February 3, 2023

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"Avatar: The Way of Water": James Cameron's best return

“Avatar: The Way of Water”: James Cameron’s best return

The Canadian director took 12 years to produce and film Avatar: The Way of the Water, the sequel to one of cinema’s most ambitious franchises. And as for AvatarJames Cameron’s team had to create not only the story and visual universe, but also the necessary technology.

Avatar: The Way of the Water It was a titanic job. In February 2010, James Cameron and producer John Landau decided to hold a mini technical summit with the “Avatar” teams to review the technical elements of the film and identify strengths and weaknesses. “I don’t think so way of water We would have seen the light if we had not engaged in this exercise”, the filmmaker pointed out, and after the meeting was over, he started thinking about the rest.

Reference pages

When James Cameron goes to work, he fills out notebooks. In total, the director and producer fill 1500 pages. It was at this point that he realized it would take more than two films to tell the story of Pandora, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). In way of waterThe couple now have children, Neteyam (James Flatters), Lo’ak (Britton Dalton), Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss) and Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), an adopted teenager.

But humans are coming back. Except for unobtainium mining, the Earth is on the brink of becoming uninhabitable, so they want to colonize Pandora to settle there. The Sallis and Omaticaya tribesmen flee to the mountains to join the water-dwelling clan Medkaina, whose leaders Ronel (Kate Winslet) and Donovari (Cliff Curtis) have no choice but to help them. But that doesn’t stop Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Long) from chasing them down.

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The time spent refining this story and subsequent installments has allowed the team way of water It was the first time in the history of cinema to develop the necessary technical equipment for this filming, in other words, to find a way to film underwater events. “The key is to shoot really underwater, but not just on the surface so that the actors swim properly, get out of the water properly, dive properly. It feels real because the movements are real and the emotions are real,” said the filmmaker.

An exceptional shoot

Stephen Lang returns as the villain – thanks to DNA and memory-altering technology – even though his role was hidden in the previous installment. QMI asked the agency about its preparation Avatar: The Way of the WaterThe actor said the months leading up to James Cameron’s first leadership were intense.

“It was very physical. I had to work on my flexibility, my energy and my strength. I did a lot of parkour, a lot of archery, a lot of martial arts. For fighting, I studied knife fighting, stick fighting and obviously automatic weapons. I was in everything that happened on the water. Had to work, it’s no secret that this “Avatar” takes place in an amazing amount of water.

“With Jim Cameron and Avatar, you never know when shooting is going to start or when it’s going to end, Stephen Long said with a laugh when asked how long he was immersed in the movie. Jim can call anytime and say we need him.”

“If I remember correctly, the shoot lasted for a few years. We started shooting in 2017 and started our production in 2015. We were taking a break before coming back and starting again. Things were very intense from 2017 to 2019. The schedule was intense and I was between 100 and 200 days. I don’t even know how much time I spent on set. I admit I counted. I just came and worked.

Revival of cinema in theatres

Since using performance capture technology – “Motion/Performance Capture” by Peter Jackson lord of the ringsAnd then Andy Serkis for his remarkable trilogy Planet of the Apes -, the Academy of Oscars fights to recognize this genre as an actor’s game, systematically ignoring the actors who use it.

“Performance capture is very much in cinema today. We don’t have control over how people will react and how it will be recognized. We know at first sight. Avatar Zoe Saldana’s performance is one of the most impressive in the history of cinema. Capturing a service is a service in its own right. I don’t know how to explain it anymore.”

“It’s a game, because of its minimalism, it’s very close to the theater stage. It’s a technology that requires full use of all the tools available to the actors. Is it still difficult? No. It’s simple to play below, but it’s a difficult art”, underlined Stephen Long.

Another serious matter is cinema attendance, which has seen a significant drop in the US and Europe since the pandemic. Firstly Avatar It created a rush for 3D technology and not only increased the box office collection but also broke all records, moviegoers thronged theaters to watch the movie. Avatar: The Way of the Water Can he convince the crowd to reconnect with the dark rooms?

“It’s hard to say, but I’m inclined to answer ‘yes’. It’s complicated to anticipate what the public’s response will be. I believe it is because of the nature of the film, its importance and the expectations of the audience.” way of water It’s the perfect movie to bring people back to theaters and bring in new moviegoers.

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“I believe that cinema will never change again. But cinema continues to evolve. If we compare what films were in the 1930s and what they became in the 1960s, we realize that it is completely different, especially because of the democratization of television. What matters is that cinema is back. It is impossible to change the cinematic experience anywhere else than in the cinema – on the big screen, sitting with strangers and talking in front of the screen.

  • Avatar: The Way of the Water Opened on December 16.