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Montecito Journal Magazine Interviews James Cameron about his 'Santa Barbara Exit'

Montecito Journal Magazine (Les Firestein) - Winter 2023

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Director James Cameron and his wife, Suzy check all the same boxes as Santa Barbara: nature loving, understated, environmentally concerned - and obsessed with the water and natural beauty.

Looking back at his quarter century at Hollister Ranch, I ask Cameron what it all meant.


"That stretch of coast is magical," says Cameron. "Sometimes we would helicopter but most of the time we'd drive up the coast and you could just feel the layers of stress peel away as we got further into nature and more connected to the land. Frankly, you can't go there and not feel deeply moved."

I asked Cameron if Hollister offered him fertile environs for his imagination. "It's a fertile environment for everything." says the director. "And, yes, to answer your question, I wrote much of  both Avatars there as well as other projects."

By: Les Firestein

Published: Winter 2023

Wall Street Journal Interviews James Cameron Regarding Newly Listed Vast California Ranch

Wall Street Journal (Katherine Clarke) - July 6, 2023

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Director James Cameron’s vast California ranch—where he penned the blockbuster movie “Avatar”—is coming on the market for $33 million

"Director James Cameron’s vast California ranch—where he penned the blockbuster movie “Avatar”—is coming on the market for $33 million. 


The roughly 100-acre property is located on the Gaviota Coast of Santa Barbara County. Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, have owned the property since the late 1990s, when the Canada-born director purchased it for $4.375 million, records show.


The Oscar-winning filmmaker said he used an ocean-facing room upstairs in the house as his library and office, where he

wrote parts of “Avatar,” and “Avatar: The Way of Water.” The ocean views provided visual inspiration, he said.

The property is located in a private residential and agricultural community known as Hollister Ranch, which restricts residential development to leave open space for animal grazing and wildlife habitat. When the Camerons bought the home, they were living in a large compound in Malibu and wanted a more rural, agricultural property to escape to, they said. They would leave Malibu listening to rock ’n’ roll in the car, and by the time they arrived at the ranch, they would be listening to Enya, according to Suzy Amis Cameron, an environmental advocate and educator."

By: Katherine Clarke

Published: July 6, 2023

Mansion Global Interviews Emily Kellenberger on Carpinteria as a Low-key Alternative to Malibu

Mansion Global (Michael Kaminer) - Feb 13, 2022

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Leave the Fuss in Malibu—Five Stunning, Low-Key Coastal Alternatives

Look further north to Carpinteria or Capitola, California, or to metro-adjacent spots like Bainbridge Island, Washington

You’ve got competition if you’re considering Carpinteria, “a cozy beach town with a great vibe,” according to Emily Kellenberger, an agent with Village Properties in Montecito. “We had been a second-home market, but we now have a lot of primary-home shoppers looking to exit Los Angeles, San Francisco and other markets. Buyers are getting more aggressive, with multiple offers on almost everything.”

Prospective buyers are battling over a shrinking inventory pool in this town about 84 miles northwest of L.A., she said. “We’ve got 12 listings across the whole market, ranging from $1.4 million to $160 million” for a 22-acre oceanfront compound. “But there’s a mixture of housing stock, including beautiful ranches, Mid-Century Modern, Spanish and Mediterranean-style estates, and hilltop properties with ocean views,” she said. 

Carpinteria made headlines when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in 2011. Along with equestrian activity, “Carpinteria’s been great about preserving nature and open space,” Ms. Kellenberger said. “There are trails atop bluffs over the ocean, a seal rookery and big agricultural components, like flower and orchid growers.”

By: Michael Kaminer

Published: Feb. 13, 2022


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