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Old 12-17-2014, 12:38 PM
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Default AVATAR - 5 Years - A Look Back

Can you believe it is 5 years today, 17th December, since Avatar was premiered in Leicester Square, London? It has been quite a journey for many of us and continues to be. So I just thought I would take a look back on my experiences over the past five years. Feel free to add yours.

2009

Why not start back at the premiere night? Check out this video from the night where everything changed for us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TusABjq124Y

At the time I didn't know this was going on. The first I got to hear about it was in an advert on the TV. At the time I had just finished work for Christmas and being as I didn't have anything to do I thought I might as well go and see it. I didn't watch in in 3D as I didn't think the 3D would work for me…

Nottingham, 22nd December. That's when everything really did change. I came out of the cinema completely dazed by what I has just seen. I didn't know what to do. Do I go and see it again or wait...? No this needed something special and I ended up travelling 50 miles to Birmingham to watch it in 3D on the IMAX! As we waited to go in I remember thinking, why have I travelled 50 miles just to watch a film... There ended up being soooo many repeat viewings.

Back at home I was scouring the internet for information about anything and everything to do with Avatar. My first find was Avatar Forums. I joined, but stayed quiet. It felt odd being so affected by a film and here I was in my mid 30s on a forums about Avatar. Gradually I began to realise there were so many like me and with the same experience. So I dipped my toe in the water and began to find new friends from around the world.

This film was affecting me physically too. Unbeknown to me I was losing weight. I didn't realise until I found myself looking in a large mirror at myself. I had lost 3 stone (42 pound/21 kg)!

Meanwhile, I was unaware of other forums were popping up: LearnNa'vi, Na'vi Blue, Avatar Prime to name but a few. Interest in the language was growing massively . Contact had been made with Dr Paul Frommer, who was later to be known 'Karyu Pawl' - Teacher Paul.

2010
There was a large environmental message with Avatar that resonated with many of us and there was much debate. It was suggested that instead of talking about it, why don't we do something about it. So through the summer of 2010 a group of 23 Avatar fans from nine different countries created 'Our Only Home': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiFRTu5EtNo

There was also an App made by Unil Makto which can still be downloaded here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ouro...390877337?mt=8

Avatar ‘Special Edition’ was released in the August and many more trips to the cinema followed, including one special night on 5th November where we got permission to show our fan film prior to a showing of Avatar at the IMAX in Birmingham. There was a group of us who went, including Unil Makto who had flown over from the US to join us!

By the end of 2010 we were all getting rather reflective of what a year it had been so we decided to do a video message to James Cameron: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmT5wQfqq6g

2011
What a year! What were we going to do next? Enter stage left Raiden on Tree of Souls with the suggestion of meeting up in Seattle for the opening of the Avatar Exhibition. Word spread around the forums and arrangements were made. The clan on LearnNa’vi were also organising a meet up, but a month after the proposed one and so notes were swapped to get the same hotel discounts for both groups.

Here is a video from the first meet up (a playlist of 8 short videos): http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...YsuVM52MNgMqC9

After the first meet up there was a very strong desire to do it all again and so AvatarMeet was born. Meanwhile in Germany EuroAvatar was also taking place pulling together Avatar fans from across Europe : EuroAvatar 3

2012
Whilst Avatar had long gone from the cinemas, the Avatar fandom was still thriving. The summer saw Euro Avatar and AvatarMeet take place. EuroAvatar was held near Berlin and the city was painted blue! Meanwhile in Seattle the museum where the Avatar exhibition was located had organised a visit by Jon Landau, who gave the assembled fans a talk followed by questions. In addition Dr Paul Frommer came and gave a Na’vi lesson class 101 that was videoed and can be found on his naviteri.org blog here: Audio and Video Learning Materials for Na

All the videos and photos from the event can be viewed here: AvatarMeet.com

2013
This was the year of the meet ups, possibly because Jon Landau said he wanted to see the gatherings grow and grow, every year…

The first one was a mini-meet in London:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZckqkWn4Vk

Then there was a mini-meet in New Jersey to visit the Avatar Exhibition whilst on its travels:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNvK0XxK1AE

This was quickly followed by Euro Avatar 3 which Karyu Pawl and his husband , John, attended. The meet up was captured in photos and video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK1lk4dEi8Q

And then AvatarMeet 2013, which took in Washington and Shenandoah National Park:
AvatarMeet.com

