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James Cameron says watching films on an iPhone is "dumb"


At a press conference where he spoke about the April release of the Blu-ray edition of his latest film, James Cameron said watching Avatar on the iPhone would be "dumb." More specifically he said, "I don't feel that I'm making movies for iPhones. If someone wants to watch it on an iPhone, I'm not going to stop them, especially if they're paying for it, but I don't recommend it. I think it's dumb, when you have characters that are so small in the frame that they're not visible."

So how should we watch Avatar according to the "King of the World?" He wants us to shell out for the Blu-ray 3D version coming out in November 2010, and then, "If you're going to go 3D, go big. Get the biggest set you can, and then sit as close as you can stand. That's my advice. Get the coffee table out of the way and slide the couch over, right in front of the TV." Right.

Cameron isn't the first director to express his disdain for the iPhone's 480 x 320 pixel, 3.5 inch screen. A couple years ago, David Lynch ranted about the iPhone with even harsher words than Cameron, saying, "Now if you're playing the movie on a telephone, you will never in a trillion years experience the film. You'll think you have experienced it, but you'll be cheated. It's such a sadness that you think you've seen a film on your f---ing telephone. Get real!"

I think what both of these directors are overlooking is that watching films on an iPhone is a supplement to watching them on a larger screen, not areplacement. No, you won't be able to see every lovingly-crafted CGI pixel ofAvatar's Pandora on the iPhone's comparatively tiny screen, nor will Lynch's surreal films pack the same visual impact they would on a 1080p HDTV. But I can't take my 32" LCD TV with me on a camping trip, or on a lengthy car ride, or on a 747 flying across the Pacific Ocean.

Watching films on a portable device like an iPhone, iPad, or laptop computer is about the convenience of being able to watch a film on your own terms, anywhere you want, any time you want. It's not about replacing the experience of your multi-thousand dollar home theatre system, assuming you even have one.

When Avatar comes out on Blu-ray, I will eventually buy it. But I'll be looking for the version that includes an iTunes-compatible digital copy, and if I feel like it, I will watch it on my iPhone -- because it's up to me to decide how I consume my media, not the film's director.

[Via Mashable]

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