Saturday, June 27, 2009

Avatar: Na'vi description, Trailer Update and More

Michael here. People have been requesting a bit more detail regarding the look of the Na'vi and avatar characters. The same source who gave us that awesome reaction to the footage tells us about them below. He also gives the latest on the trailer from Cameron and provides some nice pictures and anecdotes from the festivities:

hey man,

Expo's over so finally have some time to give you a more detailed N'avi description.

The previous art is nothing like what the movie's N'avi ended up like. No blue lines, no floating (as far as I've seen).
The best description is luminescent (living) Blue tall people with a lot of Lion influences in the face.
They're about 10ft tall, so think more like double/triple the size of humans.
They all seem to have long hair in a braid and a tail best described as Lionesque (to connect to the Banshees or whatever they're called)
Their eyes are a lot bigger than human eyes, and bright yellow. It's also one of the features that most draws you into believing this world.
I saw the 'A Christmas Carol' footage and although it's an advancement from Beowulf, it's not an evolution from it because the muscles around the eyes and eyelids are still dead. They don't move, and really push the reality of it being mocap instead of people.
That just doesn't live. It's still very much a fantasy world created as a story device/enhancement. Avatar is more about the world where the story happens to take place. If that makes sense.

The clothing is very basic/tribal, so just cloths and belts.
Neytiri wore a beaded headband with beads down her forehand, reminding me a bit of indian/mayan headwear. Jake had a rifle gun, Na'vi sized which he parades around a lot in the first scenes described. Norm has a bag with him (probables with vials to take samples)

I was also asked about the glasses we wore during the presentation. I have them right here, they're the standard RealD 3D non colored glasses they use for cinema screenings around the world. I didn't find them taking anything away off the experience, it's just something you completely forget because you're so immersed in discovering the world displayed on screen.
We saw Ice Age 3D that morning with different glasses which used the 'old' red/green technology and those for me were a lot more disturbing.

Michael's note: The following material - from his experience at the after party - was included in the source's original email, but he just gave me the go-ahead to post it:

Cameron's wife says what I feel the best. "I took friends to the sets, they signed waivers and stuff. But really, when you would TRY to explain what you saw, you can't. It wont do justice to whatever you experienced or what they will when they see it." This movie is made of stuff we didn't think would happen for 10 years. This movie makes it possible.

Afterparty was amazing, talking with Cameron for about 10/15 minutes was just mindblowing. He is so proud of this movie and still handles it with great suave like he just folded a paper plane. I asked how long the movie is right now. He answered with, "I don't want too say how long. That implies it's TOO long. Epic is more of the right word."
He really shined when he told us how Steven Spielberg and Peter jackson are now working on TinTin with this and how he gave them to the studio for a week to 'play with it'. I am just mindbaffled how a genius like that can contain himself with something like this.

He told me he has a trailer, but isn't done with it. He wants it to showcase what the world is like, rather than impress with 3D because in his opinion most people will watch the trailer online.

He told me nobody had seen this stuff outside of production (even most of the studio flew down, I heard) and that he was truly happy to share this. When he saw the backdrop of the stage of the party with the artwork, he gasped and said "Whoa". When I joked he could take it home he said, "I wish, I just dont have walls big enough for it! ;) "
It was historic, and talking to the man afterwards was a true pleasure. Also Sam Worthington was flown in by private jet from the Clash of the Titans set so didn't attend the afterparty. Talking to Zoe Saldana at the party was cool too. She said during the presentation she wanted to create, "a fearless memorable action heroine" and when I told her she already did with Uhura, she actually became shy. Not hollywood shy, but very down to earth and said: "That makes me incredibly humble. I really want to thank you for saying that!". Then the convo turned to Amsterdam (i'm born and raised here) and she just seems so down to earth.

Seeing this today together with the real costumes, on-set footage and props from Burton's Alice in Wonderland made this such a day to remember.

The source also sent the following regarding the trailer:

Hey man,

Just heard from my contact that the cut of that trailer isn't final. It's what Cameron has now to give FOX an idea of the direction he wants to take the trailer. It was shown to fox execs at the Expo this morning. It'll be heavily tweaked and won't be expected until mid/end august to be shown online/cinema's etc.

I can tell you we saw 2 full scenes from A Christmas Carol that are 85% finished and everyone afterwards gushed on how Avatar is so completely beyond that mo-cap.

Thanks to "Sledgehammer" for the great reporting and after party pics!

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