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[电影] 有关阿凡达的所有秘密

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匿名  发表于 2011-9-15 04:04:56 |阅读模式
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卡梅隆的科幻心结
In 1977, a 22-year-old truck driver named James Cameronwent to see Star Warswith a pal. His friend enjoyed the movie; Cameronwalked out of thetheater ready to punch something. He was a collegedropout and spenthis days delivering school lunches in SouthernCalifornia’s OrangeCounty. But in his free time, he painted tiny modelsand wrote sciencefiction — stories set in galaxies far, far away. Nowhe was facing adeflating reality: He had been daydreaming about thekind of world thatLucas had just brought to life. Star Wars was thefilm he should have made.
1977年,22岁的卡车司机詹姆斯•卡梅隆和一个伙计去看《星球大战》。朋友陶醉于电影之中不能自拔;卡梅隆却离开电影院准备打拳击发泄一下。他是个大学辍学生,整天在南加利福尼亚奥兰治县开车运送校餐。但闲暇的时候,他绘制小模型还写科幻小说——发生在遥远星系的故事。现在他面临一个令人泄气的现实:他白日梦中幻想的世界已经被卢卡斯带入生活。《星球大战》应该是他的作品才对。
It got him so angry he bought himself some cheap movie equipmentandstarted trying to figure out how Lucas had done it. He infuriatedhiswife by setting up blindingly bright lights in the living roomandrolling a camera along a track to practice dolly shots. He spentdaysscouring the USC library, reading everything he could aboutspecialeffects. He became, in his own words, “completely obsessed.”
这事真让他生气,于是他自己买了一些廉价摄影器材,试图还原卢卡斯的拍摄过程。他在客厅中打出刺眼的明亮光线,让摄像机沿一条轨道滚动来演练推拉摄影,这一切都令他的妻子怒不可遏。他数天逡巡于南加州大学图书馆,阅读所有相关特效的书籍。他变得,用他自己的话说,“彻底痴迷。”
He quickly realized that he was going to need some money, sohepersuaded a group of local dentists to invest $20,000 in what hebilledas his version of Star Wars. He and a friend wrote a scriptcalled Xenogenesisand used the money to shoot a 12-minute segment thatfeatured astop-motion fight scene between an alien robot and a womanoperating amassive exoskeleton. (The combatants were models thatCameron hadmeticulously assembled.)
他很快意识到自己需要一些资金,于是他说服了一群当地牙医,为他号称卡梅隆版本《星球大战》的制作投资20,000美元。他伙同一个朋友写了名为《世代交替》的剧本,把钱都用在一个12分钟射击片断的拍摄上,凸显外星机器人和一个操作大量骷髅的女人之间的单格拍制打斗场景。(那些骷髅战士就是卡梅隆小心翼翼装配出的模型。)
The plan was to use the clip to get a studio to back afull-lengthfeature film. But after peddling it around Hollywood formonths,Cameron came up empty and temporarily shelved his ambition totrumpLucas.
原计划是利用这段剪辑赢得摄影棚,然后拍出全长影片。但在好莱坞兜售了好几个月后,卡梅隆空手而归,不得已将叫板卢卡斯的野心暂时搁置。
The effort did yield something worthwhile: a job with B-movie kingRogerCorman. Hired to build miniature spaceships for the film Battle Beyondthe Stars,Cameron worked his way up to become one of Corman’s visualeffectsspecialists. In 1981, he made it to the director’s chair,overseeing aschlocky horror picture, Piranha II: The Spawning.
只好付诸努力做一些有价值的事了:在B级片之王罗杰•科曼手下打工。卡梅隆受雇为电影《世纪争霸战》打造微缩太空飞船,他用自己的方式日渐上位,后来成为科曼旗下的虚拟视觉效果专家之一。1981年,他登上导演宝座,监督制作了一部劣质恐怖片,食人鱼II:繁殖 。   一天晚上,开完《食人鱼》编辑会之后,卡梅隆发着高烧睡着了,梦见自己看见一个机器人张牙舞爪走向一个惊恐的女人。场面定格于此。其后一年间,卡梅隆以这个梦中场景为基础完成了一个剧本,讲述一个机器人刺客穿越时光及时杀死未来叛军领袖的母亲。
One night, after a Piranha editing session, Cameronwent to sleep with afever and dreamed that he saw a robot clawing itsway toward a coweringwoman. The image stuck. Within a year, Cameronused it as the basis fora script about a cyborg assassin sent back intime to kill the mother ofa future rebel leader.
