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From the Pages of the Avatar: The Last Airbender Show Bible 
1st-Nov-2009 10:16 pm
jedi
Last week, we came into the possession of a few pages of the Avatar:The Last Airbender's I.P. Bible.

A show 'Bible' is a reference document that television shows use to establish continuity, setting, character histories, the 'rules' of the world and other details. These pages of the I.P. Bible establish the premise of the pilot episode and beyond.

For example, the show Bible establishes certain facts such as "Animals do not talk in this world" and that the Water Tribes "have not been in contact in decades" and that "Fault line energies strengthen Earthbenders." Also, "When it is raining, Firebenders are less powerful." Fans almost never get to see this stuff, so prepare to squee out!

That said, these pages of the I.P. Bible also establishes the environment of the show. The section titled "Environment" says:

"This is an ancient, fantastical Asian environment, primarily Chinese. There are no modern things like electricity. However, the Fire Nation is in their industrial revolution. They use steam powered ships, lay tracks to move supplies."
- The A:TLA IP Bible


The I.P. Bible also insists on respect for source cultures from the very beginning, stating: "We generally do not show signs or writing in the show. If there needs to be a sign, it should be in Chinese with the proper translation, accompanied by subtitles." (As fans, we know that while signs did end up appearing every once in a while with shows, they were able to get away with not using subtitles by having characters read the signs or otherwise place the sign in context using dialogue.)

To view the pages from the I.P. Bible, click here!
(And don't forget to check out the revamped Racebending.com!)
Comments 
2nd-Nov-2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
This is amazing. Thank you so much for posting it. It's so cool that they gave this to you.
2nd-Nov-2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
How wildly do you want this info disseminated?

Meanwhile: YES! Because for the people who are refusing to use their eyes to see and their brains to think, it's a nice bit of rebar to the back of the head.
2nd-Nov-2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
Whoa. T-This is freaking AWESOME!

Also, I just thought of something... the people who would have the most access to the show's Bible would be the higher-ups, right? The writers, animators, storyboard artists and whatnot. Most especially the writers. And when you remember that the show isn't running anymore... then who is most likely to have the Bible with them?!?

Just a little something to think on. ;)
2nd-Nov-2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
This is made of pure win. WOW Epic epic epic proof!!
3rd-Nov-2009 12:16 am (UTC)
SQUEE. Thank you anonymous staffer!
3rd-Nov-2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Anonymous
Thank you *so much* for this.

Pam N.
3rd-Nov-2009 02:26 am (UTC)
Random thing. I am amused to see Mako listed as "guest talent" for the first episode summery. Reminds me about the creator commentary that they were still kind of figuring him out when they started the show.

But very cool! An IP Bible is like...the holy grail of a series and are quite often these very secretive things (like for Halo). The fact that is specifically mentions that the universal written language in the show is Chinese is just another huge point for us.
3rd-Nov-2009 03:16 am (UTC)
I think the reason Halo's is secret is because Microsoft is still making a bajillion of dollars off of other "hardcore gamers". -,-;

But yes, this was our big secret weapon. READ IT AND WEEP! I wonder how Avatar Spirit will react? =D

I'm thinking about making a YouTube video of this news when I can get into the city again.
4th-Nov-2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
A video would be AWESOME!!!

All those in denial can't dispute this evidence!
4th-Nov-2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
Before you make a video, check with me first about what you'll say in the video. There are some issues going on right now with our source.
3rd-Nov-2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
It's great to know that people on the Ava-staff support us on this!

And as a fan in general, reading that made me squee. :D
4th-Nov-2009 12:48 am (UTC)
It seems that a lot of the cartoon staff is rather headdesking in regards to the live action film. I can't say that I blame them either. They but together what could honestly be called a ground breaking show in regards to subject matter and having people of colour as the leads and the big screen adaption takes what they did and basically chucks it out the window.
4th-Nov-2009 06:53 am (UTC)
Yup. Which is insane because in our society movies are given a much bigger deal and are more wildly known and impactful.

One of the things I don't understand is the risk calculation of this film. To me, the risk is simply that it does not turn out that much of a profit compared to other kids movies.

The positive benefits if they did the casting right would be amazing. They would have united the fan base, given minority actors real carriers like when they let Will Smith try to act, and it would break so much ground they could have won awards for. The film could have been so groundbreaking that it would be listed in HISTORY books about film.

All of that potential, tossed away...
4th-Nov-2009 07:03 am (UTC)
Oh, but didn't you know? There are white people in Asia. Like Russians. China even lists them as one of its 56 ethnic minorities!
4th-Nov-2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
I don't have the time to read through the IP Bible right now (I'm probably going to blow off my homework for a hour or so when I get home to do that 8D), but this is awesome! *fangirl flailing* Again, I'm sure there will be people who will remain unconvinced by this, but it'll be a great to reference this the next time I have to explain this to someone. XD
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