James Cameron‘s career has been legendary. With every step, the filmmaker can create hit after hit. After all, three of the top four highest-grossing films are his. Currently, Avatar is in the number one spot with $2,923,706,026. Avatar: The Way of Water is hanging in at the number 3 spot with $2,304,184,543. And with a few more box office dollars to go. And finally, we have Titanic still at number 4 with $2,249,193,891. Yet the last two are still playing in some markets.
The filmmaker is a certified hitmaker. This director also created iconic films like Aliens, The Terminator, T2, The Abyss, True Lies, etc. And at a recent visit to Lightstorm Entertainment, a group of journalists got to experience first-hand movie magic. Those in attendance were privy to a look at the upcoming digital release of Avatar: The Way of Water.
Lightstorm Entertainment – founded by Cameron and Lawrence Kasanoff – has produced all of the director’s major films. And it was one hell of a trip down cinematic memory lane. The first thing on our schedule was a tour of the Lightstorm museum. And it was more than a little impressive.
Our visit offered glimpses of props and other artifacts from all the hits. It included all his most popular features and an awe-inspiring collection from Titanic. There were recreations of the ship, lifeboat, and the same car where Leo and Kate left a handprint. The handprint is still in the car window. And we all had the chance to wear “The Heart of the Ocean” as well getting our hands on one of the Academy Awards earned by the film.
Next up, producer Jon Landau joined us. He presented those in attendance with an early look at the streaming release of Avatar: The Way of Water. It included a few fascinating featurettes. One was focused on how Cameron and crew view their work as “performance capture” instead of “motion capture.” Technology has allowed the character to remain in focus by blending the special effects with the actor’s on-screen work.
We also saw how dedicated the cast and crew were for the latest Avatar. The underwater sequences in the sequel are ridiculously impressive. And it helps that the actors were game to getting wet. It’s enjoyable seeing Kate Winslet, Sam Worthington, Stephen Lang, and Sigourney Weaver diving into the deep with childlike enthusiasm. All are surrounded by cameras that help bring the magic to life. As tricky as a massive movie like this is to make, it was quite a treat seeing all of these talents dive into the deep end to create such a wild and visually impressive world.
And then there is the challenge of presenting Sigourney Weaver as a young girl. With all the toys the filmmakers had to play with, it’s truly effective. It’s a terrific performance, considering it’s one of many great performances from her incredible career. The effects involved are stunning here. Due to the commitment to getting a solid performance from their cast, the character and visual elements work hand-in-hand. And with three upcoming sequels, I’m sure we can expect Cameron and crew to utilize whatever technology is available and make something that is pretty damn visually intoxicating.
The last stop on our tour was a camera demo presentation with Academy Award winner Richard Baneham. It was a fascinating way to finish off the day’s adventures. The way that they manipulated the camera with all the effects and performances together was beyond impressive. The presentation included a scene where Richard and his team changed the size of the fish swimming around “Kiri.” Not going to lie, it’s very exciting to see how easily they can make simple changes on-screen that can make a world of difference.
It was an honor getting an early look at what this visually stunning world has in store for its streaming release, and we at JoBlo thank Jon, Richard, and everyone else who welcomed us to Lightstorm Entertainment.
Avatar: The Way of Water will be available exclusively on March 28th, and you’ll be able to see the extra nearly two hours of footage, including the behind-the-scenes of WETA, casting, and so much more. Get ready to dive back into Cameron’s Pandora this coming Monday!
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/avatar-the-way-of-water-streaming-release-lightstorm/