As part of the Miami University Lecture Series, producer Jon Landau spoke at Miami University Monday, Oct. 11 about his experience with technologically advancing movies Titanic, Avatar and we can’t forget the classic Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. It was great to listen to a producer speak because they are usually behind-the-scenes and aren’t very recognizable (I mean, really, how many producers can you list?) other than the films they make.
As expected, since Landau is a movie producer, he showed the audience of around 200 many short clips from production on Titanic and Avatar. The Titanic clip was awesome because it showed the building of the massive Titanic ship and all the different moving aspects of the ship. I won’t look at the film the same way, now that I know what went into it and how the ship works.
Landau’s passion for film was evident, but he focused on the importance of innovation and forward-thinking. “I want to make films that are efficient and emotionally engaging. I like working on the edge of what’s impossible.” Landau said the use of technology allows him to tell stories that other wise wouldn’t be told, i.e.. Avatar. Landau spoke a lot about director James Cameron, who he’s partnered with many times. Landau said of Cameron, “What he creates (in his mind) will force innovation.” It was interesting when Landau said he and Cameron had been wanting to produce Avatar for years and years, but had to wait for technology to “catch up.” Landau said he is working to create an Avatar sequel but won’t rush it.
A final quote I loved from Landau as he wrapped up his speech, “Technology is a means to an end, not an ends to a mean.” It should be explored and embraced. “Failure is an option (with technology) but fear isn’t.”