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ROBERT H. ROTSTEIN (SBN 72452), firstname.lastname@example.org ELAINE K. KIM (SBN 242066), email@example.com MITCHELL SILBERBERG & KNUPP LLP 11377 West Olympic Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90064-1683 Telephone: (310) 312-2000 Facsimile: (310) 312-3100 Attorneys for Defendants Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc. and James Cameron UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WESTERN DIVISION GERALD MORAWSKI, Plaintiff, v. LIGHTSTORM ENTERTAINMENT, INC., a California corporation; JAMES CAMERON, an individual; and DOES 1 through 10, Defendants. CASE NO. CV 11-10294-MMM (JCGx) Hon. Margaret M. Morrow DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS LIGHTSTORM ENTERTAINMENT, INC. AND JAMES CAMERON’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT Time: Date: Ctrm.: 10:00 a.m. January 14, 2013 780
[Notice of Motion and Motion for Summary Judgment; Separate Statement of Undisputed Facts and Conclusions of Law; Supporting Declarations, and [Proposed] Judgment filed concurrently herewith]
DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON
Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 2 of 45 Page ID #:1994
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DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON I, James Cameron, declare as follows: 1. I am a motion picture director, screenwriter and producer. I am the
Chief Executive Officer of the film production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc. (“Lightstorm”), a California corporation. I have personal knowledge of the facts set forth herein, which are known by me to be true and correct, and if called as witness, I could and would competently testify thereto. 2. Among others, I have directed as well as written the screenplays for the films The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), The Abyss (1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), True Lies (1994), and Titanic (1997). Titanic won the Academy Award for Best Picture and I received the Academy Award for Best Director for my work on that film. 3. My most recent motion picture was Avatar, which I also both wrote and directed. Avatar premiered in London on December 10, 2009. Avatar was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and it won three Academy Awards, for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction. 4. Unequivocally, the story for Avatar is the result of my independent creation. More specifically as it relates to this case, in creating Avatar, I did not use any ideas or materials provided by Plaintiff Gerald Morawski. 5. I met Mr. Morawski in 1991. At that time, I was interested in some of his artwork, which featured light being depicted in unusual ways. Mr. Morawski called this “Light Art.” I contemplated using his art in connection with a project called Burning Chrome, based on the short story by William Gibson, about a wounded war veteran who comes back into society as a partial cyborg. I purchased 2
DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON
Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 3 of 45 Page ID #:1995
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four items of Mr. Morawski’s Light Art in 1991 and paid him $4,000. Ultimately, Burning Chrome was not produced. 6. Subsequently, in or around January, 1992, Mr. Morawski asked that I loan him money because he said he was in desperate financial straits. Since I had been a struggling artist myself in my post-college years, I was sympathetic. I loaned him $5,000. It was never repaid. 7. I understand that Mr. Morawski claims that he pitched me the story for Avatar in 1991. He claims that he did so in a “project” of his entitled “Guardians of Eden.” I have no recollection of Mr. Morawski pitching me “Guardians of Eden.” In any case, his “Guardians of Eden” project was certainly not the basis of Avatar or any element within it. As addressed by others in connection with this motion, Plaintiff’s “Guardians of Eden” does not materially resemble Avatar in any way whatsoever. In this regard: a. Lightstorm has in its possession a written document entitled “Conceptual Summary of ‘Guardians of Eden,’” which apparently was submitted by Mr. Morawski, a true and correct copy of which is attached as Exhibit 1. The document does not constitute the story of Avatar. b. Lightstorm also has in its possession a set of pitch notes from Anne Damato, dated December 4, 1991, a true and correct copy of which is attached as Exhibit 2. Ms. Damato was a Lightstorm employee and her job responsibilities at the time included attending pitch meetings and writing down pitches as presented. Ms. Damato’s notes reflect that there was a pitch meeting with Mr. Morawski on or about December 4, 1991. But her notes do not reflect that Mr. Morawski pitched the story of Avatar or anything remotely like it. Rather, her notes are consistent with the story contained in Mr. Morawski’s “Conceptual Summary.” Simply stated, Mr. Morawski’s “Guardians of Eden” story as reflected in his written submission, and as reflected in Ms. Damato’s notes, is not Avatar. In 3
DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON
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creating Avatar I did not use anything either contained in Mr. Morawski’s “Conceptual Summary” or reflected in Ms. Damato’s notes summarizing the story idea he pitched. 8. In 1995, I wrote a lengthy “scriptment” for Avatar, which was my initial effort at putting down the story in writing. Attached as Exhibit 3 is a true and correct copy of the scriptment for Avatar that I wrote in 1995. I called it a “scriptment” because it was a heavily detailed script-length treatment that, like a treatment, was in a narrative rather than dialogue form, and laid out the story, characters, setting and many of the visual images for Avatar. The Avatar story that I created in 1995 and which is contained in the scriptment was an accumulation of ideas, themes, characters, and images that I had been using and considering for decades. Virtually all of this long preceded my having met Mr. Morawski in 1991. Nothing in the scriptment was taken from anything Mr. Morawski claims to have pitched to me or Lightstorm. 9. As I will describe in greater detail in the balance of this declaration, Avatar was based on and flowed out of my fascination with and love of science, nature, the environment, science fiction, history, and philosophy. Avatar contains images, themes, and characters that I had created and explored in previous unproduced projects that I had written, as well as in many of my pre-1991 produced motion pictures. None of this has anything whatsoever to do with, or came to me from, Mr. Morawski; whether or not Mr. Morawski was influenced by my work I cannot say. 10. In paragraphs 11 through 133 below, I will describe in great detail the genesis of the ideas, themes, storylines, and images that came to be Avatar.
DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON
Their curiosity about what lay deeper and deeper ultimately lures them to their demise. who was the first human to breathe liquid. I was out exploring the woods around my village in Canada. One of my favorite things to do was to look at the tail of a living tadpole under my small Tasco microscope and watch the red blood corpuscles racing through the transparent capillaries with every beat of its heart. scientists at a deep sea research station are exploring ever deeper into the unknown using an experimental fluid breathing system. I dreamed of being a scientist. In the twelfth grade. Since childhood. We collected animal skeletons and dissected frogs. so that I could personally investigate the great mysteries. creating elaborate drawings. or staying up late to look at the moons of Jupiter through my 4-inch reflector telescope. the following week. collecting samples. in which all the other students were adults. I attended a series of science lectures at the University of Buffalo. I was so enthusiastic about science that I spent my free time studying for fun. from snakes to butterflies. I made collections of leaves and flowers. This inspired me. In my short story. became the nucleus of my screenplay and film of the same name. I would collect samples of pond water and study them under the microscope. I have been extremely curious about the natural world. I became president of the science club. such as attending a geology seminar at a local college.” which almost two decades later. One of these lectures was given by a diver named Frank Faleczyck. I would catch and study any animal I could find. When other kids were playing sports or watching TV. not for credit. 12. This story was meant as a tribute to the 28 29 5 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . to write a short story called “The Abyss. also on my own time and for no credit.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 5 of 45 Page ID #:1997 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP Early Background: 1960s-1970s 11. making drawings of protozoa. In high school. I even formed a Nature Club with other curious kids in the neighborhood.
Canada. These trees have large. the characters in Avatar walk on the huge branches of the trees on Pandora as they move through the forest. The back of the drawing says “11A. Clark. Beginning in junior high school and throughout high school and college in the 1960s and 1970s.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 6 of 45 Page ID #:1998 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP passion of science and the lure of the unknown. During those years.” 6 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . 15. Poul Anderson. I did a pen drawing entitled “Spring on Planet Flora. 13. 14. and are overgrown with vines and epiphytes. This drawing depicts an oversized jungle environment of an alien world that I conceived. My favorite movie was 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).” a true and correct copy of which is attached as Exhibit 4. comics. Among my favorite science fiction authors were Arthur C. I was also an avid fan and voracious reader of science fiction.” The drawing shows a tiny human figure in a spacesuit walking on one of many gigantic trees. which I called “Planet Flora. and movies. and Isaac Asimov. stories. Ray Bradbury. meets an incomprehensible alien intelligence and undergoes a transcendental metamorphosis into a highly-evolved being. The landscape depicted in “Spring on Planet Flora” is essentially the same in concept and detail to the alien jungle landscape on the moon Pandora. I read and viewed hundreds of science fiction books. My intense curiosity about the natural world formed a positive feedback loop with my love of science fiction. in which Man. as does the tiny figure in my eleventh-grade drawing “Spring on Planet Flora. on which much of the action in Avatar takes place. interconnected branches moving transversely. For example. both important formative factors for me. Combining those interests. in the eleventh grade. Robert Heinlein. I began conceiving of and drawing alien planets with phantasmagoric environments with unique flora. As shown in Exhibit 1 to the Declaration of Jon Landau (“Landau Declaration”).” my homeroom in the eleventh grade in Niagara Falls. Theodore Sturgeon. the explorer. far larger than one would see on Earth.
Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 7 of 45 Page ID #:1999 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 16. His quest connects him to a heightened state of reality in which he is able to physically repair his own central nervous system. The script describes a cosmic journey of self-discovery and transcendence taken by a wheelchair-bound man who elects to surgically remove all external sensory input. After moving to California in 1971. which was developed in 1974 into a short film script entitled Chrysalis. so that he can journey through his own mind. Eventually my career path took me to the entertainment industry. the main character of Avatar. Randy Frakes. and is directly connected to those early ideas. and became fascinated with the almost otherworldly plant life and organisms in the deep ocean. being able to rise from his chair. 7 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . made whole through his transcendental journey. and achieving freedom or transcendence of his human physical state. The script ends with the man. In college I majored in physics. the man is able to stand and finds himself in an alien landscape and a forest full of giant trees. 18. inside a Link pod. in his real life. is a wheelchair-bound paraplegic who goes on a quest that includes entering a state of sensory deprivation. co-written with a friend. In this mental journey. Chrysalis 17. I took up scuba diving. This concept of a disabled man. Jake Sully. and studied marine biology and astronomy. in a wheelchair. In or about 1973. True and correct copies of the script and artwork that I created for Chrysalis in or about 1974 are attached as Exhibit 5. going on a mental journey beyond his body. the script describes the imagery of each nerve fiber glowing with activity. hoping to go into a career in the sciences. I wrote a story called Absense for a college project. but in doing so I constantly remained attuned to science and other worlds. and traveling mentally to another place. was one that I revisited decades later in Avatar.
Morawski. In addition to these written materials. Cosmos Kindred carries a cyber (artificial intelligence) that has cell samples. At the end he achieves transcendence. disclosure of which would harm me because they contain material that was not used in the Avatar film but may be used in Avatar sequels. I drew and painted artwork for the Xenogenesis project in the same period. I further developed the concepts that I explored in my eleventh-grade drawing and in Chrysalis. Again. Frakes. co-writing a treatment and draft script for Xenogenesis with Mr. In Xenogenesis. i. As the treatment describes. As I will describe below. Xenogenesis 19. These documents contain my proprietary and confidential work. Attached as Exhibits 6 and 7 are true and correct copies of relevant portions of the treatment and draft script that I wrote with Mr. They experience exotic. on which they see bizarre flora and fauna. 21. Xenogenesis is the saga of the voyage of Cosmos Kindred. much in Avatar can be traced back to this early project. under the cyber’s direction. scientists engage in a last-ditch effort to preserve a nucleus of humanity by trying to find a new planet on which to live.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 8 of 45 Page ID #:2000 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP where his body is whole. 8 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . in or about 1978-1979.. danger-filled alien landscapes on different planets that I created. a mile-long spaceship employing a fusion ramjet interstellar drive unit. 20.e. which. The central section of the Xenogenesis story focuses on the human drama of the pilot dealing with a female stowaway who has been raised by the cyber. Frakes in or about 1977-1979. In the late 1970s. and take samples. will be developed into cloned individuals once the spaceship finds a suitable new home planet. In the face of destruction of the Earth. this was more than a decade before I met Mr. I worked on a project called Xenogenesis. by shedding his human body and permanently inhabiting his avatar form.
. One of the characters notes that “[t]he orbital surveys show it’s a natural phenomenon. I modeled Avatar’s Pandora on one of the planets that the characters explore in Xenogenesis. . 23. 9 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . Between these glowing tangles flows a river of swirling phosphorescent colors. on Avatar’s Pandora. but the night side glows softly with reticulated radiance of pastels of blue and green. A bright band of light meanders in the distance. 25. Bio-luminescence on a grand scale.” Id. In Xenogenesis. Throughout the night-darkened landscape all the way to the horizon. The slightly rolling ground is covered with a low moss which glows with a dim.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 9 of 45 Page ID #:2001 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 22. bioluminescent trees. the Luminous Planet. The human characters cannot survive on this planet because of its deadly atmosphere.” Exhibit 6 at LIGHTS00116.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000124. has a beautiful forest with a vast network of interconnected. The underbrush nearly consists of translucent stalks with leaves like moth-wings and trees that are twisted overgrown fungi shot through with networks of faint light. Xenogenesis’s Luminous Planet comes alive at night. As the Xenogenesis script describes: “The planet’s sunlit side seems Earthlike.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000126. 24. . a glowing river whose currents agitate the bioluminescent protozoa to fluoresce brilliantly.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000125. the forest has a slightly rolling ground covered with a low moss that glows with a violet light in the nighttime. Just as in Avatar. This planet in Xenogenesis. The script describes: “It is a scene of surreal elegance. The treatment describes this planet’s environment in detail: “The surface of this world is a surrealistic forest of twisted shapes alive with leaping pulses of blue-green bio-luminescence. as the characters’ “feet touch the ground little ripples of light expand at the impact. pa[t]terns of light glow in pastel blues and greens. violet light. with a dash of purple and brilliant accents of scarlet. Just as on Xenogenesis’s Luminous Planet.
28. The fan-lizard as depicted in that early drawing and as described in the Xenogenesis script is virtually identical to the final design of the fan-lizard in Avatar. Xenogenesis’s Luminous Planet has a unique sort of willow tree. As seen in Exhibit 2 to the Landau Declaration. Attached as Exhibit 9 is a true and correct copy of artwork that I did in or about 1978-1979. follows after his love interest Neytiri through the forest. depicting these willow-like trees with the gossamer tendrils. black lizard-like creature. including what the script describes as “[a] flat spinning disc of orange and ultramarine about a meter in diameter. in his avatar form. I called these willow-like trees with gossamer tendrils “willows” in my Avatar scriptment. even down to the faceted bug-like eyes and the patterns on its disk membrane. Attached as Exhibit 8 is a true and correct copy of a detailed pen sketch that I did in or about 1978-1979 of a fan-lizard sitting on a branch with its disk membrane partly unfurled.” or “Tree of Voices. as seen in Exhibit 2 to the Landau Declaration. which is described in the script as “a glorious hybrid of a fiber optics lamp. together with the purple bioluminescent moss. a bioluminescent river. revealing a small.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000125. the disc folds up like a Japanese fan. a fountain of gossamer tendrils swing from each delicate stalk. which startles them as it floats across the screen toward a tree.” which “surveys them with gem-like eyes then re-opens its fan with a sudden snap that sends it spinning out into the glowing woods.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 10 of 45 Page ID #:2002 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP The very same thing happens in Avatar when the male protagonist Jake Sully.” in the film. as seen in Exhibit 3 to the Landau Declaration. 27.” Id. and bright fan-lizards spinning and flying in the glowing woods. These trees ultimately were called “Utraya mokri. 26. “Upon contacting a limb.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000126. The characters in Xenogenesis encounter strange creatures on this planet. 29. a sea anemone and a willow. the 10 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 .
This tree is the physical manifestation of Eywa. 32. with a spaceship in the background. In about 1978-1979. and is almost identical to. and the origin of that tree is clearly traceable to Exhibit 9. my artwork from 1978-1979. called “The Tree of Souls.” This tree was the basis for. and a tree with the spiral shape of a “Christmas tree worm. the helicoradian exotic plants in Avatar. the gossamer tendrils of the willow-like trees “sway inward” toward the female lead as she passes by. 33. I did a pencil sketch. shown in Exhibit 5 to the Landau Declaration. “as if drawn to her. at 11 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . down to the exact colors later used in Avatar – a palette of cyans with accents of purple. 31. The forest landscape as a whole depicted in my prior artwork is the same as the forest in Avatar. The sketch shows a male and female character on an alien planet. In the Xenogenesis script.” sits at the center of the vast amphitheater that is the centerpiece of the entire third act battle sequence in Avatar.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 11 of 45 Page ID #:2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP Utraya mokri are virtually identical to the willow-like trees depicted in my artwork from 1978-1979 and described in the Xenogenesis script. entitled.” a true and correct copy of which is attached as Exhibit 10. “Exploring the exotic environment of a luminous planet. In Exhibit 10. Id. overgrown tree roots over the ground appear like the brain coral on the ocean floor. The willow-like trees in Xenogenesis have a consciousness beyond plants that exist on Earth. 30. This was the basis for the brain coral floor around the Tree of Souls in designs for Avatar. depicted in Exhibit 4 to the Landau Declaration. accurate from the bright fan-lizards fly through the glowing woods. The iconic image of this great glowing willow tree is central to Avatar. A very large Utraya mokri. the nature goddess at the heart of the story. Two of the characters kiss beneath the tendril trees.” and they “wrap around her arm in a caress.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000127.