这一次,他不再需要牙医投资。故事编得相当令人信服,他能够说服一家小电影融资公司出资由他执导此片。当1984年影片上映时,《终结者》一举奠定了阿诺德•施瓦辛格的巨星地位,而詹姆斯•卡梅隆,这位曾经的卡车司机,则摇身一变成为一名顶级大导演。   在接下来的十年中,卡梅隆执导了一系列惊人之作,包括《异形》,《深渊》,《终结者2:末日审判》,还有《真实的谎言》。这些影片全球票房收入达11亿美元,为卡梅隆带来了足够影响力,使他重燃自己关于打造星际史诗的梦想火花。于是1995年,他写了一部长达82页的剧本,讲述当地球沦落为暗淡荒原之后一名瘫痪士兵去一个遥远的星球执行任务。那个被称作潘多拉的外星世界由纳美人(Na’vi)组成,这种狂暴类人族皮肤是蓝色的,长着猫脸,拖着爬行动物一样的尾巴,身高10英尺。潘朵拉星球的大气层对人体有毒害,所以科学家们将纳美族进行了基因工程改造,打造出新物种阿凡达——具有人类意识、并且可以完全受远程控制的生物体。卡麦隆认为电影《阿凡达》将是他的再度问鼎之作。这也是继完成轮船撞冰山的小历险再加上浪漫制作之后他的头一部影片。
This time, he wouldn’t need any dentists. The story was socompelling,he was able to persuade a small film financing company tolet him directthe picture. When it was released in 1984, The Terminator establishedArnold Schwarzenegger as a huge star, and James Cameron, onetime truckdriver, suddenly became a top-tier director.
《泰坦尼克号》,当然,后来成为有史以来收获最丰的电影。它赢得了包括最佳影片、最佳导演在内的11个奥斯卡奖项。卡梅隆如今可以随心所欲得拍摄电影。那么他做了什么呢?
Over the next 10 years, Cameron helmed a series of daring films,including Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and TrueLies.Generating $1.1 billion in worldwide box office revenue, theygaveCameron the kind of clout he needed to revisit his dream of makinganinterstellar epic. So in 1995, he wrote an 82-page treatment aboutaparalyzed soldier’s virtual quest on a faraway planet afterEarthbecomes a bleak wasteland. The alien world, called Pandora,ispopulated by the Na’vi, fierce 10-foot-tall blue humanoids withcatlikefaces and reptilian tails. Pandora’s atmosphere is so toxic tohumansthat scientists grow genetically engineered versions of theNa’vi,so-called avatars that can be linked to a human’sconsciousness,allowing complete remote control of the creature’s body.Cameronthought that this project — titled Avatar— could be his next blockbuster. That is, the one after he finished alittle adventure-romance about a ship that hits an iceberg.
他人间蒸发了。
Titanic, of course, went on to become thehighest-grossing movie of alltime. It won 11 Oscars, including bestpicture and best director.Cameron could now make any film he wanted.So what did he do?
自那时起12年卡梅隆都不肯再发行一部好莱坞电影。他录制了一些水下纪录片并搞了一些制作,但很大程度上他远离公众视线之外。期间大多数时候,他很少提及《阿凡达》,也不怎么透露他的拍片计划。
He disappeared.
蓝色革命
Cameron would not release another Hollywood film for 12 years. Hemade afew underwater documentaries and did some producing, but he waslargelyout of the public eye. For most of that time, he rarelymentioned Avatarand said little about his directing plans.
但是现在,最终,王者归来。12月18日,《阿凡达》登陆影院。这一次,现今55岁的卡梅隆不用像拍摄《泰坦尼克号》时那样,在墨西哥海岸建造远洋轮船残骸,那么为什么这位好莱坞屈指可数的大导演花那么长时间拍一部电影呢?部分原因在于:超越卢卡斯,乔治•卢卡斯,并非易事。卡梅隆需要发明一整套电影制作技术,推动全球影院更新设备,构想外星世界的全部细节。除此之外还有很多需要操心费力。要真正了解为什么《阿凡达》旷日持久才面世,我们必须回头审视《泰坦尼克号》的制作过程。
But now, finally, he’s back. On December 18, Avatararrives in theaters.This time, Cameron, who turned 55 this year,didn’t need to build halfan ocean liner on the Mexican coast as he didwith Titanic, so why didit take one of the most powerfulmen in Hollywood so long to come outwith a single film? In part, theanswer is that it’s not easy toout-Lucas George Lucas. Cameron neededto invent a suite of moviemakingtechnologies, push theaters nationwideto retool, and imagine everydetail of an alien world. But there’s moreto it than that. To reallyunderstand why Avatar took so long to reach the screen, we need to lookback at the making of Titanic.
