Hey remember the Core chase in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace? That was what came to mind while watching the below clip from Avatar. At least that’s what came to mind when I saw this clip at Comic Con a number of months ago. It isn’t the mechanics of the Core chase that I’m reminded of – Star Trek‘s ice planet chase was much more reminiscent of that – but rather the weightlessness of the action. Pixels chasing pixels through a pixel world.
I didn’t watch the full clip as presented below because I’m in a hotel in Vancouver, where the internet stinks. But while up here I did meet some interesting people with some interesting perspectives on Avatar - people who have seen it, and people who have worked on it – and the most interesting thing I came away with was the question of whether or not the final film could contain unfinished effects. The people who are getting this film ready for its December 10th premiere in London are probably working like they’ve never worked before in an effort to bridge the gap between what the movie is now and what it needs to be on release. Best of luck to those guys, and I hope they get a serious bonus.
(A quick addendum: yes, I know most huge FX films go to theaters with unfinished FX. Most huge FX films aren’t being sold as game changers, and they don’t cost as much as Avatar and thus need to make as much as Avatar. If you’re leading the marketing with your amazing visual FX work, you have to be willing to take lumps if your visual FX work isn’t finished or up to snuff.