Another great movie today that is written and directed by James Cameron is Avatar; starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang. It is the most technologically advanced work of cinema ever undertaken
The movie brings us to the year 2154, the the era when human are mining valuable mineral in Pandora. The growth of the colony of mining endangered the Na’vi—a living humanoid species native to Pandora. James Cameron said in news conference that the scene in Avatar brings audiences the environmental message in an emotional way. It can be felt in especially in the scene where human cut down the beautiful glowing willow-like tree using the big industrialized machine, while the Na’vi Avatar” Jake Sully” watch in horror.
The movie was written by James Cameron in the beginning of 1994. Cameron planned to make the filming after the completion of Cameron’s Titanic in 1997 and released it on 1999. However it did not go on as planned. Cameron said that that the essential technology to realize his idea of the film has not yet available.
Now, let me bring you to the location filming of “Avatar”.
Even though the movie uses a lot of technological digital technology, there is still real location where the filming was taking place; Hawaii, New Zealand and Brazil.
The Hamakua Coast (Hāmākua) is located on the north-eastern coast of Hawaii. It is mainly surrounded by erosion cliffs that fall from a height to the sea. This section of the coast is formed by the side of two inactive volcanoes: Mauna Kea and Kohala. It is said that the Hamakua Coast provide the background of the rainforest in the movie. Hamakua Coast has also played role of Amazon Jungle in the movie “Indiana Jones The kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.
Another Hawaii location in the film is Kauai’s Keahua Arboretum. Jurassic Park was also shot at Kauai Island. The botanical surrounding and the natural preserve surrounding the Wailua River in Kauai give reference footage for visual effects to bring Avatar to close to the real life.
The filming is also said to take place in Venezuela, surrounded by canyons, the infamous Mount Roraime, National Parks (Canima) and world highest waterfall (Angel Falls). Canima is a large national park in Venezuela, Brazil. It’s also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Another location is Hughes Aircraft in Elsegundo, California, USA. This filming location used to be used as turning out parts for fighter planes during World World II.
The important scene of the movie where the Na’vi princess Neytiri first met Sully’s Avatar in the jungles of Pandora, where everything inside the forest is luminous, is film at a huge warehouse in the suburb of Playa Vista, Los Angeles. About 140 cameras was used inside to capture every movement of the cast in “Avatar” and also a small camera is fixed in the actors and actress head to record every expression of the face.
Lastly, the production of Avatar partly took place in 4 locations in Wellington, New Zealand; Stone Street Studio, Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. And some filming is done in the warehouse in Porirua City in Wellington (The old Todd Motors Building).
The Stone Street Studio is a studio in New Zealand’s built only on purpose for shooting stage. It is surrounded by big warehouse, costume and makeup amenities, car park and production office. The famous “King Kong” and “The lord of The Ring” also used the studio for the production. The filming of Avatar for the duration of 88 days was done in The Stone Street Studio and warehouse in Porirua City in Wellington (the old Todd Motors Building).
Weta Digital, responsible for the groundbreaking visual effects in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, took the process to a new level of creative and technological excellence.
For Avatar, Weta Digital’s job is to convey the animated Na’vi expression and the surrounding of the movie to be believable and realistic as Cameron wanted everything in the film to be based on reality and not as science fiction.
It is not easy. Some of their works on Avatar included some of the below: – Growing process of Pandoran landscape requires Weta staff to implement a programme called Massive that allow replication of varieties of digitally generated object – Introducing new technology techniques that will make digital faces looked like real human – Invest large number of resources and time on “locking eye movement” technique. This technique is to ensure that digital characters were engaged and involved in the environment surrounding it. That way the eye expressions are more natural
Avatar has won more than 1 Oscar awards, more than 5 BFCA Critics’ Choice award and 2 Golden awards and many more.
The Movie avatar has brought increase in Tourism in Hawaii, New Zealand and Brazil. During the shooting of Avatar, the country economy has also grown in Tourism (Hotels, Accommodation and food).
Demand of the accommodations in these countries have since increased due to its popularity post movies release. Always do online research for you to get hotel deals before travelling to designated destinations. In addition you need to find more insider/local information on discount hotel and hotel deals from other experienced travellers to ensure you get the most out of your travel experience.
For traveller on budget, you can save cost of calling back to your home country by using calling card or phone card. Happy travelling!