“人们或许忘记了,那段时间真难呀。”卡梅隆在位于加利福尼亚州马里布家中的私人影院接受了我的采访。他看上去要比1998年奥斯卡颁奖典礼上温和许多——头发长了,又添了白发,脸刮得干干净净。可是,他那著名的急脾气,仍一览无余。采访开始时,我问他,过去十年里,你一直在做什么?他郑重地说,“一两句话说不清楚”,且听我慢慢道来。
“People may not remember, but it was anabsolutelyvicious time,” Cameron tells me in the private movie theaterat hissprawling home in Malibu, California. He looks softer than he didatthe Oscars in 1998 — his hair is longer and grayer and hisfaceclean-shaven. But his famous impatience is still close to thesurface.Early in our conversation about what he’s been doing for thepastdecade, he informs me that I “don’t know fuck,” so I try to lethimexplain how things unfolded.
“拍摄泰坦尼克号时,我们一直都在估算,我们有可能会亏多少,”而如今回看它那梦幻般的票房收入时,人们很容易忘记,泰坦尼克号曾一度被预言票房毒药。拍摄费用比预算资金——1亿美元,整整翻了一番,号称有史以来最昂贵的影片。主要赞助人,20世纪福斯电影公司,也向卡梅隆施压,要求压缩成本。
“When we were filming Titanic,” he says, “we were justtrying to figureout how much money we were going to lose.” Indeed, inthe mythicafterglow of box office success, it’s easy to forget that Titanicwasexpected to be a disaster. The project went more than $100 millionoverits initial $100 million budget, making it the most expensivemovie evermade. The main financier, 20th Century Fox, pressuredCameron to containthe overruns.
卡梅隆承诺放弃全部导演费用和利润分成,以示控制成本。泰坦尼克号的上映又错过了7月4日的档期,似乎又有麻烦了。卡梅隆在编辑台上放一个剃须刀片,上面贴着一张便签:影片成功,方能使用。“我只知道我拍了一部耗资2亿美元的爱情大片,而结局是几乎所有人丧生。我究竟在要干什么?”他私下里对朋友说。“我也许不得不从新开始我的职业生涯。”
As a sign of his commitment, Cameron agreed to give up his entiredirecting fee and any profit participation in the movie. WhenTitanicmissed its July 4 release date, it appeared that the project wasin bigtrouble. Cameron kept a razor blade on his editing desk with anote: Use only if film sucks.“Ijust realized I made a $200 million chick flick where everyonedies.What the hell was I thinking?” he confided to a friend at thetime.“I’m going to have to rebuild my career from scratch.”
好莱坞业内杂志Variety称其为“电影史上最大的豪赌”并且质疑福斯公司能否收回成本。“每个人都认为影片要遭遇毁灭性的失败,” 雷圣基尼(Rae Sanchini,),卡梅隆制作公司的前任董事长说。
The Hollywood trade journal Variety called it“thebiggest roll of the dice in film history” and questioned whetherFoxwould come anywhere near breakeven. “Everybody waspredictingcatastrophic failure,” says Rae Sanchini, the formerpresident ofCameron’s production company.
然而,泰坦尼克号奇迹般地躲过了冰山,凭借全球票房收入18亿美元,顺利跻身票房收入最高影片之列。“我们一下子从谷底跃至顶峰,”基尼说。“突如其来的成功,我们每个人都有点不知所措,对吉姆来说,更甚。他身心俱疲。
And then, miraculously, this Titanic dodged the icebergand sailed intothe record books, grossing $1.8 billion worldwide. “Wewent from thelowest lows to the highest high,” Sanchini says. “It wasa disorientingexperience for all of us, but most of all for Jim. Hewas emotionallyand physically exhausted.”
不过,基尼仍期待大导演能重张旗鼓,再接再厉。拍摄泰坦尼克号前,卡梅隆对阿凡达充满了激情——毕竟,从1977年以来,拍摄一部外太空巨片,一直是他魂牵梦绕的梦想。可现在,他似乎提不上一丁点兴趣。
Still, Sanchini expected the director to bounce back. Before Titanic,Cameron was excited about Avatar — it was, after all, the space epic hehad been dreaming about since 1977. But now he didn’t seem veryinterested.
他的矛盾心理一部分源自和数字公司(DigitalDomain)商谈结果。数字公司,一家成立于1993的特效公司,卡梅隆是创始人之一。他陈述了阿凡达的创作构想,说明剧中主角是约10英寸高蓝皮肤的外星人,细腰,四肢健壮。他们必须栩栩如生,却又不能使用特殊道具。这些外星人需要用计算机设计出来。但鉴于当时的技术水平,他的团队告诉他,这不现实。这项工程需要太多时间、资金和卓越的计算机设计能力。
Part of this ambivalence stemmed from a meeting at Digital Domain,thevisual effects company Cameron cofounded in 1993. He presentedhisconcept for Avatar and explained that the main characterswere10-foot-tall blue aliens with narrow waists and powerful legsandtorsos. They had to look utterly real, and the effect couldn’tbeachieved with prosthetics. The aliens would have tobecomputer-generated. But given the state of the art, his team toldhim,that was impossible. It would take too much time and money andanunthinkable amount of computing power.
