PRODUCTION. AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER
THE NEXT CHAPTER This sequel is set 15 years after the events of 2009’s Avatar. Production began not long after the success of the first film, with Cameron beginning principal photography on both Avatar 2 and 3 simultaneously in 2017
T he second outing of the Avatar franchise is finally here – and it picks up where the first left off in more ways than one. At the time of writing, Avatar: The Way of Water , also directed by James Cameron, has reached a total of $2.243bn worldwide, taking it ahead of Cameron’s very own Titanic at third on the list of all-time highest-grossing motion pictures. It’s reportedly had the biggest ever box office takings in Austria, Colombia, Lebanon, Mongolia and Slovakia; not to mention it’s the biggest Hollywood film of all time in India (said to have taken $45.7m by the end of January). Interestingly, its strongest non-US territory is China, where it was top film for five weeks, yielding at least $240.6m. In fact, it would probably be prudent to stop there – who knows where the film will rank by the time this article is in the public domain? What’s certain is that much will be written about James Cameron’s wonderful vision and storytelling, and the stunning work by the VFX crew – but less will be said about an unsung, yet integral aspect. Tashi Trieu, digital intermediate colourist, knows the Aliens director’s requirements all too well, having worked at Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment for years as a DI editor. His credits include the remaster of Terminator 2: Judgement Day as well as Alita: Battle Angel .
FLYING COLOURS Tashi Trieu was the digital intermediate colourist for Avatar: The Way of Water
“From a creative standpoint, post-acquisition colour is one of the many tools in both the director and cinematographer’s arsenal that can be used to build associations between the audience, the characters and the setting – and to heighten emotional moments in a story,” Trieu explains. “From a technical standpoint, it’s a fundamental part of the process that gives directors and cinematographers the ability to control their productions in a way they didn’t have before.”
“Pandora is a world we haven’t been to, but it has to be realistic and believable – it takes nuance to get right”
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