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Friday, September 30, 2022

James Cameron turns to Earth before release of new ‘Avatar’ – Brospar Daily News

NEW YORK (AP) — There is a new nature documentary series that promises to show audiences incredible animal behavior with vibrant clarity. Have you heard of it before? Well, this one is on steroids.

“Super/Nature,” a six-episode National Geographic series now streaming on Disney+, has hired “Avatar” creator James Cameron as executive producer, who has added special effects on top of leading filmmaking techniques .

These effects sometimes turn animals into stars in Marvel movies, their bellows warping the air, and clumsy attacks causing shockwaves in the sand or pheromones from insects that are rendered as bursting toxic clouds. Even trees glow when sugar passes through their roots.

“We’re not actually faking it or turning it into a superhero movie. We’re giving our limited senses an entrance into the natural world, which is far beyond anything we can directly perceive,” Cameron recently said. tell reporters.

The episodes are arranged by themes – to eat or be eaten, mating games and bloodlines are some themes – and viewers get a visual treat as cameras capture everything from Mexican fireflies making synchronized light shows to bottlenose dolphins teaming up with Brazilian fishermen to capture mullets fish.

Videographers with the latest scientific data took 80 animal photos in 25 countries, using high-tech equipment such as high-speed cameras and drones to create the series. Cameron listed what they were trying to capture – infrasound, ultrasonic, ultraviolet and infrared.

“What is our purpose in doing this? Not just for entertainment, but definitely to teach and demonstrate the wonder, majesty and complexity of nature,” Cameron said. “As entertainers, storytellers, we’re going to use every trick we know to try to get that engagement.”

So unlike traditional nature documentaries, where adding effects is a strict no-no, ‘Super/Nature’ allows us to feel what a bat’s sonar looks like, see what a bumblebee sees, or how a bear communicates with invisible clues .

“Bears can smell pheromones, but we can’t see them. It’s a visual medium; it’s not a scent medium,” he said. “It’s true. It’s just that we can’t see it. So we have to use these effects to see what they see or smell what they smell.”

The show is narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is lively, sly and delicious in his description. “The females of this species like some really weird stuff,” he said of the vampire spider. To the cicada that popped up after 17 years underground, he added coldly: “America’s biggest speed-dating event is about to begin.”

Cameron raved about Cumberbatch: “He doesn’t just narrate; he plays it,” he said. “He gives you an idea of ​​what’s going on in a way that I think is very relevant.”

Cameron, an ardent environmentalist and vegan, sees “super/natural” as a logical extension of his latest filmmaking, which includes the upcoming fantasy film “Avatar: Ways of Water.” On both counts, he hopes to reawaken curiosity about the natural world.

“The natural history stuff isn’t just a side hustle of making Avatar movies. For me, they fit together perfectly and are equally exciting for me,” he said. “It always amazes me with the complexity of nature.”

The surprise is captured in the series, with glow-in-the-dark squirrels soaring the length of a football field, burrowing owls mimicking the rattle of snakes to scare off predators, and stingrays leaping six feet above the sea.

Cameron’s last documentary series on animals was “The Whale’s Secret” narrated by Sigourney Weaver. The director has fond memories of growing up in Canada exploring the woods, catching insects and watching birds.

“It blows your mind how amazing nature is, the things we take for granted, and how nature has developed all these different amazing strategies for these animals and these plants over millions of years.”

He also downplayed the attention the James Webb Space Telescope has received with its latest images from Neptune’s rings to galaxy clusters.

“It’s the only planet we’ve identified that has life — and there’s evidence — that it has life. It’s an amazing planet,” he said. “Compared to Mars, where there are hundreds of millions of species, we don’t even know if there’s just one species there.

“I love Mars. I love exploring in space and underwater. But we have to take care of this planet. We have to understand it before we destroy it.”

Mark Kennedy in http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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