Written and directed by winner James CameronAvatar is starring Sam WorthingtonZoe SaldanaStephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver. The film was produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau. Nominated for nine Academy Awardsincluding Best Picture and Best Director, the film won three Oscarsa Best Cinematography, Production Design and Visual Effects.
Eight curiosities about James Cameron’s Avatar
The Na’Vi language was developed especially for the film, with its own vocabulary, structure, and grammar.
For create the native language of the Na’vi community, Cameron brought in noted linguist Paul Frommer, who designed a complete system. Early in the process, the filmmaker gave Frommer the kinds of sounds I imagined for the Na’vi. From there, Frommer designed a linguistic palette. Then they worked on the structural properties of languagepronunciation rules and how words were built.
The result? ORa language with more than a thousand words, and a specific structure and grammar that the actors learned with talent and speed. The cast also worked closely with dialect coach Carla Meyer to refine the accent of the invented language.
The music of the film is a creation of the same composer of Alien and Titanic
The talent behind the Avatar soundtrack is the composer James Hornerthe historic collaborator who created two of the most iconic soundtracks in film history: Alien and Titanic, both films directed by Cameron.
The cast took a training trip to Hawaii before they started filming.
In the pre-production stage of the film, Cameron took the team to Hawaii, a destination geographically similar to the environment he had envisioned for Pandora, with the aim of training them in their interaction with space. “We had to live without sophisticated technology, without too many items or comforts. I was practically naked for three days, digging and climbing, and muddy from head to toe.. I was missing essential items, I used to say ‘I can’t handle this’, and Jim would say ‘come on Neytiri, hold on!’”remember the actress Zoe Saldanawho plays Neytiri in the film.
Neytiri joins an iconic list of female characters with Cameron’s stamp
Strong female characters are present in much of Cameron’s films, and Avatar is no exception. To the just like Ellen Ripley in Alien, Sarah Connor in Terminator and Terminator 2, and Rose in TitanicNeytiri combines strength, elegance, athletic poise, vulnerability and emotional clarityl. The director maintains that Saldaña managed to capture all the aspects of the character that he imaginedespecially his combination of finesse and intensity, as well as incredible physical prowess.
Pandora was conceived as a combination of exoticism and familiarity
When creating Pandora, Cameron wanted it to be a recognizable place, but without losing its exoticism and unique characteristics.. “We wanted to prevent creatures and flora from being like those on Earth, from being different enough to remind us that we were in another worldbut, at the same time, with a certain resemblance that made them accessible. Trees over 1,000 feet tall and mountains that seem to float are some of the benchmarks that amaze because of their incredible imagination and scope, but whose designs arise from structures that are familiar to all of us”explains the filmmaker.
Cameron had to wait 10 years to create his characters
James Cameron refused to use makeup to create the inhabitants of Pandora due to the limitations imposed by this technique. The height and body size of the characters cannot be modified, nor can facial features such as distance or the size of the eyes.
In 1995 he began designing his aliens using C technology.G, but in order to achieve the splendor and vividness that the director had intended for his characters, he had to wait for technology to advance, since the project was too ambitious for the resources of the time. Only in 2005 was he able to reactivate the creation of the Na’vi and together with his team they developed a new “image-based facial performance capture” system. using a camera that was hooked to the head to be able to accurately film even the smallest gestures of the actors, thus achieving the desired photorealism of Cameron.
Pandora’s fauna is rich in its diversity
Pandora’s animal diversity includes a deer-like hexapod, the ferocious Hammerhead Titanothere.a rhinoceros-like herbivore with a bad attitude and a head that looks like a club, and the Leonopteryx, the predator king of the skiesa flying animal with scarlet red, yellow, and black stripes, and wings that spread out 80 feet. A kind of Pandora that is smaller and kinder is the Woodsprite.resembling a jellyfish, shakes its silky locks to gracefully move through the air into the night.
Characters and environments brought to life in Peter Jackson’s visual effects studio
To do the computer generation of Avatar characters and environments, Cameron and his team turned to WETA Digital, New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson’s prestigious and award-winning visual effects studio. From WETA they assured him that their team of world-class animators would take on the mission of transmitting 100 percent of the actors’ performances to their avatar or Na’vi characters. This involved ensure highly accurate data recording at the time the scene was shotand also required over a year of work from the animation team to create the camera rigs for the face that would allow the CG characters emulate the performance of the actors accurately, as if it were a mirror.