Karyu Pawl provided Na’vi Class 102 which was captured for prosperity and can now be found on his Naviteri.org blog: Na’vi 102 Videos! | Na

Lightstorm sponsored the room hire for the clan showing of Avatar and also provide sweets, candy and drinks for the showing along with a surprise video message from Jon Landau. In return the attendee of the meet up send an ‘irayo message’ back to them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66E-pIcfwFI

2014
2013 was quite a busy year on the meet up front during, what someone described as, the desert period between films. But for the fans of Avatar 2014 witnessed a unique experienced. Lightstorm invited us to visit their studios! It was an amazing time for the fans to meet the people who turned James Cameron’s story and vision into reality and express their appreciation…as well as have a fun time!

I never would have thought I would have met such a wonderful group of people that I would get to share my time with, let alone leave the shores of my country. Irayo nìtxan for accepting me ma ayelan.

Although there are seemingly so many dark ills in the world, every now and again there are very bright chinks of light that beam out. For those who have connected with this film called Avatar, from fan to film creator, it feels like one of the chinks of light has shone brightly on us all. I hope it continues for a long time to come.

This has been my Avatar journey so far, what was yours?

Eywa ngahu frakrr ma aysmuk,

Alan
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:27 PM
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Alan, you have done so much to keep the spirit of Avatar alive for so many people... Always putting in real sweat, quality and quantity work, and always unassuming and not seeking credit. Thank you, my friend.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:26 AM
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Awww...Irayo nìtxan ma tsmukan. You've got me all embarrassed. The thing is this Avatar experience has given me so much I have a duty to give back as best I can. There are so many good folks like you, who have contributed in so many ways, many not visible. It really is a privilidge to know so many good people and call you friends.

Eywa ngahu ma Sempu,

Alan
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:26 PM
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2009: I didn't see it yet
2010: I finally saw it in late January or February, thought it was the best movie ever made, bought a bunch of Avatar stuff
2011: Sarah told me about the museum opening so I went to that and found ToS that way
also got together with HNM
2012: Went to that meetup, met HNM and a bunch of other new people, and since I didn't go to the 2014 meetup, I remember this as the best one
moved to the UK a couple months later
2013: Drove to that meetup since it was close enough to my mom's house, forgot to distribute stickers
Married HNM
was then refused financial aid and I had to drop out
2014: Missed this meetup because I wanted to take my dog to the UK, which was really dumb because now we're going back to the US anyway and probably missing the next one

As for the way I've felt about Avatar, my "PAD" was delayed, I didn't get anything like that until 2012 and I think it was partially due to forum influence but I'm pretty much okay now.
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Old 12-18-2014, 04:49 PM
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Isn't that just amazing how Avatar brough you and HNM together.. You would have never met if it wasn't for ToS! Eywa ngahu frakrr ma aysmuk.

Alan
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Old 12-20-2014, 11:16 PM
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Five years ago...oof! Well gosh, I still doesn't completely understand what happened to me five years ago. Every time I think I've got it figured out, I end up changing my mind. I still remember the day I first saw it so clearly though. What has my journey been like in these five years? *Sigh* well I wish I could say that I've done something significant to save the world but I can't. I've done little steps here and there... At least I have gotten to know some good people here, including my experiences at one of the meetups. I hope the next films get made without any more delay, I want this fanbase - nay, this movement - to get out of its slump and to exceed what it was!
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Old 12-21-2014, 09:51 AM
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^Irayo Eywa to that EG It was great to meet up with you at that meet up. I hope you make it to future ones too.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:55 PM
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It was great to meet up with you too Alan! Truly a sincere pleasure. I'll see if I can make it to others. I'm still in awe of what happened between Lightstorm and everyone who went to that meetup.
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sempu View Post
Alan, you have done so much to keep the spirit of Avatar alive for so many people... Always putting in real sweat, quality and quantity work, and always unassuming and not seeking credit. Thank you, my friend.
^This.

Irayo nitxan from me too, Alan...and here's to the next 5 yrs and beyond for Avatar and our fan community!
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Old 12-28-2014, 07:59 AM
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I really can't believe that it has been five years, it has been an amazing journey from first seeing the movie, falling in love with it, then finding the forums, and then being able to be part of a meet-up and meeting awesome 'eylan, while I may be more active on other sites, it was awesome to get to meet some of you from here and I hope to be able to do it again in the future
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Old 12-29-2014, 01:39 AM
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I remember seeing it for the first time like it was yesterday.
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