Avatar Day

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 23/08/09.

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

In a mere 16 minutes, never has an opinion changed so quickly. The general feeling I had leading up to these 16 minutes was somewhat apathy mixed with ‘hope-this-doesn’t-suck-itis’ (which is a real condition, look it up). Needless to say, a quick 16 minutes was all that was needed to turn that feeling into some serious fanboy, boner inducing giddy excitement. Those 16 minutes came in the form of 16 minutes of preview footage of James Cameron’s Avatar. It was Avatar Day!

I must say, up until the past week, there has not been very much promotion for this film at all – besides word of mouth stuff and internet reports. All we have been told is that Avatar will be James Cameron’s long-in-gestation super-movie, a movie that Cameron had to wait until technology caught up with his vision. The much talked about aspect is the newly designed Fusion 3D camera system, apparently ready to revolutionise the entire film industry. Talk is cheap, especially when all you hear is talk for so long.

A few months ago at Comic-Con in San Diego, it was announced that August 21st 2009 would be Avatar Day, with the unveiling of the first teaser trailer, merchandise, and most importantly, a worldwide simultaneous limited screening of selected footage featuring – for the first time ever – the much touted 3D visual effects. Tickets to these screenings were very coveted, only becoming available about a week before the screenings, with passes on eBay reaching up to $500. I got a double pass to a Melbourne screening at IMAX. For free. I’m awesome.

So it’s Friday, I leave work early, throw on my Styles (of Teen Wolf fame) T-shirt and head down to Carlton Gardens and its glorious IMAX screen (which, if I’m not mistaken, was built by the Mayans) for the exclusive preview. We begin with an introduction from the VP of 20th Century Fox Australia followed by a pre-recorded introduction from James Cameron and then it was onto the screening…

…and now the screenings finished, and all I can say is ‘Wow.’ Granted the quality of the story is still ambiguous – it is just a teaser – but my God, the visuals are like nothing you have ever seen before. Cameron has made old-skool 3D a prehistoric, and cheesy, gimmick. This 3D, viewed with black glasses, unlike the old style red and blue, gives you an amazing view of the distance between objects on the screen and the depth-of-field view actually takes you into the picture. The world of Pandora is cast in amazingly mesmerising CG, with leaves and plants seemingly all around you and fireflies buzzing around everywhere.

Afterwards people gathered in the lobby and I spoke to a few people (one of whom, Gerard: the overlord of Celluloid Tongue, I owe my pass to. Thank you, my liege), most of who felt somewhat disappointment with the teaser trailer but have been blown away by the effects in the screening. This film MUST be seen with the full 3D experience.

Try as I might, words cannot describe what I have witnessed, but rest assured, Avatar is going to be legendary.

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  1. The best is yet to come. have you heard there’s a sequel coming in very soon



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