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James Cameron Net Worth

How rich is James Cameron?

James Cameron net worth:
$700 Million

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James Cameron Net Worth, Biography, Wiki 2017-2016

The man behind a number of hugely successful blockbusters and hit films, the Canadian film director, producer and screenwriter James Cameron has racked up a staggering estimated net worth of $700 million. One of the best known directors in Hollywood, James Cameron has been named the single best-paid person in Hollywood in 2011, and that is not surprising – not when you remember Cameron was the director responsible for the world’s two most commercially successful films, the 1997 romantic disaster film “Titanic” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, and the 2009 science fiction film “Avatar” that featured Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana. With a track record like that, it is no surprise that James Cameron is as wealthy and successful as he is.

James Cameron Net Worth $700 Million

Born on 16 August 1954 in the town of Kapuskasing in Ontario, Canada, James Cameron was raised in a regular middle class household. Cameron’s interest in film directing and scriptwriting was first kindled when his family moved to California. At the time, the future hit director was seventeen and about to begin his studies – however, Cameron’s initial choice of subject in Physics failed to hold his interest. After dabbling briefly in studying English, James Cameron left college altogether, and began educating himself in directing and special effects in between various odd jobs. Amazingly, Cameron would never undergo any formal education in film-making or writing beyond what he managed to teach himself – which makes his future success all the more amazing, and his considerable net worth all the more deserved.

James Cameron’s first forays into the film industry would be relatively humble as he worked his way up from working variously as a consultant, designer and sub-director. Cameron’s first real break, however, was not far into the future. In 1984, James Cameron secured the rights to direct a film to his own screenplay, and his first truly independent work as a director proved a runaway success – yielding “The Terminator”, which featured Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton in the lead roles. Having proved himself a talented director with “The Terminator”, James Cameron would then go on to work on a number of other projects, including taking over as director for the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 horror film “Alien”, and directing a second “Terminator” film (where Schwarzenegger and Hamilton were joined by Robert Patrick). Cameron’s greatest success, however, would come in 1997, with the release of the romantic disaster film “Titanic”. “Titanic” was the first film in history to breach the $1 billion mark in box offices, and its success has certainly added a lot to James Cameron’s net worth. And while “Titanic” would only remain the world’s most commercially successful film until 2010, it is testament to Cameron’s talent that it would be outdone by another of his productions – the 2009 sci-fi film “Avatar”, which made more than $2 billion across the world.

How rich is James Cameron? At the moment, Cameron’s net worth is believed to be around $700 million, although some sources indicate a figure as high as $900 million. By and large, James Cameron has built up his impressive fortune through his work as a film director, having directed a number of hugely successful films over the course of his career. Indeed, Cameron’s net worth needs little more to explain it than the fact that he holds the honour of having directed the two highest-grossing films in history.

Today, James Cameron lives in New Zealand, having moved there after coming to love the country during his work on “Avatar”. Cameron is married to actress and former model Suzy Amis, and they have three children together – a son and two daughters.


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Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Avatar 5 2023 characters announced
Avatar 4 2022 characters pre-production
Avatar 3 2020 characters / written by pre-production
Alita: Battle Angel 2018 screenplay filming
Avatar 2 2018 characters / screenplay pre-production
Untitled Animated Action Adventure originated by announced
Terminator 2 Remake with Joseph Baena: Bad to the Bone 2016 Short characters
Terminator Genisys 2015 characters
Avatar 2009 written by
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2008-2009 TV Series characters - 31 episodes
Terminator 3: Redemption 2004 Video Game characters
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 2003 Video Game characters
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 2003 characters
The Terminator: Dawn of Fate 2002 Video Game characters
Dark Angel TV Series created by - 42 episodes, 2000 - 2002 story - 1 episode, 2002 written by - 1 episode, 2000
Titanic 1997 written by
T2 3-D: Battle Across Time 1996 Short
Strange Days 1995 screenplay / story
True Lies 1994 screenplay
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 written by
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 Video Game story
Terminator 2: The Arcade Game 1991 Video Game story
The Terminator 1991 Video Game characters
The Abyss 1989 written by
Aliens 1986 screenplay / story
Rambo: First Blood Part II 1985 screenplay
The Terminator 1984 written by
Piranha Part Two: The Spawning 1981 screenplay - as H.A. Milton
Xenogenesis 1978 Short writer

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Dark Angel 2000-2002 TV Series executive producer - 42 episodes
Titanic Explorer 1998 Video Game executive producer
Titanic 1997 producer
Strange Days 1995 producer
True Lies 1994 producer
Point Break 1991 executive producer
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 producer
Xenogenesis 1978 Short producer
Avatar 5 2023 producer announced
Avatar 4 2022 producer pre-production
Avatar 3 2020 producer pre-production
Alita: Battle Angel 2018 producer filming
Avatar 2 2018 producer pre-production
The Informationist producer announced
The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back producer delayed
Years of Living Dangerously 2014-2016 TV Series documentary executive producer - 10 episodes
Beyond Glory 2015 executive producer
Deepsea Challenge 3D 2014 Documentary producer
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 2012 executive producer
Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron 2012 TV Movie documentary executive producer
Sanctum 2011 executive producer
Avatar 2009 producer
The Lost Tomb of Jesus 2007 TV Movie documentary executive producer
The Exodus Decoded 2006 TV Movie documentary executive producer
Titanic Adventure 2005 TV Movie documentary producer
Last Mysteries of the Titanic 2005 TV Movie documentary producer
Aliens of the Deep 2005 Documentary producer
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea 2003 Short documentary executive producer
Ghosts of the Abyss 2003 Documentary producer
Expedition: Bismarck 2002 TV Movie documentary producer
Solaris 2002 producer

Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Avatar 5 2023 announced
Avatar 4 2022 pre-production
Avatar 3 2020 pre-production
Avatar 2 2018 pre-production
The Informationist announced
The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back delayed
Avatar 2009
Aliens of the Deep 2005 Documentary
Ghosts of the Abyss 2003 Documentary
Expedition: Bismarck 2002 TV Movie documentary
Dark Angel 2002 TV Series 1 episode
Earthship.TV 2001 TV Movie
Titanic 1997
T2 3-D: Battle Across Time 1996 Short
Terminator 2 3-D: Battle Across Time Pre-Show 1996 Short
True Lies 1994
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991
The Abyss 1989
Martini Ranch: Reach 1988 Video short
Aliens 1986
The Terminator 1984
Piranha Part Two: The Spawning 1981
Xenogenesis 1978 Short

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Saturday Night Live 1999-2010 TV Series James Cameron
Entourage 2005-2006 TV Series James Cameron
Duets 2000 Karaoke singer (uncredited)
The Muse 1999 James Cameron
Titanic 1997 Steerage Dancer (uncredited)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 Cowardly Biker Who Drops Pool Stick (uncredited)

Editor

Editor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Avatar 4 2022 pre-production
Avatar 3 2020 film editor pre-production
Avatar 2 2018 pre-production
Avatar 2009 edited by
Titanic 1997
Strange Days 1995 uncredited
True Lies 1994 uncredited

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Deepsea Challenge 3D 2014 Documentary presenter
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 2012 presenter
Sanctum 2011 presenter
Other Voices: Creating 'The Terminator' 2001 Video documentary archive: archival artwork and photos
Aliens 1986 queen alien designer - uncredited
Rock 'n' Roll High School 1979 production assistant - uncredited

Visual Effects

Visual Effects

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Apollo 13 1995 visual effects consultant - uncredited
Escape from New York 1981 director of photography: special visual effects - as Jim Cameron / matte artwork - as Jim Cameron
Battle Beyond the Stars 1980 additional director of photography: special photographic effects - as Jim Cameron / miniature design and construction - as Jim Cameron

Camera Department

Camera Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Titanic 1997 director of photography: Titanic deep dive / special camera equipment designer
Under Pressure: Making 'The Abyss' 1993 Video documentary director of photography: additional photography

Art Department

Art Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Titanic 1997 artist: Jack's sketches - uncredited
Android 1982 design consultant - as Jim Cameron

Production Designer

Production Designer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Galaxy of Terror 1981
Xenogenesis 1978 Short

Cinematographer

Cinematographer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Aliens of the Deep 2005 Documentary

Art Director

Art Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Battle Beyond the Stars 1980 as Jim Cameron

