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James Cameron

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Ghosts of the Abyss ... Walt Disney Pictures and James Cameron, the Academy Award(R)-winning director of... more info $35.95was $44.99 Buy Now

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Also Known As: James Francis Cameron Died:
Born: August 16, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Kapuskasing, Ontario, CA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, executive, process projection supervisor, miniature set builder, special effects person, editor, director of photography, set dresser assistant, second unit director, production designer, art director, truck driver, artist, machinist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

introduce Jessica Alba to the world. After serving as executive producer on director Steven Soderbergh's remake of "Solaris" (2002), Cameron turned his passion for deep sea diving and exploring the world's most remote and inhospitable environments into films. As both producer and director, he mounted explorations that were later chronicled in several fascinating documentaries, including "James Cameron's Expedition: Bismark" (2002), a stunning adventure to the bottom of the Atlantic that provided the first-ever glimpse of The Bismark, the famed Nazi warship that cut a swath of destruction during World War II, until it was finally sunk by two British battleships after only nine days of operation. Plunging some 16,000 feet into the depths of the ocean, Cameron and his crew risked their own lives in obtaining the amazing footage.Their efforts were rewarded with five Emmy Awards nominations in 2003, including one for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming.Returning to the inspiration that made him one of the most celebrated directors of his era, Cameron directed his second documentary, "Ghosts of the Abyss" (2003), a 3-D IMAX journey to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to find the final resting...

introduce Jessica Alba to the world. After serving as executive producer on director Steven Soderbergh's remake of "Solaris" (2002), Cameron turned his passion for deep sea diving and exploring the world's most remote and inhospitable environments into films. As both producer and director, he mounted explorations that were later chronicled in several fascinating documentaries, including "James Cameron's Expedition: Bismark" (2002), a stunning adventure to the bottom of the Atlantic that provided the first-ever glimpse of The Bismark, the famed Nazi warship that cut a swath of destruction during World War II, until it was finally sunk by two British battleships after only nine days of operation. Plunging some 16,000 feet into the depths of the ocean, Cameron and his crew risked their own lives in obtaining the amazing footage.Their efforts were rewarded with five Emmy Awards nominations in 2003, including one for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming.

Returning to the inspiration that made him one of the most celebrated directors of his era, Cameron directed his second documentary, "Ghosts of the Abyss" (2003), a 3-D IMAX journey to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to find the final resting place of the ill-fated Titanic. With a team of history experts and deep sea explorers, Cameron and friend (as well as "Titanic" star) Bill Paxton used equipment specially designed for the voyage to explore the ins and outs of wreckage in ways never before captured on film. In fact, Cameron's aeronautical engineer brother, Mike, had been integral in not only creating deep sea diving technology to shoot the famous wreck for his brother's feature film, but the documentary as well. Mixed in with the dramatic documentary footage, were staged reenactments of what transpired on the ship before it sank. Cameron next served as executive producer on another IMAX adventure, "Volcanoes of the Deep" (2005), a brief, but exciting look at the untold world of underwater volcanoes and the thriving ecosystem surrounding them. For "Aliens of the Deep" (2005), yet another deep sea exploration made for IMAX theaters, Cameron joined forces with marine biologists and NASA scientists to explore the Mid-Ocean Ridge, a submerged chain of mountains deep below the surface that were home to the planet's most bizarre life forms. Cameron used the biological makeup of these strange creatures as a jump-off point for a speculative look on what life might be like on other planets.

In a return to news-making form, the director made headlines in 2007 when he announced in February, that he, along with his director, Simcha Jacobovici, had documented the unearthing of the Talpiot Tomb, which was alleged to be the tomb of Jesus. Unearthed in 1980 by Israeli construction workers, the names on the tomb â¿¿ at the insistence of Cameron â¿¿ correlated with the names of Jesus and several individuals closely associated with him. Cameron further claimed to have DNA tests, archaeological evidence, and Biblical studies to back up his claim. The documentary, named "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," was broadcast on the Discovery Channel in March of that year. After making amusing appearances in episodes of "Entourage" in 2005-06 (HBO, 2005- ), in which he turns actor Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) into an action hero on the fictional feature film, "Aquaman," Cameron finally returned to feature filmmaking with "Avatar" (2009), a futuristic sci-fi adventure about a band of humans battling a distant planet's indigenous population, with his long-awaited return to helming a film being chronicled near religiously in the sci-fi blogs of the world. Once again, Cameron was at the forefront of filmmaking innovation by using an advanced form of performance capture for the 3-D alien world he created. With an estimated budget well over $300 million, "Avatar" became the most expensive movie ever made, leading critics to think â¿¿ and some to hope â¿¿ that his latest opus would flop at the box office.

