On March 23, Avatar director James Cameron and producer Jon Landau presented scenes from the film's upcoming Blu-ray release, outlined the ongoing fan engagement program, and announced the Avatar-related global partnership between Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Earth Day Network, the international non-profit organization that coordinates Earth Day programs annually.
As previously reported, Avatar will be available on Blu-ray on April 22. The release will not include any supplemental features - only the film and corresponding menu, utilizing the disc's entire storage space in order to provide the highest quality optimal picture and sound.
"We wanted the best presentation of any film in the history of the Blu-ray and DVD formats," said Landau. "Our launch into the home in April will allow fans to return to Pandora again and again."
During the press conference, it was revealed that 20th Century Fox is foregoing any trailers or advertising. "The Blu-ray is going to be pure movie", summed up Landau. Half-jokingly, James Cameron said that he has an unwritten deal with Fox, according to which "any time one of my movies makes more than a billion dollars we leave all the crap trailers off". He admitted, "I can't stand them any more than you can."
Cameron confirmed that the Blu-ray release would have an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (or 16:9), which he considers the "highest and best for this movie." The movie was finished in 16:9, so for the Blu-ray they went to that master, without any pan-and-scan or blow-up. Cameron explained that that "little bit of extra frame" enhances the sense of height, especially in the flight sequences. He clarified that he loves the scope ratio compositionally, but he fell in love with the movie in 16:9 and prefers to watch it in this aspect ratio.
Cameron discusses Avatar aspect ratio (video Home Theater Forum)
Although the press conference was focused on the upcoming April release, Jon Landau also commented on the November special edition, which will have added-value content, including a "full filmmaker's journey" and branching video.
To bridge the gap between the April and November releases, Fox is launching the interactive "Avatar Program." Through a unique code found inside the Avatar Blu-ray/DVD, consumers can register at avatarmovie.com and gain exclusive access to first-look bonus materials, special content and money saving offers (reportedly, registered users will receive an e-coupon good towards the purchase of the future special-edition Blu-ray of Avatar.
Additionally, only registered fans will be able to adopt one of the one million trees being planted on behalf of Earth Day and receive a virtual hometree they can locate on a map to see where it's actually planted (see below).
Other Avatar digital initiatives include:
Pandorama: Via a computer's webcam users can immerse themselves into the world of Pandora, inserting themselves into different locations from the movie and interacting with the elements in each; users can snap postcards and share amongst friends only at Pandorama.
Pandorapedia: The official guide to the world of Pandora and James Cameron's Avatar, fans enter a world beyond imagination with hundreds of facts on Pandora that can be accessed online.
Immersive Trailer: The first-ever interactive trailer allows fans to click on any part of the video to explore detail frame-by-frame and in-context "hot spots" that will offer meticulous information on characters, locations and more.
Interactive Desktop Wallpaper: Instant access to all things Avatar including newsfeeds, videos, social network updates and exclusive content that is updated automatically right on your desktop.
Blue goes green
Taking the Avatar message of conservation and ecological harmony, the studio and Earth Day Network, together with various organizations worldwide, will pledge to plant one million trees in 15 different countries by the end of 2010.
"I am pleased to have the opportunity to share the environmental messages from Avatar through the efforts during the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and with Earth Day Network," said James Cameron." Earth Day Network's commitment and actions to promote a healthy, sustainable planet go hand-in-hand with the themes of Avatar."
"Avatar sends a universal message about the danger of exploiting our natural resources and brings to the forefront of the global consciousness the need to protect our planet and humanity, said Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network. "We hope this commitment from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment to plant one million trees, will inspire others to stand up against climate change for Earth Day."
Update: more information from a transcript published on Collider.
The November release will feature three cuts of the movie: the "basic movie", as theatrically released; an extended cut with 6 minutes of fully finished footage seamlessly added back in; and an earlier cut of the film that has 30 or 35 minutes of additional footage, some of which will be in unfinished form. Cameron explained: "it will be a little bit more like some of the Disney stuff that they do where they leave pencil tests in for scenes that were never done. That's really more of a fan's exploration of what the movie might have been, or a lot of the ideas that fed into it."
Additionally, the disc will offer a picture-in-picture with "just the reference cameras of the capture." This will be a parallel cut, matching the finished movie shot by shot. "It doesn't look like the movie, but the essence of it and the moment is exactly what you see in the final film. It's just people in black leotards. It's pretty wild. It's pretty amazing."
