Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

Mike & Bryan Interview & HD Korra Promo Art

July 21, 2010

The good people at Nick were kind enough to pass along a high definition version of “The Legend of Korra” promotional art. Click the image above to see it in all its glory.

In other Korra news, Speakeasy spoke with “Avatar: The Last Airbender” creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko in an interview that sheds some light on a number of topics ranging from the highly anticipated new series, to their thoughts on Shyamalan’s adaptation, whom the mother of Aang’s son Tenzin is, and more! Read on Avatar faithful!

The Wall Street Journal: How did you come up with the idea for the spinoff?

Bryan Konietzko: When Mike and I first created “Avatar: The Last Airbender” we always knew it would have an ending to it, that particular story. But as the show really took off, and found an audience all over the world, we knew that despite our intentions of ending that story there would probably be a time when Nickelodeon would come calling and want some more episodes….When that time came we had this idea for jumping ahead and telling a story about the next Avatar, this girl Korra. (more…)

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30 Ninjas Vs. Aasif Mandvi: Round 2!

June 10, 2010

Hey there Avatar fans, you might remember not too long ago getting  half of a riveting interview with everyone’s favorite Admiral, Aasif Mandvi. In this, the second and final installment, Mandvi discusses dealing with a “control freak” director, M. Nights animated Ipod sequences, and dealing with a new demographic.

DAN: Do people stop you on the street a lot?

AASIF: A fair amount. Yeah, I mean, we have our demographic, which is a lot of people in New York.

DAN: The reason why I ask is because something like Airbender has the potential to be mammoth. I’m wondering if you’re prepared for, say, appearances at Comic Cons?

AASIF: I’m not. I’ve never gone to those things. I’m not a comic book person. I’m not really a geek in that way. So I’m very curious to go and experience all of that. It’s definitely interesting. Look, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I don’t worry about how mammoth it’s gonna be. This business is fickle. For me this was like doing an epic play, which I’ve done many of. And I had a great time. If I get people who are a completely different demographic than people who watch The Daily Show recognizing me, I guess that’s a good thing. It can only be good, you know? So, my short answer is no, I’m not prepared for that. (laughs)

DAN: You realize there may be an action figure of you?

AASIF: There already is! They sent it to me!

The second part of the interview is available in its entirety  at 30Ninjas.com .

Aasif Mandvi vs. 30 Ninjas Part 1

June 2, 2010

Dan Kaufman at 30Ninjas.com  just posted the first of a two part interview with Aasif Mandvi. Mandvi goes into detail about his past knowledge of Avatar: The Last Airbender, his experience with acting with “nothing”, and the similarities between theatric off-stage events and working with a green screen. He also talks about the rigorous martial arts training necessary to become Admiral Zhao. The best part was when Aasif and Dan talked about the shakesperian quality of the story, and how Aasif developed his own interpretation of Zhao.

DAN: Now, I get the sense that this whole project is kind of new territory for a lot of people involved. I mean, this is Night’s first adaptation of material that’s not his own. Aside from Spider-Man 2, this is your first huge, summer, tentpole action film. This is your first immersion into CGI, your first bad guy role…it’s kind of like dad is giving you the keys to the car for the first time.

AASIF: Yeah, yeah.

DAN: Was all this exciting? Intimidating?

AASIF: You know what? It was. It was all those things. It was exciting, it was intimidating. But you know, I’m thankful for my theater background. Because when you have CGI, people are always like, “How do you act when there’s nothin’ goin’ on? I mean, there’s a big screen of green, you know?” And I’m like, “But that’s what you do in the theater all the time.”

DAN: You act with nothing.

AASIF: I mean, in the theater, you’re standing there, and supposedly there’s a battle going on offstage, and you’re looking at this battle, and you’re going, “Ah-ha!” So it wasn’t that unbelievably weird. It was sort of like doing a play.

