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Jon  Landau

Jon Landau

Academy Award-Winning Producer of Titanic & Avatar

Jon Landau

Academy Award-Winning Producer of Titanic & Avatar


Thanks to Academy Award-winning producer and avant-garde effects artist Jon Landau, we can be certain of a few things in the future. “Unobtainium” will probably be pretty hard to get a hold of. Avatars in the future will have to offer consumers more than just blue. And if the technology needed for Jon to tell a story doesn’t exist, it soon will. With an innate ability to inspire others to push the creative boundaries of storytelling and the imagination to invent any new tools that will achieve this success, Jon teaches audiences that if you feel limited because you feel your ideas are “ahead of their time” get a new watch. You are the architect of your reality. This is the epiphany and expertise the filmmaker can bring to your organization today.

An Academy Award- and two-time Golden Globe-winning producer, Jon repeatedly demonstrates his ability to imagine, oversee and deliver major motion pictures. Jon sees every movie as a start-up company, the script as its business plan and himself as CEO—and a very successful CEO who specializes in filmmaking. He currently holds the distinction of having produced the two highest-grossing movies of all time, Avatar and Titanic. The combination of Jon's ability to motivate and innovate has enabled him to play a significant role in numerous major motion pictures. Today, Jon speaks to APB audiences, translating his proven methods seamlessly to academia and the corporate world.

The consensus among the audiences he has spoken to is that Jon is one of the nicest, most genuine, non-pretentious people you will ever meet. He gives all of himself at his events, unafraid to be personable, funny and approachable. Jon also customizes each of his talks and will even work with you to address your preferences for his presentations, which is not typical for the Hollywood elite, let alone an Oscar winner. It also goes without saying that a Hollywood special effects guru will certainly draw a crowd—expecting to be dazzled. With his brand of dynamic, “special effective” multimedia presentations, Jon never disappoints. When he starts rolling and the action starts, you will be able to hear a pin drop as his incredible story unfolds.

Jon has been a speaker both domestically and internationally at both educational institutions and big companies, such as Microsoft, Adobe, Bank of America, the University of Southern California and Loyola University. In his informative and entertaining presentations, Jon not only shares his insight into the film industry (and his experiences working with director James Cameron) but also discusses the broader perspective of business management, innovative marketing and motivational philosophies. He encourages audiences to be leaders—not just in their careers but in their lives, as well.

Speaker Videos

Speaking Reel

A Chat With Jon Landau

Production and Creativity Go Hand in Hand

Storyline: The Heart of Every Movie

The Future of 3D

Speech Topics

Braving the Technologies of a New World: You’re Not in Kansas Anymore – You’re on Pandora

In this presentation, audiences will get a rare peek into the story and circumstances that necessitated the discovery and development of some of the most state-of-the-art visual effects achieved today, which were needed to realize the creative vision of Avatar—a project that required techniques and technologies that did not yet exist. Even rarer still, is how these next-level tools came to be. In typical genius, visionary style, Academy Award-winner Jon Landau took a page from the Steve Jobs playbook and first decided what he needed to tell the story … and then he just went ahead and created it. Jon did not ask himself what was possible. He asked himself, What’s next? This is a question that answers the needs of today’s newer, fresher innovators in business development.

True innovation is not hampered by availability—just dreamability. And Jon’s ability to dream and then execute is unquestioned. For example, when James Cameron decided he needed to visualize the invisible world he was filming, Jon concocted a camera specifically for Avatar that actually showed the virtual world of Pandora on the camera’s monitor, while Cameron filmed the actors on an empty sound stage! He even went a step further by placing a motion capture camera right onto the face of the actors to record and render the finest details and nuances of the actor’s facial expressions and performance. This new technology turned motion capture into emotion capture, finally allowing directors to give justice to the emotional depth of some of the greatest stories yet to be told. This informative and intuitive presentation gives audiences a taste of their first “aha moment” in innovation when they realize that they are their director and always have been.

Dream It – Do It: Innovation & Breakthrough Change

Academy Award-winner Jon Landau believes that any industry today wishing to be successful must be creative, innovative and unafraid to dream. He parallels the evolution of the film industry, specifically around innovation, ideas and technology, with what people in the audience are facing in their practices. For example, after dreaming up a new filming technique, he introduced his idea to James Cameron who ended up shooting scenes just as Jon saw them in his dream from the previous night. James not only added Jon’s revolutionary technique to his bag of tricks but also praised Jon’s courage to come forward with his dreamt-up device—even stating that Jon’s exceptional success as a producer is largely due to his ability to listen to his dreams and take them to heart. As a result, not only has Jon, along with his collaborators, been able to create a new kind of movie experience, but have also spun off new technologies, companies, and products.

Jon also describes how utilizing the subconscious mind gives him a distinct advantage over other professionals–giving him an additional, more imaginative resource to draw from while amid ever-evolving technologies and media. He then shares his tactics to influence people to believe in your idea and produce it. Jon shares the biggest risks he took and how he and his colleagues truly changed the way movies are brought to life—divulging his proven process of building, leading, influencing and getting buy-in. Jon ends with advice on how to embrace the challenges you face every day to stay motivated and keep dreaming. He reveals to his audience that to successfully advance their industry or creative agenda, they must first form a symbiotic relationship between their dreams and innovation if either one is to become meaningful. Jon believes that it is only when innovation is applied to a dream that the dream can become a reality. As Jon puts it, “A dream without courage is an illusion. A dream with courage is innovation.”