ILM and The Last Airbender
MovieWeb got a behind-the-scenes look at ILM’s contributions to The Last Airbender, the M. Night Shyamalan VFX feast based on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon. They discuss the creative process and the new experiences that came along with it, and get in-depth on the fact that the movie combines 2 of the most difficult CG effects in a constant way: Fire and Water.
You talked about bending the fire before, so was that the most difficult of the four elements to bend or were the rest difficult? Also, is Momo completely CG or is he a puppet of some sort?
Pablo Helman: I think fire and water were the most difficult ones, because of how familiar we are with fire and how Night wanted this element to look completely realistic. Sometimes we'd do 60 or 70 takes. That's kind of a lot. It was something where Night was directing, just how he would direct actors. Earth was difficult also because it was all particle work and air, we all kind of had to discover it. Nobody really knew what that was going to look like. Was it going to be smoky? Were we going to distort the background? Momo was pure CG, although we did have a maquette of the actual creature and we also had some blue-screen bags that the actor would carry around, just to have an idea of the weight and position.