DAN: Right. And you had experience doing your one-man show, so… (more…)

M. Night Vs. 30 Ninjas Part II

May 21, 2010

30Ninjas.com has recently published the second part of their interview with director M. Night Shyamalan, in which, Shyamalan explains the difficulty of creating a complete fantasy world.

JULINA TATLOCK: You know, one of the things that I love about your work is your ability to show the otherworldly within the everyday. And in Airbender, it’s almost the exact opposite.

M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Right, right (laughs).

JULINA: It’s the human relationships and the characters that you can identify with — that humanity in them is the everyday, but they’re within the otherworldly. This is common in fantasy and anime, but did you have concerns about the believability? Or was that a difficult leap for you in any way?

NIGHT: Yeah, I mean, it’s always tricky with a pure fantasy. You’re gonna have an advantage in a movie likeTransformers where the baseline is still the contemporary world. The baseline [in Airbender] is not anything that we’re used to, so it’s very, very tricky. It’s all about the tone. And it took a long time to get the tone right; editing, re-editing, looking at it — and then just getting the CGI, because we’d been editing without [the] CGI [shots] for so long. It was a balancing act that took a long time because we also had the tonality issues that the cartoon played very young and very “slapsticky,” and slowly extricating the balance that was necessary to make it an appropriate representation of the source material, which was beloved, but my version of it and edging it up.

M. Night goes on to comment on his love/hate relationship with previsualization, and dealing with those moments of stress that made him feel like he had lost control of the movie. Be sure to check 30ninjas.com to read the rest of the article!

M. Night Vs. 30 Ninjas Part I

May 14, 2010

The first part of Julina Tatlock’s exclusive phone interview with director M. Night Shyamalan has been published over at 30ninjas.com! They discussed the extraordinary process of creating an extensive digital VFX film for the first time, and the martial arts forms incorporated into the fight choreography including ba gua, tai chi, and Hung Gar. You can read the interview in its entirety here, and be sure to look out for the second part coming soon.

Last Airbender Film Takes Manhattan

April 5, 2010

March 10 – Morning

Start spreadin’ the news. I’m leaving today! Upon waking the morning of my departure, it was hard not to conjure up visions of little green monsters singing the classic Liza Minnelli tune as they looked forward to a night of painting the Big Apple red. To say I was excited would have been a gross understatement. What I had initiated with my friends at Paramount back in July ’09 was finally coming to fruition: an interview with The Last Airbender director M. Night Shyamalan. I had spent the better part of a week taking questions from my readers and fellow Avatar fans, or ‘Avatards.’ I am not exactly clear which fandom owns that name anymore, as it would seem fans of James Cameron’s Money Printer have appropriated the title for themselves much the same way Cameron did the title of the film. I digress. Procrastinator  that I am, I realized I had very little time to make my final preparations for the trip. So the next several hours were spent picking up my clothes from the cleaners, deciding on a tie to wear, buying a new tooth brush, returning some videotapes, learning I would not be required to wear a tie, scribbling down twenty of your best questions, feeding the cat, packing my overnight bag, and feeling down about not being able to wear the awesome tie I bought.
(more…)

UGO Phone Interview With M. Night

March 30, 2010

Jordan Hoffman of UGO.com scored an exclusive phone interview with M. Night Shyamalan, in which we learn the pronunciation of some character’s names has been changed, firebenders do in fact require an outside source for their fire (as we previously reported), and more!

M. Night Shyamalan: Let’s talk about Firebending. When I first saw the show, I saw that everyone else needed their element around them. You need water to bend water, earth beneath your feet to bend earth and air is all around us. So, the idea of self-manifesting fire was the first thing that popped into my head, in terms of wanting to understand this world. Now, manifesting fire through chi, I thought, was fascinating. So – in our movie – the majority of the benders still need a source. So you need fire nearby, which creates all sorts of wonderful, practical issues.

Jordan Hoffman: This is new. Katara keeps a water bag, but firebenders don’t need that.

M. Night Shyamalan:
This is totally new.  So the Fire Nation will throw in a fireball not only to create damage, but to ensure that there is a source of fire.

