Whether it’s creating the village of Metkayina or the sunken ship on Pandora, production designers Dylan Cole and Ben Procter say their role in James Cameron’s Avatar: Way of Water The working method is philosophically no different than any live-action movie. “We design the sets,” Cole said, adding that the use of performance capture influenced the execution of the ideas, not the design work itself. “We had to build the proxy set for performance capture as well as the full digital set.”
The sequel introduces new parts of Pandora, including the coral reef-based village of Metkayina. Cole says he references the indigenous cultures of the South Pacific in his design, but “the main thing is figuring out how this is designed. How do you reinforce the story? It’s very important to the Na’vi people to connect, so Connectivity in this village is very important to Jim and us.” That’s why the sidewalks and dwellings resemble a neural network. “It worked thematically, [as well as] showing that they are in harmony with the water.”
A good portion of the film takes place underwater, and that was also a unique, fantastic environment. “You go on this amazing adventure in this alien world, but it’s about reflecting on the way we exist here on Earth. In order to create that metaphor and connection, it couldn’t look much different,” Cole explained . “We started with more exotic designs for the coral structures and tried to enhance the intelligent design aspect of Eywa [God of Na’vi].” This included looking at fractal references.
In order to thrive in the underwater world, Cole noted that Cameron “wanted to achieve a level of biomass density of life that we haven’t seen on this planet since prehistoric times, when there are At that time, it is estimated that at least 02 to 20 multiplied by Now the number of marine life.” Hundreds of aquatic species were designed to meet this directive.
The team’s approach to the SeaDragon ship – the backdrop for the climactic struggle when humans arrive – Procter likens to creature design (the manta ray is a reference) because it is “a Personal vehicle that looks like a demon ship.”
The design also had to support all of the story points – the ship capsized and flooded during the action. “Generally, we come up with a fixed angle, [for these scenes], about 6 degrees of inclination,” Procter said, “which is Jim from the Titanic . [Greater than] six degrees, and the cast and crew had a hard time coping with the slope.” Through digital elements and set extensions, the angle appears different at certain points in the film. “The horizon of the water and all the signs of gravity – like chains hanging at certain angles – are added digitally to tell you that the deck is at a different angle than it actually is,” he adds.
According to Procter, the team also devised some components to help drive the show—particularly in the sequence where Neytiri and daughter Tuk race through a rotating corridor as they race to escape a sinking ship. “They went from basically being on the floor to being on the wall and then being somewhat on the ceiling. We built a giant box that cantilevered off the side of our underwater performance capture tank. “
Quiet on the Western Front
An abandoned farmhouse on the outskirts of Prague was the starting point for a World War I field hospital, showing the hinterland beyond the battlefield. Art Director Christian M. Goldbeck explains, “Part of the wall you see in the background was built and painted by our amazing landscape artist.” (This is an on-set photo; in post-production, the VFX team removed Background behind the structure and added further damage to complete the look.)
at Stevens In Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical film, aspiring filmmaker Sammy is invited to meet one of his idols, John Ford, in the director’s office on the exterior of the studio. For this scene, production designer Rick Carter wrote that his team “recreated Western paintings with low and high horizons to portray the axiom expressed in this final scene: high or low experiences for the audience Funny because they create a real dramatic response that evokes emotion.”
Rebuild Graceland His research included visiting and photographing Elvis Presley’s famous Memphis home, digging up archives, and even surveying the grounds. “When we’re back in Australia, we can mill the wood perfectly or make sure our Graceland sits on the right terrain,” says production designer Catherine Martin, adding that the production crew built the one-and-a-half-story mansion facade. The set evolved to reflect the time course of Presley’s career.
The fictional Kinoscope studio evoked for Damien Chazelle 550 Hollywood, production designer Florencia Martin explained, the huge The studio environment has been built on set and showcases both the set and the desert, giving viewers a full understanding of that world. The bar scene where Margot Robbie’s Nellie shoots her first film is based on Chazelle’s hand-drawn storyboards. “We took a Western Gold Rush bar in Northern California and frosted the windows with snow,” says Martin.
This first appeared on The The Hollywood Reporter Magazine. To receive this magazine, click here to subscribe