“如果我们这样去做,我们一定会失败,”其中一位艺术家告诉他。“这不可能完成。这样的技术根本不存在。”
“If we make this, we’re doomed,” one of the artists told him. “It can’t be done. The technology doesn’t exist.”
卡梅隆释然了。他不喜欢与演员、经纪人讨价还价。“他们在胡扯。”他想休息了。这时,天上掉馅饼了,硕大无比,砸下卡梅隆。福斯公司高层知道,他们若想赚更多的钱,就得让好莱坞国王高高兴兴。于是,他之前放弃利润分成的约定作废,奥斯卡颁奖后,他们给他开了一张数千万美元的支票(据说,卡梅隆最终分得了7500万多美元)。有了这笔钱,他余生不用工作,都够花了。
Cameron was actually relieved. He didn’t feel like dealing withactorsand agents and “all that Hollywood bullshit.” He needed abreak.Luckily, a huge windfall was headed his way. Fox executives knewit wasin their best interest to keep the self-anointed king of theworldhappy. They decided to overlook the fact that he had given uphisfinancial stake in Titanic and, in the wake of itshistoric Oscarrun, wrote him a check for tens of millions of dollars.(Reportedly,Cameron eventually earned more than $75 million from thefilm.) Hewouldn’t have to work another day in his life.
“正是这笔钱,”卡梅隆说“我可以随心所欲玩了。”
“I had my fuck-you money,” Cameron says. “It was time to go play.”Here’s James Cameron’s idea of play: scuba divingnearunexploded, World War II-era depth charges in Micronesia. In thesummerof 2000, he chartered an 80-foot boat and invited a group ofpeople todive down to a fleet of sunken Japanese battleships. Hebrought along Vincent Pace,an underwater camera specialist who had worked on Titanic and TheAbyss.Pace, expecting to experiment with hi-def video, packed all ofhis gearbut soon began to suspect that Cameron had something else onhis mind.They were looking over footage from a day’s dive when Cameron askedPacea question: What would it take to build “the holy grail ofcameras,” ahigh-definition rig that could deliver feature-film qualityin both 2-Dand 3-D? Pace wasn’t sure — he was no expert but knew aboutthe cheapred-and-blue paper glasses of conventional 3-D filmmaking.They werenotoriously uncomfortable, and the images could causeheadaches if theprojectors weren’t calibrated perfectly. Cameronbelieved there must bea way to do it better. What he really wanted totalk about was hisvision for the next generation of cameras:maneuverable, digital,high-resolution, 3-D.
且看卡梅隆如何游戏人间。密克罗尼西亚:潜伏在二战时期遗留下来的深水炸弹附近,这不是闹着玩,炸弹都装满了炸药。2000夏,他包租了一艘80英尺长的轮船。带上一群工作伙伴,潜入沉没的日本战舰。文森特.佩斯(VincentPace),水下摄影专家,曾参与了泰坦尼克号和深渊的拍摄。佩斯带上了所有的设备,期待拍摄到高清画面,但是他很快发现卡梅隆有新的想法。
Inventing such a camera wouldn’t be easy, but Cameron said he wasreadyto break new ground. He mentioned a mysterious, long-gestatingfilmproject that would bring viewers to an alien planet. Camerondidn’t wantto make the movie unless viewers could experience theplanet viscerally,in 3-D. Since no satisfactory 3-D cameras existed,he’d have to buildone. He’d brought Pace on the Pacific adventure toask if the underwatercameraman wanted to help. His goal seemed kind ofextreme, but Pacethought it sounded interesting and signed on. “Jimhad a clear ambitionon the dive trip,” Pace says. “It was fun, but Ididn’t really know whatI was getting into.”
当他们浏览水下拍摄的镜头时,卡梅隆突然问佩斯:我们可以不可以制造一个“圣杯摄像机”,一种高清晰摄像设备,同时可以播放二维图像和三维图像呢?佩斯不能确定,毕竟他不是这方面的专家,但是他了解观看传统3-D电影的红蓝相间的廉价纸眼镜。众所周知,他们用起来非常不方便,而且看久了,如果放映机没有校准好,会引起头痛。卡梅隆相信一定有办法去改。他其实是想谈谈他对下一代摄像机的构想:便携带,数字化,高清晰,3-D成像。
Two months later, Cameron sent Pace a $17,000 first-class ticketfromLos Angeles to Tokyo, and soon they were sitting in front oftheengineers at Sony’s hi-def-camera division. Pace was there tohelppersuade Sony to separate the lens and image sensor from theprocessoron the company’s professional-grade HD camera. The bulky CPUcould thenbe kept a cable-length away from the lens — rather thanstruggling witha conventional 450-pound 3-D system, a camera operatorwould just haveto handle a 50-pound, dual-lens unit.