In Xenogenesis. A love scene between Jake and Neytiri also takes place amongst Utraya mokri. In fact. as famously proposed by environmental 12 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . including the trees. Neytiri places Jake’s weakened human body underneath the Tree of Souls. the protagonist becomes immobile and lies on the ground for three days. the pantheistic religions. During that time. in both “Folklore and Mythology” and “Cultural Anthropology” classes at Fullerton Junior College. which I studied in college. In the mid-1970s.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 12 of 45 Page ID #:2004 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP LIGHTS000129. “[h]e is overgrown with creeper-like tendrils from the surrounding plants embracing him. 35. amplifying your desire to stay here and feeding it back to you.. in 1972 and 1973. As one of the characters says in the script: “The plants are acting as esper resonators. In Xenogenesis. I was well aware of this principle in my college days. the Luminous Planet reacts to the arrival of the main characters and seeks to trap them and keep them on the planet by lulling them into a state of bliss. As a result. 34.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000132. like the “Lotus Eaters” of Homer’s epic The Odyssey. and goes back to the earliest animist religions. I re-used this element in Avatar: The tendrils of the Utraya mokri sway towards Jake’s avatar and Neytiri as they pass by. worship a deity that infuses all living things. 36. as depicted in Exhibit 6 to the Landau Declaration. the Luminous Planet itself is sentient – i. in the final scene of Avatar. I also became aware of and was influenced by the Gaia Hypothesis. The idea of nature as a single sentient being is ancient. trees are literally worshipped as sacred manifestations of the deity. For example. and wrap around Neytiri’s arm.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000131.e. in Xenogenesis. You’re caught in a feedback loop. such as Druidism. Analogously. and he is overgrown with creeper-like tendrils from the roots of the Tree of Souls. it can sense and react to others – like Pandora in Avatar.
self-regulating organism. I transplanted this scene from Xenogenesis virtually unchanged into Avatar: Jake and Neytiri meet at night. which stated that the natural world functions as a single vast.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 13 of 45 Page ID #:2005 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP scientist James Lovelock. gleaned from their memories.” which “drifts into the palm of [the female character’s] hand. 28 29 13 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . in Avatar. as depicted in Exhibit 7 to the Landau Declaration. in which I was well read. the characters encounter “a small flying creature which we will call the tinkerbell thing because it resembles a glowing dandelion seed about the size of a butterfly with gently swaying filaments that it uses to propel itself on the wind currents.” he “bats at in mild annoyance.” Id. This theory has been widely known for decades. “forming a glowing swarm around” the male character. The idea of a sentience behind all nature or a “world mind” is also a well-established concept in literary science fiction. including what appear to be living people. I applied this idea of a world mind. The female character tells the male character not to startle it. These same “tinkerbell things” or “glowing dandelion seeds” appear in Avatar and are called “woodsprites” in the film. The human characters spend the story trying to understand the alien mind. Just as in Xenogenesis. these floating creatures form a glowing swarm around Jake. For example. but when it “takes flight and circles around [him]. 38. 37. which I read in the early 1970s (and saw a film version made by Russian film director Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972) a world mind in the form of an intelligent ocean planet communicates with human explorers by sending them physical manifestations. Id. which is a single being embodied in the ocean that spans the entire planet of Solaris. 39. in Solaris. by Stanislaw Lem (1961). “more of the tinkerbell things” arrive. and the forest lights up around them. or sentient global entity in Xenogenesis and also in Avatar.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000126. Then. who initially tries to bat them away. In the Xenogenesis script.
true and correct copies of which are attached as Exhibit 11 and Exhibit 12. 42. the Hallelujah Mountains also consist of some mountains that are floating. My painting from 1978-1979 attached as Exhibit 11 depicts the male protagonist in Xenogenesis after he has been captured by the large floating jellyfish-like creature. although in Avatar.” Exhibit 6 at LIGHTS000119.” as well as “air-sharks (vaguely resembling Japanese dragon-kites with needle-like teeth). . . the male protagonist. These documents contain my proprietary and confidential work. The Xenogenesis script describes this scene in detail: “He 14 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . vertical mountains or cliffs wreathed by clouds and mist. disclosure of which would harm me because they contain material that was not used in the Avatar film but may be used in Avatar sequels. 41. The turbulent whirl of shifting streamers occasionally parts to admit a few shafts of sunlight into the overcast gray. These paintings show jagged. while above is a ceiling of whorled cloud strata. I retained similar jagged mountains in Avatar. The lander heads toward a window of light in the angry dimness and passes above the cloud-shelf into an upper level.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000140. Streamers of mist swirl over the crest of the hill and blow across the foreground on a moderate wind. These towering masses reach up to higher cloud levels. The dark cumulus masses billow up from stygian darkness below. The effect is of being within the cloud cover topping the mesa. “upthrust columns of rock” surrounded by clouds. In Xenogenesis. is attacked by “an aerocoelenterate. while on this mesa with steep cliffs. . 43. The script describes this scene in detail: “[The lander] passes between columns of boiling clouds which are streaked with lightning. as seen in Exhibit 8 to the Landau Declaration. The cloud blanket rolls away beneath into the distance where it is pierced by upthrust columns of rock. I made detailed paintings of this scene in or about 1978-1979. a balloon-like creature resembling a terrestrial Man-o-war jelly fish.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 14 of 45 Page ID #:2006 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 40. The characters in Xenogenesis also explore a planet where they see tall.
The jellyfish-like creature that I painted for Xenogenesis was the basis for the jellyfish-like creature that I initially wanted to include in Avatar. . .” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000144. They are overlarge and retract like snake fangs. milky sac filled with biochemically produced hydrogen. 46. a hideous pulpy maw into which Jorden is now slowly being hoisted. More than a decade later. 44. four or five membranous creatures like airborne manta rays. as described in Xenogenesis. My painting from 1978-1979 attached as Exhibit 12 depicts the male protagonist in Xenogenesis as he is being attacked by the “air sharks. Its slit of a mouth parts and like a cat’s claws. See Exhibit 3 at LIGHTS000333-335.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 15 of 45 Page ID #:2007 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP looks up at the translucent bladder creature from which the tentacles originate. . The detailed anatomy of these distensible jaws and fangs appear in a pen drawing that I did in or about 1978-1979.” Exhibit 3 at LIGHTS000334. 45. That scene was in the first draft of the Avatar script. is a pulsating manubrium. the gas-bag is about twelve meters in diameter and is a blue-veined. a true and correct copy of which is attached as Exhibit 13. but was removed before the shooting script. surrounded by the roots of the tendrils.” The Xenogenesis script describes these creatures in detail: “From their eyries along the fluted walls of the mesas come air-sharks. including the description of their “distensible jaws” and “glassy daggerlike teeth. as seen in Exhibit 9 to the Landau Declaration. I incorporated this scene into the Avatar scriptment. 28 29 15 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . made to sink in and rend delicate flesh. directly into the Avatar scriptment. I transplanted these air sharks. Like a bloated man-o-war jellyfish. needle fangs unfold from sheath-like gums. including the name “aerocoelenterate” for the jellyfish-like creature.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000144-145. designed for tearing at other airborne creatures. At its center.
and painted in detail in 1978-1979. in the design development of the creatures in 2005. Cosmos Kindred was the basis for my design of the starship in Avatar. called Venture Star. as seen in Exhibit 10 to the Landau Declaration. Attached as Exhibit 15 is a true and correct copy of a detailed painting I did of the spider in or about 1978-1979.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 16 of 45 Page ID #:2008 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 47. called Cosmos Kindred. 48. 16 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . and when it became less ray-like. which has a long central truss. there also was a walking machine called the “spider” that is operated by arm “waldos. drawn. I changed the name in the script to simply “banshee. In Xenogenesis. See Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000334. a true and correct copy of which is attached as Exhibit 16. That short film depicts the fight sequence with the spider. Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000123-124. and cyro-capsules used for suspended animation. 49. The Xenogenesis script contains a detailed battle scene between the spider and a machine called the sweeper. the indigenous Na’vi warriors ride the banshee. engines glowing red with heat separated by a long boom from the habitability module in front. In the Avatar scriptment. Randy Frakes and I made a short film of a small portion of the Xenogenesis script.” but the basic concept of a flying manta ray with teeth was not changed at all. the idea of the glassy fangs in distensible jaws was retained. we changed the design.” Even in the final banshee design. I renamed the air sharks “bansheerays. In Avatar. In or about 1978-1979. I built a physical model of the spider.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000123. which shows a clear evolutionary progression from my idea for the banshee which was written. and Jake tames and rides a legendary banshee called “Toruk” to prove to the Na’vi people that he can be trusted. as can be seen from Exhibit 11 to the Landau Declaration. which I filmed in the short Xenogenesis film using stop motion animation. Later. Attached as Exhibit 14 is a true and correct copy of a very detailed painting I did of the spaceship in Xenogenesis.
also by arm waldos. Clarke. which the Colonel Quaritch character operates. are the Nebula Award winning short story In the Imagicon (1967) by George Henry Smith. and the results were so pleasant or offered such god-like perceptions that they were unwilling to give it up. also has its roots in literary science fiction. the male protagonist links to the spider to control it. 17 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . dying without the replacement of procreation.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000135. The idea of people being fully conscious. For instance. Two examples.” Exhibit 6 at LIGHTS000117-118. The characters in Xenogenesis also visit a world called “TechnoPlanet. The female character has been implanted with link sockets through which she could experience “alternative realities…electronic fantasy worlds [she] could see. and reacting to sensory input from outside their own mind. The alien characters of this advanced civilization are seen only as skeletons. hear. which I read in the mid1970s. or mind-machine interfacing. 53. womb-like eggs. lying long dead within their liquid-filled. as seen in Exhibit 12 to the Landau Declaration.” On this world. 51.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 17 of 45 Page ID #:2009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 50. coming to them from a synthetic avatar. I used significant elements of this scene in Avatar. Xenogenesis explored the concept of actual “linking” between human and machine. In the final battle scene. and the novel City and the Stars (1956) by Arthur C. The characters discover that the inhabitants had “gathered to fuse their individual minds together into one super-entity using advanced cybernetic networks. feel. their skulls still connected by cables to the central computer. but chose to live vicariously in an electronic reality. The spider from Xenogenesis was the basis of the AMP (Amplified Mobility Platform) suit in Avatar. Colonel Quaritch uses this AMP suit to fight Jake and Neytiri. 52. our main characters discover an advanced civilization that has collapsed because the people withdraw into highly realistic fantasy worlds generated by computers. Exhibit 6 at LIGHTS000120.
