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Jon Landau Loves Wellington - and He'll Be Back

Thursday 6 March 2008

Jon Landau Loves Wellington - and He'll Be Back

Wellington has been privileged to be a temporary home for Avatar producer Jon Landau, whose credits include a Best Picture Oscar for Titanic. We got to catch up with him in the final days of filming, and get his thoughts on Wellington.

Highlights of his time here? "What I've enjoyed most is actually the people People bring a passion to their work that elevates the artistic endeavour"

The city has also left a great impression on him. "The biggest unexpected surprise is that in Wellington you have a robust city, but it is a city that has still maintained an intimacy."

Wellington's restaurants and shops were another highlight. "You go into them and you still have a sense of community, which you don't have in other major metropolitan cities."

In between filming, Jon managed to sample several Wellington restaurants and favourites include Citron, Martin Bosley's, The White House and Capitol. He describes his experience at Citron as "one of the better dinners I've ever had" - so good in fact that he took a group of friends back there a second time.

Jon also managed to go to four different movie theatres, Reading Cinemas, Rialto, Empire and Paramount. "I've seen a variety of movies, which is a good escape. Got to support our industry!"

He also loved Wellington's emphasis on getting outdoors and bought a bike to ride during his time here. Jon says while some Avatar crew members liked to take strenuous cycle rides, he preferred what he called the "bike-stroll", which involved a leisurely Sunday ride around the Wellington harbour and bays, stopping at cafes along the way.

He could not commend Weta Workshop more highly for the work it has done on Avatar, and was also quick to praise the high standard of work in the Wellington film industry. "We did not come here for the location. We came here for the craftsmanship and the artistry."

So the big question - is Jon keen to produce another film in Wellington? "It is definitely our intention to try and find another movie to get back here."

"Jim Cameron said it to the crew yesterday - 'I will be back'. We've had such a good experience here. The proof is in the pudding."

"Based on Jim proudly wearing his We Love WGTN tee on the set, we will definitely be back!"


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