发明这种像机绝非易事,但卡梅隆决定白手起家。他提到一种神秘的,在心里酝酿已久的放映方案,观众仿佛亲临外星球。卡梅隆想制作一部真正能让观众身临其境的3-D影片。既然没有理想的3-D相机,他就必须设计一个符合要求的摄像机。所以,他邀请佩斯参与太平洋水下历险,借机了解一下水下摄像机对3-D相机有否帮助。或许他的目标,看似有点极端,但是佩斯认为这个主意很有趣,也就同意参与新型相机的研发。“那次水下之旅,吉姆目标明确,非常好玩,但与我而言,真有点丈二和尚摸不着头脑 。”佩斯说。
Sony agreed to establish a new line of cameras, and, usingtheprototype, Pace set to work. After three months, he had fittedthelenses into a rig that allowed an operator to precisely control the3-Dimaging. He figured they’d start with a simple test using an actorortwo, but Cameron had other ideas. He asked Pace to install the gearina rented World War II-era P-51 fighter and then sent him up in aB-17Flying Fortress. Cameron jumped in behind the pilot of the P-51andonce airborne started filming while the pilot fired .50-calibermachinegun blanks at Pace’s B-17. “It was my first taste of what Jimconsiders‘testing,’” Pace says.
两个月后,卡梅隆为佩斯买了一张从洛杉矶到东京的头等舱飞机票,约为17,000美元。很快他们就来到了索尼高清晰相机部,和工程师面对面交流了。佩斯此行主要是帮助卡梅隆说服索尼工程师,将专业级高清摄像机上的镜头和图像传感器从处理器中分离出来——然后,镜头和笨重的中央处理器分离,用电缆线连接。传统的3-D摄像机约重450磅,而改进后的摄像机,仅重50磅,双镜头成像。摄影师也轻松多了。
The camera performed well, delivering accurate 3-D images thatwouldn’tcause headaches over the course of a long movie. Pace thoughtCameronwould launch right into Avatar. Instead, the director took his newcamera 2.3 miles under the sea to film the wreck of the Titanic in 3-D.The way Cameron tells it, he wasn’t done having “manly adventures.”
索尼同意建一条新的生产线,不过需要有原型。佩斯着手研发。三个月后,佩斯把镜头放入摄像机里,摄像师就能精确地控制了3-D图像了。他以为找几个演员来试试就成。但卡梅隆显然又有了新的想法。他要求佩斯在租来的二战时期P-51战斗上安装一套拍摄设备,而佩斯则在B-17候命。一旦空中拍摄开始,P-51飞行员端起50口径的机关枪,向佩斯B-17发射空弹, 卡梅隆则立刻跳入P-51飞行员身后。“这是我第一次体验吉姆式的测试,”佩斯说。
His partner on these adventures was the deep-sea explorer AndrewWight.An intrepid Australian, Wight had explored a collapsingunderwater cave,swum with great white sharks, and stared saltwatercrocodiles in theeye. But even he had trouble matching Cameron’sintensity. When ahurricane headed up the Eastern seaboard toward theirposition over theTitanic, Wight assumed they would turnand outrun the weather. Cameronargued that it was a perfectopportunity to “tweak the tail” of thehurricane and get some greatstorm footage. The Russian captain of theship overruled Cameron, andto the director’s chagrin, they ran.
摄像机实验效果不错,三维成像准确,即使长时间播放,也没有头痛之虞。佩斯以为卡梅隆就要开拍阿凡达了。然而,这位大导演又带着他的新式武器潜入海底2.3英里,拍摄泰坦尼克号残骸的三维图像了。这表明卡梅隆暂时还不想开始他的“男人式冒险。”
“He’s a tough bugger,” Wight says. “But it’s not a death wish — it’s just his idea of fun.”
这次海下历险的合作伙伴是深海探险家安德鲁.怀特(AndrewWight),一位勇敢的澳大利亚人。怀特曾勘测过坍塌的水下洞穴,与大白鲨擦肩而过,和咸水鳄鱼对峙。他觉得完成卡梅隆任务,有点麻烦。当飓风沿着东海岸向他们推进时,怀特认为他们应及时掉转船头,躲避飓风。但卡梅隆主张这是拍摄“漩涡飓风”的绝佳机会,非常惊心动魄。俄罗斯船长否决了卡梅隆的建议,匆匆逃离现场,卡梅隆倍感失望。
Sanchini, the former head of Cameron’s production company, wasn’tquitesure what to make of it. “I knew he was tired of the filmbusiness,” shesays, “but I didn’t expect him to keep taking detours.”
