Friday, May 23, 2008

"Avatar" Crew T-Shirt Details Revealed: Bansheerays Apparently Are In The Movie !

WARNING! A high movie geek factor is involved in this somewhat detailed post dealing with nothing but t-shirts! "Avatar" t-shirts no less, but t-shirts all the same... You've been warned! :-)

Let me say that there are at LEAST two different styles of "Avatar" crew t-shirts floating around - the one I describe below with photos and another one with a Na'vi holding a spear over a creature that I have described in this previous post that has now been proven to exist - however the creature cannot be confirmed to be scorpion-like as was previously thought. Apparently it is hard to tell what the creature really is. These t-shirts were made by the cast to be raffled off to the crew... and I know for a fact some were raffled off by Sam Worthington.

The common element to these recent crew t-shirts is that they all use silhouettes of creatures that mask their details... in case they should become fodder for... certain Internet bloggers... Who, me?

A third, older t-shirt pictured here is actually for the 1996 SIGGRAPH show, and handed out to potential artists and animators that Digital Domain was trying to recruit. Back in the late 90’s, SIGGRAPH was a meat market for recruitment and all of the CGI/Animation studios focused a lot of efforts on recruitment. Each of the big companies, such as Sony, ILM, and Digital Domain would hold SIGGRAPH parties, the sole purpose of which was to attract new talent to the studios. Recruitment included poaching of artists from other studios, so it was a time of fierce competition. One way to attract the artists that were so much in demand was to offer them the opportunity to work on great projects. Avatar was potentially one of those great projects. The shirts were made to serve this purpose. This particular piece of info was kindly provided by a new source to MarketSaw that is extremely credible.

Now comes some moderate spoilers relating to the t-shirt that is being sent to me. I have some quotes from this point on from the original scriptment - be careful. If you want a pristine viewing experience of "Avatar" read no further.

A great source of mine is sending me a t-shirt (2XL as I am not a small fellow @ 6'6") with the following graphics emblazoned on it:

Image 1: Front of T-shirt

Image 2: ZOOM of Front of T-shirt
- "WLG NZ 2007/8 AVTR Program" with some bar codes. Obviously this means Wellington, New Zealand 2007-2008 Avatar Program.

Image 3: Back of T-shirt

Image 4: ZOOM of Back of T-shirt
- a cluster of circles followed by "RDA" under which is a strange looking winged creature. RDA stands for "Resources Development Alliance"

What is the "Resources Development Alliance"? Well, here is an excerpt from the original scriptment written by James Cameron himself:

"As he is wheeling himself through the crowded halls of the municipal complex, Sully hears someone calling his name and sees two guys in suits working their way through the crowd to catch up with him. He is immediately suspicious, wondering what collection agency they are from. His brother must have died with some debts.

They tell him they are with the RDA, the RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE. This is an international consortium of major corporations whose purpose is to find and exploit resources on other planets, both within the solar system, and in the last 25 years, among the nearer star systems.

Imagine the Dutch West India Company funded by Microsoft, Matsushita and a dozen or so of their megacorporation buddies. Everyone just calls it "THE CONSORTIUM". The RDA has an official charter from the ICA, the Interplanetary Commerce Administration (pronounced eye-
kah), an international trade-regulating body run much like the EC is today. The charter allows them to exploit the resources of planets, moons, asteroids... whatever they find... as long as they follow the International Space Resources Treaty, and the other treaties which prohibit weapons of mass destruction and limit military power in space."

So what about the flying creature? :-) We are pretty sure it is a Bansheeray. What the heck is that? Here is another excerpt from the Avatar scriptment:

"A shrieking BANSHEERAY hurtles at him from above the trees. It is a small one, less than a three meter wingspan. Shaped like a manta ray, it swoops through the trees on translucent wing membranes. We get a glimpse of glassy fangs unfolding from its mouth like cat-claws, then the cannon blows it into chunks. Quaritch's canopy is showered with blue Pandoran blood."

Josh, sitting in the wind in the open door of the Samson, sees a bansheeray cruising near them. It studies them a moment, beating its huge wing membranes to keep up. It lets out a piercing shriek (hence the name) and then banks away, diving like a jet fighter. Josh sees more bansheerays circling below. A couple pass nearby, giving him the eye. Like reef sharks they will size you up, but seldom attack something their own size unless it is in distress."

AWESOME! Imagine that little scene in immersive 3D! Can't wait to receive that T-Shirt...

Yeah, I'm a little stoked about "Avatar" - is it obvious??

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Jim Dorey
jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com

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