‘Avatar’: technologically advanced, even in the trailer

Nov. 24, 2009 | 5:01 p.m.

“AVATAR” COUNTDOWN: 25 DAYS

James Cameron’s decade-long quest to deliver his sci-fi epic “Avatar” to moviegoers is nearing its climax. We’re counting down the days to the Dec. 18 release with daily coverage here at the mighty Hero Complex. Today, an interactive trailer is introduced, allowing more access to behind-the-scenes work and character development.

The technology of James Cameron’s “Avatar” is being called groundbreaking before it has even launched — and now that tag can extend even to the trailer.

No, not that trailer — the one where everyone seemed to form full and complicated opinions after viewing only minutes of the epic — but a new one that just launched this morning. The “Avatar” Interactive trailer is actually more of a program or application than your usual run-of-the-mill teaser.  With Cameron’s film taking years to complete, the trailer even took a while to develop, too, with a four-month creation time.

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“We kind of look at it as the next generation of movie trailers because it allows users to interact and delve deeper into the content of the movie,” says Fox’s Jeffrey Godsick, executive vice president of marketing and digital content.

Built on Adobe AIR software, the application not only plays trailers, but also helps you keep track of news about “Avatar” through all kinds of social media. Like the Virtual Echo desktop for “Dollhouse” (RIP), AIR also can be made portable and not browser-based. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube all contribute to the feed that will fill up your entire screen if you choose.

With all of that, the trailer is the centerpiece, and with it are other video pieces that give the user more insight into the creation of the movie. “Hots pots” during the trailer allow users to see vignettes about creature and technological designs and hear character profiles from many of the film’s stars.

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It can be a bit overwhelming when you first see it cover your whole screen, and for fans who are really anticipating the movie, the officialavatar tweeter pops up with updates even when the program is minimized. It’s all a cool interaction, but I wondered how much input Cameron, the tech godling, had in the program’s development.

“The incorporation of technology has always been really important to [Cameron]. He’s really been supportive of the idea because it’s cool, but also because it really does allow people to get involved in this world.  He and Lightstorm have actually been involved in the creation of some of the content pieces,” says Godsick.

The program will continue to be updated as the movie nears. It was also mentioned that Cameron’s Lightstorm is developing a Pandorapedia to launch in December that will give an even more in-depth look at the world “Avatar” has created.

To download the interactive trailer, you can do it via the film’s official movie site (www.avatarmovie.com) and social network profiles on Facebook (www.facebook.com/officialavatar), YouTube (www.youtube.com/officialavatar) and Twitter (twitter.com/officialavatar), as well as through the Adobe.com website.

– Jevon Phillips

Photos: Screenshots from the application.

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Comments


5 Responses to ‘Avatar’: technologically advanced, even in the trailer

  1. Janine Snyder says:

    Where is the megadetailed interview with James Horner and Wanda Bryant? Tell us how the sound world was created. Also Hinnigan's ethnic instruments!

  2. Cavitation says:

    All that effort, but they still don't get everything right. You can link to a ticket purchase function from the downloaded application, but they only have North American theatres available. If the developers only wrote the application for Americans, it doesn't reflect well on their abilities. Tho, I must say the application is worth using…

  3. Stunsail says:

    So the "Hots pots" you mention are in case we get hungry during watching? Mmmmmm

  4. Maggie says:

    I donno. The movie looks weird. And not in a good way.

  5. Nevada Tom says:

    The story is simply an updated version of Dances With Wolves

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