And Hoffman also addressed the Racebending issue later on in a follow up interview.

Jordan Hoffman: One of the complaints is this: you have Inuit actors playing the background of the water bending tribe, yet the two leads, Sokka and Katara, are white, so people looking for conspiracy will point to this.

M. Night Shyamalan: When you see the whole movie, where the characters go, the Northern Water Tribe all have the European look that Sokka and Katara have, with a few exceptions here and there.

Jordan Hoffman: The other day you said that the second film will feature a lot of the Earth Bending Nation, which is Asian, but there is a community within that that is African-American.

M. Night Shyamalan: That’s correct. And I’m pumped for that.

Visit UGO.com for the rest of the interview!

Los Angeles Times Interviews Noah Ringer

March 29, 2010

Los Angeles Times reporter Amy Kaufman talked with The Last Airbender’s own Noah Ringer at the 2010 Kids Choice Awards.

Nick.com has also posted some Airbender related videos, you can see those at the links below.

KCA 2010: Last Airbender & Ryan Shekler Interview

KCA 2010: Airbender’s Nicola Peltz Bends Slime

KCA 2010: Taylor Lautner & Dev Patel Interview

This videos are probably the worst quality imaginable. If we get higher res versions, we’ll post them.

M. Night On Zuko’s Mom, Book 4, and Poster Signing

March 15, 2010

Greetings my fellow Hotmen. While it will be a few more days before the video of the roundtable discussion will be released to us, our friends at Paramount have agreed to let us give our loyal readers & Last Airbender fans a little preview of the events that transpired on March 11 in New York City.

Three Last Airbender fan sites were invited to participate in the discussion with M. Night Shyamalan: Jordan from AvatartheLastAirbenderOnline.com, Teddy from LastAirbenderFans.com, and myself.  Joining us at the discussion were entertainment journalists from IGN, io9MTV, Jordan Hoffman from UGO whom was particularly fond of the blueberry muffins, and many others. After a brief breakfast at The W Hotel in Times Square, where the aformentioned blueberry muffins were served, we sat down for what turned out to be an hour long discussion with M. Night.

While each writer was only able to ask one question on film due to time, I was able to squeeze in three. M. Night spoke on the film with what can only be described as child-like enthusiasm, and would often deviate into other topics related to a question. After the discussion he was even kind enough to sign our choice of either an Aang or Zuko theatrical one-sheet. While we cannot go into too much detail until the full videotapped discussion is released, here are some juicy tidbits to whet your appetite.

  • The world of The Last Airbender is inspired by Asian culture, much the same way The Lord of the Rings is inspired by Midieval Europe. The story of this film does not take place in our world, hence the absense of East Asian caligraphy that was prevalent in the animated series.
  • M. Night was just as mystified by the lack of resolution in the Zuko’s Mother story arc in Book 3, and declared he will make it a priority to do so in the films.
  • Sillier moments and characters from the show, such as the Cabbage Man, will not be a part of the film.
  • He met with Mike & Bryan during the production of Book 3 to be sure that they had no plans to extend the story into a possible Book 4, before he moved forward with the production of The Last Airbender. Night wanted to be sure it would end in Book 3.
  • Casting the lead characters was done without bias. Any actor of any race had a shot at the roles. Once the lead characters were cast, the people of their respective nations were cast as the same or similar race.
  • Toph will be Asian in the sequel.

 The full video discussion will be available in a few days time. Keep an eye out for it!

Ask M. Night!

March 5, 2010

We are very pleased to announce that Last Airbender Film has been invited by our friends at Paramount Pictures to participate in a filmed round table discussion with director M. Night Shyamalan, in which your questions about the film will be answered! The event will be held next week in New York City on March 11.

To submit your question for consideration, all you have to do is send us an e-mail with your name and question to askmnight@lastairbenderfilm.com. Questions must be submitted no later than 12 PM EST on March 10.