Allow me to set the scene.
It’s December 8, 2011 and the 5th season and 11th episode (“The Speckerman Recurrence”) of The Big Bang Theory. Below is a portion of dialogue between the guys (Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Howard) and Leonard’s childhood bully, Jimmy.
Jimmy: Okay, here it is. I have this great money-making idea. I just need a gear head to get it to the finish line.
Sheldon: Technically, Howard’s the gear head. Leonard’s just a dime store laser jockey.
Leonard: What’s the idea?
Jimmy: This is just between us, right?
Jimmy: Okay. What do you think about a pair of glasses that makes any movie you want into 3D?
Raj: That sounds amazing. First movie I’m watching, Annie.
Howard: How exactly would these glasses work?
Jimmy: How the hell should I know? That’s why I need a nerd.
Leonard: I don’t think something like that’s even possible.
Jimmy: Aw, come on, you can figure it out. You’re like the smartest guy I’ve ever known.
Sheldon: The smartest? All right, you know, I may not have a firm grasp on sarcasm, but even I know that was a doozy. Leonard, you can’t live in fear of this man forever.
Leonard: Sheldon, I got this.
You know who does “got this,” to some degree?
James Cameron, apparently.
“I’m going to push. Not only for better tools, workflow, high dynamic range (HDR) and high frame rates (HFR) — the things we are working toward. I’m still very bullish on 3D, but we need brighter projection, and ultimately I think it can happen — with no glasses. We’ll get there.”
–Avatar Director James Cameron
Mr. Cameron was being honored at the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. Mr. Cameron was receiving his membership to this organization.
Imagining 3D movies without the necessity for 3D glasses is something that people have been thinking about and hoping for. The next step after watching 3D movies without 3D glasses would, naturally, be allowing moviegoers to watch any film in either 3D or 2D. This is where the dialogue above from The Big Bang Theory comes into play. This venture would combine the technology James Cameron is projecting and then incorporate interested (key term) movie directors to take that subsequent giant leap in innovation (not in existence…right now). The next question is whether movie directors would want to film a movie this way, if it becomes possible? This part of the equation is still in the countless questions phase, but it doesn’t seem completely impossible after Mr. Cameron’s statement/implied progress above.
That notion, even if just a notion at this point, is still encouraging.
For the geniuses (cough cough the writers and scientific advisors) on The Big Bang Theory, the insanely cool leap in 3D technology was seen as practically impossible back in 2011. While this surreal tech doesn’t yet exist today, it may be available in some version in the future. Incredibly, Mr. Cameron just may have revealed that he’s discovered the “secret sauce” for the mind-blowing innovative feat of enjoying 3D movies sans 3D glasses. Despite the fact this invention may still be a few years off from reality, that near future time table is exciting nonetheless.
After all, some of the greatest inventions in human history started with the wildest, craziest ideas imaginable.
And we can’t wait to see this one.
Dan Brown. J.K. Rowling. Tom Clancy.
And now J.J. Abrams apparently.
Reading books is still a popular leisure activity, despite how it may pale in comparison to venturing off to the movie theater to see the next big blockbuster sensation. The bottom line is that people enjoy stories of all genres with varying temptations and hooks. One day it may be action or adventure, the next could be drama and romance and the weekend may be primed for mystery or humor. The imagination has no limitations and is, therefore, eternally receptive to stories of all variations and styles.
In recent years, the word, “epic” has flown into our lexicon as nearly the same speed as Superman himself. There was even an animated film titled, “Epic” released earlier this year. While book releases rarely create epic fanfare or global pandemonium, there was one yesterday that just might expand literature into an unseen dimension of creativity.
Famed filmmaker J.J. Abrams, who is prepping the Disney reboot of “Star Wars,” had his book (co-written with established writer Doug Dorst) debut to the public yesterday. The title of the nearly 500-page mystery, “S,” may be the beginning of a new style and era of creative writing.
Yesterday, it was J.J. Abrams releasing an original novel. Who will be next? Steven Spielberg? James Cameron? Kathryn Bigelow?
Dare I dream for an original novel by Christopher Nolan?
There is no singular style, method, genre or process to writing, acting, directing and producing an epic blockbuster. There are unequivocal similarities, no doubt: original story, great characters, plot twists, big, yet believable action for the setting, stunning cinematography, hints of ambiguity, etc. But each crew has done it differently with a certain trademark.
Imagine this formula translated into an original novel that reads like an epic Hollywood movie that instinctively provokes intrigue and that relentlessly illustrates vivid scenes in our minds like the flow of some of our favorite movies?
Incredible books with the similar qualities listed above have and are being written. However, the scale of these literary adventures, mysteries, romances, etc. would be new with a particular cast of writers.
Try to envision a movie in IMAX with a powerfully unforgettable soundtrack somehow captured and placed within the binding restraints of a book.
There is a grandiose expectation with J.J. Abrams’ book because of his acclaimed cinematic skill set and storytelling accomplishments behind the camera. People will be expecting that “it” factor that will definitively distinguish “S” above the other available mysteries on the shelf.
Adapting popular books into movies is a common practice in Hollywood. And these scripts usually sound as if it were penned by an author instead of a screenwriter. The pace and style of the dialogue and the patience paid to character development is discernible. It’s not always absolutely good or bad, but it certainly is noticeable to the audience.
Last year, in late November, director Christopher Nolan made a rare public appearance to participate in a solo forum in New York City with a small audience to discuss his current, “Dark Knight” trilogy, his past movies and his then upcoming role in “The Man of Steel.” In fact, it happened on a Wednesday. Due to a contradictory statement given to me about a conflict at work that Wednesday and following Thursday, I had to refrain from securing one of those rare tickets when one was remarkably available.
Christopher Nolan had agreed to answer a few questions from fans and/or attendees during this gathering. The question I submitted was essentially this: “Have you ever created your own original superhero with a corresponding universe and enemy(ies)? If so, who is it? What are his or her superhero powers? If not, would you ever be interested in such a venture?”
I was interested in not only my question, but all of the questions, plus his responses of course.
Maybe he read my question, maybe he didn’t. But if he did and the answer is yes, the possibilities and excitement among his fans would be difficult to contain.
The aura that surrounds “S” was palpable the moment I held it in my hands. There is a unique power and influence that radiates and thrills from the work of creative cinematic storytellers. Imaginations simply run wild with the stories they tell.
I just hope more will soon put it in writing.