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December 08, 2023 8:26am
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An Adventure in Moviemaking Magic

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The way we experience the magic of feature film will soon be forever changed.

Enter Avatar, a ground-breaking film that promises to take movie-goers on an entirely new adventure. Set for release on December 18th, the highpowered blockbuster ‘Avatar’ will unveil an entirely new brand of sci-fi adventure, making new claim to the special effects throne.

The anticipation and buzz surrounding filmmaker James Cameron’s highly-anticipated film has been a magical event in and of itself. A sort of assured masterpiece feel has already set in for what is projected to be a true ground-breaking achievement in the history of film production.

Avatar brings movie enthusiasts the very latest in the high-tech world of advanced 3-D technology, combined with photo-realistic computer animation and live action blended with motion-capture . A one-of-a-kind film is born, bringing audiences a look and feel that will capture one’s imagination in a hurry.

With the intense buzz surrounding Avatar, one can understand how a film of such magnitude took nearly two years to make. And the cost? An estimated budget of $200 million once everything was captured, wrapped and given final due trimmings.

Among a proud and eager cast of the landmark production are Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and Zoe Saldana. Terminator Salvation’s Worthington portrays a paraplegic ex-soldier who has agreed to become part of an experiment which in return will allow him to transform himself. He soon enough forms into a mobile avatar of another world, and is relocated to the new planet of Pandora. Made-over-human looks just like the Na’vi who are indigenous to the resource-rich Pandoran planet, which has become of no value to the human race.

Worthington’s trans-human evolution soon becomes close with a Na’vi female (Saldana), he’s soon caught in the middle of a looming violent confrontation between Earth’s corporate-backed military forces and the Na’vi warrior clan protecting their resources. The Na’vi prepare to do battle with the humans and their invading spaceships, including the robotic assault units. The transformed human is forced to pick sides, while an ex-Marine physician/scientist (Weaver) tries to intervene before the looming crisis.

Cameron has proven in the past to be a widely-admired master of groundbreaking and never before imagined sci-fi special effects. All with a distinct overlying theme of heated confrontation among other-worldly life forms in the presence of total destruction.

Setting the tone for Cameron’s unique style of filmmaking includes a powerhouse Terminator franchise, Aliens, The Abyss and Titanic, his most recent directorial effort. Titanic of course earned a record $1.8 billion US worldwide and delivered a total of 11 well-earned Oscars. It’s hard to predict whether Avatar will outshine the tremendous success of Titanic, however the time and determination put into his most recent project has seen an intensive 14-year span. One can safely assume the focus and technical approach he has embraced and endured will result in a true force to be reckoned with for many years ahead.

Cameron and his team have completely refined the art of motion-capture to serve a much higher purpose. In constructing a special fusion 3-D digital-film camera designed to reproduce the surreal and hybrid Avatar environment, the final reward should truly be nothing short of out of this world.

The Oscar-nominated Weaver, always impressed by Cameron’s over-achieving efforts, was able to share the Avatar experience upon completing the duties of her role. It was clear her nearly two decade wait to reunite with the perfectionist Cameron was well worth the effort.

“Well, it was quite an adventure,” she says. “We were in New Zealand in Peter Jackson’s studio with a lot of his crew. It was a demanding shoot, but it was very exhilarating, because we were all doing something we had never done before.”

In short, all that’s left now is to sit back and enjoy. There task is complete - and our time to evolve as an audience has arrived.

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