In Xenogenesis. I carried over the same concept in Avatar. In or about 1979. 54. A true and correct copy of that painting is attached as Exhibit 17. creating an altered state of consciousness. blue-skinned. including the image of the blue girl.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 18 of 45 Page ID #:2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP In both cases. The Xenogenesis pilot film. My idea in Xenogenesis of the liquid-filled pod was based on sensory deprivation experiments of the early 1970s. who is wearing skin-tight purple pants. and the popular “Samadhi tanks. These are not new ideas to those of us versed in science fiction literature. includes a montage of some of that artwork. I did a large painting which shows a tall. and genetically engineered characters became the basis for the appearance of the indigenous people. In the Imagicon even anticipates the great surprise of The Matrix. Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000149. The use of a gel-filled pad form-fitted to the operator was meant to suggest the fluid suspension of a Samadhi tank. without external sound or light.” which allowed the body to float weightless in liquid. who are all a “robin’s egg blue. Exhibit 16 attached hereto. slender. 55. though they are computer generated and fed into the mind of the participant. while the user meditated. The script describes adults and children. The term “link” in Avatar is used to describe the process of machine-assisted “psionic” projection of the mind into the distant avatar body. the Na’vi. 18 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . the genetically engineered individuals who are “born” after the Cosmos Kindred reaches the new home planet have blue skin. 56. in which the supposed real world turns out to be the computer generated one. characters in the story use computers to inhabit synthetic versions of themselves inside fully fleshed-out and vivid worlds that are indistinguishable from reality. I applied the same idea in Avatar: The design of the psionic link units in Avatar was intended to suggest a technology that reduced external awareness so the operator could focus on the sensory input coming in from the avatar body.” Exhibit 6 at LIGHTS000121. These tall. thin woman with blue skin.
but then switched the title to “Mother. I wrote notes and an initial treatment for a science fiction story that I initially called “E.” because the story concerned a female genetically engineered creature attempting to ensure the survival of its young. Mother 60. depicted in Exhibit 15 to the Landau Declaration. Exhibit 6 at LIGHTS000121. I found out that Steven Spielberg was making a film called “E.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 19 of 45 Page ID #:2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP and the genetically engineered avatars in Avatar. 59.T. genetically altered livestock from Earth.” so I promptly changed the title of my story. Morawski in 1991. the final planet that is visited has magenta grass. a commonly used term in science fiction literature. 58. The skin-tight purple pants on the blue woman in Exhibit 17 are very similar to the ones that Neytiri wears in Avatar. themes. In Xenogenesis. I also illustrated this planet in my painting from 1979 (Exhibit 17). The Extraterrestrial.T. and when the wind ripples through it. and ideas that I had created in connection with Xenogenesis in the late 1970s – more than a decade before I met Mr. In 1980 or 1981. The grassland of magenta grass is a seminal image for the environment that is the home of the “horse people of the plains” in Avatar. the blue-skinned humanoids ride “horses with purple coats with indigo manes. I used “Protein” as an interim working title. was based on images. These horses were the basis for the purple dire-horses of Avatar. Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000148. depicted in Exhibit 14 to the Landau Declaration. In short. it appears like “billowing scarlet wheat.. In the Xenogenesis script. 57.” Exhibit 6 at LIGHTS000121.” Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000150. much of what I used in creating Avatar. As I was writing it. as seen in Exhibit 13 to the Landau Declaration. True and 28 29 19 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON .” meaning extraterrestrial.
But that does not stop the Company. 3205.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 20 of 45 Page ID #:2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP correct copies of the notes and treatment that I wrote in 1980-81 for “Mother” are attached hereto as Exhibit 18. Due to the planet’s extremely high temperatures and a toxic atmosphere of carbon dioxide at high pressure. 63. the Company sets up stations devoted to research and development. In my scriptment for Avatar. in addition to mines on this planet. Exhibit 3 at LIGHTS000313. a “xenomorph. crushed beneath a sea of homo sapiens. a primary purpose of the Avatar Program is to create a human/Na’vi hybrid which can live and work on Pandora. whose atmosphere is toxic to humans. is created based on a local life form in order to serve the needs of the Company. Id. This effort is spearheaded by an international and interplanetary consortium called Triworld Development Corporation. 62. which will ultimately lead to a workforce. Not simply a new continent: an entire world was required. Because the planet’s environment is dangerous to humans.” my term for a genetically engineered alien creature. at LIGHTS003196. 3192. And so they came. humans have plundered Earth and look to exploit another planet. a moon that orbits an extrasolar planet. or “the Company. 61.” Exhibit 18 at LIGHTS003197. born of desperation. Exhibit 18 at LIGHTS003192. In Mother.” which sets up mines on another planet. I conceived the idea that these genetically engineered aliens could be used as workers in the mines. humans cannot survive there without environment suits. at LIGHTS003199. Id. As I wrote in 1980-81: “It was a … plan. In Mother. For Earth was becoming hell too. 28 29 20 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . 3198. and they needed new territory. I used this same scenario in Avatar: The international consortium called the Resources Development Administration (RDA) sets up mines on Pandora. possibly Venus or an extrasolar planet or moon such as Titan. As my notes for Mother show.
She is employed by the Company and has a lab staff. In the final confrontation in Mother. Exhibit 18 at LIGHTS003206. In Avatar. In Mother.” a black six-limbed panther that I had previously created for another project called Labyrinth. including Avatar. riding a Thanator. although I incorporated many elements of it into subsequent films. called a “Thanator” in the film and a “Manticore” in my scriptment. 3192. one of the controllers is crippled. This character in Mother is a prototype of Dr. just as in Avatar and like my protagonist in Chrysalis. 65. That creature was the basis for the black six-limbed panther in Avatar. As stated in my notes for Mother. Exhibit 18 at LIGHTS003201. these xenomorphs are controlled via a “psychic link w/ an ‘adept’ or an “electronic link w/ a trained controller. Mother was not produced. 67. Grace Augustine in Avatar.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 21 of 45 Page ID #:2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 64. 3195 (showing my sketch of the Skraath). one of the Company’s research and development stations is run by a female senior operator. who was the controller of the xenomorph prototype. Neytiri. 28 29 21 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . In the final confrontation in Avatar. 66. so as to illustrate and highlight the significance of the experience provided by this mental/technological link. fights Colonel Quaritch in his AMP suit.” which encompasses both the natural mental power of the individual to link with his genetically matched avatar and the idea of technology used to focus and project that connection over great distances. In Mother.” Exhibit 18 at LIGHTS003192. I combined these two ideas to create the technology called “psionic link. who is the head of the Avatar Program set up by the RDA. a human in a “power suit” (a utility exoskeleton that is a sort of cross between a fork-lift and a robot) fights the alien creature that I called the “Skraath” or “Skraith. Exhibit 3 at LIGHTS000336.
the benefits and dangers of technology. the Colonial Marines in Aliens find that the aliens are not easy to conquer. the human antagonist is a greedy and self-serving corporate executive who commands a force of heavily armed and armored future Marines at a colony on an alien world. known as Sec-Ops. telepresence and control of remote bodies. represents the RDA and commands a private military force. Many of my other pre-1991 works deal with the themes and ideas that I subsequently used in Avatar. colonization of alien planets. played by Giovanni Ribisi. a single sentient being. 70. Many of these works also explored the related themes and ideas of corporate greed. played by Paul Reiser. In Aliens (1986). I was quoted in a 1986 Time article. militarism. I revisited these themes and ideas again in Avatar. Carter Burke. as stating about the Colonial Marines: “Their training and technology are inappropriate for the specifics. space travel. The corporation and the Colonial Marines. I drew inspiration for the Aliens story from the Vietnam War. a true and correct copy of which is attached as Exhibit 19. as Administrator of the colony on the alien world of Pandora. In Aliens. is a direct prototype for the character of Parker Selfridge. including threats to human civilization and the environment. and the role of science. Selfridge. In Aliens. the Weyland-Yutani Corporation sends the strong female lead played by Sigourney Weaver and “Colonial Marines” to investigate the loss of contact with a human colony on another planet. Although technologically superior. and that can be seen as analogous to the inability of superior American firepower to conquer the 22 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . and guerilla warfare waged by seemingly more primitive groups of people banding together to prevail over a technologically superior force. seek to obtain alien specimens for experimentation to create biological weapons. 69. in Avatar. many of whom are former Marines.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 22 of 45 Page ID #:2014 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP Other Pre-1991 Works 68. 71. unbeknownst to Weaver’s character.
