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Watch James Cameron use a virtual camera to direct Avatar: The Way of Water

Making the Avatar sequel required some extremely cool cameras

Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

James Cameron is famous for the highly inventive tools he uses to make his movies, and the what it took to make Avatar: The Way of Water is no different. In an exclusive video shared with Polygon, the Titanic director is seen in action using a virtual camera rig that he used to direct his Avatar sequel.

The video, part of a special feature on the new The Way of Water 4K release, shows Cameron and a few other people on the Avatar crew working with and explaining the film’s virtual camera system. The camera rig allows Cameron to walk around a space and directly control the scene that’s been rendered, but can also be adapted to simulate different things that a regular camera system might perform, like a dolly or handheld shot. All of this provides Cameron with an incredible amount of freedom to film complex action and movement scenes by hand.

The 4K release of The Way of Water is part of a collection of Cameron films that are finally getting the high-resolution treatment. Cameron favorites like The Abyss, Aliens, and True Lies, all got new 4K remasters. The remasters are available on digital platforms now while the physical discs will be available on March 12, 2024.

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