James Cameron cashes in on 3-D

2012-04-02 14:09

Los Angeles – As Hollywood directors increasingly make their films in 3-D, the biggest financial winner is turning out to be one of their own – director James Cameron.

Cameron has emerged as one of Hollywood’s hottest entrepreneur by cashing in on the 3-D technology he created for Avatar, which ranks as the highest-grossing film with a worldwide box office take of $2.8 billion (about R21 billion).

Cameron also directed the second-highest grossing film of all time, the nautical disaster-romance starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Titanic, which is set to return to theatres in 3-D on Wednesday.

As George Lucas set the standard for special effects with Star Wars, Cameron (57) is setting the bar for 3-D technology with cameras he created and making millions for himself in the process by renting them to other film and TV directors.

The Cameron Pace Group, which the director formed 12 years ago with camera guru Vince Pace, last year generated revenue “in the ballpark of” $58 million, said its chief operating officer OD Welch.

That is a fraction of what Lucas’ ILM special-effects house generates, but as 3-D productions grow, Cameron Pace is expected to as well.

So far, it has rented cameras and other gear to more than two dozen movies, nine concert films and 140 sports broadcasts.

Cameron Pace collects money every step in the 3-D movie-making process. It rents its Fusion 3-D rig and other equipment to film producers such as Michael Bay, who used it for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, for up to $3 million a film.

TV productions, such as CBS’s coverage of the US Open tennis championship, pay less than $100 000 apiece for the seven or eight cameras it typically can use to shoot an event, said CBS head of operations Ken Aagaard.

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