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‘Avatar’ creator in China 3D TV venture | FT.com

August 8, 2012

Frustrated at the slow take-up of 3D TV in the west, James Cameron said the Chinese government’s commitment to the cause could make the difference in promoting wider adoption.

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avatar movie

Planet waves: Sam Worthington, left, and Zoe Saldana as digital characters Jake and Neytiri in James Cameron’s blockbuster film

By Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing and Jonathan Soble in Tokyo – FT.com

James Cameron, creator of the blockbuster film Avatar, is betting that China is the place to jump-start 3D television after a shaky rollout for the latest incarnation of the viewing format.

Cameron Pace Group, the 3D technology company co-founded by Mr Cameron, on Wednesday announced a joint venture with two Chinese state-backed companies to produce the advanced camera equipment needed for 3D filming. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

“It’s to get Hollywood to wake up and smell the coffee,” he told the Financial Times. “They [China] see 3D as the future, as we do.”

Frustrated at the slow take-up of 3D TV in the west, Mr Cameron said the Chinese government’s commitment to the cause could make the difference in promoting wider adoption.

Japanese and South Korean TV manufacturers would also like to see Hollywood commit more resources to 3D. Sony, Samsung and other groups first introduced 3D-capable sets to great fanfare in 2010, but sales have fallen short of initial projections.

A scarcity of specialised 3D content has also been blamed for the slow uptake. After the success of Avatar, Hollywood released a string of “converted” 3D films – films shot in regular 2D then enhanced by computers to give the 3D effect – that sapped public enthusiasm for the genre. People have also been turned off by the bulky glasses often needed to view 3D images.

By putting his technology in the hands of Chinese TV producers, Mr Cameron’s hope is that a big increase in 3D content in China will encourage consumer electronics companies to improve their display systems. “We want to get away from glasses because then the market will really surge,” he said.

Mr Cameron follows a growing number of US film directors and companies that have come to China, attracted by its booming movie market. With box-office receipts up 30 per cent last year to $2tn, China surpassed Japan as the world’s second-biggest film market and could overtake the US within a decade, though the Chinese government still imposes a strict quota on imported films.

Original article here.

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