Project 880: Creating Avatar

Starring in Avatar 2: Mr. Bean on Pandora

In 1994, James Cameron wrote a little script which he planned on releasing the summer of 1999 involving CGI actors playing out some of the main roles. Nothing like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” or “Space Jam”, this would be closer to what the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park were like but with human traits and emotions. He wanted to do it after he finished another little movie called “Titanic”. So he did some film tests and realized that the technology to produce the film he envisioned hadn’t caught up yet. One of the little known film tests involved a newly discovered Ben Stiller (not really):

This is Avatar.

A movie that captured the imagination of fans around the world usually reserved for Trekkies, Star Warriors (my name), and Lords of the Ringers. Even Conan got into the act:

This is but an inkling of the type of effect this movie had over people…and one more…at the end. (Cliffhanger!)

Avatar Stats:

  • Cost nearly half a billion (yes, billion) dollars to make, and grossed just over $2.7 billion in worldwide revenue.
  • It became the highest grossing movie of all-time ahead of Cameron’s other movie, Titanic.
  • During filming in 2005, Avatar was coded Project 880.
  • Cameron wanted to cast relative unknowns in the lead roles so moviegoers could focus on the story.
  • The Na’vi language has over 1000 words.
  • James Cameron created his own 3D cameras (called “Fusion Camera System”) to make the shots work.
  • The new technology allowed to capture actor’s facial movements and transpose it onto CGI characters.
  • Speilberg called the new technology as “digital makeup” that is over top of the actors as opposed to CGI.
  • Filmed in LA and New Zealand.
  • Roger Ebert reviewed Avatar as “extraodrinary” and that ” [he] feltsort of the same as when I saw Star Wars in 1977.”
  • Nominated for 9 Academy Awards including Best Movie and Best Director (but lost both to then ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow for the excellent Iraq war drama, Hurt Locker).
  • Won Oscars for Cinematography, Art Direction and Visual Effects.
  • Won countless other awards such as Golden Globes for Best Movie -Drama and Best Director.
  • Cameron confirmed that he will be making two sequels starring all of the regular stars but would be “three years away” before Avatar 2 comes out.

When I first watched this flick when it first came out, I ponied up the extra dough for the 3D experience and wasn’t disappointed. I was enthralled by the blue spectacle. Now, I’ll be able to watch it again 3D free and in a basic TV set-up so I’ll be able to figure out once and for all how strong the story is.

Oh yeah, and before I go, here’s the last vid I wanted to show you. I present to you the L.A.R.P.

And check out the movie trailer over at the Ultimate Rankatron (or on the right hand Vodpod thingie).


One thought on “Project 880: Creating Avatar

  1. Pingback: The Ultimate Rankatron! « The RANK-A-TRON

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