Some Surprising And Curious Details Of The Upcoming Avatar Blu-Ray Bonuses

Posted by September 15, 2010 Comment

The supplemental material for the upcoming Blu-ray re-release of Avatar is being passed through the BBFC. So far, only a handful of items have been passed, but they’re rather interesting.

The key item is probably the one labelled “Deleted Scenes – Never Before Seen”. Though there’s no breakdown of just what scenes are contained, we can see that the full running time is 68 minutes and 4 seconds. There’s also something attached that they’re calling “USER’S GUIDE FOR VIEWING AVATAR SCENES WITH UNFINISHED SHOTS” – which, if my mathematical skills haven’t failed me, will run to three minutes and ten seconds.

Wow. That’s a big run in. The disc’s producers sure don’t want us to view these “SCENES WITH UNFINISHED SHOTS” without the proper prep. I guess nobody wants the fans (see image, top of post – or, for that matter, me) feeling all confused when a space bush looks a bit under-detailed or Neytiri’s complexion seems rougher than usual.

Meanwhile, there’s also something called The Night Before Avatar, running 4 minutes and 46 seconds. What’s this going to be? A video diary of Fox execs having panic attacks?

Some of the featurettes have been classified under the umbrella of “Production Shorts 1”. These include Sculpting Avatar, The Amp Suit, Na’vi Costumes, Speaking Na’Vi and Pandora Flora. In total, they clock in at under 27 minutes.

Perhaps the biggest surprise so far is the inclusion of some very interesting test footage from an entirely different film…

Back in 2002, Cameron was planning to adapt Patricia Anthony’s novel Brother Termite. It’s a kind of alien invasion story that warps a lot of cliches of the genre, not to mention of tabloid newspapers, into a quite cunning sci-fi satire. In order to make the film the way he wanted to, Cameron was wanting to use the performance capture technology that later made Avatar possible.

So, he tested his nascent performance-capture tech on an actor, pointing a number of cameras at his face to generate the data for a CG character’s expressionns. For reasons that I’m not entirely clear on, the project was shelved and the footage vaulted.

However, according to the BBFC’s records, there’s going to be almost two minutes of this test footage on the upcoming Avatar disc. Incredible – I thought we’d never see it. For real Cameron nuts, not to mention fans of the book, this might the most exciting, unexpected gem in the whole package. On the other hand, it could be two minutes of an actor making funny faces with little cameras strapped all over him. Can’t wait to find out.

ADDED NOTE: As we previously reported, the disc seems set to street on November 16th in the US.

(Last Updated September 15, 2010 4:47 pm )