The very first thing I did in ninth grade was join water polo, in hopes of creating a exercise routine and assembly upperclassman associates. The plan was a catastrophe! A grueling mixture of swimming and getting smacked within the face, water-polo coaching concerned miles of laps at 5:30 a.m. and infinite treading drills. Thankfully, I solely spent one semester holding five-gallon water-cooler jugs above my head as I scissor-kicked for pricey life.
The newest behind-the-scenes photo from the set of Avatar 2, by which Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Kate Winslet, and Cliff Curtis float in an enormous pool whereas sporting performance-capture fits, introduced again all of the recollections. Swimming, treading, and appearing? The solely purpose I’m not curled up in a ball in a match of tension is the looks of a foam noodle.
Soon after 2008’s Avatar grew to become the highest-grossing film of all time (a report lastly trounced in 2019 by Avengers: Endgame), director James Cameron let slip his imaginative and prescient for the sequel. The unique film follows protagonist Jake Sully and his alien companion Neytiri throughout the jungles of Pandora. The follow-up was meant to discover the oceans and life beneath the floor. Cameron’s whole profession — from The Abyss to Titanic to a handful of documentary tasks that submerged his cameras 1000’s of toes under sea degree — has been pushed by his love for exploration of the deep, and the Avatar sequels (there are actually supposedly going to be 4, deliberate for 2021, 2023, 2025, and 2027) promise to push that like to new extremes. According to a tweet accompanying the brand new picture, a lot of the efficiency seize for the sequel came about on this 900,000 gallon tank, constructed particularly for Cameron’s manufacturing.
In 2017, within the lead-up to manufacturing, Cameron spoke frankly in regards to the hardships of his bold taking pictures fashion. “We’ve done a tremendous amount of testing,” he mentioned. “We’ve got six teenagers and one 7-year-old, and they’re all playing a scene underwater. We’ve been training them for six months now, with how to hold their breath, and they’re all up in the two-to-four-minute range. They’re all perfectly capable of acting underwater, very calmly while holding their breath. We’re not doing any of this on scuba. And we’re getting really good data, beautiful character motion and great facial performance capture. We’ve basically cracked the code.”
That sounds exhausting to me, and I’m solely studying it.
Earlier this month, the official Avatar Twitter account premiered one other set of behind-the-scenes photographs from the Avatar 2 shoot, which confirmed a barely much less glamorous facet to the filming.
The tweet additionally supplied an evidence for why Saldana, Worthington, Winslet, and Curtis had been surrounded by white balls whereas wading within the water. In water, the conflict of air and liquid can create reflections that create false markers for the motion-capture cameras to detect. Adding a layer of balls to the floor of his taking pictures tank prevents the sunshine from creating the disruption, whereas additionally permitting the actors to, , come to the floor and breathe and survive. In his 2017 interview, Cameron known as the answer “a little bit like a fighter plane dumping a bunch of chaff to confuse the radar system of a missile.” Fun!
Everything about Avatar 2 is paying homage to Cameron’s late-’80s work on The Abyss, which additionally used a primitive model of the ball method to cut down on reflection. On the draw back, the film is known for being one of many extra grueling shoots in Hollywood historical past. Star Ed Harris nearly drowned. So did Cameron himself.
Avatar 2 seems to be a a lot safer, way more technologically savvy manufacturing than The Abyss. For one factor, Saldana, Worthington, Winslet, and Curtis are smiling. And Cameron has a monitor report of surviving these self-imposed gauntlets to make true marvels — although it’s mind-boggling to suppose we’re getting 4 Avatar sequels, the audacity is price playing on.
But the director is in search of realism from his 10-foot-tall swimming blue aliens, and take it from me, a pool noodle can solely achieve this a lot. Especially in case your water-polo teammates are smacking you with it. Not cool, guys.