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 which did not yet exist. Even rarer still, is how these next-level tools came to be. In typical genius, visionary style, Jon 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. Landau did not ask himself what was possible – he asked himself what’s next. This is question which answers the needs of today’s newer, fresher innovators in business development.
True innovation is not hampered by availability – just dream-ability, and Jon Landau’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 own director, and always have been.
Dream It – Do It: Innovation & Breakthrough Change
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 own practices. For example, after dreaming up a new filming technique, he introduced his idea to 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 Landau’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 in the midst of 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 Landau puts it, “A dream without courage is an illusion – a dream with courage is innovation.”