I’ve just gotten a little more excited about James ‘I’m the King of the World’ Cameron’s comeback extravaganza, Avatar, which will be released in cinemas on Earth this December.
The film is said to be taking the art of film-making to new heights with the use of a whole bunch of really complicated-sounding, state-of-the-art special effects.
It simple terms, Cameron is meshing live-action with digital characters, kinda like the way Gollum was used in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but on a bigger and better scale.
Anyway, the story takes place in the far-off future, on a far-off planet called Pandora, where a human marine (played by ‘The Next Big Thing’ Aussie Sam Worthington) finds himself emboiled in an alien war – or something like that.
To be honest, the film’s plot, and who stars in it, has taken a back seat to the use of this whiz-bang technology that is being used to create the extraterrestrial landscape and all the native flora and fauna that goes in it.
I’ve never heard of the guy, but Josh Quittner’s description of what he saw during an exclusive glimpse of the film for Time Magazine certainly adds weight to what Cameron is promising – a movie unlike any other.
Quittner writes, “Cameron wrote the treatment for it in 1995 as a way to push his digital-production company to its limits. He worked for years to build the tools he needed to realize his vision.
“The movie pioneers two unrelated technologies – e-motion capture, which uses images from tiny cameras rigged to actors’ heads to replicate their expressions, and digital 3-D.
“Avatar is filmed in the old “Spruce Goose” hangar, the 16,000-sq.-ft. space where Howard Hughes built his wooden airplane. The actors work in an empty studio; Pandora’s lush jungle-aquatic environment is computer-generated in New Zealand by Jackson’s special-effects company, Weta Digital, and added later.
“I couldn’t tell what was real and what was animated – even knowing that the 9-foot-tall blue, dappled dude couldn’t possibly be real. The scenes were so startling and absorbing that the following morning, I had the peculiar sensation of wanting to return there, as if Pandora were real.
“Cameron wasn’t surprised. One theory, he says, is that 3-D viewing ‘is so close to a real experience that it actually triggers memory creation in a way that 2-D viewing doesn’t’. His own theory is that stereoscopic viewing uses more neurons. That’s possible. After watching all that 3-D, I was a bit wiped out. I was also totally entertained.”
I can’t wait to visit … As long as we don’t have to wear those ridiculous red and blue glasses.