Jon Landau at Besting Film’s Box Office Records – The Hollywood Reporter
Twenty-five years after it won the Best Picture Oscar Titanic — and 12 years after his second Best Picture nomination, for symbol picture Producer Jon Landau is back at the awards show with him Avatar: Water Road. Landau speaks to THR On his best box office records, what it takes for performance capture roles to be recognized by awards electors and if third place is still untitled symbol picture The film is committed to its current release date of December 2024.
Do you have a preferred screening experience for water way?
My favorite screening experience was in early December when I flew from New Zealand to New York, showing the movie to Zoe [Saldaña]Sam [Worthington]Sigourney [Weaver] and Stephen Lang. It was the first time we had ever shared the film in its final form with anyone, and while they were watching the screen, I watched them interact with the film. There was no greater pleasure I could have as a producer than seeing our cast respond the way they did during the movie and after the movie. They each saw their own performances on screen, and that’s the commitment we made to them.
What is this commitment you made to the actors?
Other films may use prosthetics to transform the actor into the character they need to play. We choose to do this with a computer-generated character. And we tell our representatives that these are not other people interpreting your performance. Such is our perception of their performances on screen — all the subtlety, all the nuance, all the empathy they create. You don’t just have to sit through three hours of makeup a day to transform. When they see their silly smile or tears slowly coming out of their eyes… that’s what they did. This is commitment.
Performance capture roles are not recognized in award racing. Do you think it will change?
It must change, or else [awards shouldn’t] Learn about the performances that take place in the prosthetics. Performance is performance. These characters are not animated characters. These actors have not done voice parts. They made every creative choice you see on screen, every flicker, every lip shiver. Look at Sigourney Weaver at play [her character’s] 14 years old – this is an amazing performance. You can’t do that with prosthetics. You can’t take Sigourney Weaver and make it 2/3 its length. So, performance capture is actually allowing an actor to play a character that they couldn’t play otherwise. It creates opportunities for actors. Actors should embrace that. We don’t replace an actor if he’s a human character – we shoot him.
What needs to happen to get the industry to agree with this thinking?
It is an evolutionary process. It’s education, and we’re trying to do that. We try to present some amazing clips we have posted online, one in particular about the character Kiri which shows side by side what Sigourney did and what Kiri did. There was a day and age when voters didn’t believe a digitally shot film could ever win an award. This has gone by the wayside. I think every movie nominated for cinematography this year has been shot digitally. So it’s a process, and I encourage the acting community to learn. I think it’s a simple achievement: Our sexy collection has been SAG-nominated. Nobody talks about it, but it’s a big deal.
What’s a particularly difficult scene or sequence to pull off, but when you got the visuals back, you knew you’d pulled it off?
I’m going to talk about the scene we call “The First Swim”. It’s when kids jump into the water for the first time and we take the audience into that environment. [We would] Refer to the references we filmed for performers in the Bahamas and the references we did for a performance capture tank. We are in a world where the public knows what is real. If you’re in hell and there’s fire everywhere and people walk through it and they’re not affected, no one can handle that. But everyone saw footage of people jumping [into water]Many people did it themselves. We filmed references to all the underwater costumes and how they moved to make sure they were authentic when Weta FX started back with their simulations. There’s a moment of amazement on Kerry’s face — it’s a moment I loved, as she reaches out as she touches things underwater. It is based on an experience that we all did together as part of training for it water way, where we went to Hawaii to experience the cast’s sense memory. We did it in the first movie, but we only did it in the rainforest, and in this movie we did it in the rainforest and in the oceans. The scuba diving team took us on a night scuba dive. In the darkness of the ocean, at a depth of 30 feet, we did perhaps the most Pandoran-like thing one could do on land: We saw giant manta rays emerge from the darkness and swim above us. Sigourney managed to reach out and touch one of her stomachs. This is the feeling of amazement she then conveyed to the audience with her performance in the first swimming sequence.
How can you surpass yourself at the box office, with water way beating TitanicBox office record?
The emotional state is surreal. It’s a phenomenon. It’s great for people who are part of a team who haven’t experienced this kind of success before. What I’m proud of, as a movie lover and movie-going lover, is that our movie has made it clear that in a post-pandemic or pandemic–whatever you want to call it–there’s still that ability to get people out of their homes to go to this amazing experience called movies. I don’t think there is anything else like it in the world. As producers, directors, studios, and as models, it is our responsibility to continue to preserve this experience for generations to come.
Do you know how much repeat viewing plays into box office performance?
Anecdotally, I think people will definitely come back to see it. For me, the most interesting thing – and I’ll come back to my experience Titanic And my experience at the beginning symbol picture More people have contacted me [about seeing] water way from [they] ever call me [about seeing] Titanic or the first symbol picture. And this is a wonderful feeling.
and he Avatar 3 On track for the current release date?
That’s something we’re definitely planning on doing. when we started production water waywe picked up the third movie [and] We picked up the first chapter of the fourth movie. We did the live event on all of those, too. We have a lot of that process behind us now. We still have the default camera and other things to do, but I’m talking to you from my office in Wellington, New Zealand, so we’re at it.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
This story first appeared in the independent February issue of The Hollywood Reporter. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.