No 3D BD yet
Cameron said: "There just aren't that many players and screens yet. We have more of a long-term strategy, in that area." But, I think it would be a shame to hold back the Blu-ray when people want it now, and I love it. I think it's a great format."
That said, the filmmaker recommended that anyone thinking of buying a Blu-ray player now should "make sure you get one that's 3D-compatible because you're going to want it."
Regarding 3D displays, he had this to say: "If you're going to go 3D, go big. Get the biggest set you can, and then sit as close as you can stand. That's my advice. Get the coffee table out of the way and slide the couch over, right in front of the TV."
Home vs theater experience
When asked to compare the experience of watching the movie at home and in the theater, Cameron, said that the home viewing preserves "the richness, the vibrancy and the dynamics" of the movie, with the advantage that "you can control your environment." For Cameron, the big-screen experience is just a bonus.
However, he said there's a limit that you don't want to go below, and he doesn't recommend watching Avatar on an iPhone, or even a laptop. "I don't feel that I'm making movies for iPhones," he said. "If someone wants to watch it on an iPhone, I'm not going to stop them, especially if they're paying for it, but I don't recommend it. I think it's dumb, when you have characters that are so small in the frame that they're not visible. I'm trying to make an epic. I'm not doing an episode of some talking heads, one-hour drama. To me, there's a limit that you wouldn't want to go below. I don't know. I've never watched Avatar on a laptop. I guess it probably works, but I don't recommend it. What I recommend is getting the coffee table out of the way and sticking your couch about four feet from your TV."
1. Release with no extra's
2. Release with some extra's.
3. Directors Cut with some extra's
4. Special Edition with 2 discs
5. Deluxe Edition with 3 discs, higher quality then directors cut and more extra's.
6. Ultimate collection with even more stuff.
Oeh I forgot the 3D release and such... hmmm decadipping?
Making money as a company is one thing but if it really goes along those lines....
So I guess adding a second disc with extras would somehow "spoil" the experience? Patting themselves on the back for giving us nothing but the movie is B.S. This is destined to be a great rental - lousy own.
If they "want the best presentation of any film in history", then why would they even bother releasing it on DVD? Are they actually going to release a bare bones DVD Disc too, for the people that dont have a Bluray player?
Shouldnt they just release it on Blu-ray-only by that logic?
(I'm anti-DVD, so bare with me). In other words, they're leaving all "extra's" off the Bluray release to make it look the best. OK. But what's their incentive to release a bare bones DVD?
I initially hated that there were no extra features, but the more I think about it, how often do I watch that stuff and how much of the info in the extras is actually new to me (just go on the internet and you can read hundreds of trivia points on any film, it's rare that a bonus feature will present me with info i hadn't already heard)
I equate this release to that of watchmen last year, I'll buy the first release and probabaly skip the second one, in the end the movie is all that matters. I get overwhelmed by special features lately anyways (I have so many blurays, that having to watch all the special features becomes tiresome)
First day buy for me, and if the special edition in November offers something that I just can't resist then i'll double dip with the e-coupon. Thats life i guess, but I enjoyed this film like crazy and I want it in my hands as soon as possible
besides, it's better James Cameron gets my money then my ex-wife
Regarding Pandorama, does Cameron beleive that anyone with a mental age over six will waste a minute on a such a feature. And as far as the Pandorepedia goes, there are no facts about Pandora. The word facts implies reality. Pandora is a made up construct with no more reality than Middle Earth, the Wonderful LNad of OZ, the Star Trek Universe etc. You can't have facts about fantasy only inventions.
I absolutely loved this movie so I will be buying this movie in April and I like the fact that they are keeping us up to date on the future release with that website and the e-coupon just sweetens the deal to me. I was buying both releases before any of this info was released. I just hope the extended cut is included in November.
God! I hate double dipping. And I hate myself more knowing that a another version will be released in 7 months. But if they really deliver the best video/audio transfer in blu-ray history, I can certainly make an exception.
Jim L and one poster on page 1: Have you lost your freaking minds?
What in the name of the holy chickpea is wrong with caring about the environment????
IMO this is pretty much the only really good thing about Avatar!
How people can be this ignorant in the 21st century is beyond me and terribly sad and shocking!!!
The problem I have with this bare bone release is that it sets a bad precedent for the industry. Depending on the sucess of this release, (and I think we all know it will sell millions and make HUGE bank for FOX), other studios will be trying to pawn off mediocre "movie only" releases on us claiming they did it to give us "the best possible picture and audio quality," when the reality is they are only doing it for the inevitable double, triple, etc. dip.