Assistant Director

Assistant Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Galaxy of Terror 1981 second unit director

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Passage to Mars 2016 Documentary special thanks
Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn 2015 special thanks
The Dark Horse 2014 very special thanks
Gravity 2013 the producers would like to thank
Pacific Rim 2013 special thanks
All Is Lost 2013 the producers wish to thank: for the studio
The Killers In Connecticut 2012 very special thanks
Terminator: Termination 2012 Short special thanks - as James Cameron and his Lawyers
We Are One 2012 Short acknowledgment
Derrière les murs 2011 thanks
Rusted Pyre 2011 Short thanks
Every 28 Days 2010 Short special thanks
Crew Film: TheVolume 2010 very special thanks
Rien de 9 2010 TV Series special thanks - 1 episode
Big Kids 2009 Short grateful thanks
Weird Science Whatever 2008 Short special thanks for inspiration
Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert 2008 Documentary special thanks
The Force Is with Them: The Legacy of 'Star Wars' 2004 Video documentary short special thanks
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over 2003 special thanks
Iron and Beyond 2002 Video documentary short special thanks
We Get to Win This Time 2002 Video short documentary special thanks
From Morf to Morphing: The Dawn of Digital Filmmaking 2001 Video documentary short special thanks
Frailty 2001 special thanks
Other Voices: Creating 'The Terminator' 2001 Video documentary special thanks
Alien: Resurrection 2000 Video Game special thanks
From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter 1999 Video special thanks - as Jim Cameron
Requiem 1999/II Short special thanks
Virus 1999 special thanks
StarCraft 1998 Video Game thanks
HBO First Look 1997 TV Series documentary special thanks - 1 episode
Spawn 1997 thanks
Traveller 1997 special thanks
Urban Strike 1994 Video Game special thanks
Cronos 1993 special thanks
Jungle Strike 1993 Video Game special thanks
The Making of 'The Terminator': A Retrospective 1992 Video documentary short special thanks
The Making of 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' 1991 TV Short documentary special thanks
Blue Steel 1990 special thanks - as J. C.

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Eating You Alive 2016 Documentary completed Himself
SCORE: A Film Music Documentary 2016 Documentary Himself
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 2014-2016 TV Series Himself
Today 1994-2016 TV Series Himself - Guest / Himself
MythBusters 2012-2016 TV Series documentary Himself
Upgrades: VFX of 'Terminator Genisys' 2015 Video documentary short Himself
Dream Camp California 2014 TV Mini-Series documentary
Side by Side Extra: Volume Three 2014 Documentary Himself
Deepsea Challenge 3D 2014 Documentary Himself
The Colbert Report 2012-2014 TV Series Himself - Guest
Mission Blue 2014 Documentary Himself
Click Online 2013 TV Series documentary Himself
Dann Firestorm: I Am Film 2013 TV Mini-Series Himself
Secret Life of Old Rose: The Art of Gloria Stuart 2012 Documentary Himself
Reflections on Titanic 2012 Documentary Himself
CBS This Morning 2012 TV Series Himself - Guest
Good Morning America 2012 TV Series Himself - Guest
IC Places Hollywood 2012 TV Series Himself - Interviewee
CBS This Morning: Saturday 2012 TV Series Himself
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 2012 TV Series Himself - Guest
Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron 2012 TV Movie documentary Himself / Narrator
Made in Hollywood: Teen Edition 2011-2012 TV Series Himself
Sky News: Live at Five 2012 TV Series Himself
Titanic: 100 Years On 2012 Himself
Side by Side 2012 Documentary Himself
James Cameron: Voyage to the Bottom of the Earth 2012 TV Movie documentary Himself
A Call for Renewable Energy in Brazil 2011 Video documentary short Himself
Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan 2011 Documentary Himself - Director of Terminator & Avata
Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind 2011 TV Series documentary
Brian May's Brief History of 3D 2011 Documentary Himself
Science-fiction et paranoïa. La culture de la peur aux Etats-Unis 2011 Documentary Himself
Nijuu hibaku, Kataribe Yamaguchi Tsutomu no yuigon 2011 Documentary short Himself
Janela Indiscreta 2011 TV Series Himself
Attack of the Show! 2011 TV Series Himself - Producer, Sanctum
Mark at the Movies 2011 TV Series Himself
The Hour 2008-2011 TV Series Himself
Solartaxi: Around the World with the Sun 2010 Documentary Himself
A Message from Pandora 2010 Video documentary short Himself
Avatar: Production Materials 2010 Video short Himself
Capturing Avatar 2010 Video documentary Himself
Aliens: Enhancement Pods 2010 Video documentary Himself
Scream Awards 2010 2010 TV Special Himself
Up Close with Carrie Keagan 2009-2010 TV Series Himself
Entertainment Tonight 2009-2010 TV Series Himself
Larry King Live 2010 TV Series Himself
Democracy Now! 2010 TV Series Himself
Tavis Smiley 2010 TV Series Himself
The 82nd Annual Academy Awards 2010 TV Special Himself - Nominee: Best Film Editing and Nominee: Best Director & Best Picture
8th Annual Visual Effects Society Awards 2010 TV Special Himself
The Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special 2010 TV Special Himself
Inside the Actors Studio 2010 TV Series Himself - Guest
60 Minutes 2009-2010 TV Series documentary Himself - Director (segment "Kathryn Bigelow") / Himself (segment "Cameron's Avatar")
Live from Studio Five 2009-2010 TV Series Himself
The Orange British Academy Film Awards: Red Carpet 2010 TV Special Himself
Beyond Words 2010 Video documentary Himself
Charlie Rose 1997-2010 TV Series Himself - Guest / Himself
The View 2005-2010 TV Series Himself
Avatar: Creating the World of Pandora 2010 TV Movie documentary Himself
Canada for Haiti 2010 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Jay Leno Show 2009-2010 TV Series Himself
The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2010 TV Special Himself - Winner: Best Director & Best Motion Picture - Drama
15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards 2010 TV Special Himself
The Oprah Winfrey Show 2010 TV Series Himself
Cinema 3 1989-2009 TV Series Himself
Gomorron 1997-2009 TV Series Himself - Avatar / Himself
Jimmy Kimmel Live! 2009 TV Series Himself
The Bonnie Hunt Show 2009 TV Series Himself
The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien 2009 TV Series Himself
Kurôzu appu gendai 2009 TV Series Himself
Fantástico 2009 TV Series documentary Himself
Xposé 2009 TV Series Himself
The 7PM Project 2009 TV Series Himself
Odyssey: Driving Around the World 2007 TV Series Himself
Mars Rising 2007 TV Series documentary Himself
Creating an X5 2007 Video documentary short Himself
Dark Angel: Genesis 2007 Video documentary short Himself
Max Resurrected 2007 Video documentary short Himself
Seattle Ain't What It Used to Be 2007 Video documentary short Himself
DP/30: Conversations About Movies 2007 TV Series Himself
In the Cutz 2006 TV Series Himself - Guest
Hollywood Science 2006 TV Series documentary Himself
Beyond Tomorrow 2006 TV Series documentary Himself
The Exodus Decoded 2006 TV Movie documentary Narrator
Explorers: From the Titanic to the Moon 2006 Documentary Himself
Titanic Adventure 2005 TV Movie documentary Himself
Young Hollywood Awards 2005 TV Special Himself
Titanic: Deep Dive Presentation 2005 Video short Himself
Titanic: EPK Press Kit 2005 Video documentary short Himself
Titanic's Production: Behind the Scenes 2005 Video documentary Himself
The Terminator: Closer to the Real Thing 2005 Video documentary short Himself
Unstoppable Force: The Legacy of 'The Terminator' 2005 Video documentary short Himself
Last Mysteries of the Titanic 2005 TV Movie documentary Himself
Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us 2005 TV Movie documentary Himself
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to George Lucas 2005 TV Special Himself
Aliens of the Deep 2005 Documentary Himself
Ray Harryhausen: The Early Years Collection 2005 Video documentary
The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing 2004 Documentary Himself
The Force Is with Them: The Legacy of 'Star Wars' 2004 Video documentary short Himself - Writer-Director, 'Titanic'
Superior Firepower: The Making of 'Aliens' 2003 Video documentary Himself
'Solaris': Behind the Planet 2003 Video documentary short Himself
No Fate But What We Make: 'Terminator 2' and the Rise of Digital Effects 2003 Video documentary short Himself
T2: On the Set 2003 Video documentary short Himself
The Buzz 2003 TV Series Himself
Ghosts of the Abyss 2003 Documentary Himself
Expedition: Bismarck 2002 TV Movie documentary Himself
Iron and Beyond 2002 Video documentary short Himself - Director
HBO First Look 1997-2002 TV Series documentary Himself
WWE Raw 2002 TV Series Himself
From Morf to Morphing: The Dawn of Digital Filmmaking 2001 Video documentary short Himself - Filmmaker
Alien Evolution 2001 TV Movie documentary Himself
2001 ABC World Stunt Awards 2001 TV Special Himself
Other Voices: Creating 'The Terminator' 2001 Video documentary Himself - Writer & Director
2001: The Making of a Myth 2001 TV Short documentary Himself - Narrator
Heroes for the Planet: A Tribute to National Geographic 2001 TV Movie documentary Himself
2000 ALMA Awards 2000 TV Special Himself - Presenter
The Ultimate Auction 2000 TV Movie Himself - Introduction (segment "Titanic")
The Making of 'Terminator 2 3D' 2000 Video documentary short Himself
Auto Motives 2000 Short Himself
Virus: Ghost in the Machine 1999 Video documentary short Himself
Ray Harryhausen: Working with Dinosaurs 1999 TV Special Himself
From Star Wars to Star Wars: The Story of Industrial Light & Magic 1999 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Directors 1999 TV Series documentary Himself
The 25th Annual People's Choice Awards 1999 TV Special Himself - Accepting Award for Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture / Favorite Motion Picture
Titanic Explorer 1998 Video Game Himself (voice)
Martian Mania: The True Story of The War of the Worlds 1998 TV Movie documentary Host
Mad About You 1998 TV Series Himself
The 70th Annual Academy Awards 1998 TV Special Himself - Winner: Best Film Editing / Winner: Best Director and Best Picture
4th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 1998 TV Special Himself
The 50th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards 1998 TV Special Himself - Winner
Titanic: Breaking New Ground 1998 TV Special documentary Himself
The 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1998 TV Special Himself - Nominee: Best Screenplay and Winner: Best Director & Best Motion Picture Drama
Howard Stern 1998 TV Series Himself
Hollywood Salutes Arnold Schwarzenegger: An American Cinematheque Tribute 1998 TV Special Himself
Directors: James Cameron 1997 Video documentary Himself
Magacine 1997 TV Series Himself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 1997 TV Series Himself
Movie Magic 1994-1997 TV Series documentary Himself
The 17th Annual CableACE Awards 1995 TV Special Himself
Your Studio and You 1995 Short Himself (uncredited)
The 52nd Annual Golden Globe Awards 1995 TV Special Himself - Audience Member
Lista Top 40 1994 TV Series Himself
The Making of 'True Lies' 1994 TV Movie documentary Himself
T2: More Than Meets the Eye 1993 Video short documentary Himself
Under Pressure: Making 'The Abyss' 1993 Video documentary Himself
1992 MTV Movie Awards 1992 TV Special Himself
The Making of 'Alien 3' 1992 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Making of 'The Terminator': A Retrospective 1992 Video documentary short Himself
The Making of 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' 1991 TV Short documentary Himself
The Making of 'The Abyss' 1989 Video documentary short Himself
The Making of 'Terminator' 1984 TV Short documentary Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Kurôzu appu gendai 2010 TV Series Himself
Live from Studio Five 2010 TV Series Himself
The 'Alien' Saga 2002 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
E! True Hollywood Story 2002 TV Series documentary Himself
Who Is Alan Smithee? 2002 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
Beyond Titanic 1998 TV Movie documentary Himself
To the Galaxy and Beyond with Mark Hamill 1997 TV Movie documentary Himself
Entertainment Tonight 2016 TV Series Himself
60 Minutes 2010-2016 TV Series documentary Himself - Director / Himself - Director (segment "Kathryn Bigelow") / Himself (segment "Cameron's Avatar")
Greatest 90s Movies 2016 TV Movie Himself
30 Greatest Disaster Movies 2015 TV Movie documentary Himself - Director, Titanic
Troldspejlet 2009-2013 TV Series Himself - Director / Himself - Producer / Director / ...
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy 2010 Video documentary Himself (uncredited)

