The Shape of Things

How Cameron's Avatar Changed the Movie Business

Still from Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd.

Even if Avatar itself didn’t seep into the cultural consciousness like Cameron’s previous work, its release was the most significant cinematic event of the century so far. George Lucas may have initiated the era of digital filmmaking in Hollywood with 2002’s Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, but it took until late 2009 and 2010 for Avatar to come in demanding digital projection. By 2012, studios no longer struck 35mm prints of new releases.

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Nicky Otis Smith is a filmmaker and writer. He was born and raised in New York City and has lived in Baltimore since 2003.

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