When “Titanic” hits the big screen again on April 4, the ship will be changing course and heading directly into the audience. Director James Cameron has been one of 3-D’s biggest proponents for years now and has suggested in the past that any film is open for a three-dimensional makeover. It only makes sense, then, that he put his money where his mouth is and converted his own “Titanic.”
Cameron spoke with MTV UK about the process and why the real reward of the re-release is the chance to see his blockbuster on the silver screen again after 15 years.
The director insisted that the movie remains as it was back in 1997, except for the added dimension. “It ends the same way. The ship still sinks. Jack still dies. Oops, I hope I didn’t spoil it,” he said.
As Cameron has said before, he believes that the 3-D element of the re-release plays a supporting role. He simply wants people to see “Titanic” as it was meant to be seen: in a theater. “I think the first thing you should think of, the most important thing, is that you’re going to see it in a movie theater, which is really fundamentally different for anyone who is under a certain age. It hasn’t been in a theater for 15 years, so people know it from video. But they haven’t taken that ride where you commit to the three hours, and you’re going to go on that emotional rollercoaster, and you’re going to come out of the end of the movie in a certain mental, emotional state. It’s very different.”
That isn’t the say that the 3-D doesn’t add anything. Cameron sees the conversion as a way to reinterpret the experience. “The 3-D is a kind of way of doing that, a way of reinventing the film, and the 3-D does add something to the experience that was never there before, an immediacy, even an intimacy, which is interesting.”
Luckily for Cameron, he had originally shot “Titanic” in a way that was conducive to a 3-D conversion. “Even though I wasn’t shooting it as a 3-D movie 15 years ago, my particular style is to use wider lenses and to wrap the actors in the scenery,” Cameron said. “Because the ship — I don’t like to use the term that it was a character — but the environment was constantly informing what was happening, the elegance, the beauty of the ship, the gilt-edged luxury juxtaposed with steerage third class. All those themes are really manifested in the physicality of the ship. The style of seeing all of that when you convert it to 3-D, it just has this lucidity. You just feel like you’re there.”
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