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Avatar: The Way of Water VFX Supervisor Rushed to Surgery After Oscar Win
By Kofi Outlaw,
Avatar: The Way of Water walked away with a 2023 Oscar for "Best Achievement in Visual Effects", but the night didn't end so happily for senior visual effects supervisor Eric Saindon. Saindon ended up having to be rushed out of The Academy Awards ceremony after his win, in order to have emergency surgery.
Representatives from Weta FX have since informed the public that Eric Saindon started having abdominal discomfort early in the day of The Oscars , and checked into a Beverly Hills hospital by lunchtime that day. He was cleared of appendicitis and/or kidney stones as immediate concerns and was discharged on painkillers to attend The Oscars ceremony that evening. It was during The Oscars that Saindon started to experience more pain; he held out long enough to win his award for Visual Effects but had to cut his press interviews afterward short, in order to be taken to the hospital again.
Ultimately it was determined that Saindon was suffering from a ruptured small intestine, which is certainly no trivial matter. Doctors got Saindon into surgery, and it's now being reported (via representatives from Weta FX) that he is in recovery at this time.
Eric Saindon might be in pain in discomfort right now, but the joy of winning his first Oscar will surely outpace the physical pain. Saindon has been nominated for an Oscar three times including his win for Avatar 2 ; he was previously nominated in consecutive years (2013, 2014) for his work on Peter Jackson's first two The Hobbit movies, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He also did some early breakout work on Fox's X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006.
We send the best to Eric Saindon as he recovers, and hope to be wowed by more of his visual artistry in the near future ( Avatar 3) .
What Will Avatar 3 Be About?
Avatar 3 will presumably continue the story of Pandora to explore how Quaritch regroups after his failed attempt to hunt Jake Sully in a new Na'vi body; meanwhile, the Sully family will be still reeling and trying to heal from the tragic loss in The Way of Water's climax, while also trying to defeat the RDA without losing more of their family.
"The fire will be represented by the 'Ash People.' I want to show the Na'vi from another angle because, so far, I have only shown their good sides," Cameron explained "In the early films, there are very negative human examples and very positive Na'vi examples. In Avatar 3, we will do the opposite. We will also explore new worlds while continuing the story of the main characters."
Avatar 2 will be released on home video and streaming this year.