James Cameron: ‘Disruptive tech presents opportunities for brands’

Oscar winning film director James Cameron has told brands there is “great promise” beyond the entertainment industry to tell richer stories if disruptive technologies such as connected devices are used to engage with audiences as co-creators.

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Avatar director says brands should use disruptive tech to tell interactive stories.

Speaking at SapientNitro’s Idea Exchange event in London last night (29 May) the Avatar creator said the blurring of the lines between technology and communications gives marketers a chance to “create different kinds of stories”.

Cameron told Marketing Week: “The more we can enlarge the false reality that we create and give fans more access to it [through technology] the richer the stories are. In terms of developing that area to allow audiences to influence the course of narrative I think there’s potential there. I have thought it might be fun to do multiple versions of a movie that you could go and see a number of times and it would be different. I think empowering audiences to actually generate those experiences is exciting.”

Disruptive technologies including the motion capture techniques used to shoot Avatar have taken movie making to the “cusp of the possible”, allowing film makers to create “richer experiences”, according to Cameron.

Beyond the entertainment industry, this offers content producers the chance to “redefine the medium of storytelling” where the latest developments in mobile apps, Google Glass, connected TVs and new social networks are used to create more “interactive” experiences”, Cameron said.

The explosive growth of new media and different ways to access information have changed the way audiences want to experience stories. As the tools available to content makers become more sophisticated, he says, adding “it’s up to us to experiment and see what sticks”.

“I want people to sit down, stop texting and watch the movie”, Cameron said. “That’s not to say that they will. As storytellers I think we should give them the choice of whether they want to have peripheral information and whether they want to be sharing while they are watching films. I personally wouldn’t like it, but I’m not averse to it. If it helps audiences enjoy their fiction and otherworldly experiences that they’re seeing through other characters eyes than i’m all for it.”

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