Avatar and Atrophied Legs

January 17, 2010 § 1 Comment

I FINALLY went to watch Avatar in IMAX 3D on Friday and it was amazing!  It was pretty much a culmination of everything that I had heard and read (unoriginal storyline, amazing graphics) but hearing about it and seeing it for myself made a world of difference.  The whole time the movie was set in Pandora I wanted a pause button so I could simply sit and stare at the amazing flora and fauna.  James Cameron did a great job of creating a world both similar and different enough for all types of audiences to connect to.

I had read up on the technical aspects of the film to understand the computer animated graphics aspect of the movie but there was still one scene that left me asking, “how did they do that??”  That one scene was when the audience sees Jake’s legs for the first time.  Was it CGI? Makeup?  Sam Worthington’s dedication to his craft?  I had my assumptions but after a few minutes of searching online, I found my answer:

One small but particularly interesting nugget is how James Cameron and his crew made Sam Worthington’s legs look so atrophied. In the film, Worthington plays Jake Sully, an ex-Marine who lost the use of his legs in battle and is confined to a wheelchair. The answer? Not computer effects but prosthetics.

“John Rosengrant at Stan Winston’s studio took a mold from the legs of a paraplegic who had about Sam’s skeletal size, and then we created rubber legs,” Cameron said. “Sam’s actual legs are tucked down through the chair.”

(Credited to http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1629810/story.jhtml)

Now that I’ve finally seen Avatar, I’ve been reading anything that will give me more insight into Pandora and the N’avi world.  I’m also really tempted to buy the 200+ page book on Pandora and start learning the N’avi language but I will resist for now.  Hmm… I wonder what the term for an Avatar geek will be.  Avie? Tarie? We’ll see.  At any rate, I don’t mind being one of them.  Count me in for the next two movies!



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