in or about 1983.” which are depicted in this 1983 script. military characters in science fiction movies were either the white-armored drones of Star Wars or they were clad in skin-tight spandex and brandishing laser pistols. army in the Vietnam War in drafting this script. Again. I conducted extensive research into Russian military aircraft and the U. entitled First Blood II: The Mission. and it didn’t work. the protagonist. I wrote a draft script for Rambo II. Aliens contained the idea of a gritty future military that seemed a logical extension of a contemporary military. working with the North Vietnamese. is a Vietnam veteran who goes back into the Vietnamese jungle on a mission to locate POWs. culminating in Avatar. Rambo “pits skill against technology. Avatar. 73.S. With Co’s help navigating the rainforest. Rambo locates the POWs. and later. as in Star Trek and Forbidden Planet. He is aided by an “[i]ndigenous agent. the so-called 23 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . Well-armed Russians.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 23 of 45 Page ID #:2015 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP unseen enemy in Vietnam: a lot of firepower and very little wisdom. I revisited this theme – the more technologically advanced military cannot defeat the natives (the Na’vi) either. In my draft script. were also the inspiration for the heavily armed gunships in Avatar. unleash “tremendous destruction” on the landscape. using the agility of his craft as his primary strategy. Prior to Aliens.” and wins in an air battle against the Russian helicopters. John Rambo. 72. The heavily armed and armored Russian helicopter gunships called Mil Mi 24 “Hind D’s. Aliens created the sub-genre of military sci-fi. the theme of less sophisticated warriors defeating a technologically superior military is a central storyline in all three of these films. Both stories owe thematic and visual roots to Vietnam-era military hubris. Even before Aliens.” In Avatar.” a beautiful young Vietnamese woman named “Co” with whom Rambo falls in love. which I also drew upon in writing the script for Aliens. a true and correct copy of which (as posted on the Internet) is attached as Exhibit 20.
Lindsey Brigman played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. which is strongly and directly echoed in Avatar. The estranged wife character. Lieutenant Coffee. along with a ragtag group of oilrig workers. the film Aliens. who confronts the hero in single combat (including wielding a knife). The Navy Seal special-forces operators who are sent down to the rig eventually try to kill the protagonists and detonate a nuclear weapon to destroy a bioluminescent alien life form in the ocean. is the prototype of the out-of-control military leader. The concept of peaceful aliens threatened by military conquest is revisited in Avatar. In my film The Abyss (1989). 24 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 .Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 24 of 45 Page ID #:2016 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP “grunts in space” approach. powerfully muscled and deadly. In The Abyss. They even have helmet cameras. believes that the aliens are peaceful. to create familiar touchstones for fans of my oeuvre. 74. The Sec-Ops troopers in Avatar are seasoned. has his final mano-a-mano fight to the death with Jake Sully. I see this as an intentional resonation with my earlier work. Navy. The look and feel of the military characters in Avatar has its roots in my own work. when Colonel Miles Quaritch. Michael Biehn’s character. who talked like war-weary Vietnam or WWII-era fighters. This is a clear example of military villains. played by Steven Lang. Morawski to suggest that I needed his influence to dream up sci-fi military characters. when I established the “grunts in space” subgenre myself years before I met him. in a perilous recovery operation at a downed nuclear sub. The Navy Seals in The Abyss are stopped by the crew-boss of the underwater oilrig and his estranged wife. in which the characters were common Marine corps “groundpounders” (grunts). had aged and worn camouflaged battle armor. and carried bullet-firing automatic weapons. just as the Marines in Aliens did.S. “grunts in space” carrying automatic weapons and wearing camouflaged battle gear. It is absurd for Mr. the corporation running the undersea oil-rig puts its employees at risk by cooperating with the U. hardened. 75.
it destroys the human world in a nuclear holocaust. which Dr. The alien intelligence in The Abyss uses water as an “effector. 77. and in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). the idea of projecting force or consciousness using an avatar. business and military combined are the human antagonists. In short. an avatar. Grace Augustine has just discovered. Again. the concepts of a world mind. Dyson’s brilliance and curiosity lead him to a breakthrough in neural-net computing which is the basis. called Skynet. In Terminator 2. of the computer nemesis of mankind. Miles Dyson dies attempting to save others. a biological neural-net is an already existing world-mind. greedy corporate interests backed up by military force. In Avatar. sacrificing himself for the good of mankind. as is Grace Augustine in Avatar. imitating the humans. The water tentacle forms faces. the story of a seemingly weaker group prevailing over a technologically superior force. 79.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 25 of 45 Page ID #:2017 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 76. 78. I created a sympathetic scientist character named Miles Dyson. and when installed by the military. the computer system was created by a defense contractor. controlled remotely from far away – in other words. and attempts to communicate with them using expressions. Morawski. It is an alien body. who dies defending the rights of the indigenous Na’vi. and dies in the process. a powerful neural-net computer becomes a sentient world-mind and takes over. and is the “sacrificial lamb” of the story. Dyson does his best to correct the situation. In the Terminator films. which I wrote in 1990 and which was released in July 1991.” As one character in the film describes it: “I think it’s their version of an ROV” meaning a Remotely Operated Vehicle. colonization of alien planets. intelligence within nature. and the good scientist were all established and recurrent themes for me in my writing and 28 29 25 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . before I met Mr. In The Terminator (1984). ultimately. When he finds out the truth.
destroy the airship.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 26 of 45 Page ID #:2018 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP movies prior to 1991. and he uses the airship to make them dig for more of the metal. The industrialist has an airship. Morawski in 1991 was entitled Wind Warriors. who are forced to withdraw. The archaeologist discovers that the metal is actually a remnant of an alien ship that crashed there. Warriors: Certain elements that I included in Avatar are also present in Wind 28 29 26 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . together with an archaeologist who speaks the language of the natives. the shaman calls his people to rise up against the mercenaries. The basic story of Wind Warriors was this: An aviatrix crashes into the Brazilian rainforest and mysteriously disappears. aided by a huge South American condor. who is seeking a mysterious but extremely valuable metal. They are attacked by mercenaries under the command of a greedy industrialist. 82. The protagonists fight the mercenaries. who wear gas masks. which the indigenous warriors believe to be a god. Although the film was never produced. but causes others to have terrible visions that drive them mad and die. but are not killed because they ingest the plant to prove their acquaintance with the gods. When the protagonists. Wind Warriors 80. The indigenous warriors ingest the root of a plant that makes them invincible. Morawski or his story. I wrote a treatment for this project in or about 1986-1988 along with Randy Frakes and Bill Wisher. The protagonists are captured by these warriors. Her daughter travels to the jungle in order to search for her mother and. a true and correct copy of which is attached as Exhibit 21. They were conceived by me without Mr. Another project that I worked on prior to ever meeting Mr. 81. hire a bush pilot to take them upriver in his converted World War I bomber plane.
The natives fighting the more powerful military with primitive weaponry (e. a digital special effects company that I had founded. Avatar. it was a zeppelin. or even • • 83.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 27 of 45 Page ID #:2019 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP • A main character who is a veteran. very similar to. the villain was a German industrialist with a private army.) I do not mean to suggest that Wind Warriors was the same as. But Wind Warriors (from the late 1980s) contained certain settings. Avatar 84. characters. I wrote the scriptment for Avatar in 1995. including 27 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . My goal was to have them appear on screen as realistic and believable – in a way that had never been done before. and themes that were of interest to me and that I revisited in Avatar. 85. (In Wind Warriors. it’s the Dragon Gunship. An air battle over the jungle. As stated previously. bows and arrows). (In Wind Warriors he was a World War I vet.) A jungle setting. The impetus for this was my desire to make a motion picture that would showcase the work of Digital Domain. Therefore. and allow it to push the envelope in terms of computer graphics. in Avatar. it was the Amazon rainforest.g. (In Wind Warriors. it was important that the story be full of imaginary creatures and characters.) Industrialist villains seeking a rare alien metal and willing to destroy the jungle and the native local cultures to get it. (In Wind Warriors. As detailed above. many of the core concepts and elements that I used in Avatar to accomplish that goal came from my prior work and ideas. They are completely different projects and tell far different stories.) • • • Mercenaries fighting against the natives and protagonists in the jungle.
