I mean, you have to be able - you have to have made the commitment within yourself to do whatever it takes to get the job done and to try to inspire other people to do it, because obviously the first rule is you can't do it by yourself.
Building upon the world we created with 'Avatar' has been a rare and incredibly rewarding experience. In writing the new films, I've come to realize that 'Avatar's world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen.
It'll be all of our efforts together. It won't won't ever be exactly the way I imagined it. And that is, I think, an important lesson as well, is that in any group enterprise it's going to be the sum total of the group.
The writer must be able to figure out how to limit the effects and still tell the story. Start with one matte shot of the castle, for instance, then go inside and let the rest of the scene play out on two sets. When you have it on the page and people read it, it makes sense to them. On the other hand, if you write the same scene to go inside the castle, out on the parapet walls, back inside through fourteen rooms and end out on the roof, you have just made that same scene four times more expensive, probably without adding a thing dramatically.
But failure has to be an option in art and in exploration - because it's a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks.
It's important for me to have hope because that's my job as a parent, to have hope, for my kids, that we're not going to leave them in a world that's in shambles, that's a chaotic place, that's a dangerous place.
I don't use film cameras. I don't do visual effects the same way. We don't use miniature models; it's all CG now, creating worlds in CG. It's a completely different toolset. But the rules of storytelling are the same.
I try to live with honor, even if it costs me millions of dollars and takes a long time. It's very unusual in Hollywood. Few people are trustworthy - a handshake means nothing to them. They feel they're required to keep an agreement with you only if you're successful or they need you.