Avatar's Michelle Rodriguez says watching Star Wars: The Phantom Menace made her wish she'd rented the video game instead, so she could have controlled the fake-looking CG action. But Avatar won't give you that feeling, because the props are real.
Rodriguez tells the L.A. Times:
You know, there's not one detail that [Cameron] misses. If I am looking at a green screen on a scene, he's gonna show me — on a screen — exactly what I should be seeing, which is amazing. Usually when you work with green screen you act and then somebody tells you, "Yeah, we're gonna put this in post and such and such," but he got that out of the way. Whenever I'm looking at something or have a question about something, he shows it to me. As far as the foliage goes and the protrusions from the planet itself, I got to see a lot of that live cause they actually created it for the set. Most of the stuff that I was working with were mechanical creatures that are actual props...
To me, it was like working on "Star Wars" — the first one. You know how now you watch "Star Wars" ["Episode I" in 1999] and you're like "I could've rented or bought the video game then I'd be in control of what's happening' — because everything's so digital and it doesn't feel real. But you watch the first one ["Episode IV" in 1977] and I don't know how you feel, but I wonder, 'Why does this feel so much greater than the digitized world he [George Lucas] created now?' And I realize it's because of the props. And that's the kind of live-action world that Jim created.