Cinema Camera

When a Director Invents a Cinema Camera?

How many of you heard about the “J Cam”? Well, it seems like this was a Sony VENICE prototype that was made for Avatar 2 in response to James Cameron’s specifications. Distinguished directors must have a genuine need for an excellent cinema camera for it to exist.

A Talk About Avatar 2

The Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood had a line around it last week for a special showing of the 3D IMAX version of Avatar: The Way of Water. Producer of Avatar Jon Landau, Oscar-winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter ASC, chief lighting technician Len Levine, and 3D Systems Engineer Patrick Campbell were all present at the screening, which was organized by SonyCine in collaboration with Shot Deck. Oscar-nominated cinematographer Lawrence Sher ASC moderated the discussion. Sadly, there isn’t a recording of that exchange. Fortunately, Sony Cine covered it in a piece. How the Sony VENICE and, in particular, the Rialto were created is the most fascinating section of the article. Well, thank James Cameron for everything.

The “J Cam”

As stated by Sony in the article: “Russell Carpenter claims that James Cameron requested a camera where the front and back could be separated after the first Avatar. The team then presented the concept to Sony engineers, who were eager to take on the challenge, according to Jon Landau. They initially worked with prototypes for such a camera that the engineers at the time called the “J cam” or the The Sony VENICE and its essential companion, the Rialto, were developed over the course of the past ten years as engineers continued to develop and advance camera technology and cinematographers like Carpenter and Claudio Miranda continued to provide feedback to Sony. It was the Sony VENICE and Rialto that made the visual wonder of Avatar: The Way of Water possible”.

Final Thoughts

The characteristics of the Sony VENICE, Rialto, combined with the DeepX 3D, which is the underwater rig utilized on Avatar 2 (invented by cinematographer Pawel Achtel), made the underwater sequences possible to be beautifully screened on It’s intriguing to learn that Sony’s top engineers have strategically allocated R&D funds to Avatar 2 and James Cameron’s crazy ideas for IMAX 3D HFR. However, that was the evolution of cinema cameras. Since then, Rialto has been used creatively by numerous productions, including the renowned application in Top Gun: Maverick. If so, renowned directors should collaborate with cinema camera manufacturers to create the ideal tool for high-end productions. I’m interested in hearing your opinions on this.

Read More: Are There Cameras in Movie Theaters?

Source: ymcinema

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x