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2014 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series Years of Living Dangerously (2014) · Joel Bach (executive producer)
· David Gelber (executive producer)
· Daniel Abbasi (executive producer)
· Jerry Weintraub (executive producer)
· Arnold Schwarzenegger (executive producer)
· Solly Granatstein (co-executive producer)
· Jennifer Latham (supervising producer)
· Adam Bolt (senior producer)
· Jacob Kornbluth (producer)
2011 Harold Lloyd Award 3D Creative Arts Awards
2011 Milestone Award PGA Awards
2010 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Director - Motion Picture Avatar (2009)
2010 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Director Avatar (2009)
2010 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Writing Avatar (2009)
2010 Visionary Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
2010 Audience Award Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Best Foreign-Language Film (Melhor Filme Estrangeiro) Avatar (2009)
2010 Empire Award Empire Awards, UK Best Director Avatar (2009)
2010 Silver Ribbon Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Best 3D Film Director (Regista del Miglior Film in 3D) Avatar (2009)
2010 Showmanship Award Publicists Guild of America Motion Picture
2010 Modern Master Award Santa Barbara International Film Festival Avatar (2009)
2010 Scream Award Scream Awards Best Director Avatar (2009)
2010 3-D Award Venice Film Festival Most Creative 3D Film Stereoscopic Film of the Year Avatar (2009)
2010 Lifetime Achievement Award Visual Effects Society Awards
2009 PFCS Award Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Film Editing Avatar (2009) · John Refoua
· Stephen E. Rivkin
2009 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Motion Picture Awarded on December 18, 2009 at 6712 Hollywood Blvd.
2004 Vanguard Award PGA Awards
2004 Nicola Tesla Award Satellite Awards
2003 President's Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA

The Oscar-winning filmmaker and auteur that helped develop the face of modern genre filmmaking. His... More

2000 Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award American Cinema Editors, USA
1999 Monitor International Monitor Awards Theatrical Releases - Color Correction Titanic (1997) · David Bernstein
1999 Readers' Choice Award Mainichi Film Concours Best Foreign Language Film Titanic (1997)
1999 Lifetime Achievement Award Malibu Film Festival
1998 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Picture Titanic (1997) · Jon Landau
1998 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Director Titanic (1997)
1998 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Film Editing Titanic (1997) · Conrad Buff IV
· Richard A. Harris
1998 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Director - Motion Picture Titanic (1997)
1998 President's Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
1998 Amanda Amanda Awards, Norway Best Foreign Feature Film (Årets utenlandske spillefilm) Titanic (1997)
1998 Eddie American Cinema Editors, USA Best Edited Feature Film Titanic (1997) · Conrad Buff IV
· Richard A. Harris
1998 Blue Ribbon Award Blue Ribbon Awards Best Foreign Language Film Titanic (1997)
1998 Critics Choice Award Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)
1998 DFWFCA Award Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)
1998 DGA Award Directors Guild of America, USA Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures Titanic (1997) · Grant Hill (unit production manager plaque)
· Anna Roth (unit production manager plaque)
· Sharon Mann (unit production manager plaque)
· Jon Landau (unit production manager plaque)
· Josh McLaglen (first assistant director plaque)
· Batan Silva (second assistant director plaque)
· Kathleen 'Bo' Bobak (second assistant director plaque)
1998 Hochi Film Award Hochi Film Awards Best Foreign Language Film Titanic (1997)
1998 Jupiter Award Jupiter Award Best International Film Titanic (1997)
1998 Jupiter Award Jupiter Award Best International Director Titanic (1997)
1998 Sierra Award Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)
1998 OFTA Film Award Online Film & Television Association Best Picture Titanic (1997) · Jon Landau
1998 OFTA Film Award Online Film & Television Association Best Drama Picture Titanic (1997) · Jon Landau
1998 OFTA Film Award Online Film & Television Association Best Director Titanic (1997)
1998 OFTA Film Award Online Film & Television Association Best Film Editing Titanic (1997) · Conrad Buff IV
· Richard A. Harris
1998 OFCS Award Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)
1998 PGA Award PGA Awards Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures Titanic (1997) · Jon Landau
1998 Golden Satellite Award Satellite Awards Best Motion Picture, Drama Titanic (1997) · Jon Landau
1998 Golden Satellite Award Satellite Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)
1997 ACCA Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)
1997 ACCA Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Film Editing Titanic (1997) · Conrad Buff IV
· Richard A. Harris
1997 KCFCC Award Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)
1997 Special Citation National Board of Review, USA Titanic (1997)
1995 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Director True Lies (1994)
1995 ShoWest Award ShoWest Convention, USA Producer of the Year
1992 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Director Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
1992 Hugo Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) · William Wisher Jr. (written by)
1992 Readers' Choice Award Mainichi Film Concours Best Foreign Language Film Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
1992 Bradbury Award Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
1991 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Director The Abyss (1989)
1990 Yoga Award Yoga Awards Worst Foreign Film The Abyss (1989)
1987 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Director Aliens (1986)
1987 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Writing Aliens (1986)
1987 Hugo Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation Aliens (1986) · David Giler (story)
· Walter Hill (story)
· Dan O'Bannon (based on characters created by)
· Ronald Shusett (based on characters created by)
1987 Readers' Choice Award Kinema Junpo Awards Best Foreign Language Film Aliens (1986)
1986 Razzie Award Razzie Awards Worst Screenplay Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) · Sylvester Stallone
· Kevin Jarre (story)
1985 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Writing The Terminator (1984) · Gale Anne Hurd
1985 Grand Prize Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival The Terminator (1984)

