Archive for the ‘Shooting Locations’ Category

The Mystery of The Last Airbender…

May 30, 2009

Christopher Ruvo posted a new article at concerning the filming of The Last Airbender.  Here’s an excerpt of the article:

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan began shooting footage for his new movie Thursday at a quarry in West Rockhill.

And like the Montgomery County director’s suspenseful films, there is much mystery about the happenings on set at M&M Stone Co.

“I know it’s only a movie, but it’s pretty top secret stuff,” a security guard said when asked if a glimpse of the set would be possible.

While access was denied, word is Shyamalan’s team has spent months constructing an elaborate fantasy world that’s to serve as the backdrop for “The Last Airbender,” an adaptation of Nickelodeon’s hit animated series.

A village, a fortress and a castle-like compound are among the large-scale constructions said to be built at the quarry, where security guards and police are stationed to keep trespassers out. Full-grown trees were also brought in and planted to help create the Asian-influenced realm where the movie takes place.

“It’s pretty much a circus down there,” said John Zdon, who works for M&M Stone. “It’s like a carnival. There are so many tents and buses.”

Movie trailers and trucks were parked in a roadside lot late Friday afternoon. Props, including primitive-looking twig constructions and earthenware, were lying around. Headset-wearing crew members were seen walking along the tree-shaded quarry roadway.

Shyamalan is expected to film on location for several weeks. Scenes at the quarry could feature in as much as 25 to 30 minutes of the actual movie, Zdon said.

Mysterious town for mysterious children I guess.

Update: Airbender Producer Frank Marshall has provided this photo of “AIRBENDER base camp.”

airbender base camp


Where We’ll Stop Nobody Knows…

May 28, 2009

Frank Marshall, the Twitter happy producer of The Last Airbender posted this tidbit up today.

For those of you wondering where else AIRBENDER will be shot, we have narrowed it down to Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, or Viet Nam…

Remember only 27 days away from Transformers 2, and The Last Airbender teaser trailer!

Shooting to Start This Week in South Philly Seaplane Hangar

April 12, 2009

According to a report by, shooting is set to begin this week at one of the largest soundstages on the East Coast.

This week, M. Night Shyamalan and his Last Airbender cast and crew will shoot at the Navy Yard in South Philly on what could be the largest soundstage on the East Coast.

It’s a World War II seaplane hangar that served as the PX for the Navy until it was decommissioned – 75-foot ceilings over about 100,000 square feet, or almost two football fields, including end zones. Paramount knocked out the hangar’s temporary columns, walls, and ceilings, so it’s all clear. “Built for war and indestructible” is how Greater Philadelphia Film Office head Sharon Pinkenson describes it. Before Shyamalan got ahold of it for his action film, it was used for storage of equipment for the X Games during the winter between the competition’s two summers in Philadelphia.

After doing a little researching around I managed to find a picture of the hangar/sound stage. This thing is huge!

South Philly Hangar Sound Stage

South Philly Sound Stage Hangar-- ©2008 Everett Priestley

Frank Marshall added a picture of the hangar to his Twitter site this morning!

Navy Hangar Set -- © 2009 Frank Marshall

Navy Hangar Set -- © 2009 Frank Marshall

Bones on the Pagoda

April 3, 2009

Reading Eagle has an article written up by George Hatza, who visited the set of The Last Airbender, who brought back sights and sounds from the live action world of Avatar!

Co-producer, and long time friend of Shyamalan, Jose Rodriguez had this to say about the film.

“The film is very spiritual,” said Rodriguez, who resides in Valley Forge. “The storytelling is more layered (than on the series). There’s a Shakespearean quality about it: a ruthless king destroying a peaceful world. I think it’s fair to say it has an almost operatic power.”

He also made note that the film is as much for adults, as it is for children.

The Air Temple pagoda, seen above littered with the skeletal remains of the Air Nomads, won’t appear that way for long.

Ironically, the Pagoda itself may not be seen in its current state in the film. It will be digitally transformed to appear as a ruined ancient temple. Moreover, all modern background objects will be digitally erased.

Check the link above for the full article, and a video of Shyamalan on-set, doing what he does best!

