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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 Terminator received international
acclaim and recognition appearing in Time magazine's Top Ten best list,
grossing over $80 million worldwide. This movie did not only score a huge
financial victory and firmly established Cameron's reputation as both a
screenwriter and director of undeniable talent, but it launched Arnold
Schwarzenegger's career as well.
After The Terminator Cameron was asked to direct the second Aliens
movie of which he had already written the script in a three-month period.
Cameron demanded that Gale Anne Hurd be brought on board as a producer.
Before shooting Aliens James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd became involved
both professionally and romantically and after a short courtship were
The movie, Aliens was well received by the audience and critics alike with
its riveting special effects, a well-written script, and an Oscar worthy
performance from Sigourney Weaver. The movie received seven Academy Award
nominations, winning the Oscar for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound
Effects. The film became the most successful R-rated film ever, grossing
approximately $180 million worldwide. Rambo 2 grossed over $250 million
globally, making it an international mega-hit.
Instead of settling for the all mighty dollar
deals to direct other people's stories,
Cameron decided to put all of his talents into
his own work, The Abyss (1989) was born
A buzz began to circulate around Hollywood concerning this up and coming director. Everybody who was anybody wanted to befriend and work alongside Cameron on his next project. However, instead of settling for the all mighty dollar deals to direct other people's stories, Cameron
decided to put all of his talents into his own work, The Abyss (1989) was born.
The Abyss would later set new standards for underwater shooting. The crew along with Cameron had to design and create most of the gear worn by the actors, which was no small feat. Furthermore, the entire movie was exhaustingly time-consuming and expensive and post-production ended up delayed because of some of the difficult effects shots that were to be in the movie, which were later edited out. The film took 18 months to complete.
The movie received four Academy Award nominations, winning an Oscar for the Best Visual Effects and grossing $110 million worldwide. Even though Cameron was getting the opportunity to excel even further professionally, his personal life was yet again paying the price. Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd were departing ways during the production and ended up divorcing right after the movie was finished.
Cameron went on to produce the very
successful movie and now TBS "Movies for
Guys who like movies" classic, Point Break
(1991). Kathryn Bigelow, whom Cameron
married that very same year the movie was
released, directed the movie. Point Break
made over $100 million worldwide and topped
the video rental charts for five weeks
Terminator 2: Judgment Day budget
spiraled out of control and became the most
expensive movie of all time but it was also
the most profitable movie James Cameron has
worked on, grossing $500 million
The most recognizable and successful piece of film
work Cameron has ever worked on is the retold story
of Titanic. Cameron spent most of his time at the
bottom of the Atlantic to see the Titanic's
wreckage, visiting it a total of twelve times.
"It was sort of like going to Mecca first, and
getting religion. We went there with very specific
objectives, and I took two things away from the
experience," explained Cameron, "Working around the
wreck for so much time, you get such a strong sense
of the profound sadness and injustice of it, and the
message of it. You think 'There probably aren't
going to be many filmmakers who go to Titanic. There
may never be another one-maybe a documentarian.' So
it sort of becomes a great mantle of responsibility
to convey the emotional message of it-to do that
part of it right, too."
Taking charge of the responsibility, Cameron cast a
spectacular cast; many of their features resembled
the real life crew. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate
Winslet were cast as the leading roles, which the
story plot revolved around the love of the two.
Cameron served as director, producer, and editor on
the film and due to the film's production, $200
million, tremendously exceeding its budget; Cameron
forfeited his fees except the $1.5 million received
for the screenplay. Titanic opened in the US on
December 19, 1997 and took in approximately $25.5
million in its first weekend. The movie quickly
replaced George Lucas's Star Wars as the
top-grossing film of all time, grossing more than a
billion dollars worldwide. Furthermore the movie
later won eleven Oscars tying it with the
unforgettable movie Ben Hurr. , It won Oscars for
Best Picture and Best Director. Cameron truly became
"King of the World."
When asked about becoming a film director by
inspiring directors, Cameron is prepared. "I tell
them that no two people will ever do it the same
way, and there is nothing I can say that will help
you. Whatever your talents are, whatever your
strengths and weaknesses, you have to find the path
that's going to work for you. The film industry is
about saying 'no' to people, and inherently you
cannot take 'no' for an answer."
He has written the screenplay of Spider-Man and is
working on Avatar, a science-fiction film that will
revolutionize filmmaking. He plans to cast with
non-human, digitally generated actors. Even though
James Cameron has been nominated for and won
countless awards he still strives to be a director
truly committed to his work as only a perfectionist
could. Perhaps that is the reason why he is so
renowned globally for he can create new genres of
films and stretch our imagination to places where we
have never gone before.
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