Just Wow. But not in the good way.
There is nothing for me to say about the movie that hasn't been said by the Associated Press, The New York Times, or Pajiba.com, so instead I will talk about my own personal connections with the movie. At first, I found it a little difficult to get into the movie, only because I was a part of it. I saw actors that I had met, I saw props I had used, and it was a good ten minutes before I could relax back into the seat to try to enjoy the film. I have never had that problem with a movie before, so it was a really interesting problem to have for the first time.
There were at least three major sequences that I was involved in the filming of, and, needless to say, I was looking forward to seeing those sequences. And generally, I had the same reaction every time. At first, it was amazing to see what the "sets" looked like as actual "places" in the movie. The digital set extensions on the Water Tribe city were beautiful to see, and for the most part all the designs of the film really lived up to what I was imagining on the set.
However, the second step was one of disappointment. I remember seeing actors work, watching extras fight, and seeing stunt men do amazing things as they flew through the air. Seeing it all live was really exciting, but the actual film tended to flatten things out and make everything much less "intense" than it was on the actual shooting set. Not that there aren't cool things in the movie; I just think that some of it looked even better live.
It was also fun to sit through the closing credits and see a whole lot of names that I recognized, from production assistants to the first assistant director. We cheered whenever someone from Philly came onto the screen. I will spend the month of July sharing some stories and pictures from the Airbender set along with the normal entries, since I can talk about the film now that it is out.
If only it were better.