Underwater setting natural for Avatar sequel

Christopher Morris
6 April 2013
Underwater setting natural for Avatar sequel
A scene from the original 'Avatar' movie

Although James Cameron has had a string of massive hits in his directorial career, he will always be associated with the monster hit 'Titanic', which completely exceeded expectations when it was released in 1997. Despite the fact that the first 'Avatar' movie grossed more, the film that made stars of Kate Winslet and Leonardo di Caprio can still be considered Cameron's greatest hit, firstly due to the fact that expectation was not so high, and secondly, when one takes inflation into consideration Titanic simply took more money even that Cameron's recent sci-fi blockbuster.

Thus, it is interesting then that Cameron has already stated that 'Avatar 2' will feature numerous underwater scenes. Preparation is already being made for the shooting of these sequences, with Cameron intending to splice CGI footage with footage filmed under the real world ocean.

The fascination that Cameron has with the ocean is very well known. Naturally, 'Titanic' is intrinsically associated with the sea, and while the film involves a huge amount of special effects, the production also incorporated a large amount of filming under the Pacific ocean. Another less well known Cameron movie, 'The Abyss' - still a very highly-rated movie, but not one of the director's particular commercial successes - was placed entirely in an underwater setting, featuring a storyline that involved nuclear submarines and an aquatic species of aliens.

'The Abyss' is actually a useful pointer as to where Avatar 2 may go with its underwater scenes. In common with much of Cameron's work, 'The Abyss' featured groundbreaking special effects that still stand up to scrutiny today, which was placed alongside the vast amount of underwater filming that took place, with Cameron recruiting diving teams to assist with the production, and requiring all of the cast and crew involved in the movie to undergo diving training for a week in the Cayman Islands. The attention to detail of production paid off, at least in artistic terms, with some breathtaking underwater sequences that ensure 'The Abyss' still has an excellent rating on sites such as IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes to this day.

With the technological developments that have taken place since 'The Abyss', the 'Avatar' sequel's underwater scenes should be even more spectacular. And, of course, with the 3-D technology that Cameron used to such excellent effect in the original movie playing a big part in the production, the ability to really convey to the viewer the feeling of being within the murky depths of the ocean has been greatly enhanced. It will be fascinating to see what surprises Cameron has in store for us beneath the seas of Pandora.

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