But with the advance buzz indicating he had another hit on his hands, Cameron began earning critical kudos for another exemplary job well done. After it was confirmed that "Avatar" had become the second highest-grossing film of all time, right behind his own "Titanic," Cameron found himself nominated for numerous awards, including a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Achievement in a Feature Film, putting him in direct competition with ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, who was nominated for "The Hurt Locker" (2009). He would win the Best Director Golden Globe over Bigelow in early 2010, graciously mentioning her in his acceptance speech, but he lost the DGA award to her. By the time Oscar nominations were being announced, "Avatar" had surpassed his own "Titanic" as the biggest moneymaker of all time. But it did fall short of the 14 Oscar nominations "Titanic" received in 1997, taking in a total of nine that included nods for Best Picture and Best Director for Cameron, who again lost to his ex-wife.

By now a respected innovator in the realm of deep sea technologies, Cameron met with members of the Environmental Protection Agency in the wake of British Petroleumâ¿¿s Deepwater Horizon oil spill catastrophe in the summer of 2010. After making his recommendations on how to go about cleaning up the spill, Cameron, sensing his advice would go unheeded, raised eyebrows when he publicly referred to the EPA representatives as "morons," stating that they "donâ¿¿t know what theyâ¿¿re doing." Later, the filmmaker also noted the irony in the fact that the government eventually â¿¿ belatedly, in his opinion â¿¿ did almost exactly what he had first suggested. Operating in an arena where his sage advice and experience was sure to be more appreciated, Cameron served as executive producer on the 3-D movie, "Sanctum" (2011), an adventure tale about a group of divers trapped in a massive underwater cave system.

The following year, Cameronâ¿¿s personal legend grew to even greater heights. In March 2012, after previously journeying to the bottom of the New Britain Trench in a solo dive aboard the submersible, Deepsea Challenger, Cameron became the first person ever to make a solo trip to the lowest depths of the fabled Mariana Trench, in an area referred to as Challenger Deep. At the same time he was diving seven miles down, the 100th anniversary of the great nautical tragedy was noted by the rerelease of "Titanic" in April 2012, with Cameron having overseen the filmâ¿¿s transfer to eye-popping 3-D. For a 14-year-old film which had long occupied shelf space in the homes of millions, "Titanic: 3-D" opened in an impressive third place, up against current blockbusters like "The Hunger Games" (2012). The original historic event was also marked by the television documentary, "Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron" (National Geographic Channel, 2012), in which expert historians, architects, engineers and Cameron himself, provided the ultimate examination of the shipâ¿¿s sinking, aided by recent technological advancements.

By Shawn Dwyerture and Best Director. When accepting his win for Best Director, Cameron held his golden statue aloft, aping one of Jack's lines from the film: "I'm king of the world!" It would become an infamous moment he would never be able to live down.

In the wake of "Titanic," Cameron took over 10 years to make another film. In between that time, he made his first foray into television, serving as creator and executive producer of "Dark Angel" (Fox, 2000-02), a cyberpunk sci-fi series about Max (Jessica Alba), a genetically-altered human engineered to be a super-soldier, who has escaped her military handlers in order to fight the ruthless powerbrokers ruling futuristic society. Though well-received by critics and possessing a strong following, "Dark Angel" was canceled after only two seasons, due to an enormous budget and low ratings. The show did, however, generate spin-offs and video games, as well as 3

