Learn How James Cameron’s Team Designed the Alien Worlds of ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ (Exclusive Video)

As it turns out, production design is even trickier on Pandora

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is continuing its unprecedented winning streak at the box office (it just finished its seventh week as the #1 movie and eclipsed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” as the fourth most successful film of all time), but it has also just received four Oscar nominations, including one for Best Production Design, an aspect explored in this brand-new featurette, which you can watch below.

What the video really does is make you appreciate the enormity of “Avatar: The Way of Water’s” production design and how painstaking the process was for the artists, technicians and builders tasked with designing and fabricating the world of Pandora. The short video features interviews with production designers Dylan Cole and Ben Procter, alongside writer/producer/director James Cameron and his longtime producer Jon Landau.

“In making a movie set on Pandora, Pandora doesn’t exist. Which means we’re not only designing everything in the world, piece by piece, but building it, either in the virtual world or practically on physical sets,” producer Landau says in the featurette.

“We decided that there were two worlds in collision,” Cameron describes in the video. “You’ve got the human world which is highly technological and highly recognizable to us. And then we split off the world of Pandora, the Na’vi, the creatures, the plants, everything it.”

To that end we get to see behind-the-scenes and concept artwork for the villainous RDA and how they have expanded their operation to pillage every natural resource on Pandora, as well as the gorgeous, harmonious world of the reef people, who live suspended above the water in the roots of a giant tree. (This is “Avatar,” after all, of course there’s going to be a giant tree.)

Towards the end of the video, Cameron, in a moment of humility, says that he didn’t design a single thing for “Avatar: The World of Water.” “Why would I?” Cameron says in the video. “I get to work with the best artists in the world. You see these designers and their brains are exploding with ideas. I just wish I could write a story so comprehensive that I could use all of their ideas. But it’s just not possible.”

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is in theaters now. See whether or not it’ll take home the gold when the Oscars air live on March 12 on ABC.