“他是个难缠的家伙,”怀特说。“这不是什么死亡计划,比较有趣而已。”
Cameron wasn’t just goofing off. He wanted to makeAvatar,and he wanted to do it in digital 3-D. Unfortunately, theaterchainswere not adopting the technology. It would cost approximately$100,000per theater, and exhibitors had to be convinced it would payoff. Theyneeded some high-profile 3-D films that could generate enoughrevenueto justify the conversion.
基尼,卡梅隆制片公司前董事长,也看不懂他想干什么。“我明白,他有点厌倦拍影片了,但是,我不希望他误入歧途,越走越远。”
So Cameron decided to let other directors test his system. The firstwas Robert Rodriguez, who shot Spy Kids 3-Dusing the new camera. Thepicture would still have to be viewed wearingold-fashioned red-and-blueglasses, but Cameron hoped it woulddemonstrate demand for more 3-Dmovies and goad theater owners intoinvesting in next-gen projectionsystems. Released in the summer of2003, Spy Kids 3-D made $200 millionworldwide, but exhibitors remained reluctant to invest in thetechnology.
院线屈服于视觉
Cameron decided to talk to theater owners directly and showed upattheir annual convention in March 2005. ShoWest, at the Paris LasVegasHotel and Casino, was in full swing, and Cameron was readytoproselytize. He laid it on thick, telling exhibitors that the worldwas“entering a new age of cinema.” And in case the inspirationalapproachdidn’t work, he tried something more ominous, telling them thatthosewho didn’t switch would regret it. By the end of the year only79theaters in the entire country could show digital 3-D movies.Butexhibitors had gotten the message: Between 2005 and 2009, theyaddedsome 3,000 screens capable of showing digital 3-D.
卡梅隆当然不是那种把事情弄得一团糟的愚人。他想拍阿凡达,一部真正的数字三维影片。遗憾的是,连锁影院不愿意采用这种技术。因为每个影院约要投资10万美元进行设备更新,说服他们最好的办法是让他们看到高清晰三维立体影片带来的票房收益。
However, the lack of 3-D theaters wasn’t the only thing holdingCameronback. Special-effects companies were still struggling to createfullyphoto-realistic animated characters. That had begun to change in2002,when Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital in New Zealand debuted Gollum,astunningly believable computer-generated character who held hisownagainst the hobbits in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Cameronfinally felt the time had come to try to build a CG world that would beindistinguishable from reality.
因此卡梅隆决定让其他大导演先试试他的新家伙。第一部影片是罗伯特.雷德里格斯(RobertRodriguez)执导的特工小子。虽然观看影片时,还要带上老式的红蓝相间的眼镜。但是卡梅隆希望借此证明立体电影有市场需求,从而刺激影院业主投资下一代放映系统。2003年夏季,特工小子在全球的票房收入达2亿美元,但说到投资新设备,影院还是有些犹豫。
So in the spring of 2005, he met with Fox and asked for a fewmilliondollars to prove he could create just such a world. Theexecutives hadsome initial concerns, not all of which were technical.For instance:The tails — were the tails on the aliens absolutelynecessary?
卡梅隆决定亲自和影院业主亲自谈谈。2005年3月,巴黎拉斯维加斯酒店和赌场举行的电影展览会上,他全力以赴,宣传他的新放映系统。他的话很有煽动性。“世界已迈入新的电影时代。”万一不起作用,他又危言耸听,如果现在他们不及时调整设备,将来一定会后悔。当年年底,仅有79家影院能够播放立体电影。但是2005-2009五年间,增加了3000多家能够放映立体电影的影院。
“Yes,” Cameron said flatly. “They have to have tails.”
梦幻中的真实
He didn’t say anything else. He didn’t have to. The Foxexecutivesstopped asking questions and agreed to pay for the test.Cameron’sHollywood clout was intact.
缺少立体影院并不是卡梅隆裹足不前的唯一原因。特效公司仍在努力创造逼真的动画形象。2002年时已微露端倪,当时彼得.杰克逊(PeterJackson)与新西兰维塔数码公司合作,用电脑特效设计了一个令人目瞪口呆的形象——咕噜,指环王里与霍比特人为敌的一个角色。卡梅隆认为CG时代来了。
The director spent five weeks putting together the 30-second testscene. It depicted an alien and an Avatarrunning through a forest andtalking. Lucas’ own Industrial Light &Magic did the effects work,and it was enough to persuade Fox that theproject was feasible. Thestudio agreed to a budget of $195 million,and Cameron was finally backin the director’s chair.
