoming movie "Avatar" during the 40th annual Comic Con Convention in San Diego, July 23, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>