James Cameron on Avatar and his Super/Natural series

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James Cameron is on a mission to go beyond what is possible. The Oscar-winning filmmaker quickly became a visionary for his early work in The Terminator deductible and aliens. Titanic went from a film plagued by production issues to 11 Oscars and the first film to hit the billion-dollar mark. by Cameron Avatar dazzled the world with its use of 3D technology on its way to becoming the highest-grossing film of all time, a title it still holds today.

Although he has become one of the most important filmmakers of the past 40 years, Cameron is an explorer at heart, and his fascination with the Earth is on display in the new National Geographic series, Supernatural. Executive produced by Cameron, Supernatural takes viewers inside the minds of the world’s extraordinary creatures. Thanks to advances in science and technology, the series displays some of the most fascinating images ever recorded.

An African fish eagle catches a fish. (National Geographic for Disney+/Joe Hope)

Digital Trends participated in a panel discussion with Cameron on the upcoming series. He spoke of the discovery of new sciences for Supernaturaldesigning new creatures for Avatarand the excitement behind finding new ideas.

Note: This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity.

Digital Trends: You mentioned that as humans age, they move further away from nature. With Avatar, you bring people back to a childlike state of wonder with what we see on screen. In Supernatural, people are wowed by these jaw-dropping visuals. How were you able to find this childlike wonder in Supernatural?

James Cameron: Supernatural, for us as creators of the series, was a matter of attitude. We wanted to have a style. We wanted to have a subjectivity to that. We wanted to take you inside the minds and behind the eyes of these animals and see how they view life. The extraordinary senses they implement and the strategies they use. They’re not as smart as we are, but they’ve had millions of years, in some cases, to develop these incredible strategies, these alliances, these behaviors. This is largely new science.

Collectively – National Geographic; my company, Earthship; and the main production house, Plimsoll, in the UK – we searched for intriguing new results from scientific research. There are obviously thousands of scientists all over the world studying the nooks and crannies of nature to understand these strategies. So we are looking for exciting new ideas.

A blue alien rides a flying dragon in Avatar 2.

With Avatarif I created a creature with my designers for Avatar and I said he could see infrared or he could process the world five times faster than us or he could emit or reflect ultraviolet so they could see themselves flying in the forest the night, you wouldn’t wink. But when you think “Oh, it’s a squirrel” or “It’s a lizard”, something we consider familiar, all of a sudden we see it in a completely different light, both literally and figuratively. . And I think that’s exciting.

It’s also about that less reverent style. It’s not some kind of classic natural history series with the narrator buzzing. We have Benedict Cumberbatch. He doesn’t just tell it; he does it. He makes you understand what’s going on in a way that I think is very relevant.

Supernatural airs September 21 on Disney+. Avatar hits theaters on September 23.

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