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Avatar 4 (2024)
2.
  Avatar 3 (2021)
3.
  Avatar 2 (2020)
4.
5.
  Avatar (2009)
6.
  Aliens of The Deep (2005) Director
7.
  Ghosts of the Abyss (2003) Director
8.
  Titanic (1997) Director
9.
  True Lies (1994) Director
10.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Mission Blue (2014)
2.
 Mission Blue (2014)
3.
 Side by Side (2012)
4.
 Aliens of The Deep (2005) Cast
5.
 Ghosts of the Abyss (2003) Himself (Rov Pilot)
6.
 High Heels and Low Lifes (2001) Reporter
7.
 Muse, The (1999) Himself (Cameo Appearance)
9.
 George Lucas: Creating an Empire (2002) Interviewee
10.
 World Stunt Awards (2001) Presenter
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1966:
At age 12, wrote a short story that was reportedly a precursor for "The Abyss"
:
Started building models and experimenting with 16mm film
:
Made first film "Niagara: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Falls"
:
Enrolled in college to study physics
:
Dropped out, married a waitress, and worked as a truck driver for the local school district
1977:
Inspired to become a filmmaker after seeing "Star Wars"
:
Raised private financing, directed, shot, edited and built miniatures for first short film, "Xenogenesis"
:
Joined Roger Corman's New World Pictures as a special effects person, and later became art director and production designer
1980:
Credited as set dresser assistant on "Happy Birthday, Gemini"
1980:
First film as art director, "Battle Beyond the Stars"
1981:
Feature debut as production designer and second unit director, "Galaxy of Terror"
1981:
Feature directing debut, "Piranha II: The Spawning/Piranha II: Flying Killers"
:
Wrote first draft of screenplay for what would become "The Terminator"; sold rights to producer Gale Anne Hurd for $1 on the condition that he would direct
1984:
Gained recognition with feature screenwriting and directing debut, "The Terminator"; co-wrote with producer and future wife Gale Anne Hurd
1985:
Co-wrote (with Sylvester Stallone) the hugely successful "Rambo: First Blood II"
1986:
Co-wrote and directed the sequel to "Alien" titled "Aliens," again starring Sigourney Weaver
1989:
Wrote and directed "The Abyss," which used cutting-edge effects technology
1990:
Formed production company Lightstorm Entertainment Inc.
1991:
Produced, directed and scripted the blockbuster sequel "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"
1992:
Lightstorm signed an exclusive five-year, 12-picture distribution deal with 20th Century Fox
1993:
Founded the special effects company Digital Domain with Stan Winston and Scott Ross to further develop the field of digital FX
1993:
Released a "restored" print of "The Abyss" including approximately 27 minutes of scenes omitted from the original
1994:
Wrote, produced, and directed the action-comedy "True Lies"; the first film release under Lightstorm Entertainment
1995:
Provided the story and served as a producer on "Strange Days"; directed by ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow
1995:
Became the first feature film director to shoot underwater footage of the wreck of the Titanic; used a specially-designed, state-of-the-art camera encased in titanium; footage was incorporated into the feature "Titanic"
1997:
Co-edited, co-produced, wrote and directed the lavish spectacle "Titanic"; reported to be the most expensive film made to date (budgeted at $200 million); went on to become the top grossing film in history; film received 14 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing; awarded 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, tying the record set by 1959's "Ben-Hur"
1998:
With Stan Winston, resigned from board of Digital Domain
2000:
Executive produced and co-wrote the Fox drama series "Dark Angel"; helmed the finale of the 2001-02 season
:
Co-produced (with Jean-Michel Cousteau) a series of undersea specials for ABC
2005:
Appeared as himself on several episodes of the hit HBO comedy "Entourage," directing a big screen version of the comic book hero Aquaman starring Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier)
2009:
Returned to directing features with the 3-D sci-fi epic film "Avatar"; earned a Directors Guild nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement and Oscar nominations for Directing, Film Editing and Producing
2012:
Completed the world's first solo dive to the deepest-known point on Earth, reaching the bottom of the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench southwest of Guam in a specially designed submarine.
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Education

California State University, Fullerton,: Fullerton , California -
The University of Toronto: - 1973

Notes

In 1998, Cameron became the fifth recipient of the Beatrice Wood Film Award.

"I'm fascinated by the end of the world. The idea of the end of the world and the idea of either the fabric of reality unraveling, or literally the cataclysm. 'Strange Days' plays around with that from the millennial standpoint, and 'Terminator' palys around with it quite literally--this has happened, but it just hasn't happened yet. ... the folding of time thing." --James Cameron quoted in Written By, December 1997-January 1998.

"I think I'm a good director, but I never claimed to have the PERSONALITY for directing. It brings out the worst in me, and it's the aspect of the work I hate the most. It should be noted that I am never megative with the actors, absolutely and religiously. In many ways they have the most difficult job on the set, and I make it my mission to be supportive and collaborative." --Cameron to Time, December 8, 1997.

"He's a genius and a maniac. A genius in terms of his vision, a maniac in terms of getting what he wants. But that's to be absolutely admired, because to be the controller of a thing that's so absolutely huge is amazing. Some of the visions he had in his head I found really frustrating, because I couldn't quite understand what he meant. I finally came to realize, though, My God, this man has been visualizing nothing but this for the last two years." --"Titanic" co-star Kate Winslet on Cameron to Movieline, March 1998.

"The funny thing is, I'm always OBSESESSED. Whatever film I make it's the same. I was obsessed on 'True Lies' and that was an action comedy. I'm always obsessed with details. I think it's the strength of any good filmmaker--and really part of the job description--to be obsessed like that." --James Cameron quoted in "Heading for Shore" by John Anderson in Newsday, December 14, 1997.

