GK: What was your inspiration behind your work on “Avatar”?
Neville Page: I didn’t really work with the Na’vi, I did more creature work. The banshee is what I spent the most time on. We knew it was a flying creature. What made it so incredibly challenging, with a bird you have to design it flying, perching, everything has to work. You can’t just draw it one view at a time. Jim and I were both fans of engineering. We spent a lot of time coming up with various concepts. The hardest thing of all was having a Na’vi on top of it and flying it. You had to backwards engineer it. It was like designing and engineering an aircraft. And that’s without the beauty and aesthetics of it.
GK: You’ve worked with J.J. Abrams twice now, including “Cloverfield” where everything was centered on this mysterious monster. What are some challenges when working on films shrouded in secrecy?
TGK: You’ve also worked on the highly anticipated “Tron Legacy.” What can you say about the work you did there? If anything at all.
Neville Page: I can say that I worked on specialty costume design. It was unbelievable and fantastic for me. I’ve been doing creatures for five years now. I got to go back to my roots and do some industrial design. It was a nice departure. Being able to re-imagine what the Tron suit would look like now, and what the good guys and bad guys would look like. It was a challenge for many reasons, but it was a great deal of fun
GK: As you prepare to work on Evolving Pictures Entertainment’s highly anticipated ‘Necroscope’ 4D Motion Picture, talk a little bit about the process behind creating the creatures seen in record breaking ‘Avatar’ Motion Picture.
Neville Page: Like everyone else, we took a stab at everything. We worked on the Na’vi, the plants, the environment. The first people brought on board were to see what the planet would look like. Rather than drawing shapes, I tried to resolve it from a physics standpoint. If a creature was supposed to have six legs you can put those anywhere, but soon an animator will have to make it walk and run. You have to be careful. Jim, like few others, is so tuned into the plausibility of organisms. He wanted them to look as real as possible, and work organically as well.
Neville Page: You get used to it. At first you get frustrated. And there is reason to be secretive. “Cloverfield” for example, there was no saying that I was working on it. It had so many code names. “Avatar” was the same way. Towards the end of it I started working on “Cloverfield.” With “Avatar” it went on for five years and it’s like “Come on,” you want to share what you’re working on. But you don’t want to spoil the fun, or the excitement for anyone. Or worst of all, ruin your career.
'NECROSCOPE 4D' PRODUCER NEVILLE PAGE
ON DESIGNING AVATAR'S BANSHEES