THURSDAY PM UPDATE: Look what my reporting turned up. Your (un)trustworthy trade Variety claimed yesterday that CAA signed director James Cameron. But everybody close to Cameron, including his guys at Lightstorm, were shocked to read this. Because what they understood was that CAA’s Richard Lovett is assembling a team not to sell Cameron but to sell Cameron’s Fusion Camera System technology developed for his forthcoming Avatar.
Now, let’s say CAA sends a script to Jim, and he decides to make it. Sure, CAA can commission him on that. But Hollywood knows that Cameron pretty much develops his projects himself, especially these days. And his present and next film will make use of the Fusion Camera System technology for computer-generated animation. According to news reports, it’s a more advanced version of the “performance capture” technique used by director Robert Zemeckis in The Polar Express. So for Avatar, Cameron created photo-realistic computer-generated characters through motion capture animation technology using his new virtual camera system.
Now Cameron and CAA think that complex photo-realistic CGI is worth something on the open market. (Remember how Cameron co-founded Digital Domain? Remember how he developed new technology for The Abyss that changed the way underwater filming looked from then on?). So Lovett convinced the director to let CAA represent him for the technology. The agency’s mission is to go raise money for it. “But, at the end of the day, it’s not about repping him as a filmmaker, it’s about finding money for his technology,” one of my sources explains.
What’s interesting is this new arrangement is not much different than way back when CAA repped Cameron’s Digital Domain for deals and/or a sale. See below:
WEDNESDAY PM: Good get for the agency. (Good get for Variety). He was last repped 15 years ago by ICM’s Jeff Berg. At one point, Cameron dipped his toe in CAA waters when he gave them his visual effects company Digital Domain to rep for deals and/or a sale. But he never came over as a client. I hope he got CAA’s “special deal”.