On Friday, August 21 audiences will have a chance to see 16 minutes of footage from James Cameron’s upcoming sci-fi adventure Avatar in one of over 100 IMAX 3-D theaters worldwide. There will be two screenings of the footage (at 6 and 6:30 PM) in what is being dubbed “Avatar Day,” which will include an introduction from Cameron and some new footage not shown during July’s Comic-Con presentation of 25-minutes of footage, which I previewed and detailed here.
It’s an unprecedented event and one I recommend you skip. Why?
Well, in an attempt to kick start what I hope will become almost a daily feature here on RopeoSilicon.com we have a short audio commentary in which I discussed the situation with resident box-office oracle Laremy Legel. Both of us saw the Avatar footage at Comic Con last month and have an opinion on the matter, which will hopefully help you decide whether you should check out this footage or not. As a primer, here is a Twitter quote from Film School Rejects contributor Cole Abaius that really hits the nail on the head:
Take a listen to our thoughts in the audio player directly below. It runs 6:12 minutes and future installments will hopefully never go longer than five minutes.
For those still interested in trying to get seats to the free screening, stand by because starting at noon PST on Monday, August 17 they will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis on the Avatar official website. Will it get clogged up? Will the server sputter and die? Doubtful, but Jeff Wells thinks it may happen in his ten questions and observations about the forthcoming free showing.
As stated in the audio file, the trailer for Avatar will be premiering the same day as the IMAX footage and that is where I think the majority of you should leave it. It’s just a suggestion, and is likely to get you more excited for the film rather than seeing out-of-sequence and out-of-context footage prior to the film’s December 18 release.
It’s just a suggestion, but even Anne Thompson at IndieWire is kicking the tires on Avatar and District 9 comparisons saying earlier today, “Thanks to amazing VFX work, the human-scale aliens [in District 9], executed on the level of Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean, interact seamlessly with humans (far more than in James Cameron’s Avatar).” She says this having only seen the footage I have seen. What will the watchful eyes of the online masses come away thinking and how will it affect public perception heading into December?
It is only 16 minutes of footage from a film that is already confirmed to be over two-and-a-half-hours long (and possibly upwards of three), but do you really want to run the risk?