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2014 IDA Award International Documentary Association Best Limited Series Years of Living Dangerously (2014) · Daniel Abbasi (executive producer)
· Joel Bach (executive producer)
· David Gelber (executive producer)
· Arnold Schwarzenegger (executive producer)
· Jerry Weintraub (executive producer)
2011 SFX Award SFX Awards, UK Best Film Director Avatar (2009)
2011 SFX Award SFX Awards, UK Best Film Avatar (2009)
2010 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Motion Picture of the Year Avatar (2009) · Jon Landau
2010 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Achievement in Directing Avatar (2009)
2010 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Achievement in Film Editing Avatar (2009) · Stephen E. Rivkin
· John Refoua
2010 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Film Avatar (2009) · Jon Landau
2010 David Lean Award for Direction BAFTA Awards Best Director Avatar (2009)
2010 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Editing Avatar (2009) · Stephen E. Rivkin
· John Refoua
2010 Eddie American Cinema Editors, USA Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic) Avatar (2009) · Stephen E. Rivkin
· John Refoua
2010 Critics Choice Award Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Director Avatar (2009)
2010 Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Best Foreign-Language Film (Melhor Filme Estrangeiro) Avatar (2009)
2010 César César Awards, France Best Foreign Film (Meilleur film étranger) Avatar (2009)
2010 David David di Donatello Awards Best Foreign Film (Miglior Film Straniero) Avatar (2009)
2010 DGA Award Directors Guild of America, USA Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures Avatar (2009)
2010 Gold Derby Award Gold Derby Awards Motion Picture Avatar (2009) · Jon Landau
2010 Gold Derby Award Gold Derby Awards Director Avatar (2009)
2010 Gold Derby Award Gold Derby Awards Film Editing Avatar (2009) · Stephen E. Rivkin
· John Refoua
2010 HPA Awards Hollywood Post Alliance, US Outstanding Editing - Feature Film Avatar (2009) · Stephen E. Rivkin
· John Refoua
2010 Hugo Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form Avatar (2009)
2010 IOMA Italian Online Movie Awards (IOMA) Best Director (Miglior regia) Avatar (2009)
2010 ALFS Award London Critics Circle Film Awards Director of the Year Avatar (2009)
2010 OFTA Film Award Online Film & Television Association Best Picture Avatar (2009) · Jon Landau
2010 OFTA Film Award Online Film & Television Association Best Director Avatar (2009)
2010 OFTA Film Award Online Film & Television Association Best Film Editing Avatar (2009) · Stephen E. Rivkin
· John Refoua
2010 OFCS Award Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Director Avatar (2009)
2010 PGA Award PGA Awards Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures Avatar (2009) · Jon Landau
2010 WGA Award (Screen) Writers Guild of America, USA Best Original Screenplay Avatar (2009)
2009 ACCA Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Director Avatar (2009)
2009 ACCA Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Motion Picture Avatar (2009) · Jon Landau (producer)
2009 Golden Schmoes Golden Schmoes Awards Best Director of the Year Avatar (2009)
2009 HFCS Award Houston Film Critics Society Awards Best Director Avatar (2009)
2003 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Directing for Non-Fiction Programming Expedition: Bismarck (2002) · Gary Johnstone (director)
2003 DVDX Award DVD Exclusive Awards Best Audio Commentary (New for DVD) Aliens (1986) · Michael Biehn
· Jenette Goldstein
· Carrie Henn
· Christopher Henn
· Lance Henriksen
· Gale Anne Hurd
· Pat McClung
· Bill Paxton
· Dennis Skotak
· Robert Skotak
· Stan Winston
1999 César César Awards, France Best Foreign Film (Meilleur film étranger) Titanic (1997)
1999 ALFS Award London Critics Circle Film Awards Director of the Year Titanic (1997)
1998 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Screenplay - Motion Picture Titanic (1997)
1998 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Film Titanic (1997) · Jon Landau
1998 David Lean Award for Direction BAFTA Awards Titanic (1997)
1998 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Editing Titanic (1997) · Conrad Buff IV
· Richard A. Harris
1998 CFCA Award Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)
1998 OFTA Film Award Online Film & Television Association Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Titanic (1997)
1998 Golden Aries Russian Guild of Film Critics Best Foreign Film Titanic (1997)
1998 Golden Satellite Award Satellite Awards Best Screenplay, Original Titanic (1997)
1998 TFCA Award Toronto Film Critics Association Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)
1998 WGA Award (Screen) Writers Guild of America, USA Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Titanic (1997)
1997 ACCA Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Original Screenplay Titanic (1997)
1996 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Writing Strange Days (1995) · Jay Cocks
1992 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Writing Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) · William Wisher Jr.
1991 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Writing The Abyss (1989)
1990 Hugo Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation The Abyss (1989)
1985 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Director The Terminator (1984)
1983 International Fantasy Film Award Fantasporto Best Film Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981)

2nd place awards

2nd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2009 ACCA Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Film Editing Avatar (2009) · John Refoua
· Stephen E. Rivkin
2009 SDFCS Award San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Director Avatar (2009)
1998 SEFCA Award Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)
1997 STFC Award Society of Texas Film Critics Awards Best Director Titanic (1997)

TitleSalary
Avatar (2009) $350,000,000
Titanic (1997) $115,000,000 ($600k for screenplay + $8m salary + backend participation)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) $6,000,000

