Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Dream imagery in Avatar

leading from

  1. James Cameron: In the making of Avatar I was trying to achieve a kind of waking dream state for the audience and the 3D was a part of that, the choice of colours, er, the type of shots which are flowing, er, you know it's not very choppy, which allows you to stay in a kind of state or sustain a feeling for a while, the use of flight, um, the use of rem you know kind of phantasmagorical images like the glowing forest and so on, erm, the floating mountains which creates  a kind of  real but surreal er, kind of quality, all that was done, you know, on purpose to kind of create a sense of almost a, you know, an out of body experience or something that maybe takes you back to childhood memories of… of flying or er, you know, I mean, I just... I just make associations as… as an artist and sometimes I try over mediate my own… my own choices, not think about it too much, not to try to justify it in some narrative fashion but just have an instinctive response (Coast To Coast AM, Monday August 23, 2010)
  2. James Cameron:  I had this dream when I was in college where I was leafing through a huge kind of… … of… of sketchbook of paintings and I remember and the images were very very powerful images and when I woke up, I had this kind of sad mournful feeling, wow, I wish I could create images like that, those were beautiful, and then it hit me "Dummy, you did create them, you just created them, so I , no I quickly got a, you know, some coloured oil pastels and I tried to… to do a quick colour rendering of everything I had seen in the dream, so there were about ten or twelve drawings, or quick paintings if you will, and one of them was of a glowing forest, er, where the river glowed and the trees glowed, and it was so, er , lucid and vivid in the dream, I never quite captured exactly what I had seen but I got pretty close and I threw that in a… just a bunch of, a big pile of sketches because I'm an artist and I draw all the time and years and years go by and in 95, I was, i was writing, er, Avatar and I was looking through some of my designs, and I found them and I thought, oh, there should be, there should be bioluminescence in the forest at night and so then that became part of… of the story and that came direct, that's traceable directly back to a single dream.

    Craig Webb: Well, was it true that you're mum had a dream about the big blue people

    James Cameron:
    Ah! Yes, well you've done some research

    Craig Webb: I did a little

    James Cameron:
    My mom told me, this is going back about twenty five years, she told me about this dream that she had of this twelve foot tall blue woman who had this amazing figure, this kind of goddess or warrior, whatever it was and er, she, her excitement about it kind of just popped a picture into my mind, and er, you know, later, erm, I did a painting of these you know, twelve foot tall blue people, this would have been in the late seventies

    Craig Webb:
    Before Titanic

    James Cameron:
    And so, you know, I was, I was sort of just swirling together a lot of things when I wrote Avatar that are ideas that had occurred to me over time, one from my dream and one from one of my mom's dreams.(Coast To Coast AM, Monday August 23, 2010)
  3. Cameron goes on to admit that many of his ideas come from his dreams. "One of them was a glowing forest with a river of light running through it and trees that sort of looked like fiber optics" he says. "Well, guess what. Cut to 30 years later and I'm making a movie where we're spending millions of dollars to create that imagery, but that image came to me in a dream when I was 18 years old."(

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