Avatar expands their NZ presence

Posted Thursday 14 Mar 2024

Avatar expands their NZ presence

880 Productions NZ LP is the Wellington based company responsible for making the Avatar Sequels in Wellington. Their focus has been on the Live Action portion of the films but over time it has become clear that James Cameron wants to spend more and more time in New Zealand and have more and more departments working out of Wellington. Since 2021, they have had a full time crew of around 50 people working out of Stone Street Studios.  

They are looking to expand their crew base in New Zealand and start a Wellington branch of yheir Lab department which means adding VFX artists to their team.  Currently, they have 130 people working in the Lab Department in Los Angeles on Avatar 3.  The intent is to start hiring in New Zealand so that by the time Avatar 4 and 5 are underway, the bulk of the Lab will be based in New Zealand.  

The lab creates virtual characters, environments and scenes using 3D digital software, performance capture and key frame animation within a real time render engine. The virtual world and animation is assembled into a file for a particular section of the story. Many such files will be created for each scene of the movie. We then shoot the scenes with a virtual camera in a performance capture volume. The resulting dailies from those cameras are edited together to tell the story and create shots. 

It will be a slow build up but this prospect is an exciting opportunity for local talent! Check out their job listings under Work Opportunities.