How «Avatar: The Path of Water» was created. Cameron wrote the script for 7 years, the actors were trained by a US Navy instructor

How «Avatar: The Path of Water» was created.  Cameron wrote the script for 7 years, the actors were trained by a US Navy instructor

Sigourney Weaver became a 14-year-old girl.

The sequel to Avatar was released worldwide in December 2022 and made a splash. People again massively went to the cinema, many — several times. In addition to the story, understandable to everyone, this happened thanks to the graphics of the highest quality. But when creating, the authors faced many problems, which is why the sequel was released only 13 years later. Collected the most interesting from the filming of «Avatar: The Way of Water».

  • Even at the beginning of the preparatory work, the director went with the acting group to the Brazilian rainforests. All in order to get to know the way of life of local tribes and understand what it is like to live in the jungle.
  • 20th Century Fox originally wanted to release a sequel in December 2014. But James Cameron’s script was frankly delayed, and the creator of the Pandora universe wanted to do other things. He worked on a 3D version of the Titanic, which was released on the 100th anniversary of the disaster and plunged to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, becoming only the third person at such a depth. In parallel, visual effects studio Weta Digital was developing new technologies, including animation techniques.
  • Then Cameron announced that he planned to shoot the 2nd and 3rd film at the same time and it would take much more time to shoot. The release date was constantly shifting, and the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back to December 2022 altogether.

  • Cameron simply threw out the original script, he did not like it enough. The reboot happened around 2015, and the script was written, in fact, from scratch: it was important for Cameron to create a single large-scale story covering all five films, and even include the entire Alpha Centauri star system in the plot! He finished it in January 2017 and was happy: the director admitted that he did not like to write. You can understand him: he worked on it for many years and in the future will only be engaged in filming sequels.
  • Filming started only in the summer of 2017: The Way of the Water was filmed in California, while work was underway on Avatar 3 in New Zealand. The pandemic has affected the production of many films, and Avatars is no exception. As a result, they were completed only in September 2020, three years after the start!
  • The state-of-the-art motion capture in The Way of Water made it possible to capture the physical and emotional facial expressions of the actors, the movements of their eyes. What the actors did, their CGI characters did. All thanks to dozens of special small cameras on the set that captured the movements of the actors and translated them into digital form. For the sequel, they also developed a special helmet with a camera that was located in front of the face. Thanks to her, the faces could be captured much more accurately — CGI heroes have never been so realistic.

  • An impressive part of the film was filmed underwater, thanks to the unique underwater motion capture technology. Weta Digital worked on it for a year and a half and created a complete solution. Now she was able to model animations of water, people, hair and fabrics.
  • The main cast of the film spent six months studying freediving — how to not breathe underwater for a long time. They were trained by a freediver who usually works with SEALs. Thanks to diving without scuba gear, we got a very realistic picture with great shots. Zoe Saldana held her breath for 5 minutes, and Kate Winslet even broke Tom Cruise’s record and was under water for 7 minutes and 14 seconds!
  • 73-year-old Sigourney Weaver played 14-year-old Kiri thanks to technology. The actress admitted that it was an amazing experience to return to the past.
  • The total budget for the four sequels to Avatar was to exceed a billion dollars, not including advertising costs. But the production budget for The Way of Water alone exceeded $350 million, so the total cost is likely to be much higher.

Photos from filming

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