"Filming underwater [for 'The Abyss'] proved to be incredibly arduous. The water was so highly chlorinated that it burned skin and turned hair white. Even the mundane details were complicated. ... The actors were stretched to the breaking point. When the camera ran out of film in the middle of her death scene, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio stormed off the set, screaming, 'We are not animals!' Ed Harris tells [in "The Abyss"'s fascinating laserdisc special edition] of a day so hard, he burst into tears on the drive home." --From "Iron Jim" by John H. Richardson in Premiere, August 1994.

"One aspect of that drive that sets him apart from other action filmmakers is his meticulous attention to the composition of shots, even in stunt scenes. Where many directors are happy just to get the stunt committed to celluloid, Cameron looks both for a spectacular thrill and a carefully sculpted image, which means demanding, nearly impossible camera work." --From "Can He Do Side-Splitting Action?" by David Kronke in Los Angeles Times Calendar, July 17, 1994.

"With Cameron anything is possible. Fired from his first film, he broke into the editing room and cut the film back to his original vision. That was before the runaway success of the two "Terminators" and "Aliens" gave him imperial power. Nowadays he directs his crew through a bank of speakers pitched to concert volume: THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WANT, he booms. If they mess up, he says, THAT'S OKAY. I'VE WORKED WITH CHILDREN BEFORE. The crews respond by printing up T-shirts with semi-jokey slogans: YOU CAN'T SCARE ME--I WORK FOR JIM CAMERON." --From "Iron Jim" by John H. Richardson in Premiere, August 1994.

"Like the others, 'T2' spawned its own crew T-shirt: TERMINATOR 3--NOT WITH ME." --From Premiere, August 1994.

"Mr. Cameron is the master of movies that put women at the center of the action. He is responsible for the macho Sigourney Weaver in 'Aliens' and the pumped-up, rifle-toting Linda Hamilton in 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day'. ... Traditionally, action films have been directed at male viewers; adding a character with whom women can identify broadens the audience appeal. But pop culture always reflects mainstream attitudes, if only inadvertently, and in their exaggerated ways these films hint at how women's lives have changed.

"The heroines of 'Aliens' and 'Terminator 2', however, developed their biceps between movies, in the time lapse between the original films and the sequels. By showing Helen's transformation in 'True Lies', Mr. Cameron charts the comic course of a female stereotype falling to pieces." --From "Film View: The Woman in 'True Lies', a Mouse That Roared" in The New York Times, July 17, 1994.

"'True Lies' is able to effectively kid itself, to playfully mock the conventions of espionage thrillers. Casting the breezy Tom Arnold as Harry's partner Gib helps, but more important is Cameron's unerring ability to find the humor in Schwarzenegger, something the people at 'Last Action Hero,' for instance, were unable to manage." --Kenneth Turan in Los Angeles Times Calendar, July 14, 1994.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Susan Williams. Waitress. Worked at a Bob's Big Boy restaurant; married after Cameron dropped out of California State University, Fullerton; inspiration for Sarah Connor in "The Terminator"; divorced.
wife:
Gale Anne Hurd. Producer, screenwriter. Produced and co-wrote (with Cameron) "The Terminator" (1984), also produced "Aliens" (1986), "The Abyss" (1989), and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991) for Cameron; divorced.
wife:
Kathryn Bigelow. Director, screenwriter. Cameron produced her "Point Break" (1991); produced and scripted her "Strange Days" (1995); married in 1989; separated in 1991; divorced.
wife:
Linda Hamilton. Actor. Directed her in starring roles in both "Terminator" films; together from 1991-94 (end date approximate); moved out with their infant daughter during pre-production on "True Lies" but continued the relationship for a period; reunited and in March 1997, Hamilton announced their plans to marry; married on July 24, 1997; separated in May 1998; Hamilton filed for divorce on December 14, 1998.
wife:
Suzy Amis. Actor. Appeared in "Titanic"; married on June 4, 2000 near Malibu.
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Family close complete family listing

father:
Phillip Cameron. Electrical engineer. Worked for a paper mill.
mother:
Shirley Cameron. Artist. Encouraged him to paint as a teen; helped him get his first exhibition at a local gallery.
brother:
Mike Cameron. Aeronautical engineer. Younger; appeared in and received a technical credit on "The Abyss" (1989); crafted "functional props" on "T2" (1991); appeared in "True Lies" (1994).
brother:
John David Cameron. Born c. 1969; former Marine.
daughter:
Josephine Archer Cameron. Born in 1993; mother, Linda Hamilton.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"James Cameron: An Unauthorized Biogrpahy of the Filmmaker" St. Martin's Press

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