When James Cameron starts shooting the next two films in the "Avatar" trilogy, he promises to bring a better sense of what it's like to truly live in harmony with nature.

The 56-year-old director told reporters at a sustainability conference in Brazil last week that before the cameras roll, his cast will spend time in the rain forest to learn about "the natives and what real life in the jungle is like."
Cameron added: " 'Avatar' is a film about the rain forest and its indigenous people. Before I start to shoot the two films, I want to bring my actors here, so I can better tell this story."
Since late 2009, the filmmaker's focus has been on the proposed site of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, a controversial project that would destroy nearly 600 acres of rain forest and displace tens of thousands of people when the river basin is flooded.

Cameron has been involved in efforts to derail approval of the dam and raise awareness back home with the help of organizations like Amazon Watch. He produced a short documentary called "A Message from Pandora" that focused on the Belo Monte project and appeared on the "Avatar" DVD set.

Last week, he traveled with former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to Belo Monte to introduce him to some of the indigenous peoples Cameron met last year. According to reports, Cameron met with five members of the Amazonian Caiapo tribe, including Chief Raoni, who named the director "Krapremp-ti," meaning "man who is friend of the jungle."

"If I had met the Caiapos before making Avatar, I would certainly have made a better film," he told reporters. 
The "Avatar" sequels are slated to be released in December 2014 and 2015.  

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

James Cameron plans 'Avatar' field trip to rain forest
Director intends to fly cast of next two films down to Brazil to experience the inspiration behind the alien world of Pandora.