Jun05

‘Avatar’ Sequels To Be Solar-Powered

Written by Michael d’Estries

James Cameron’s search for a new home to house his Lightstorm Entertainment production company has finally ended — and, as expected, he’s chosen a studio with a commitment to environmental design.

The director and his business partner, Jon Landau, recently announced that the MBS Media Campus in Southern California (formerly known as Manhattan Beach Studios) will serve as the setting for filming the next two “Avatar” sequels.

The five-year lease includes 115,000-square-feet of soundstage and production office space on the 22-acre campus. The studio’s environmental awareness was also integral in attracting Cameron, who intends to make the production of the films carbon neutral.

According to the owners, MBS features “an aggressive water conservation program, eco-friendly paints and cleaning products, sustainable café and craft services practices and a number of programs to promote greener transportation by its employees.”

Not content to stop there, Cameron will also be footing the bill on the installation of a solar array — said to provide all of the electricity needed to shoot and produce the sequels. The $5 million price tag will include such additional amenities as a gym for employees (and one for Cameron), a commissary adjacent to the sound stages, and a private screening room.

In many way, this news simply confirms what the director said he would do last August. “These are things the studios need to be thinking about,” Cameron told the Washington Post. “When I do my next film, we’re going to go much farther than we did in terms of running a green set.”

It’s also worth mentioning that while the sequels will be created with the environment in mind, they will also help benefit green initiatives as well. ”Some percentage of the presumably-massive ‘Avatar’ sequel gross will go to charity,” he revealed earlier this year. “Fox has partnered with me to donate a chunk of the profits to environmental causes that are at the heart of the ‘Avatar’ world.”

Add it all up and we just might be looking at the most environmentally conscious blockbusters ever to grace the silver screen. “Avatar 2” and “Avatar 3” will be released winter 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Michael d’Estries blogs for the Mother Nature Network.

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