#Fact
1 Did uncredited voice overs for The Terminator (1984) (as Sarah Connor's (Linda Hamilton) date on the answering machine) and True Lies (1994) as the helicopter pilot who flatly says, "he's got her head in his lap. Yahoo.".
2 Was considered to direct a Spider-Man film on two occasions, first on Spider-Man (2002) and then on The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) ten years later.
3 Not only did he try to make a Spider-Man film, he also tried to make a X-Men movie with his fellow filmmaker and his then wife Kathryn Biggelow.
4 Son, James Quinn (known as Quinn), with wife Suzy Amis, born. [September 2003]
5 Has frequently worked with the cast of the Star Trek films. Paul Winfield appeared in The Terminator (1984) and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Jenette Goldstein, who appeared in 'Aliens (1986)_, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)_, and Titanic (1997), also appears briefly in Star Trek: Generations (1994). Goldstein's Aliens (1986) character was also the inspiration for Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby), and she was the original choice for the role. Mark Rolston, who appeared in Aliens (1986), also appeared on an episode of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)(TV)'. Edward Furlong appeared in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and 'Star Trek: Renegade (2014)(TV)'. Zoe Saldana appeared in Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and Avatar (2009). David Warner appeared in Titanic (1997), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). In addition, Thomas Dekker appeared in Star Trek: Generations (1994) and 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2007)(TV)' as John Connor, while the character's father, Kyle Reese, was played in Terminator Salvation (2009) by Anton Yelchin. Bryce Dallas Howard, who also appeared in Terminator Salvation (2009), is the niece of Clint Howard, who appeared on an early episode of the original series. Bill Paxton's Aliens character, Hudson, inspired the Sam Rockwell character in the Star Trek spoof, Galaxy Quest (1999).
6 Is very close friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
7 Despite his reputation for working constantly and for very long hours, he stopped drinking caffeinated coffee after he made Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and only drinks decaf now.
8 Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on December 18, 2009.
9 Since 1984, all of his films' titles have begin with either the letters 'T' or 'A'. Or, in the case of The Abyss (1989), both (depending on whether you want to classify the film as "The Abyss" or "Abyss, The").
10 Is vegan.
11 Cameron reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench on 25 March 2012, becoming the first person to do so in a one-man craft. The Mariana Trench is the deepest known point on Earth, at 11 km (6.8 miles) below the ocean surface. The vehicle in which he achieved this feat is the Deepsea Challenger (DCV 1), designed built in Sydney, Australia by research and design company Acheron Project Pty Ltd. Cameron is the first person to spend significant time at that depth, having explored the area for three hours after arrival. He later famously commented "Hitting rock bottom never felt so good".
12 Insists that any actor in his films must audition for him, even major stars.
13 He named his five favorite films as The Wizard of Oz (1939), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Godfather (1972) and Taxi Driver (1976).
14 Directed three of the American Film Institute's 100 Most Heart Pounding Movies: Titanic (1997) at #25, The Terminator (1984) at #42 and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) at #77. Aliens (1986) was also nominated but didn't make the list.
15 Has directed 3 actresses in Oscar-nominated performances: Sigourney Weaver (Best Actress, Aliens (1986)), Kate Winslet (Best Actress, Titanic (1997)), and Gloria Stuart (Best Supporting Actress, Titanic (1997)).
16 Was an avid reader of Arthur C. Clarke, A.E. van Vogt, Harlan Ellison and Larry Niven novels as a child.
17 (May 10, 2010) Merited a place in Time magazine's - The 100 Most Influential People in the World ("Artists" category) - with an homage penned by Sigourney Weaver.
18 Lives in Malibu and Calabasas, California.
19 In an interview with Tavis Smiley, revealed that he was a truck driver before going into film directing.
20 In 2010, his movie Avatar (2009) became the highest grossing movie of all time, not adjusted for inflation. It is also the first movie to gross the 2 billion dollar mark at the box office. Until Avatar (2009), Cameron's previous movie Titanic (1997) was the highest grossing movie of all time for 12 years (also not adjusted for inflation).
21 Three of his films have made it to the IMDb top 250 list: The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and Aliens (1986). Avatar (2009) briefly made the list, but ultimately dropped out of it.
22 First director to make 2 films which have grossed more than $1 billion in the worldwide box office (Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009)). Cameron is now tied for the billion-dollar film record with Christopher Nolan and Peter Jackson. Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) finished their runs with over $1 billion in overall grosses. Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) also finished their runs with over $1 billion in overall grosses.
23 Apart from Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981) and The Terminator (1984), all of his films have been nominated for or won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
24 Ex-brother-in-law of Leslie Hamilton Gearren.
25 Has a daughter, Josephine Archer Cameron, with Linda Hamilton (born 15 February 1993).
26 Received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in 2008. Says he's too cheap to pay for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
27 After seeing Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Cameron quit his job as a truck driver to enter the film industry.
28 2007 - Ranked #3 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.
29 Considered directing Solaris (2002), but opted to produce instead. Job went to Steven Soderbergh.
30 Had a daughter, Elizabeth Rose, with Suzy Amis (born 29 December 2006).
31 Was interested in remaking Planet of the Apes (1968), but his script was turned down. Another script was then developed and eventually made by Tim Burton in 2001.
32 Is left-handed. He drew the picture of Rose (Kate Winslet) in the movie Titanic (1997). The image was flipped so it would appear that Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) was drawing it with his right hand.
33 The October 1987 draft of the screenplay for Alien Nation (1988) credits a rewrite to James Cameron. He is not credited in the final film.
34 Member of the American Cinema Editors (ACE).
35 The titles of his two current theatrical documentaries contain the titles of two of his previous films; the title of his documentary Ghosts of the Abyss (2003) contains the title of his previous film The Abyss (1989), and the title of his other documentary Aliens of the Deep (2005) contains the title of another one of his previous films, Aliens (1986).
36 Has developed a new generation stereo imaging camera called "The Fusion Camera".
37 When he wrote an early script treatment for Spider-Man (2002), he had the idea of organic web-shooters. This was later included in Sam Raimi's film.
38 A magazine article written about him in the 1980s described how he had three desks set up in his house. At one desk, he was writing the script to The Terminator (1984), on another, he was finishing the script to Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and on the third, he was writing Aliens (1986).
39 Co-created the newly high-definition video system with cinematographer Vince Pace that was recently used to film Ghosts of the Abyss (2003).
40 One of only two people to have both written and directed an Alien movie. The other is Paul W.S. Anderson.
41 The mandibles of the Predator from Predator (1987) were his idea.
42 On the 14 March 2004 episode of Inside the Actors Studio (1994), Kate Winslet claimed her nude portrait for Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Titanic (1997) was drawn by Cameron. She also said the artist's hand shown in a close-up was Cameron's.
43 Is a huge Japanese anime fan, and the releasing studios often uses his opinion about the film on the DVD and VHS covers.
44 His practice of testing his directors of photography by darkening the film originated on Aliens (1986). Cameron wanted to use a particular type of film stock, but cinematographer Dick Bush ignored him and used a different type. The end result being that the footage shot ended up being unusably dark. After Bush was fired due to an unrelated incident and Adrian Biddle took over, Cameron found some of the film in a storage cupboard and had the camera operators use it instead of the film Biddle had told them to use. Biddle noticed what was going on after the first take, and compensated with extra lighting, hoping to hide his "mistake" from Cameron, who owned up at the end of the day. Cameron later did the same to Mikael Salomon on The Abyss (1989) and to Russell Carpenter on True Lies (1994).
45 Married one of his producers and two of his actresses.
46 Wrote a screenplay for Spider-Man (2002), but was turned down by the studios, due to the fact that his version of Spider-Man was "too violent". Sam Raimi's version got the green light instead.
47 He and Suzy Amis are owners of Childspot!, an early childhood center in Wichita, Kansas which is operated by Suzy's sister, Rebecca Amis.
48 Security is provided by Gavin de Becker, author of "The Gift of Fear."
49 The eldest of five children.
50 First wife Sharon Williams got just $1,200 from Cameron in their divorce settlement.
51 Went to elementary school in Chippawa, Ontario.
52 Was forced to settle a copyright lawsuit brought by Harlan Ellison involving the movie The Terminator (1984). Newer prints of the film acknowledge Ellison. Cameron thought he could win the suit, but was told by the studio that he would be made responsible for financial damages in case of a loss. Unable to take the financial risk, he begrudgingly agreed to the settlement..
53 Has a stepson named Jasper, from Suzy Amis' marriage to Sam Robards.
54 Daughter Claire, with wife Suzy Amis, born. [April 2001]
55 Cameron is in talks with RKK Energia and MirCorp to pay his way on board the Mir space station (or the ISS, should Mir be deorbited). He has been given the medical green light, and has already ridden aboard the Ilushin-76 jet used to train cosmonauts for space missions. [September 2000]
56 First director to film both a $100 million (Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)) and a $200 million (Titanic (1997)) movie.
57 Jokingly refers to Titanic (1997) as his 190 Million Dollar "Chick Flick".
58 While editing Titanic (1997), Cameron had a razor blade taped to the side of the editing computer with the instructions written underneath: "Use only if film sucks!".
59 One of the founders of visual effects company Digital Domain.
60 His production company is Lightstorm Entertainment.
61 According to Cameron, he got his big break while doing pick-up shots for Galaxy of Terror (1981) as second unit director. He was shooting scenes of a dismembered arm teeming with maggots (actually mealworms). In order to make them move, he hooked up an AC power cord to the arm, and an unseen assistant would plug it in when the film was rolling. Two producers were strolling through, and when Cameron yelled "Action!" the worms began to writhe on cue. When he yelled "Cut!" the worms stopped. The producers were so amazed at his directing prowess that they began talking with him about bigger projects.
62 Brother of Mike Cameron and John David Cameron.