And be sure to check out Last Airbender Fans‘ ever growing collection of on-set photos, from which the above shot of the rusted over Fire Nation tank was borrowed.

Lights, Camera, Airbend!

March 20, 2009

(Click to enlarge)

First picture of the Water Tribe set in Greenland, courtesy of Sermitsiaq! Filming is set to take place between March 23 through April 3, potentially totalling six minutes worth of the final film. It’s also worth noting that the film’s budget is estimated at $250 million! If that’s true, Paramount must have a lot of confidence in the production.

Open Casting Call in Philly!!

January 24, 2009

So you think you have what it takes to be a part of the lovely scenery in The Last Airbender? Well folks, if you’re not white, here’s your chance!

Aspiring actors on campus will have a chance to show off their Hollywood skills this weekend.

Tomorrow there will be a general open casting call for extras in the latest M. Night Shyamalan movie, The Last Airbender.

Shyamalan, a Philadelphia native, has directed a number of box-office hits, including The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and The Happening.

His newest movie will be a live-action version of the Nickelodeon fantasy TV show Avatar. The casting call will be held at Wachovia Spectrum’s Bullies Restaurant, located at 3601 S. Broad Street, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Deedee Rickets, the casting director for the film, said she is looking to cast men and women ages 18 to 65 and children ages six to 15. Casting officials are seeking candidates with military or martial arts experience, athletes, gymnasts and people of various races and cultures.

“We want you to dress in traditional cultural ethnic attire,” she said. “If you’re Korean, wear a kimono. If you’re from Belgium, wear lederhosen.”

Another way to stand out is to demonstrate skills such as basket weaving, hair braiding, making clay pots, puppeteering, knitting, looming – “any artisan craft,” Rickets said.

She said the set and cast will reflect the alternate world of the film, and not the streets of Philadelphia.

People auditioning do not need to bring pictures or resumes because pictures will be taken at the casting call. Those unable to attend can e-mail

An additional casting call will take place on Feb. 7, but details have not yet been determined.

Once Rickets sees all of the pictures, she will make a collage to present to Shyamalan. There are also possible upgrades for speaking parts or other roles “outside the realm of extras.”

All positions are paid, and experienced extras will receive higher payment.

Positions range in time commitment – shooting begins in mid-March and ends in July. A role could involve being on set for three weeks, then having a break, and then resuming for another three weeks. Alternatively, one could be on set for just a few days.

And then there are the perks of being on the set of a major film – the cast includes Jesse McCartney and Twilight’s Jack Rathbone. The movie is slated to come out in the summer of 2010.

The lead role is being played by up-and-comer Noah Ringer.

Recently, Rickets has worked on the sets of Tropic Thunder and Charlie Wilson’s War.

“All are encouraged to come out and see what’s going on,” Rackets said.

So kimono’s are traditional Korean attire, huh? Mmmkay, it seems like they’re trying to treat an infected laceration with a band-aid now. The outcry over the “whitewashing” of the main cast has clearly reached the ears of the casting director and Mr. Shyamalan. Though I fear it might be too little, too late as far as those offended are concerned. I admit that it’s going to be a little awkward to see a white Gaang mixing it up with the rest of the ethnically diversified population, who won’t be white.

Rathbone Begins Martial Arts Training

January 17, 2009

Jackson Rathbone was selected by MTV as one of its Male Rookies of 2009 in Pop Culture, and sounds very keen on beginning his martial arts training for The Last Airbender!

“It’s just an action-packed, epic film,” he said of M. Night Shyamalan’s “Airbender.” “I’m starting to do martial-arts training, which is going to be so much fun. It’s such a mythical world. We get to go to Asia, go film abroad.”

Congratulations Sokka!

Producer Marshall Talks Airbender

December 17, 2008 has an exclusive video interview with The Last Airbender producer, Frank Marshall! An interesting point from the interview is that they are “committed” to three films like they were committed to making three Indiana Jones films. He also mentions that they’ll be filming in Philadelphia, Greenland, and the Far East. Filming is scheduled to begin in March 2009, with the film to be released late 2010, or early 2011. Looks like that July 2, 2010 release date isn’t so solid anymore.