How can any true Avatar fan not care about the Earth? Yes we were entertained but also felt an emotional connection knowing that our planet is being depleted of it natural resources. How many of us can survive on an Earth that becomes like Mars? I know I won't be around then but anyone can see that the weather patterns on the planet have shifted and will continue to create havac!!! OBTW is the packaging going to be made out of styrofoam?
Personally, I think many of the special features presented on several of the blu-rays are a waste of space; however, I do understand getting the best bang for your buck! I'd rather have the choice of watching or no watching the included special features rather than having them broken into two separate releases.
Regardless, I plan on getting the April release of Avatar because the picture and sound are the most important things for this collector. If they end up being the best visuals and sounds that I have ever experienced on blu-ray, I will be more than satisfied!
It seems I am in the minority here, but I love seeing the trailers for the movie that I'm about to watch. I don't want to see trailers for other films like in the theater though. Yes I have it on pre-order already, and will probably buy the November edition as well. True I don't hardly ever watch the bonus features more than once, but I think this will be an exception. Also I hope the November release will have the extra footage of the film, in the movie and not as an extra like what was done with It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
so, just ALL movie awesome that's all i want anyway. i wonder, he says the BEST picture & Sound possible. is it filmed in 4k cause i thought that was or suppose to b better. either way i'm double dipping cause my son will have the plain jane and i'll have the SE....
bluyoda & denger76, good for you. I am really glad you two bring some sense (and sensibility) to the discussion about the environment. Yes, I like to be entertained for an hour or two or three as well, but to disregard wanting to help our environment (even if you don't believe in climatic change) is just plain naive. Something I guess I just don't understand ... I like my environment to be as clean and healthy as it can, including for future generations including my 2 blu-ray watching sons.
Anyway, I am going to wait for the ultimate/director's cut/etc... edition. Also, I think DarthJaeger has a very good point about the industry standard idea. I could totally se other companies saying they want to provide the best so and so, just for the reason of later releases and more money.
So wait, people are applauding Cameron and the studios for ripping them off with the just the movie on Blu Ray and NO special features or extras (on seperate disc), then in November they will re-release it with all the extras (double Dip) & thats ok???????
Yet when New Line releases Lord of the Rings on Blu Ray as NON director cuts in 2 weeks & the Extended editions in a few years, people freak and get angry????
Actually I advocate being a good steward of nature and all that. It factored heavily into my last car purchase so I bought a hybrid. (see my "avatar") Less smog produced is better in my book. I support recycling and other measures as well.
I just like Avatar purely as entertainment. The "preachy" aspect about the planet Pandora and its sacred primitive state was a little over the top for me.
An analogy would be listening to a song on the radio that was really enjoyable, but the words were promoting being vegetarian (which is ok if you like that). It would hinder my enjoyment of that song a little bit.
If that's the case, there's no excuse for this first (or second depending upon how you look at it) as they should have done this in the first place. To say, "best picture and sound" with no extras is just idiotic...which is the obvious majority being said here in this thread. We'll probably get treated with a "here's how we mastered the April Blu-ray release" special extra on the November release just so they can say this is why we delayed. Dumb. And the studios wonder why Netflix is so popular. I know I'll be doing the Netflix thing to satisfy my craving until they Uber, Super, Special, OMG, King of the World edition comes out and then decide what version to go with. I could understand if they had the November release with 3D and the April one with Best Picture/Sound and Extras, but this...doesn't compute!
I thought about this for a while...and I'm buying on day 1. I have a feeling that the pq/aq are going to be phenominal, and I just can't wait 7 months just for extra features. I will pick up the 3d version as well when it's released.
for most things i don't watch most of the special features but there's certain ones that i will watch, even though i only watch them once.. but yeah i'll agree with some other people, they could've easily had a 2nd disc for the special features without putting them on the movie disc.
at first i hated this release because of the one in november.. but now i'm sort of considering it (especially if there's coupons :-p). i just hope the coupon code insert for the november release stays that and doesn't end up being a BD Live type thing where you have to register your movie through that..
Is there anyone else here like myself who really mainly loved the film because of the 3D? I mean, I don't see myself buy the April nor the November version. I want a 3D Blu-ray version of it (of course, I still have to buy a 3D Enabled TV)....
Else, I wouldn't mind a version that at least shows us some of the CG/motion capture making of....
Don't buy into any political, religious, or environmental implications everyone is talking about. Sure, they're there (not as blatant as many say) but don't let that stop you from seeing this movie. For an example, I'll tell you that you must see this movie because it's just badass. I didn't care for said implications, I acknowledged them, but I still enjoyed the hell out of this movie.
