How ‘Alita’ is paving the way for James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ sequels
February 15th, 2019 by admin
The steely gaze of Na’vi warrioress Neytiri welcomes visitors at the entrance to some of Hollywood’s most wondrous and fantastical worlds. Towering in the corner of a hangar, an “Aliens” xenomorph menaces, frozen in place. Upstairs sits the Heart of the Ocean, daring passersby to never let go.
No, you’re not in Kansas anymore. You’re at Lightstorm Entertainment, the solar-powered, eco-friendly Manhattan Beach headquarters of Oscar-winning “Avatar” filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau.
Just a skip away on a massive soundstage, visual effects crews piece together top-secret scenes straight out of Pandora for “Avatar 2.” Oscar-winning VFX artist Richard Baneham tinkers with a “virtual camera,” constructing impossible shots by sending data back and forth to technicians seated at a NASA-like brain trust of computers.
Next door in a custom-built tank filled with 500,000 gallons of water, camera operators in flippers float on pool noodles, ready to shoot an aquatic stunt scene for that aforementioned first of four new “Avatar” sequels set to hit theaters in 2020.