bio / biography, awards, photos, news, movies /
From the moment Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space
Odyssey was introduced to the eyes of the young
James Cameron, the director, screenwriter and
producer hasn't been able to keep his mind off of
filmmaking. The Hollywood filmmaker has written,
directed and produced many successful feature films,
including Terminator, Titanic, and Aliens, which
show what dreams are made of.
August 16th, 1954
Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada
California State University at Fullerton,
Physics, Switched to English.
Bert Fields of
Greenberg, Fields, Claman & Machinger
Los Angeles, CA, USA
919 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
film industry is about saying ‘no’ to people,
and inherently you cannot take ‘no’ for an
The next pivotal juncture in Cameron's evolution as a filmmaker came in
1977, when he saw Star Wars for the first time. It was exactly the movie
he had dreamed of making since watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it
inspired him to finally reach out for the dream.
It occurred to him that the possibility of integrating his interests in
science and art were possible, due to the book Screenplay, which
encouraged himself and two friends to create a ten minute script together.
They raised the money to shoot it in 35mm and rented a camera, lenses, the
film stocks and a studio. To understand how to operate the camera they
simply dismantled it and spent the first half-day of the shoot just trying
to figure out how to get it running.
When it came to the special effects area, Cameron explains that he was
"completely self taught in special effects. I'd go down to the USC library
and pull any theses that graduate students had written about optical
printing, or front screen projection, or dye transfers, anything that
related to film technology…if they'd let me photocopy it, I would. If not,
I'd make notes."
As the future filmmaker continued to educate himself in the techniques, he
landed a job as a miniature model maker at the Roger Corman Studios.
Making fast, low-budget productions, Cameron was able to pick up the pace
efficiently and effectively, moving up his ranking within the studio, soon
working as an art director in the sci-fi movie Battle Beyond the Stars
(1980), and he did special effects work design and direction on John
Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981).
Italian producer Assonitis, was determined to
produce a sequel to the original Piranha film.
In an effort to save money and have complete
control over the film's direction, the
inexperienced Cameron was chosen
consulted on the design of Android (1981),
and he made movie history when he acted as
production designer on the world renowned
Galaxy of Terror (1981). At the time,
Cameron knew he was involved in making the
top movies but he was still thrilled to be a
part of a team where he could be involved
with the creation of a movie.
During this time, Cameron became so obsessed
and driven by his career achievements that
his personal life had to take a back seat,
thus ending his first marriage.
Cameron finally got his big break in 1981
when he got his first shot at directing a
film entitled Piranha II: The Spawning.
Italian producer Assonitis, was determined
to produce a sequel to the original Piranha
film. In an effort to save money and have
complete control over the film's direction,
the inexperienced Cameron was
chosen. However, Assonitis and Cameron just
ended up butting heads by the time the
movie's release came around.
The movie was to be produced on Jamaica but
when Cameron arrived at the studio, he
discovered that his crew was comprised
primarily of Italians who spoke no English
and that the project was under financed.
Cameron, under duress, in a feverish
comatose stage, had a nightmare about an
invisible robot hit man sent from the future
to kill him... a.k.a. Terminator.
The movie of course was terrible. After being given
the red light by Assonitis for editing the disaster
flick, Cameron desiring to edit his own flawed
masterpiece broke into the editing room with a
plastic credit card. He taught himself to use the
unfamiliar Italian editing equipment and secretly
re-cut the entire movie.
Assonitis continued to pester Cameron about the
lousy shooting and editing. Cameron, under duress,
in a feverish comatose stage, had a nightmare about
an invisible robot hit man sent from the future to
kill him. So he started to work on the project and
his nightmare bloomed into the script, which would
catapult his filming career: The Terminator (1984).
While waiting for Terminator to be financed, Cameron
accepted two writing jobs. Cameron worked on the
screenplay of Rambo: First Blood Part 2 (1985) with
Sylvester Stallone and Aliens (1986), the sequel to
the 1979 science fiction classic Alien.
Cameron was positive that the dream he had earlier
had potential, so he contacted action producer Gale
Anne Hurd. He sold her the script for one dollar, on
condition he be allowed to direct the movie and
direct it his way. The result was a low-budget
movie, made on a mind-bogglingly minimal budget of
$6.5, which became a huge success.
FilmMakers Film Fund
will finance the production of all future film projects. The projects will be
made up of undiscovered Emerging artists in film including: screenwriters,
directors, producers, actors, cinematographers, music composers, first assistant
directors (AD), art directors, costume designers, production managers
Youth by making a donation to the FilmMakers Film Fund.
Tags: James Cameron, James Cameron
bio, James Cameron biography, Cameron
biography, filmography, movies, resources,
James Cameron films, Cameron news,
awards, films in development, films in
post, Cameron photos, film director, screenwriter,
producer, filmmaker. links to james
comprehensive James Cameron site, bio,
biography, Cameron movies and films,
Articles, James Cameron, James