I made notes to myself to “find Xenogenesis art. . Exhibit 24. violet light. For example.”). disclosure of which would cause me competitive harm by revealing my methodology and creative process for creating my films. Compare Exhibit 22 at LIGHTS000653 (“a scene of surreal elegance. and trees that are twisted. . blueskinned humanoids. at LIGHTS000770. Exhibit 25. The underbrush nearly consists of translucent stalks with leaves like moth-wings and trees that are twisted overgrown fungi shot through with networks of faint light.” and that “design of Cosmos Kindred could work.” Exhibit 24 at LIGHTS000775. The rolling ground is covered with a carpet of moss which glows with a dim violet light. Attached as Exhibit 22. 87. The slightly rolling ground is covered with a low moss which glows with a dim.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 28 of 45 Page ID #:2020 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP Xenogenesis. these exhibits show that I expressly referred back to Xenogenesis in creating Avatar. 86. . Morawski. . with Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000125 (“It is a scene of surreal elegance. The underbrush nearly consists of translucent stalks with leaves like moth wings. I also noted that I should use elements from the “end of Xenogenesis. These notes and outlines are my proprietary and confidential materials. the description of the Pandoran landscape in my notes for Avatar (1995) is almost identical to the description of the Luminous Planet in Xenogenesis (late 1970s). .. In writing Avatar. The redacted portions concern ideas that were not used in Avatar. These exhibits expressly cite some of the pre-1991 works – of mine and others – that I was inspired by or drew upon when creating Avatar. but may be used in Avatar sequels. .” i. and Exhibit 26 are true and correct copies of notes and outlines that I created in the process of writing the Avatar scriptment. other unproduced projects. In this regard. Exhibit 23. overgrown fungi shot through with networks of faint light. and my produced films – all of which I created long before I ever met Mr.e. 28 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . the new race of genetically-engineered.”). Id.
Consistent with this concept. In Avatar. I named the world mind “Eywa. See Exhibit 24 at LIGHTS000775 (“Perhaps the avatars have the ability to extend neural tendrils into other creatures and control them (the equivalent of riding a horse. They did not come from Mr. The main themes and storylines of Avatar permeated my prior work See Exhibit 24 at LIGHTS000770 (“can include elements of . Out of this I gave the Na’vi “hair” actually made up of living tendrils that can literally plug into the tendrils of the Tree of Souls. the Na’vi warriors can also connect with certain animals through these tendrils.” Exhibit 6 at LIGHTS000117-118. existing literature. 89. Similarly. the idea of nature as a single sentient being was one I was very familiar with in the 1970s. in the Terminator films. I had previously conceived of the concept of willow-like trees with motile tendrils in connection with Xenogenesis. and my personal experience. . Nature as a Sentient Being 90. I will further address this in paragraphs 90 through 133 below. I conceived of Eywa being “a vast biocomputer mind” that the Na’vi can physically link into. 91. see Exhibit 24 at LIGHTS000791 (“they draw on this vast biocomputer mind”). Morawski. Mother”). I also drew upon Mother in writing Avatar. and were inspired by historic events. Skynet.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 29 of 45 Page ID #:2021 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 88. which is aware of everything that is happening on Earth. like the inhabitants of one of the planets in Xenogenesis who have fused “their individual minds together into one super-entity using advanced cybernetic networks.” the goddess made up of all living things accessible through the Tree of Souls. . As shown in my notes. but with perfect fusion of 28 29 29 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . As stated previously. and was one that I explored in Xenogenesis. I conceived of the world mind taking the form of a vast computer network.
is the obvious basis for the Avatar story. soldiers… businessmen. some critics would say to the point of cliché. with all its conflict and bloodshed between the military aggressors from Europe and the indigenous peoples. using military force.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 30 of 45 Page ID #:2022 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP purpose. with their superior technology of muskets. It’s not meant to be subtle. 28 29 30 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . The native Americans are the Na’vi. colonial government)”). Europe equals Earth. in order to acquire their land and resources. See Exhibit 22 at LIGHTS000634 (“model it on Spanish or English colonial mission… priests (teachers and propagandists. id. Colonization 92. Avatar is about the human colonization of another planet. cannons and horses. The underlying history is well known to all of us. at LIGHTS000784 (“do the natives have the liability to ‘ride’ or neurologically control large animals… like the horses of the plains indians”). These are widely known historical facts. The European destruction of native peoples. and the native Americans with their more primitive technology and nature worshipping culture. And the references in the movie are deliberate and obvious. It is our inescapable shared history in this country. as has been pointed out in numerous reviews. Like Mother and Aliens. The concept of a different people indigenous to that other planet followed directly from that premise. scientists. Avatar has its roots in clash between colonial European forces. 94. 93. documented in thousands of books. Avatar very pointedly made reference to the colonial period in the Americas. Avatar is a science fiction retelling of the history of North and South America in the early colonial period.”)).
is a plea for understanding of what we have done. It was not Mr. to our own natural world and its indigenous peoples. By the end of the 19th century almost all of them had been exterminated. in the metaphor of a science fiction story set on an alien world. it logically followed that their weapons would be spears. 28 29 31 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . bows.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 31 of 45 Page ID #:2023 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP Corporate/Military Antagonists 95. at its heart. If the metaphor is colonialism and deforestation. As in most stories about colonialism. dictated by historical precedent. walkers) with simple weapons and guerrilla tactics”). Exhibit 22 at LIGHTS000638 (“[T]here is an existing indigenous population. I conceived of the security forces. the Sioux. Sec-Ops. and is reflected in my pre-1991 works such as Mother and Aliens. Avatar. id. the avatar rebels go up against massive aircraft (Hind D) and ground machines (tanks. technologically equivalent to American Indians… metaphor is European/American Indian relations… leading to genocide. there were 100 million native people in the Americas in 1492. flying gunships reminiscent of the helicopters used by U. Because I based the Na’vi on the native Americans. That is almost a given. then the bad guys are going to be big business. and arrows. 96. (“like Afghani rebels against the Russian war juggernaut. The military is an obvious and necessary component of this metaphor. such as in the annihilation of the Comanche by the US Army.S. Based on my work on Aliens. and all the other indigenous nations. Morawski who made me conscious of five centuries of history. forces in the Vietnam War and by the Russians in Afghanistan. It’s always the military that enforces manifest destiny. the colonizers in Avatar have more technologically advanced weaponry than the colonized. to say nothing of the Cherokee. 97. According to David Stannard in his book American Holocaust.”). and continue to do.
who plundered and subjugated Central and South America with the superior technology of muskets. in Mother. I conceived of the idea that the colonizers in Avatar (the RDA) obsessively pursue the mining of a valuable mineral because this is historically a significant motivation for colonization (gold. the antagonist is also an industrialist backed up by private military strength. Both Mother and Avatar address the theme of humans trying to tame a new frontier on a distant virgin world. the corporate characters. backed up by military strength. armor. oil). These ideas all preceded any contact that I had with Mr. The industrialist believes that metal will be the key to untold new technologies. with his own private army of ground troops and aircraft. diamonds. one of the motivations for the Triworld Development Corporation to colonize the alien planet is to mine it for its resources. 28 29 32 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . were meant to evoke the historical precedent of big business opening up the colonial frontier in the Americas. Morawski. cannons and horses. And of course. written in 1985-1988. As described above.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 32 of 45 Page ID #:2024 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 98. using military force. Morawski. 99. As described above. when I had first contact with Mr. is searching the Amazon rainforest for an extremely valuable new metal of unknown origin. In that story. the most vivid example of military force being used to open up a colonial frontier is the Conquistadors of Spain. a powerful German industrialist. In the Wind Warriors treatment. Valuable Minerals in an Alien Land 100. In the case of both Aliens and Avatar. the so-called military-industrial complex is the nemesis in four of my films prior to 1991. The Weyland Yutani Corporation in Aliens and the RDA in Avatar are nothing but future versions of the Dutch West India Company and the Hudson Bay Company.
the term “unobtainum” has been used jokingly to describe a material that is extremely rare or impossible. For the story to make sense.e. 103. I had the idea that there should be floating mountains. and since then wanted to incorporate that element into motion pictures.” I knew about the concept of a roomtemperature superconductor from the 1970s. 102. In Wind Warriors. Reflecting my interest in physics. so I conceived that the nearby planet would have a strong magnetic field that would cause huge outcroppings of unobtanium to rip loose from the ground and to float. the German industrialist predicts that the new metal will make possible space travel to the moon. the bad guys are also after a metal that is the key to space flight (it makes possible the anti-matter drives in their ISVs (InterStellar Vehicles)) and the production of energy back on Earth. As in Wind Warriors. the mineral had to be rare and valuable enough for a corporation from Earth to spend significant amounts of money and go through all the trouble of setting up operations on a very distant moon. in Avatar. the corporate bad guys are destroying the virgin rainforest of Pandora in order to get the new valuable metal. They will stop at nothing. It naturally followed from the fact that the mountains were filled with a room-temperature superconductor and suspended in extremely powerful electromagnetic fields (the “Flux Vortex”) that they would interfere with aircraft navigation systems. as a result of the repulsion of a superconductor from a magnetic field. I decided to make the mineral a room-temperature superconductor that is highly valuable as an energy source − a fictional metal that I called “unobtanium.. 104. unobtainable. including the use of high-tech military force against indigenous people armed only with bows and arrows. In Avatar. In science and engineering since the 1950s. i. in order to get what they want.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 33 of 45 Page ID #:2025 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 101. 28 29 33 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON .
The same is true in Avatar. the love of a mother for a child in Aliens. and Avatar is not an exception. to get the new. spirits. As can be seen in my notes for Avatar. destroying their home. The historical story of Pocahontas has been famous for four centuries.” One of the classic stories that has the second basic plotline is the story of Pocahontas: A white outsider falls in love with the chief’s daughter. Exhibit 23 at LIGHTS000672 (“PLOT B GUY WITH LOCAL GIRL -. Similarly.. Wind Warriors even has aerial battles over the jungle. to intimidate the natives and destroy their most sacred site. who becomes his guide to the tribe and to their special bond with nature. alive with invisible dynamic forces. 34 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 .GOING NATIVE (POCOHANTAS)”). the villains in Wind Warriors will stop at nothing. in which the military antagonists use an enormous aircraft called The Dragon to intimidate the Na’vi people and attack them. since they appear in a work I wrote years earlier.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 34 of 45 Page ID #:2026 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 105. Morawski’s purported story to create these concepts. I did not require access to Mr. Primal people in touch with forces we no longer see and feel. including using machine guns and explosives against natives armed only with bows and blow guns. I initially considered two possible basic plotlines for the love story: (A) the male protagonist could fall in love with a fellow human avatar operator. All of my movies are love stories.g. 107. and the use of an enormous airship. See. or the love of an estranged husband and wife in The Abyss – they are all love stories. a Zeppelin. e.”). whether it’s the star-crossed lovers of Titanic. Love Story 106. Exhibit 22 at LIGHTS000639 (“reference Pocahontas for the feeling of magical naturalism. or (B) he could fall in love with a local girl and “go native. the animistic forest. invaluable metal.
who was the male protagonist in my first film. See paragraphs 17 and 18 above. which I had written in or about 1973-74. If the good guys are the native people with their innate respect for nature. The Terminator (1984). and that of the care-takers – than to have the two lovers of this love-story be on either side of the conflict. 111. for 500 years of storytelling since those star-crossed lovers defied their two warring houses. had to represent the military. Further. It’s a proven dramatic technique from Romeo and Juliet on down. Corporal Hicks (played by Michael Biehn) was an active Colonial Marine.g. I had previously written stories about a military veteran as a hero in the 1980s (e. and the bad guys are military. only a few years after my youngest brother John David Cameron fought in Desert Storm as a 35 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . Rambo II and Wind Warriors). 110. Protagonist as a Military Man 109. This concept resonated fully with me in the early nineties. I decided that there was no better way to understand this deep cultural divide between the two world-views – that of the takers. then that is the central axis of conflict. That choice led inevitably to the idea that he would be a paraplegic ex-soldier.. Michael Biehn also played the future soldier Kyle Reese. In Avatar. If Neytiri were to be my Pocahontas. or at least a very obvious choice. my male protagonist in Aliens. The seeds of the idea of a paraplegic who fulfills his spiritual quest and transcends his crippled body came from Chrysalis. It was a given. Jake Sully. then Jake would have to be a member of the human military forces.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 35 of 45 Page ID #:2027 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 108. because it would add great poignancy to his experience of living in the avatar body. having a Romeo and Juliet story meant that our human character. able to run on long powerful legs and be free. This was not new territory for me.
112. Thankfully he returned in one piece.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 36 of 45 Page ID #:2028 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP U. I was inspired by Lawrence of Arabia. I had not captured the spirit of Marines. Marine. I wanted Avatar to have a happy ending. left an indelible impression. as he encounters and immerses into a foreign culture and then ultimately joins that group to fight other outsiders. When controlling an avatar. he switches allegiance and ultimately joins forces with the Na’vi to defeat his former comrades. which is why the Na’vi prevail in the end. in which he saw active combat (his unit re-took the airport in Kuwait City). I wanted to tell the story of a Marine. Jake starts out as aligned with Sec-Ops. improvise and overcome. one of my favorite films. The values of the Marine Corps. whether a virtual one such as in the cyberspace world of Second Life. John David Cameron was a technical advisor to me on Avatar. one is unconscious and sensory input from the outside world is cut off. The Mission. especially their motto of “adapt. from its own subconscious. is not asleep or “dreaming. but over the course of the film.” While I had used Marines in Aliens. as he falls in love with Neytiri. as well as Dances With Wolves.” In a dream. but my anxiety over his wellbeing during the US liberation of Kuwait. or a real living avatar body. which follow an outsider. In Avatar. In writing Avatar. Jake operates an avatar. and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter series. usually one with a military background. and in fact was responsible for Sam Worthington’s military training in preparation for the role of Jake. in the film Avatar. as in the movie 36 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . The mind is subject only to internal inputs. greatly impressed me. The idea of a former military man “going native” and switching sides was not a new one. and I wanted to do it better. as I had learned them from my younger brother.S. Telepresence or Control of Remote Bodies 113. It must be stressed that the operator of the remotely controlled avatar body.
I expanded my experience with “telepresence. I had explored the concept of a virtual body in Chrysalis in the early 1970s: the wheelchair-bound man is able to use his legs again through a virtual journey in his mind. It takes 37 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . I further developed this concept in Mother. the mind is fully conscious. in which humans control genetically engineered aliens using psychic abilities coupled with advanced technology. But since the story involved contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence. as in Avatar. As previously described. I wrote The Abyss to include ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles). the human controllers are scientists employed by a corporation that seeks to mine the planet. I explored the concept of a physical link between mind and machine. Robert Ballard to explore the Titanic wreck. controlled and shaped by advanced alien technology. with real consequences and independently verifiable interactions between the avatar and other people. not asleep or dreaming. They are not dreaming. In Avatar. In Xenogenesis in the late 1970s. real-world experience. which the aliens controlled from afar. The water tentacle enters the human base and makes contact with them. Fascinated by the robotic vehicle used by Dr. sounds and physical sensations. and rely on sensory input received from the body in the form of images. 116. places and things in the real world. In the early 1980s. 115. In Mother. I made the cognitive leap to ask the question: what would an advanced alien ROV look like? And so the story also included the aliens’ version of an ROV.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 37 of 45 Page ID #:2029 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP Avatar. See paragraphs 60-66 above. It is a real-time. The pseudopod was a large tentacle composed of seawater.” or the control of remote “bodies” when writing and making The Abyss. and is receiving sensory input from an outside source. 114. observing them and communicating by taking on the facial aspect of the two main characters. the operators of avatar bodies control them remotely using their minds. called the “pseudopod” in the script.
As an ROV pilot with many hours of experience controlling underwater vehicles remotely.” In a state of deeply focused telepresence. 118. After hours of driving a remotely controlled vehicle. in order to bridge the cultural gap and build trust. such as after many hours of continuous operation of a remotely operated vehicle. 119. much as the pseudopod “water tentacle” in The Abyss explores inside the humans’ deep sea station. to it. and the movie Avatar.500’ down in the North Atlantic. The vehicle seems to become the operator’s body. 117. I am well aware of what I call the “telepresence experience” or the “avatar experience. Mike Cameron (a leading deep sea engineer). and had direct personal experience with. The operator even gets a strong illusion of “physical sensation” or haptic feedback. We humans are the alien invaders. trying to communicate and build trust with the natives of the planet through a remotely operated body that has taken on their physical aspect. even though the sensory feedback is actually only visual. I spent many hours piloting our two small bots 38 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . is an alien life form. Avatar is the same story inverted. 12. the idea of remotely operating an avatar body. respectively) I was well informed of. After my experience of making the movie The Abyss. Working with my brother. I have spoken of this many times in interviews over the years. and the Benthos Super Sea Rover (seen in the movie as the robotic characters Little Geek and Big Geek. in conjunction with The Abyss. my numerous deep ocean expedition projects. It’s the same concept that was used in The Abyss.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 38 of 45 Page ID #:2030 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP on the appearance of what. the operator’s consciousness seems to inhabit the vehicle itself. Called Spiderbots. which included actually piloting ROVs such as the Benthos Mini-Rover Mark II. I developed my own advanced ROV for exploring the interior of the Titanic shipwreck. the operator “feels” the vehicle as if it were one’s own body. they were able to explore extensively inside the shipwreck.
in the late 1980s. It was at this time that terms like “the Net” and “cyberspace” were coined. since Jake Sully is not operating a virtual body. and still am by the idea of avatars. as pioneered by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. The term “avatar” came into common use. The Abyss was written in 1987 (and produced in 1988). and even live within computer generated virtual worlds. In this sub-genre of science fiction. I was fascinated at that time. but a living. I conceived of this aspect of Pandora because humans cannot breathe in outer space or on other planets. The skin of Hindu deities is blue. He has taken flesh to walk the world. I was an avid reader of both these writers. in the context of virtual computer generated worlds. Again. and was very aware of the cyber-punk sub-genre right from its inception. On Pandora. 120.” referring to deities in the Hindu religion descending to Earth and taking living flesh. I was aware of all of these ideas long before I met Mr. in all forms. with their seminal novels “Neuromancer” and “Islands in the Net” respectively. as in the cyberpunk books. In Xenogenesis. 121. And the word avatar itself is of course highly relevant. as well as the use of the term “avatar” to describe one’s synthetic persona in the virtual world. as a result of the “cyberpunk” movement in literary science fiction in the early 1980s. no humans can breathe the air due to high concentrations of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. Hostile Planet Where Humans Can’t Breathe 122. interact. These ideas are thousands of years old. humans are able to travel. Avatar is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “descended one. Morawski. breathing biological body. 39 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 .Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 39 of 45 Page ID #:2031 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP inside the Titanic wreck. This demonstrates the strength of my association between the ROV piloting experience and the avatar concept in principle. I named the bot I flew the most “Jake” and it was Na’vi blue.
