Wednesday, 12 January 2011

How Avatar was made

The blockbuster and all-time favourite Avatar was written and directed by James Cameron in 2009. The film stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Long. This film had a phenomenal budget of $237,000,000 and took 4 years to film Avatar and 15 to make it to the screen.  On YouTube I found a clip about how the box office favourite film Avatar was made.

James Cameron says he wrote the film in 1995 however he was told they didn’t have the technology that was needed to make the film. In 2005, just 10 years later, there was enough technology to make the film. The film needed 40,000 feet of floor area to bring everything to life. The crew built 10,000 feet of forestry for the film.

This film was a huge hit at the box office. This may be because of the amazing special effects or because of the unique storyline. The storyline is about Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington), who’s brother was killed in a robbery. He is a paraplegic marine who decides to take his place as an Avatar in Pandora.
An avatar is a remote controlled body which is controlled by a human. Therefore the humans thoughts and personality was transferred to the Avatar.

In the Avatar film they decided to make the film a bit different. This is because they didn’t have any opening credits and the title of the film doesn’t appear til the end of the film. This may because the story is only just beginning.

In the clip they use green screens. Actors, props and items are placed in front of green screens. Green screens allow the actors to be placed onto any background saving money on location and creating a more realistic image.

To make Pandora they used various locations, large areas of China was used. China was the right location for them as it had large, limestone formations. Also the flowers and trees in the film were designed like exotic flowers however they were adapted to make them seem surreal. This setting they have made is unlike any other, it has bright colours like a jungle and plants that resemble a corral reef.

The monsters in the film were designed like animals we humans avoid in real life. For example they have a lions body, scorpions tail and eagles wings. However you shouldn’t just fear the animals in the film, there are helicopters and heavy machinery. Each character went through extensive training for this film. A few examples of the training are archery, speech of Na di, weapon training and horse riding, and one person even learnt how to fly a helicopter. James Cameron even took the cast to Hawaii. This was because he wanted the cast to know how to react and know how it feels absorb their surroundings.

 Performance capture – this is where the actors wear an outfit with several markers on. The person then has dozens of cameras film them whilst they act. The markers help the computer make a “real time moving skeleton” once they have a moving skeleton they can control a computer generated character, like an avatar.

By watching these clips I can see that the time and effort that was put into the film was well worth it as the film is amazing. The film has characters that people can relate to and the storyline is unique and keeps people hooked. The budget was very high however the film made a lot of money. I think James Cameron did a fantastic job making the film and would highly recommend it to everyone.

Trailer of the film…

The YouTube clips

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