#Quote
1 [300] Fantastic film. I loved it.
2 Sometimes the more fantastic an idea is the more you have to be very careful about how you design it.
3 [Avatar] Some of the design choices were about colors affecting us psychologically, which is why the film has such a striking color palette, like the early days of color cinematography where everything had to be bright and vibrant.
4 [Avatar] A complete leap into the unknown. Like a jump off a cliff and madly fabricating a parachute on the way down. It's a lot of fun to be out on the edge and know that you're doing something nobody's ever done before.
5 [Terminator Genisys] The natural follow up to Terminator 2.
6 [an animated film] The performances are created by committee. I don't mean to denigrate that in any way. It's a fantastic art form. I love it. It's just not what I'm good at. What I'm good at is working with actors to create scenes and then editing they're performances to get the absolute best vibrating version of that scene and then share that with the audience. It's an amazing process to go through. Sometimes you think it's not going to work when you get started and then the characters come to life.
7 [3D] It brings to cinema what better sound or color brought. I'm making it my ethos not to change how I direct my movies or how I do scenes with the actors. I'm trying to make 3D plus the film or turbocharge it but the basic architecture of the engine is the same and that's the only healthy way to view the 3D. The actors don't act any differently for a 3D camera.
8 [the designs on Avatar] It's a very joyful experience for me. What you imagine is always kind of hazy. It's like the memory of a dream. You can't be specific. You can draw it but it's a completely new act of creation.
9 [Avatar] Some people think of this as an animated film. It's not an animated film because I'm not an animator. I don't want to be an animator. I'm a director. I want to work with actors. A director-centric actor-process.
10 [Avatar] The expectations are daunting on this film. That's fair after directing Titanic and my other films. Some people will be interested in what's coming next but this is a very different film from what I've done before. It plays by its own rules. As a filmmaker, I just get so focused on the characters that I just forget all the buzz out there and the hype and the expectation and just do what's right for the movie.
11 [on starting production on Avatar 2 (2018)] We do performance capture work. You have to think of it more like an animated film, so it's not really shooting per se. [2016]
12 [on Avatar (2009)] At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991) was among the videos that I used as a reference. Tom Berenger did some real interesting stuff in that film. Also The Emerald Forest (1985) which maybe thematically isn't that connected but it did have that clash of civilizations or of cultures. That was another reference point for me. There was some beautiful stuff in that film. I just gathered all this stuff in and then you look at it through the lens of science fiction and it comes out looking very different but it still recognizable in a universal story way. It's almost comfortable for the audience - "I know what kind of tale this is." They're not sitting there scratching their heads, they're enjoying it and being taken along - the idea that you feel like you are in a classic story, a story that could have been shaped by Rudyard Kipling or Edgar Rice Burroughs.
13 [When asked if there was a book that influenced or inspired him in some way] I remember it more by authors. Arthur Clarke and A.E. van Vogt, all of the mainstream old guard of science fiction at that time. In the latter years of high school I got into the newer guys of that time, Harlan Ellison, Larry Niven, people like that. It was a steady diet of science fiction.
14 [on Terminator Genisys (2015)] I pay attention to it but I'm not terribly concerned about it one way or the other. I've had to let it go. There was a point in time where I debated going after the rights... I just felt as a filmmaker maybe I've gone beyond it. I really wasn't that interested. I felt like I'd told the story I wanted to tell. I suppose I could have pursued it more aggressively and gone to the mat for it but I felt like I was laboring in someone else's house in a sense because I had sold the rights very early on.
15 [on possible future contact with aliens] The history on our planet is whenever a superior technology society encounters a society with lesser technology, the superior technology supplants the lesser society. There has never been an exception. So if the aliens come to us, it probably won't go well for us. A thousand years from now, if we're the ones going to where the aliens are, like the story told in Avatar (2009), it won't go so well for the aliens.
16 48 fps to me is not a format, it's a tool, like music it's good to use sparingly and in the right spot. I believe all movies should be made in 3D, forever, but the projection needs to be better, and brighter. I want people to see in the movie theaters what I am seeing in my perfectly-calibrated screening room, and people aren't seeing that. Larger formats. I'd love to see screens get bigger. In terms of storytelling, I'd like to see Hollywood embrace the caliber of writing in feature films that we're currently seeing in the series on television - more emphasis on character, and less on explosions and pyrotechnics. And I'm talking the big tent-pole movies, I think they're obnoxiously loud and fast.
17 I can point directly to the film that had the biggest early influence on me, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Even though it's not necessarily my favorite film right now, it has a very special place for me developmentally, because when I saw it, I went from someone who enjoyed watching movies to wanting to make movies myself. So I started to experiment with creating that imagery.
18 [on Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)] I did think that this new Captain America was an interesting film for its genre, in that it tackled this idea of digital surveillance and the kind of dark side of our hyper-connected society.
19 [on Neil deGrasse Tyson pointing out that the sky in his movie Titanic (1997) was wrong] I wasn't particularly embarrassed because I think that's an unbelievably specific nitpick and if that caused him to not enjoy the film, he may need to re-evaluate his priorities. That said, because I'm such a perfectionist, I challenged him to provide me with the correct star fields and incorporated them into the future re-releases of the film. So, if you watch the film now, the stars are correct.
20 I think that there was a moment of magic, pure magic, of coming together with the lens, when we shot the kiss at the bow of the ship during Titanic (1997). The way the sun set, we were all inspired to run to get the shot and we had seconds to do it. There was no rehearsal, we didn't have time, but the actors did beautifully. We did two takes, one that was out of focus and one that was half out of focus, and the one that was used was the one that was half out of focus. And it was beautiful.
21 [on Aliens (1986)] I think I was following in the footsteps of the first film Alien (1979), which was the classic Ten Little Indians (1965) model where you start out with X number of beloved characters, and have one that prevails. In Aliens (1986), three characters prevail at the end. So I would say Aliens (1986) is more about family bonds, even though it's a pseudo-family in the film, and cooperation against an enemy. So it doesn't exactly follow the slasher model.
22 I've never had nightmares about Terminators after I made the film. I had nightmares that inspired the film. But I always feel that making the film is the catharsis that stops the nightmares, if you will. For example, I used to always have nightmares about giant waves, tsunamis essentially. And when I made The Abyss (1989), which had a giant wave scene in it, those stopped.
23 [on working with Arnold Schwarzenegger on True Lies 2] We abandoned True Lies 2 after 9/11, because we didn't think a comedy about fundamentalist terrorists was so funny anymore. And then we never picked it up again.
24 [on Prometheus (2012)] I thought it was thought-provoking and beautifully, visually-mounted, but at the end of the day it didn't add up logically. But I enjoyed it, and I'm glad it was made. I liked it better than the previous two Alien sequels. And it was done in native 3D and I'm a big fan of Native 3D done by directors who embrace it as an art form, like [Ridley Scott], [Martin Scorsese}, Ang Lee.
25 [on Gravity (2013)] I was stunned, absolutely floored. I think it's the best space photography ever done, I think it's the best space film ever done, and it's the movie I've been hungry to see for an awful long time... What is interesting is the human dimension. Alfonso [Alfonso Cuarón] and Sandra [Sandra Bullock] working together to create an absolutely seamless portrayal of a woman fighting for her life in zero gravity.
26 Every time I start a film, I have a fantasy that it will be like a big family, and we'll have a good time, and we'll have all of these wonderful, creative moments together. But that's not what filmmaking is; it's a battle.
27 The Terminator is neither good nor evil.
28 [to Arnold Schwarzenegger when they first met] You are the Terminator.
29 [on being sued for plagiarism] It is a sad reality of our business that whenever there is a successful film, people come out of the woodwork claiming that their ideas were used. Avatar (2009) was my most personal film, drawing upon themes and concepts that I had been exploring for decades.
30 There's an aspect of movie-making that rewards bad behavior. You're working with a team of people and you tell them what you want and a few weeks later they've forgotten everything. So you scream at them and somehow they remember. Not my actors, though - I've always been very circumspect with them.
31 [on Avatar 2 (2018)] Sequels are always tricky: you have to be surprising and stay ahead of audience anticipation. At the same time, you have to massage their feet with things that they know and love about the first film. I've walked that line in the past.
32 [on veganism] It's not a requirement to eat animals, we just choose to do it. So it becomes a moral choice and one that is having a huge impact on the planet, using up resources and destroying the biosphere.
