To celebrate the release of Avatar: The Way of Water, HeyUGuys was invited to tour the Lightstorm Studios in Manhattan Beach, California.

What a way to experience movie history up close and personal! The afternoon started off in the Lightstorm Museum. It was amazing to see original on screen props from Avatar, Aliens, Terminator 2, Alita Battle Angel and Titanic. The attention to detail that goes into all of these props was absolutely fascinating. No wonder Academy Award winning James Cameron has directed 3 out of the 4 highest grossing films of all time!

A highlight from the tour would have to be the moment I was allowed to try on the original Heart of the Ocean necklace that was displayed in the museum next to Jon Landau’s Best Picture Oscar for the film.

After Jon Landau joined us at the end of the tour for a once in a lifetime photo op, we were then moved to a screening room for a sneak peek at some of the behind the scene bonus features that will be available on the Avatar: Way of Water Digital Release.

One bonus feature on the digital release is a section called Inside Pandora’s Box which includes a series of featurettes on the challenges the cast and crew faced as filmmakers devised new technologies to push the limits of cinema. For example the behind the scenes challenges of motion capture above and below the water surface and the technology they needed to bring that to life such as a state of the art water tank that included a wave machine and current generator to reproduce ocean conditions.

Following our sneak peek of the behind the scenes footage we then finished our tour with a presentation by Academy Award and BAFTA winner, Richard Baneham, who walked us through the ways in which motion capture technology works. An example Baneham showed us featured a scene with Kiri swimming by herself underwater. He demonstrated to us how he was able to resize a piece of coral and this showed how every little bit of detail adds up to make the magical world of Pandora.