Titanic sets sail again
For better or worse, 3D is no longer just a fad. Blame James Cameron for giving us Avatar. And blame him for not using 3D as a gimmick to fill cinema seats. Instead he used the technology to present a more vivid depth to the fictional world of Pandora. Cameron did not invent 3D; he just perfected it for commercial cinema. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Yet before Avatar, Cameron created another revolutionary film, one of the most ambitious of our time: Titanic. Of course, it was filmed in 2D, but now thanks to 3D conversion technology, the film is being re-released with same breathtaking visuals as Avatar.
'Titanic is my baby so I really wanted to roll up my sleeves and get involved in every step of the conversion,' says Cameron. 'To offer the film in this new form on the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking made sense to me.' The liner sank on April 15, 1912.
Cameron reunited with co-producer Jon Landau to bring Titanic into the realm of 3D. They brought Stereo D, a company specialising in 3D conversion, on board for the project. Artists spent two to three weeks on a single shot - usual conversions take days. The entire conversion process took 300 artists more than 750,000 hours - approximately one year - to complete.
'I wanted to make sure the conversion could be done convincingly and without compromise,' explains Cameron. 'I wanted it to ultimately feel as if we had originally shot Titanic with stereo cameras. It had to live up to that standard.'
The film tells the tragic tale of those onboard the RMS Titanic, a ship once deemed unsinkable. More than that, the film explores a time when class lines were never blurred.
Set in 1912, Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), a drifter with a knack for drawing, boards the Titanic after winning a third class ticket in a poker game.
As much as the Titanic housed 'third-class citizens', it was primarily outfitted with the wealthy in mind. No expense was spared and the elite were bathed in luxury, while those in steerage were forced to live with the bare essentials.
Rose (Kate Winslet) and her fiance Cal (Billy Zane), the son of a wealthy steel tycoon, are onboard in the first-class section of the vessel.
After an encounter on the ship's deck, Jack and Rose begin to fall in love. But mingling between classes was frowned upon - especially on the Titanic, where the rich paid huge amounts of money to be pampered.
When the ship strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic, the inconceivable happens: the Titanic begins to sink.
Jack and Rose scramble to live - but no matter what, their hearts will go on and on.
Opens on Wednesday