This behind-the-scenes look at ‘Avatar 2’ proves acting is still central to the movie (VIDEO)
The latest behind-the-scenes look at “Avatar: The Way of Water” offers a glimpse into the actors who give their hearts out to the motion-capture offering.
The 249-second clip, released on 20th Century Studios’ YouTube channel, provides clear evidence that, if anything like this is needed, performance capture is still about actors honing their skills and technology that complements their work.
Writer/director James Cameron notes, “What matters to us is the totality of the performance. The actor creates the emotion, the actor creates the moment.”
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We then see a slew of split-screen sequences where we see the actor deliver the performance within the movie while covered in motion capture equipment (including facial points that act as guides for computer rendering and related animation) along with the final sequence in the movie. As Sam Worthington states at the 0:33 second mark, “Everything Jake Sully did as a Navi, Sam did.”
In addition to simply providing an entertaining behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the global blockbuster, the feature serves to show that moments of physical stress and high emotion are rooted in old-school acting. It should go without saying, but it’s worth mentioning and it’s always fun to see the before-and-after comparisons, like (for example) the Blu-ray sequel material on “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” that shows Andy Serkis performing as Supreme Leader Snoke in the flesh.
This feature, and others like it, remind viewers that cast and performances are the first and most important building block. Producer Jon Landeau helpfully offers a brief explanation that, yes, since there is no Pandora and no nine-foot-tall Na’vi, performance and volume capture technology allows 100% of physical actors, performances set to be well captured and replicated in the digital world .
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As a secondary feature, the later segments of this segment introduce the film’s new, younger cast members to discuss their craft and experience. While most audience members know what Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet, or Stephen Lang look like in human form, this may be the first time audiences see Jimmy Flatters (Nityam), British Dalton (Luak) or Billy Bass (Tsiriya) without them. . appearing in the movie.
When your big role is in an “Avatar” movie, it’s not like you can send a still movie to the agents or producers and say, “This is me.”
Cameron concludes the clip by saying that while on set, he’s more focused on the actors because “that’s all I have to worry about. I’m not distracted by camera movement or background extras, I’m just there for (the performers).” As the director argues, “This is the only way to make this movie.”
And yes, it’s fun to watch Sigourney Weaver portray her 14-year-old daughter.
Watch the video above.
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