33 (On Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993)) I tried to buy the book rights and he beat me to it by a few hours. But when I saw the film, I realised that I was not the right person to make the film, he was. Because he made a dinosaur movie for kids, and mine would have been Aliens (1986) with dinosaurs, and that wouldn't have been fair. Dinosaurs are for 8-year-olds. We can all enjoy it, too, but kids get dinosaurs and they should not have been excluded for that. His sensibility was right for that film, I'd have gone further, nastier, much nastier.
34 I don't have a TV. I took it out of the house. I was watching too much TV, so I took it out.
35 Prometheus (2012) is a film I saw twice, and I thought about it ahead of time. The first time I would just enjoy it, go for the ride, not be too analytical and the second time I would allow myself to be a little more analytical about, you know, where the lights were and how they lit the shots with all the people in the helmets, how they probably had to do CG faceplates like we did on Avatar (2009), things like that.
36 I'd be hard-pressed to imagine creating a vehicle for an actor that I like. For me, the movie comes first and if the actor fits, they fit. And I'll think pretty far out of the box about what "fitting" means, even contemplate re-working a character to fit an actor I really admire. But, I can't imagine writing a vehicle for an actor. That's just not my process. There are a lot of young actors -- always new actors coming up who are good -- I'm not going to name any names, but I certainly keep my eye out.
37 I enjoyed Prometheus (2012); I thought it was great. I thought it was Ridley returning to science fiction with gusto, with great tactical performance, beautiful photography, great native 3D. There might have been a few things that I would have done differently, but that's not the point, you could say that about any movie.
38 I'm a huge movie fan. I love watching films. I love watching films with the family, with the kids; I love watching films myself. I was out there opening night [for] Prometheus (2012). I didn't go to the Thursday midnight screening, but I was there Friday. I like to still get excited about movies and whether they pay off or not, that's not the point.
39 I didn't want to raise [my children] in that poisonous atmosphere. There's a climate of materialism in Los Angeles. We're all vegan, we grow our own organic food at our ranch in California, and we'll continue to do that in New Zealand. You want your kids to grow up with a certain set of values.
40 To me, [writing roles for strong women] is just another challenge. It doesn't matter to me if it's an engineering challenge, a scientific challenge, a writing challenge - for a man to write a woman and make her interesting to women as well as men, it's a challenge. Maybe it's just a quest to understand women who are sometimes inscrutable
41 I do think Hollywood movies get it wrong when they show women in action roles - they basically make them men. Or else they make them into superheroes in shiny black suits, which is just not as interesting.
42 I'm still very committed about raising awareness about the dangers of climate change at a time when there is all the denial and disinformation machinery designed to confuse people and create doubt - on an issue about which there is no doubt in the scientific community. We are facing the biggest challenge the human species has ever faced. And we're all going to have to work together to solve it.
43 [why he will never return to the Terminator franchise] The series has kind of run its course, and frankly, the soup's already been pissed in by other filmmakers.
44 [what he thought of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)] In one word, great.
45 I think from the standpoint of the Hollywood mainstream, they got up one morning and opened the trades and went, 'What the hell is this movie that's number one this weekend?' And, by the way, it was number one the next weekend and the weekend after that. It dominated the Thanksgiving weekend against a couple of big pictures, like Dune (1984), for example, and 2010 (1984), which were big studio pictures. Actually, 2010 was a big studio picture and Dune was a high-end independent film. But these were mega-buck movies and Terminator just steam rolled over them. And it had been done by these nonentities. (NOTE: in actual fact, The Terminator was number 1 in the last weekend of October 1984 and the first weekend of November 1984. 2010 and Dune both opened in December 1984, not the Thanksgiving weekend, and 2010 out-grossed The Terminator by over $2 million).
46 [on Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys (2015)] I was talking to him back in fall about a new Terminator film and quietly advising on that. I was trying to be as encouraging as possible. Frankly, at that time, I thought it needed to be more about him. I told him he should not do it until it's focused on his character. I think there are some great stories that can be told about that character that haven't even been thought of yet.
47 [on the possible origins of the Space Jockey (or the dental patient as he calls it) in Alien (1979) an idea explored in Prometheus (2012)] Clearly, the dental patient was a sole crew member on a one-man ship. Perhaps his homeworld did know of his demise, but felt it was pointless to rescue a doomed person. Perhaps he was a volunteer or a draftee on the hazardous mission of bio-isolating these organisms. Perhaps he was a military pilot, delivering the alien eggs as a bio-weapon in some ancient interstellar war humans know nothing of, and got infected inadvertently.
48 [on where the creatures in Aliens (1986) came from] I have Ripley specifically telling a member of the inquiry board, "I already told you, it was not indigenous, it was a derelict spacecraft, an alien ship, it was not from there." That seems clear enough. Don't ask me where it was from... there are some things man was not meant to know. Presumably, the derelict pilot (space jockey, big dental patient, etc.) became infected en route to somewhere and set down on the barren planetoid to isolate the dangerous creatures, setting up the warning beacon as his last act. What happened to the creature that emerged from him? Ask Ridley Scott. As to the purpose of the Alien... I think that's clear. They're just trying to make a living, same as us. It's not their fault that they happen to be disgusting parasitical predators, any more than a black widow spider or a cobra can be blamed for its biological nature.
49 Curiosity - it's the most powerful thing you own. Imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality.
50 [his advice to young directors] The respect of your team is more important than all the laurels in the world. Don't put limitations on yourself, other people will do that for you. Don't do it to yourself, don't bet against yourself and take risks. NASA has this phrase that they like "failure is not an option," but failure HAS to be an option, in art and in exploration. Because it's a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks. In whatever you're doing, failure is an option, but fear is not.
51 [on his plan in 2012 to solo dive 6.8 miles (11 kilometers) into the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, the deepest spot on the planet] When you're making a movie, everybody's read the script and they know what's going to happen next. When you're on an expedition, nature hasn't read the script, the ocean hasn't read the script, and no one knows what's going to happen next.
52 [on CGI technology] How about another Dirty Harry movie where Clint Eastwood looks the way he looked in 1975? Or a James Bond movie where Sean Connery looks the way he did in Dr. No (1962)? How cool would that be? There's no way to scan what's underneath the surface to what the actor is feeling. If Tom Cruise left instructions for his estate that it was okay to use his likeness in Mission Impossible movies for the next 500 years, I would say that would be fine. You could put Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart in a movie together, but it wouldn't be them. You'd have to have somebody play them. And that's where I think you cross an ethical boundary.
53 We did The Terminator (1984) for the cost of Arnold's motor home on the second one.
54 I was always fascinated by engineering. Maybe it was an attempt maybe to get my father's respect or interest, or maybe it was just a genetic love of technology, but I was always trying to build things.
55 (On his childhood) My mother was definitely an influence in giving me a respect for art and the arts and especially the visual arts. I used to go with her to museums, and when I was learning to draw I would sketch things in the museum, whether it was an Etruscan helmet, or a mummy, or whatever. I was fascinated by all that. I was always fascinated by engineering. Maybe it was an attempt maybe to get my father's respect or interest, or maybe it was just a genetic love of technology, but I was always trying to build things. And sometimes being a builder can put you in a leadership position when you're a kid. "Hey, let's build a go-kart. You go get the wheels and you get this," and pretty soon you're at the center of a project.
56 (On his childhood) I spent all my free time in the town library and I read an awful lot of science fiction and the line between reality and fantasy blurred. I was as interested in the reality of biology as I was in reading science fiction stories about genetic mutations and post-nuclear war environments and inter-stellar traveling, meeting alien races, and all that sort of thing. I read so voraciously. It was tonnage. I rode a school bus for an hour each way in high school because they put me in an academic program that could only be serviced by this high school much further away. So I had two hours a day on the bus and I tried to read a book a day. I averaged a book every other day, but if I got really interested in something it was propped up behind my math book or my science book all during the day in class.
57 [on Piranha 3D (2010)] It is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3D horror films from the 70s and 80s, like Friday the 13th Part III (1982). When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip. And that's not what's happening now with 3D.