2005年的春季,他和福斯高层会面,请求投资几百万美元,实证他的梦想。起初他们还有些顾虑,不全部是技术的问题。比如说:尾巴——是不是所有的外星人都需要拖着一条尾巴吗?
The first time Cameron set out to out-Lucas Lucas,hehad to make do with $20,000 and a special effects studio set up intheback bedroom of his house in Orange County. This time around, moneywasnot an issue, and his special effects were handled by hundredsofartists at Weta and ILM. But it wasn’t all about f/x. Lucas has had30years to expand the Star Wars universe. The franchise hasgotten sobig that he has developed a sophisticated system forcataloging andtracking all its far-flung characters, planets,societies, andconflicts. To conjure something even more elaborate for Avatar, Cameronwent looking for expert help.
“是的”卡梅隆肯定地说。“他们需要有尾巴。”
He started by hiring USC linguistic expert Paul Frommer to inventanentirely new language for the Na’vi, the blue-skinned nativesofPandora. Frommer came on board in August 2005 and began byaskingCameron what he wanted the language to sound like? Did he wantclicksand guttural sounds or something involving varying tones? Tonarrow theoptions, Frommer turned on a microphone and recorded ahandful ofsamples for Cameron.
他没有再说什么,他也无需再去解释了。福斯高层也停止了质疑,他们同意进行开拍测试。卡梅隆是好莱坞的重磅炸弹,威力无须多言。
The director liked ejective consonants, a popping utterance thatvaguelyresembles choking. Frommer locked down a “sound palette” andstarteddeveloping the language’s basic grammatical structure. Cameronhadopinions on whether the modifier in a compound word should comefirst orlast (first) and helped establish a rule regarding the natureof nouns.It took months to create the grammar alone. “He’s a veryintense guy,”Frommer says. “He didn’t just tell me to build a languagefrom scratch.He actually wanted to discuss points of grammar.”
卡梅隆用了五周时间进行了第二次测试。主要是外星人和阿尔达穿越森林,进行交流一组镜头。卢卡斯的工业光魔公司完成了电脑特效,而这足以说服福斯公司投资1.95亿美元拍摄这部影片。卡梅隆又重回导演位子。
Thirteen months after he began work on Avatar, Frommer wrote a pamphlet titled Speak Na’viandstarted teaching the actors how to pronounce the language. He heldNa’viboot camps and then went over lines one by one with each actor.“Cameronwanted them to be emotional, but they had to do it in alanguage thatnever existed,” Frommer says. If an actor flubbed a Na’viword, Frommerwould often step in with a correction. “There were timeswhen the actorsdidn’t want me to tell them that they had mispronounceda word that hadnever been pronounced before,” he says.
首先,卡梅隆邀请卢卡斯加盟。卢卡斯在奥兰治县注册2万美元在家里开了一家特效工作站。而这次,钱不是问题。卢卡斯又有30多年制作星球大战的丰富经验。英雄终于有了用武之地。为了获得更逼真的效果,卡梅隆聘请专家,进行了精心的设计。
With the language established, Cameron set about naming everythingonhis alien planet. Every animal and plant received Na’vi, Latin,andcommon names. As if that weren’t enough, Cameron hired JodieHolt,chair of UC Riverside’s botany and plant sciences department, towritedetailed scientific descriptions of dozens of plants he hadcreated.She spent five weeks explaining how the flora of Pandora couldglowwith bioluminescence and have magnetic properties. When she wasdone,Cameron helped arrange the entries into a formal taxonomy.
首先他聘请南加州大学的语言专家保罗(PaulFormmer)为潘多拉星球的原住民纳美族(Na’vi)——一种蓝色皮肤的类人类,设计一套全新的语言系统。2005年8月保罗正式加盟。他询问卡梅隆,他希望外星人有哪种发音效果?咔哒的喉音或者混合音调?为了缩小选择范围,保罗打开麦克风,录下了几种不用的声音样本供卡梅隆挑选。
This was work that would never appear onscreen, but Cameron lovedit. Hebrought in more people, hiring an expert in astrophysics, amusicprofessor, and an archaeologist. They calculated Pandora’satmosphericdensity and established a tripartite scale structure forthe alienmusic. When one of the experts brought in the Star Wars Encyclopedia,Cameron glanced at it and said, “We’ll do better.”
卡梅隆比较喜欢“清喉擦音”,这是口语中常见的一种声音,喉咙仿佛被什么堵住一样,有点含糊不清。确定了语言的基调后,保罗开始构建基本的语法体系。卡梅隆有自己的看法,比如在讨论名词的语法规则时,复合词的修饰语是在词首还是词尾呢?建立单独的语法体系,花费了保尔数月的时间。“他是个非常有想法的人。”保罗说。“他从来不告诉你从哪里着手建立一个语言体系,但是他会和你讨语法点。”
Eventually, a team of writers and editors compiled all this informationinto a 350-page manual dubbed Pandorapedia.It documents the science andculture of the imaginary planet, and, asmuch as anything, it representsthe fully realized world Cameron hascreated. For fans who want to delvedeeper, parts of Pandorapedia will be available online this winter.
