Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Revolution - Avatar

Although this movie holds a lot of debate of being too cliché, it is a revolution and a wake up call at the same time. After viewing the making of "Avatar," I truly began to appreciate what went into this film. James Cameron wrote Avatar in the 90s, wanting to start it immediately after Titanic, but technology was no where near where it was today. He threw it in a drawer and picked it up in 2005. He began sculpting a prototype in 2006, it was rough but at the same time, he was still playing with the latest technology in existence.
It was a huge trial and error with many arguments about how Cameron wouldn't earn any money back after dedicating his entire life on this film. He felt that he really needed to tell the story in animation because they were new creatures, wanting to bring that reality to the audience, and wanted it perfect to change how movies would be created in the future.
Most of the movie was shot in a warehouse with hundreds of cameras on the ceiling to track the actors' moves. That video feed would be sent into a computer where the world of Pandora would be filled in. The feed from the computer would then be sent to a monitor behaving as a camera to integrate all the camera movements. Even though Cameron had the monitor pointing at the actors, he would see Jake Sully or Ne'tyri and not Sam Worthington or Zoe Saldana - I apologize if I've misspelled their names.
Cameron was so critical about the reality of these creatures that the eye was the hardest part to master in order to give the Na'vi that human-like quality.The eye's movement is so key to making them human-like based on its subtle movements.
In the end, "Avatar" was a sensational hit. While there may be debates about how good a movie it is, people need to "see you" as the Na'Vi would say to fully appreciate Cameron's 21st century masterpiece.

1 comment:

arturo said...

Totally agree. It is Pocahontas told for the thousand thousand time, but we had never seen it told this way. Cameron has a real knack to be there at the right time, which of course mean, like you mentioned, being very persistent and patient. Reminds me of Ansel Adams Yosemite photographs, some people think that he just went there and took pictures. Well, he did, except those pictures took years, first he lived there to learn about the place, and how the light played with the mountains, the forests, the surface of things. Standing in some locations from sunrise to sundown different times of the year, summer, fall, winter, spring and then he clicked the shutter. That is what we see...