Academy Award® winner Jon Landau will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Dodge College’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 19, where Landau will deliver the keynote address.
“Landau has long been a friend of Dodge College,” says Dean Robert Bassett, who made the announcement. “He’s been to campus a number of times, interacting with students, offering his insights on the filmmaking process, and even acting out a skit with one of the ‘Navi’ characters from ‘Avatar’ in our student awards ceremony last year.”
Landau, who is COO of James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, is best known for producing the 1997 mega-hit “Titanic,” a film which won him an Academy Award®, and most recently, “Avatar,” which earned him his second Academy Award® nomination. Landau served as producer alongside writer/director/producer James Cameron for both “Avatar” and “Titanic,” the latter having won a total of 11 Academy Awards® including best picture, becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time until February 2010, when “Avatar” soared to the No. 1 box office spot, grossing more than $600 million in the U.S. in a record 47 days and ultimately earning $2.7 billion worldwide. “Titanic 3D” is currently setting new records in theaters worldwide.
During the early 1990’s, before joining James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, Landau served as Executive Vice President of Feature Film Production at Twentieth Century Fox where he oversaw the production of all feature films including the Academy Award® winner “Mrs. Doubtfire,” starring Robin Williams and Sally Field; “Die Hard 2,” starring Bruce Willis, and the Academy Award® nominated “True Lies,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.
A visionary who saw the early potential of virtual worlds, Landau also served as an advisor for virtual platform developer Multiverse Network, Inc. and has worked in close collaboration with Microsoft and its partners to streamline the production and visual effects process through the use of cutting-edge virtual production technologies, which allow a new way of directing motion-capture filmmaking.
“While Jon Landau is, without a doubt, one of the most effective and respected producers in Hollywood today, it is his passion for storytelling, his pursuit of excellence in his own life and the inspiration he brings to other filmmakers that makes him truly remarkable,” says Dean Bassett. “We are honored to have Jon back as our commencement speaker and to recognize his ability to harness emerging technologies in ways that are resonant with audiences around the world with an honorary degree.”