Ironically enough, buying or NOT buying a movie doesn't push anything on to anyone else (and nothing is being pushed on to you when you have free choice), but you driving your Cadillac and eating your pork technically does (if you overeat and are overweight, thus helping to raise everyone's health premiums). I'm not saying you should stop driving it or eating pork, just that your actions belie your words.
I really did not find this movie any special when I saw it in the theater. It was just average. I don't see why are so excited about it. Plus, I can't stand the fact that the movie has a original ratio of 1.78:1
LOL with the ferngully thing. Thats exactly how I explained Avater to my mates before they went to see it. Its like Ferngully done good. This story has been told before but it has never been told in this way. The energy was good and I loved it in 3D. I don't usually watch the extras but do like the choice. I may rent this on release and decide if the quality is good enough to buy.
Home vs theater experience
I absolutely agree with Cameron. It's nothing special watch Avatar on Iphone or on a 11' laptop. Big screen is BIG screen especially in HD quality. OK Iphone have a nice picture quality but what about sound quality? Anyway I need to buy a LED TV....
Pretty cool that the November release will hav 3 different cuts of the movie! I have a feeling that the eventual 3D version will be pretty barebones.
I'm starting to come around to the idea that the first release will have as close to perfect sound and video as possible. I ADORE the soundtrack for Akira although I doubt Cameron went that route of 192Kz.
I think I'm even more confused about which version to buy now!
- 1 day ago
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The irony of launching a disc that will utilise masses of harmful raw materials in it's production and be sold in it's 10's of millions on Earth Day."
lol, so true. I read his comment last night; “Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass I’m not sure they could hear me.” James Cameron
Well Mr. Cameron. I happen to be one of those people that think that global warming is a hoax, but at least I'm not a hypocrite. This double dipping, even worse triple dipping, that you are pushing your customers into is going to lead to a lot of extra plastic that will end up in landfills. Just goes to show that money ranks up there ahead of global warming, even for you.
Even though I don't believe that global warming is the planet destroying threat that they make it out to be, that doesn't mean that I am a careless a-hole that tosses my trash out the window. We must all be responsible and take care of the planet that we love. But don't stand there and preach about how you are fighting the good fight to save the world from global warming and then turn around and waste materials, energy and resources to make two or three different releases of your movie just to line your pockets. Damn these Hollywood hypocrites make me sick.
As for the planting trees, I'm planting 15 new hedges in front of my house... Whoo Hoo! Go me!!!
Watchmen got a lot of crap for announcing the double-dip but at least the first release had extras that weren't available with the Ultimate release. Plus they were two entirely different cuts of the film. Holding back on the extras just so the studio can double or triple dip in the future is really a poor decision.
Wait...so that's it for the special edition? Where's the special features??? I'm not going to waste my money just to have the regular and a 6-minute extended cut (I won't bother with the other version).That's B.S.
Now, don't vaporize me but The Director's Cut had the Maximum Movie Mode Commentary and the Ultimate Cut did not. The Ultimate Cut had an audio commentary. But still, they were totally different cuts not just 6 minutes added here and there that you probably wouldn't notice unless you were looking for them.
Very nice what Jimmy points out. But speaking of his quality movie BD releases... What about his magnificent work The Abyss? Put out on VHS, Laserdisc - THX, DVD (very crappy non anamorphic 2.35); But still no word on a BD release. Has FOX lost the master?
C'ommon Jimmy push the pedal at FOX for a great Abyss BD soon.
I'm sorry but, saying that they are using the whole disk for the movie rather than adding special features does not excuse them from putting in an additional disk. I'm in no rush and will wait until the end of the year to get what I want. This is nothing more than the studio being incredibly greedy. Thats fine, but I'd rather they jack up the price and release it once.