13个月之后,工作正式开始。保尔写了一本题为“纳美族语言”的小册子,他开始为演员示范如何发音。他建立了纳美族语言训练营,一句一句地教他们。“卡梅隆希望演员的表演富有激情,但他们是在说一门从来不曾存在过的语言呀。”保尔说。如果演员发音不准确,他得停下来逐字逐句地纠正。“有时演员们也很恼火,当我去纠正他们不正确的发音时,因为毕竟它们从来就没有如此这般发音。“
Cameron is trying to show me something with a laserpointer. He queues up a scene toward the end of Avatarand freezes theframe on an image of a large crowd of Na’vi. He usesthe pointer to drawattention to an ornate headdress composed ofhundreds of tiny beads. Theonscreen image is amazingly crisp, and theheaddress appears utterlyreal. Each bead was designed by a digitalartist, Cameron says, so itwould look handmade. “Every leaf, everyblade of grass in this world wascreated,” he says, and his laserpointer streaks across the screen,alighting on so many things I can’tfollow its path.
随着语言系统的建立,卡梅隆又着手为外星球上的动植物命名。每种动植物都有纳美族名,拉丁名和俗称。仿佛这还不足以逼真,卡梅隆聘请了加州大学的植物科学系系主任JodieHolt为他创造的几十种植物写了详细的科学说明。她大约用了五周的时间说明了潘多拉植物,其发光和磁性特性是如何形成的。当她完成这项工作后,卡梅隆又将所有条目按编入动植物分类。
Back in 1997, when Cameron was struggling to complete Titanic,disasterseemed right around the corner. “We were pegged the biggestidiots infilm history,” he says. Now he has the opposite problem:Expectationscouldn’t be higher. “It’s making me work harder,” he says.
这些幕后工作永远不会再荧屏上展现,但是卡梅隆乐此不彼。他聘请了很多专家,比如天体物理学家,音乐教授,考古学家。他们计算出潘多拉星球的大气密度,创建了三种等结构的外星音乐。当其中一位专家拿出星球大战的百科全书时,卡梅隆瞥了一眼,“我们会做的更好。“
This time, though, Cameron seems to be enjoying the work. Atleastthere’s no razor blade next to the editing controls. “For Jim,thisproject was in some ways the antidote to Titanic,”Sanchini says.“He didn’t have to deal with weather, wardrobe problems,historicalaccuracy, or huge sets. If the leading lady had a pimple, itwasn’t adisaster. Avatar gave Jim total control.”
最后,作家和编辑团队汇编了一本350页的潘多拉百科全书手册。它记录和这个外星球有关的所有科学和文化。完全体现了卡梅隆的虚拟世界。今冬,阿尔达的粉丝就可以在线阅读这本百科全书的部分章节了。
Thirty-two years after realizing that he desperately wanted to make aspace epic to rival Star Wars,Cameron has put the finishing touches onhis picture. Now he has towait to see what the public and critics makeof the result. The days oftotal control are over.
卡梅隆移动着激光笔,试图给我看一些东西。丰富的场景,随着激光笔,一一呈现,最后定格在一群纳美族人身上。笔停下了。他示意我看一个华美的头饰上,上面缀满了数百之多的珠子。他们看上去非常清晰,和真的并无两样。每一粒珠子都是数字艺术家专门设计的,卡梅隆介绍说,所以他们看起来就像纯手工做出的。“每一片叶子,每根草都是这样做出来的。
Contributing editor Joshua Davis (www.joshuadavis.net) wrote about the world’s biggest diamond heist in issue 17.04.
回望1997,卡梅隆为泰坦尼克号殚精极虑,而灾难似乎就在眼前。“我们兢兢业业地工作,却顾虑重重,想想那时真傻,”他说。现在问题似乎反过来了:对我们的期望越来越高。“工作压力也越来越大,”他说。
虽然这次,卡梅隆更像是享受工作、至少他无需在编辑台上放剃须刀片以明志了“对吉姆而言,阿凡达是一剂解毒药,”基尼说。“他不必再为天气,衣柜,历史准确性或者其他问题而忧心忡忡了。如果女主角长了丘疹,也不会是可怕的灾难了。阿凡达给吉姆掌控全局的能力。”
从卡梅隆渴望拍摄一部与星球大战抗衡的外太空巨片起,32年过去了。卡梅隆终于梦想成真。现在他迫不及待地想听听观众和评论家怎么说。这不是他所能控制的。
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