A new behind-the-scenes featurette for James Cameron’s Avatar just went online and it showcases how the film came together on a digital level. It’s from the short program on the Fox Movie Channel, Making a Scene so while it starts of elementary (explanation of the film’s premise, how motion capture works), about halfway through it starts getting really interesting with how they created the flightplan and control of the winged creatures the Na’vi fly and how they captured the actors’ facial performances in order to bring the Na’vi out of the Uncanny Valley.
At Comic-Con, we (and presumably everyone else on “Avatar Day”) didn’t see as far as Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) flying together on the Banshees (or is it Vaynshees? Chime in on the comments if you know the correct names and spelling for the winged creatures), but watching Jake trying to get control of his beast and fly it was fantastic and I can’t wait to see this on the big screen. Also, this little featurette has me really excited to see what kind of Blu-ray special feature set they’re putting together for this film. Hit the jump to check out the featurette as well as a brief synopsis. Avatar opens on December 18th.
For those just tuning in, here’s a brief synopsis:
We enter the alien world through the eyes of Jake Sully, a former Marine confined to a wheelchair. But despite his broken body, Jake is still a warrior at heart. He is recruited to travel light years to the human outpost on Pandora, where corporations are mining a rare mineral that is the key to solving Earth’s energy crisis. Because the atmosphere of Pandora is toxic, they have created the Avatar Program, in which human “drivers” have their consciousness linked to an avatar, a remotely-controlled biological body that can survive in the lethal air. These avatars are genetically engineered hybrids of human DNA mixed with DNA from the natives of Pandora… the Na’vi.
Reborn in his avatar form, Jake can walk again. He is given a mission to infiltrate the Na’vi, who have become a major obstacle to mining the precious ore. But a beautiful Na’vi female, Neytiri, saves Jake’s life, and this changes everything. Jake is taken in by her clan, and learns to become one of them, which involves many tests and adventures. As Jake’s relationship with his reluctant teacher Neytiri deepens, he learns to respect the Na’vi way and finally takes his place among them. Soon he will face the ultimate test as he leads them in an epic battle that will decide nothing less than the fate of an entire world.