Landau says that Cameron and he go to great lengths to present the best theatrical performance possible.
Avatar opened in December 2009. It was the largest movie ever made, grossing $2.8 billion worldwide. With a stunning, new-remastered version suitable for today’s cinemas, James Cameron, and Jon Landau, will be reintroducing audiences to their landmark movie.
On Friday, the audience will be able to see a Pandora with vivid details and colors. This is a return to the cinemas that featured the film in 3D. For younger movie-goers, this may be the first time they will see Pandora in 3D on a large screen. Cameron and Landau’s Lightstorm Entertainment remastered the film in 4K in a high-dynamic range, with select scenes at 48-frames-per-second.
“3D for us is about the window into the world, not a world emerging from a window. Landau told The Hollywood Reporter that we want the screen plane disappears and the audience to be transported into our story. It transports the audience further to Pandora by doing all of these things, including the 4K, high dynamic range, and enhanced sound.
The remastering and cinemas with projection systems that can do more than was possible in 2009 add to the enjoyment. Landau recalled the moment he first saw the early tests of the remastering to create a scene in which Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), first rode the banshee. This was the flying creature that the Navi rode.
“There were many colors and details in this banshee I didn’t even know existed. “Oh my God, that’s amazing!” I thought. Landau laughs, “Look at that iridescent quality.” “When Jake enters the rainforest at nighttime bioluminescence you are amazed by the variety of colors and the richness of your blacks and how bright your whites can become, all without blowing out the boat. ‘”
As a creative tool, 48 frames per second was used selectively in the remastering. This step also included Pixelworks’ TruCut Motion mastering program. Landau noted that 48 frames per second made the image look smoother and more consistent than what the human eye would see in reality.
Landau says, “Forty-eight frames for us isn’t something that necessarily has to be everywhere in every shot.” Landau says that forty-eight frames wouldn’t necessarily improve a closeup. It’s a tool that we want to use, but not in a way that takes us out of the cinematic feel of a movie. You would use it just as you would focus.
Since 2009, sound technology has also advanced. Dolby Atmos, for instance, wasn’t available until 2012. Christopher Boyes, a four-time Oscar winner, gave the Avatar master a new mix. Boyes was the sound editor, designer, and rerecording mixer for the original Avatar. He returns to this role in Avatar’s The Way of Water.
Landau says that when you present an image with more detail on the screen, you should complement it with sound with more detail.” Landau notes that much of the postproduction and mixing was done at Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post in Wellington.
This gives you an idea of how long Cameron and Landau go to ensure the highest quality presentation. In 2009, Landau admits that “we drive the studio operations team crazy.” They should be able to deliver three-and-a-half feet so that they can provide the best experience possible. We do masters for the three-and-a-half foot-lamberts.”
This master collection can also be used to accommodate different aspect ratios or specific requirements for auditoriums that are Dolby Cinema- or Imax-compatible.
Landau states, “We choose the maximum width, maximum height, at the brightest light levels,” noting that there are many unique versions to accommodate local languages and subtitles as well as the hearing impaired. Landau says, “It is astronomical.”
Cameron and Landau are continuing their quest to revisit record-breaking films with the Avatar release. Lightstorm Entertainment, the duo, plans to remaster Titanic 4K in high-dynamic range with a 48-frame per second frame rate.