Ya know what, maybe I will buy this edition and then when the ULTIMATE one comes out in November I'll ask for it for Christmas and pass this copy on to someone else or sell it somewhere. Especially if this gets 5's for Video and Audio. Hoping for 7.1
The heck is planting a million trees gonna do for the environment? There's deserts all over the world and if you tried planting trees there, they would probably die. They think they can play God? I don't understand these people who wanna go "green". It doesn't make any sense! Wanna know my definition of going green? Keeping money in peoples' pockets! There's nothing wrong with improving the environment, but to think we're saving the planet is just childish. :/
i prefer movies to take up my whole screen, i don't like black bars, so the aspect ratio doesn't bug me
what is sort of annoying is how they make it seem like such a big deal.. and it's only got 6 minutes? i would never watch the 3rd version for the same reason i don't watch deleted scenes for animated/cgi movies.. they could have just done that on the April release and put a 2nd (and maybe 3rd?) disc for bonus features. there's no reason to not have done it that way.
and i don't care when 3d version comes out, i won't ever be buying that.
i wonder what avatar 2 will be about, and what kind of new thing they will use to hide its poor plot and acting with. this time around it was the 3D. Maybe I am in the very minority who thinks that many people are confusing the great 3D experience with a great movie experience. Then again, it might end up being better than the first one: who knows.
The Watchmen director's cut and the ultimate cut were both extremely different, and the director's cut had the maximum movie mode which was just awesome. the focus points of the maximum movie mode are available in the ultimate cut, but not while watching the movie, so the experience is different. They are all only separate in the features disc. I have both the director's and the ultimate cuts, and thought both were worth it especially since you basically got the Motion Comic along with the set: only thing missing is the theatrical cut and the viral videos from the UK release, but worth it otherwise.
To be honest, if I were a fan of avatar and had liked it I would probably buy both editions: one for its supposed greater audio/video quality and the other for its features and alternative cuts. My wife liked it, so I might --still thinking-- get the April version for her. The collector in me says to get both even though I didn't care for the movie, but that would prevent me from getting other movies I actually want to get.
Ok, the special edition sounds cool, but what's up with the third version? It has around 30 to 35 min of additional footage mainly unfinished? That's stupid, they shouldn't even have such a version, the remaining unfinished material should be deleted material on special features, or if it is supposedly being put together into such a version of the film, I'd rather see the footage animated and finished.
Dude! Imagine how much plastic they will save by using an eco 2-disc case! Plus, we all want that DVD copy coming with the April release! Doesn't that kind of not make sense? If it is about the ultimate BD audio/video quality, then why do we need a DVD of the movie?
Thought this was 'green' action going on. Plastic for the disc cases in April, the discs themselves, plus the plastic for the November release which will surely be multi-disc, and hopefully include a very useful digital copy right? Unless they use one of those green friendly paper slip-cases.
All seriousness: I think it should go like this...The first release should have the movie in one disc and features on a second disc. Then November release a Director's cut BD with the director's cut and the unfinished 30 min longer cut without the features since they will have already been available on the first release. If you want to do a PiP or maximum movie mode, go for it. To me, that'd make more sense. Even I would bite. The atractiveness of the Watchmen Ultimate cut, especially for me was the fact it came with the Motion Comics which in itself is around 5:30 hours of extras: assuming you didn't have it yet. I guess it would be nice to see a documentary about the cameras used for the 3D, etc for avatar. I probably would enjoy that more than the movie itself.
There is no denying all AVATAR enthusiasts are not going to wait for the Special 3-disc release, and are going to purchase the first single disc release. Mr. Cameron, please, would you consider including in the special edition package, a CINEMASCOPE (2.35) version of the film, for those of us who saw it that way for the first time in theaters?
to all u crazies who want to see 2.35, cut out some black foam board strips and tape them to the top and bottom of your tv screen. whala! 2.35. i've never heard such ridiculus whining. viva la 1.78!!!!!!!
I'm only buying the April release. Screw the special feature-less "Ultimate Edition". I'd rather have behind the scenes vids than a 6 minute extended cut. Well, there's plenty of behind the scenes on YouTube so....
I can't wait..I've never seen the movie, but I'm almost certain I will love it. I love the fact this will be a sort of "superbit" blu-ray first with super high bit rates and PQ. Awesome movie night on the near horizon!
I want to watch it on my iPhone... In 3D... While on a plane, train or in an automobile. I don't give a crap about whether James Cameron likes it that way or not. I do. If I've already seen it up-teen dozen times on 'the big screen', I really don't care if people are little specs. It's more for casual remembrance.
Give me my digital copy!!
I do wish they would just include all the special features, extended stuffs (especially the ultra freaky sex scene... is that the 6 minutes?), 3D and a digital copy all in one package.
Is it really that hard? Keep it simple, please.
I'll probably sucker up and get the 'bare bones' release; however, because everyone in the house will want to see it ASAP and it's not THAT expensive.
Oh yeah, last time I heard 'best BD ever' it turned out to be VC1 and Dolby 5.1 and was terrible. I think FOX only uses AVC though, so we might be at least partially okay.