Directed by James Cameron, who has previously produced or directed many successful film franchises such as ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Alien’, Avatar follows the story of Jake Sully who is assigned onto the Avatar program, on the planet of Pandora, after his brother is killed in action. With the use of his new avatar body, Jakes is instructed by the mining company RDA to convince the N’avi, the local natives of the planet, to move away so the RDA can extract the valuable minerals deep within the planets plants. However, as Jake gains the trust of the N’avi, his alliance for them becomes stronger eventually leading Jake to fighting against the group he works for.
As with any sci-fi movie, there are many specific codes and conventions that the viewer would most predominately notice during the movie. One of which is the fact that the film is set in the near future or thousands of years later with Avatar being set in the year 2154. In addition, most sci-fi films usually include far away planets, which are usually occupied by an alien species, thus usually resulting in conflict between the humans and the alien species, which in this case of Avatar involves the humans ending up in conflict with the N’avi on the planet Pandora. Imaginative settings also play a major part in any sci-fi film as it creates a wow factor for the audience whilst also emphasizing the major work that the production company have put into making the futuristic settings seem believable and that our world could become like it in the future. Whilst Avatar is mostly set on the unspoilt land of Pandora, one of the memorable areas of the planet is the floating mountains that hovers over the land.Furthermore, another convention that makes up any sci-fi film includes the use of futuristic technology such as spaceships, link beds, which transferred the human to their avatar body, interactive holographs and which are used within the film. This has become a major part of any sci-fi film as it allows the production company and the audience to become part of the franchise by imagining up futuristic equipment. In terms of the types of camera angles used, one of the most used camera angles in any sci-fi film is the use of establishing shots. These are very effective as it allows the audience to take in the futuristic settings, which are commonplace in sci-fi films, thus allowing them to become engulfed in this new and exciting setting, which in this case takes the form of the natural yet mystical world of Pandora. Other types of shots that are used include medium and full body shots that are mostly used during the
fight scenes in Avatar, close ups and extreme close ups that are used to emphasize thecharacters emotions and even highlight a major part of the plot that the characters may mention during the film. In addition, tracking shots also play a major part in sci-fi films as the camera follows a particular character. This in particular is used during the battle, fight and chase scenes during Avatar allowing the audience to become part of the action during the film.