M. Night Shyamalan is mostly known for his twist endings and supernatural plots, however with The Last Airbender he has to get a bit more technical and delve deeper into the world of special effects and green screen. VFX World had the chance to visit The Last Airbender set and they spoke to the director about the effects process. He also mentions the recently released teaser trailer which he says they “worked forever on”.
Although The Last Airbender represents his first major CG film, he suggested that he is quickly adapting to the use of high-tech in his process.
“I’m not the most techie guy in the world, so if I can keep coming from character, I can keep it grounded,” Shyamalan chuckled. “When we saw the cartoon, the mythology was so well thought out and had Buddhism, martial arts and CGI, but the kind that is character-based and that’s coming from emotions. So I could tell ILM…and speak in terms of character point of view and be effective in that way.”
Shyamalan admitted that he’s already into the cut of the film so he can provide ILM plates to start their daunting work. “I usually don’t touch editing until I am done shooting. But with a movie of this scale with the level of CGI, they need nine months to do a particular shot of waterbending. So I’m already editing to hand over the shots.”
The first glimpse of what is to come with those vfx debuted with The Last Airbender teaser trailer on June 23rd. Showing an epic water scene with warships blasting flaming missiles at Aang’s cliffside monastery, the director said that’s just a taste of what audiences can expect. “The teaser we worked on forever. I shot it and it was my idea. We did it all ourselves as first unit and it was our big effort to come out and make a big splash.”
They also spoke to producer Frank Marshall who said that The Last Airbender would be like their Star Wars as it is is the first time he has worked on a movie that has a totally made up world. Click here to read the whole article!