Morawski to come up with the idea that humans cannot breathe the air on the alien planet or the idea of an exopack. Jake in his human form cannot breathe the Pandoran air even when he is linked to his avatar. the male protagonist.” Exhibit 6 at LIGHTS000119. Similarly. Female Scientist 125. 123. The blue-skinned humanoids. either as socially hopeless nerds or as evil masterminds. such as Aliens of the Deep. See Exhibit 18 at LIGHTS003198. Jake in his avatar form can breathe the air without an exopack. cannot breathe the air and dies. This prompts the corporation to genetically engineer aliens so they can be used as mine workers. Hollywood believes that they represent the average person’s point of view by doing this. and my documentary work. is a character who emerged from my desire to show scientists in a favorable light. 3205. That is why I came up with the exopack. Because the avatars are genetically engineered Na’vi-human hybrid bodies. I believe that Hollywood usually treats scientists in a stereotypical fashion. 124. a lightweight atmosphere filtration system. I believe we need to do better. played by Sigourney Weaver in Avatar. I did not need Mr. Exhibit 7 at LIGHTS000148. and Terminator 2. I have a deep respect for 40 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . Grace Augustine. show scientists in a positive light as role models. the humans had to be able to exist there. Avatar. which the humans wear when outside. are able to breathe the air on this new planet. in Mother.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 40 of 45 Page ID #:2032 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP after landing on the new home planet. however. humans cannot survive when exposed to the planet’s atmosphere and must wear environment suits. I used the same concept in Xenogenesis more than a decade earlier. Exhibit 6 at LIGHTS000120-12. there I called the filtration system worn by the male protagonist an “outpack. In order to colonize Pandora. who is human.
126. 127. All of my films feature strong women. Not coincidentally. Dyson is working on a neural-net computer and dies in an attempt to save the world. and for the passionately curious people who become scientists. In Terminator 2. 128. Grace Augustine in Avatar is also researching a neural-net computer. In Mother. in this case the vast biological network which is the brain of Eywa. and in both. the protagonists collect samples of flora when visiting each alien planet for testing. In a scene in The Abyss that is a direct precursor of the scene in Avatar in which Grace Augustine attempts to convince the skeptics about the existence of the alien intelligence Eywa. dies because of her effort to do good. a female protagonist is a scientist who operates a remotely controlled alien/human hybrid creature as part of the science research conducted by a big mining company on an alien world hostile to human life. In Xenogenesis. too. The Lindsey Brigman character in The Abyss is a brilliant engineer who designed the deepwater drilling station in which the story takes place. I created a sympathetic scientist character named Miles Dyson. The two scenes are similar in tone and message. and created a character to represent that. My deep respect and love of science has been an intrinsic part of my personal nature since early childhood. Her intelligence and courage make possible the team’s survival. the goddess-like being who runs the Pandoran ecosystem. She is the equivalent of Grace Augustine in Avatar. Many of my film projects have characters who are scientists or are deeply interested in the sciences.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 41 of 45 Page ID #:2033 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP the sciences. which I wrote in 1980-81. Grace Augustine. an extremely 28 29 41 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON . who operates a remotely controlled alien/human hybrid creature as part of the Avatar Program run by a big mining company on an alien world hostile to human life. Lindsey is infused with excitement and wonder as she describes the alien beings she has discovered living in the deep.
131. who is described as an “archeologist. open minded. Morawski. and the strong intelligent woman. to experience a vision created by plants which reveal themselves to be of alien. Ian MacTerry. and indeed almost dies. MacTerry risks death. in the mid-1980s. He believes that the visions induced by the drug contain real information that will lead him to the object of his quest. My real-life inspirations for Grace’s character included researchers like ethnobotanist Wade Davis.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 42 of 45 Page ID #:2034 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP intelligent. 132. he functions in the story more as an ethnobotanist. intelligent origin. all precede my first contact with Mr. Serpent and the Rainbow. who worked with Yaqui shaman Don Juan to understand the spiritual properties of consciousness-altering plants. In Wind Warriors. and even more specifically a female scientist who runs a science research program created by a mining company on an alien planet and who operates a genetically engineered alien via a mental and technological link. I read his early book. In college I took a class in Cultural Anthropology and became fascinated with indigenous cultures. as part of my general interest in anthropology and indigenous cultures. capable. The Grace Augustine character combines these two themes that form a pattern in my work: the good scientist. also a positive role model. meant as a role model. Just as Grace Augustine ultimately dies in the process of experiencing a vision. specifically a scientist studying alien plants in a rainforest setting. curious and passionate woman takes a leadership position in understanding and accepting an alien intelligence. During college I also read the best-selling books of Carlos Castenada. 129. in which she contacts the alien mind of a plant-based being called Eywa. The themes of scientists in general. studying an indigenous tribe and a (fictional) psychotropic drug they are using called yupumo. there is a scientist character named Dr. as 28 29 42 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON .” However. 130.
there is a direct through-line between my interests. Morawski. activities. Lightstorm signed an agreement with Fox assigning Fox rights in Avatar. including the scriptment I had written in 1995.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 43 of 45 Page ID #:2035 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP demonstrated by my prior works. I sent copies of my scriptment for Avatar to Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (“Fox”). Development of Avatar 134. I decided to re-explore whether the technology had sufficiently developed to make Avatar. In December 2005. I met with others at Lightstorm and members of Digital Domain to brainstorm about the technology needed to make Avatar. and creative output in the 1970s and 1980s.” However. 136. written in 1995. known also as “Project 880. I elected not to go forward with the project at that time because I believed that the technology needed to make Avatar was not sufficiently developed. Beginning in or about late 2005. In 1996. To the best of my knowledge. In or about January 2006. right through to the resultant concepts that appear in the treatment for Avatar. As shown above.” Exhibit 27 is a true and correct copy of that letter. 135. From about 1995 to 1997. I was forwarded a letter that appeared to be from Mr. and continuing through approximately April 2006. And these prior works can be traced to influences which are in the public domain and widely recognizable. and Lightstorm initiated negotiations with Fox for initial funding for design and technology development in order to make Avatar. Morawski in order to form these concepts. when I received this letter I had not spoken with Mr. Morawski since 1991. in which he apologized for interrupting my “writing session” and asked for a meeting with me before I “start[ed] shooting [my] upcoming feature. I wrote the first draft of the script for Avatar. In 2005. I required and received no input whatsoever from Mr. 43 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . 133.
the very conceptual fabric of Avatar. In writing Avatar. Medicine Man. and the John Carter series by Burroughs. The Emerald Forest. Summary 138. Also included are the widely known historical stories of Pocahontas. story concepts. Rider Haggard. I have described Avatar in numerous interviews as my most personal film. Sacajawea. themes. and activities beginning in my elementary school days and stretching forward through high school. Fox officially green-lit the production of the movie in January 2007. and The Mission to animated films such as The Jungle Book and FernGully. I had many other reference points and sources of inspiration. from serious films about Europeans or Americans immersing in indigenous cultures such as Lawrence of Arabia. In this declaration I have demonstrated that the ideas.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 44 of 45 Page ID #:2036 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 137. based on a systematically developed pattern of artwork. The Man Who Would Be King. interests. college. They included the Tarzan jungle stories and science fiction novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs and the adventure stories of Rudyard Kipling and H. and my earliest career as a writer and filmmaker. is innate to me. my reference points were diverse. In addition to those mentioned previously. 139. It would be impossible to name them all. Principal photography began in April 2007. // // // // 44 DECLARATION OF JAMES CAMERON 28 29 . By this I mean that the themes and ideas of the film are the most personal to me of any film I’ve done. Examples of such stories would be “The Man Who Would Be King” by Kipling. and the native girl La Malinche (who guided and translated for Hernan Cortes in his conquest of New Spain).
13 14 15 16 James Qwrieron 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Mitchell Silberbcrg & K n u p p LLP 28 45 DECLARATION O F J A M E S C A M E R O N . 2012. and concepts that I created for Avatar I had any contact with Mr. that 8 9 10 I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the foregoing is true and correct. See Exhibit 2. In any event. See Exhibit 1. M o r a w s k i reflect the Avatar story in any way whatsoever. themes. Morawski apparently sent Lightstorm in story. in 1991. long preceded the time. California. the ideas. at ^ cy . Nor do 2 | D e c e m b e r 1991 is not in any remote way the Avatar 3 4 5 6 7 A n n e D a m a t o ' s pitch notes of her meeting with Mr.Case 2:11-cv-10294-MMM-JCG Document 117 Filed 11/13/12 Page 45 of 45 Page ID #:2037 1 140. Morawski. T h e written pitch which Mr. images. 11 12 Executed O c t o b e r ^ / .
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