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James Cameron's Message At NAB: Push 3D Into Theaters

"Titanic" and "Terminator 2" aficionados could soon see the movies released in digital 3D, James Cameron said Sunday during the National Association of Broadcasters' Digital Cinema Summit keynote.

Through a partnership with The Walt Disney Co., Cameron has made several underwater 3D IMAX documentaries, and told more than 600 in attendance he's been working with digital 3D for the past five years. The NAB conference, which runs April 24 – 27, expects to attract more than 120,000 attendees to the Las Vegas, Nev. show.

Cameron, the director of the highest-grossing film of all time at $1.8 billion worldwide, said he's working on several full-length action 3D movies, including "Battle Angel" and "Project 880."

Digital cinema and sophisticated cameras that enable directors to view shots on location in 3D have made shooting three-dimensional major motion pictures easier. "We're halfway through the looking glass," Cameron said. "We're past the point where the fear of change is outweighed by the fear of not changing."

Maybe so, but price remains an obstacle. Camera costs for a 3D movie nearly doubles, because production requires two of everything – camera, lenses, recorders and data streams. Then factor-in post production and visual effects, Cameron said, and the price to make the movie jumps between 5 percent and 15 percent, but the finished product in 3D could gross up to 40 percent more.

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