Lightstorm Entertainment, the visual effects provider of the movie Alita: Battle Angel, made the world fall in love with Rosa Salazar and her portrayal of the humanoid robot, Alita.
Alita: Battle Angel was nominated in the Oscars shortlist for the Visual Effects category. In an interview, the VFX team discussed their thoughts about the project and how James Cameron’s Avatar influenced the movie.
Richard Baneham, one of the creatives behind the visual effects, talked about how Rosa Salazar perfectly captured Alita’s personality.
“The Rosa portion of it is the single most important thing, and I’m glad that you find her and like her. BecauseRichard Baneham
that castingis the success or failure of the movie.”
Mike Cozens, a fellow artist from the team, reiterated that it is their job to keep Alita’s character intact throughout the film.
“That character arc from innocent and childlike, and all these passionate reactions to the world that she kind of tumbles into at the beginning of the film to this evolved warrior woman by the end of the film…”Mike Cozens
In an answer to Jon Landau’s interview two years ago, Baneham confirms that Alita: Battle Angel wouldn’t have been created if Avatar didn’t exist. “You go all the way back to 2005, when we started the Avatar testing. I think ILM were doing the original test, but we weren’t even sure whether we were going to make Battle Angel or Avatar.”
He added, “Alita was a bridge between two worlds. She had to coexist with a live action.”
When asked if a sequel is on the way, Baneham said that we need to face the reality. The movie did not make it big in the US but it was a box-office hit abroad. The thing that consoles them and gives them hope is whenever they ask someone who have seen it, they go, “That was a much better movie than I thought.”
Having been nominated for Best Visual Effects in the Oscars, Alita: Battle Angel’s stunning effects transcend through Rosa Salazar’s performance. One can clearly see the emotion even in her digital eyes.
Richard Hollander, one of the creative staff, says, “That’s a lot of the reason why people stick to the movie. She’s in there for an hour and a half, as a CG character. You forget, because Rosa’s performance is right there. Everybody bought it, because you saw her.”
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