'Avatar' Director James Cameron on the Cinematic Beauty of New Zealand
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'Avatar' Director James Cameron on the Cinematic Beauty of New Zealand

While traveling in New Zealand writing the screenplay for Avatar, director James Cameron fell in love with the country's landscape and locals, finding inspiration for the original Avatar (2009) as well as its four sequels.

“You throw a stick in the air and it falls on a beautiful place,” Cameron recently told T+L. “You can’t go wrong.”

He also explained exactly what makes this country so attractive for filmmakers. “It’s a really nice mix of landscape types that are fairly close together,” he said.

Cameron made note of the friendly locals, too, particularly the willingness of New Zealanders to share their stories with passersby. “You’d stop any Kiwi on the street and ask for directions, and you’re in for a 20-minute conversation,” he said. “People have time there to engage.”

Intrigued? Check out the full video, above.

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