58 Ridley Scott and I talked about doing another Alien (1979) film and I said to 20th Century Fox that I would develop a fifth Alien (1979) film. I started working on a story, I was working with another writer and Fox came back to me and said, "We've got this really good script for AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) and I got pretty upset. I said, "You do that, you're going to kill the validity of the franchise in my mind. Because to me, that was Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943). It was Universal just taking their assets and starting to play them off against each other. Milking it. So, I stopped work. Then I saw AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) and it was actually pretty good. (laughs) I think of the five Alien films, I'd rate it third.
59 [on Planet of the Apes (2001)] They turned out, I think, possibly the most egregious film that they could have on that subject because they miscast the director. It's the only Tim Burton film that I don't like.
60 Guillermo del Toro is one of my best friends and we've never really worked together. I mean, we always feel like we're working together because he gets all involved in my stuff, I get all involved with his stuff, but not in an official capacity.
61 I can't think of anything that I see on a screen these days without thinking how much better it'd look in 3-D! If I see a movie I really like...Like, I'm watching King Kong (2005) I think, "Man! That'd be great in 3-D!" Everything's better in 3-D! Everything! A scene in the snow with two people talking...in 3-D...It's amazing! You're in the snow! You feel the snow.
62 [on making Aliens (1986) at Pinewood Studios in England] The Pinewood crew were lazy, insolent and arrogant. We despised them and they despised us. The one thing that kept me going was the certain knowledge that I would drive out of the gate of Pinewood and never come back.
63 [on Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)] I'd like to see him reinvent it in the same way Batman got reinvented very successfully. The last two Batman pictures (Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008)) - actually, they're the only two I can watch. I couldn't stand the other ones.
64 The key to a sequel is to meet audience expectation and yet be surprising.
65 I see a very similar pattern, in a sense, between Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009). Not that they are similar films because they are not - totally different subjects - but in both cases, you have people coming back over and over to see the film.
66 If I did Titanic (1997) today, I'd do it very differently. There wouldn't be a 750-foot-long set. There would be small set pieces integrated into a large CGI set. I wouldn't have to wait seven days to get the perfect sunset for the kiss scene. We'd shoot it in front of a green screen, and we'd choose our sunset.
67 I came to filmmaking in the early '80s, and it was a time of deep economic recession. It was a time when VHS home video was taking money from the theaters. The film industry was depressed. That's what I knew - a state of upheaval and change. It all sorted itself out. These things always sort themselves out. The fundamental question is: is cinema staying or is it going away? I think it shows no signs of going away. I feel quite confident you (Peter Jackson) and I are going to make the kinds of films we love 10 and 20 years from now.
68 On Avatar (2009): My approach to 3-D is in a way quite conservative. We're making a two-and-a-half-hour-plus film and I don't want to assault the eye every five seconds. I want it to be comfortable. I want you to forget after a few minutes that you are really watching 3-D and just have it operate at a subliminal, subconscious level. That's the key to great 3-D and it makes the audience feel like real participants in what's going on.
69 There is this long, wonderful history of the human race written in blood. We have this tendency to just take what we want. And that's how we treat the natural world as well. There's this sense of we're here, we're big, we've got the guns, we've got the technology, therefore we're entitled to every damn thing on this planet. That's not how it works and we're going to find out the hard way if we don't kind of wise up and start seeking a life that's in balance with the natural life on Earth.
70 [on his reputation as a harsh and demanding taskmaster] I push people to get the best out of them. And the same applies to me. If I come home at the end of a day of filming and my hands are not black, I feel that was a day wasted.
71 I don't think anything resembling The Terminator (1984) is really going to happen. There certainly aren't going to be genocidal wars waged by machines a few generations from now. The stories function more on a symbolic level, and that's why people key into them.
72 I kind of turned my back on the Terminator world when there was early talk about a third film. I'd evolved beyond it. I don't regret that, but I have to live with the consequence, which is that I keep seeing it resurrected. I'm not involved in Terminator Salvation (2009). I've never read the script. I'm sure I'll be paying 10 bucks to see it like everybody else.
73 (When asked how did he come up with the story for Avatar (2009)) Well, my inspiration is every single science fiction book I read as a kid. And a few that weren't science fiction. The Edgar Rice Burroughs books, H. Rider Haggard - the manly, jungle adventure writers. I wanted to do an old fashioned jungle adventure, just set it on another planet, and play by those rules.
74 On Stanley Kubrick: I remember going with a great sense of anticipation to each new Stanley Kubrick film and thinking, "Can he pull it off and amaze me again?" And he always did. The lesson I learned from Kubrick was, never do the same thing twice.
75 On Sigourney Weaver: I like her very much. She's just a natural. Not too exotic. Very hard-nosed, intelligent. And flawed too, in the sense she is flawed by emotion. People root for her in Alien (1979) because she's so often coming up with the logical solution to some problem and then it just won't work.
76 [on Robert Patrick's casting as the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)] "I wanted someone who was extremely fast and agile. If the T-800 is a human Panzer tank, then the T-1000 is a Porsche."
77 [on how he came up with the idea of The Terminator (1984)] "I would see these images of a metallic death figure rising Phoenix-like out of fire, I woke up and grabbed a pencil and paper and started writing. When I originally got the idea for Terminator, I was sick, I was broke, I was in Rome, I had no way to get home and I could barely speak the language. I was surrounded by people I could not get help from. I felt very alienated and so it was very easy for me to imagine a machine with a gun. At the point of the greatest alienation in my life, it was easy to create the character."
78 [When interviewer asks if he thought he had a hit on his hands] "We had been dragged across a cheese grater, face down, for two solid years, and we thought we had the biggest money-losing film in history. Then we had our first preview screening in Minneapolis, and there was a woman sitting behind me - I had no idea who she was: a Minneapolis housewife, maybe - who narrated the entire film. She was like a Pez dispenser: everything just popped out of her mouth. I just kind of leant my chair back so I could hear what she was saying. I remember distinctly the moment when Jack and Rose are shaking hands when they are about to part, and Rose is saying, 'You're very presumptuous,' and the woman sitting behind me is saying, 'Yes, but you're not letting go of his hand, are you?' That was the moment when I knew the movie was communicating exactly the way it was meant to."
79 [When he was the new hot screenwriter in the mid-1980s] "I haven't paid for lunch in two weeks."
80 Of the three that we're planning, it's a question of the order, one's historical and two are science fiction. None are ocean. - [about his future projects]
81 So, Spider-Man (2002) was obviously good casting for him (Sam Raimi). I mean, he was good casting to do Spider-Man (2002). Would I have done it differently? Yeah, absolutely. It would've been a very different film, but that's the film you've never seen. I've seen it.
82 It just never really gelled and then the September 11th attacks happened and the idea of a domestic comedy adventure film about an anti-terrorism unit just didn't seem all that funny to me anymore. - [about his reason to decline True Lies 2]
83 Basically because I had told the story. To make Terminator 3 was to make a 3. - [about his reason to decline Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)]
84 I don't look at scripts. I just write them.
85 I've always enjoyed it when it was John Woo in his Hong Kong days like Hard Boiled (1992), but I think it's overused now. - [on Hong Kong film making styles]
86 That was the purest experience, even though it was the cheapest one and the cheesiest looking one. - [about The Terminator (1984)]
87 I guess Titanic (1997) because it made the most money. No, I'm kidding. I don't really have a favourite. Maybe The Terminator (1984) because that was the film that was the first one back when I was essentially a truck driver. - [about his favourite movie he directed]
88 So, what I said was, "If they come up with a decent script that you like and you think you can play, do something cool, and they pay you an awful lot of money, you should just go do it. Don't feel like you're betraying me or anything else."" - [about his view on Arnold Schwarzenegger for doing Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)]
89 The only compelling reason for me to have done that film was a sense of pride of authorship. "Well, dammit, I did the first one and I did the second one and it's my creation and I should do the third one. But ultimately, that's a stupid reason to spend a year, year and a half of your life in hell to make a big movie. I'd rather spend a year of my life in hell to make something new, which is what I will be doing. - [about his reason to decline Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)]
90 [About the budget for the original Terminator]: "They were extremely hesitant about going over $4 million. We convinced them this movie could not be made for less than $6 million, especially with Arnold Schwarzenegger starring, because he commanded a significant salary; the final shooting budget was actually $6.5 million."
91 [About dropping several sequences from the finished film of the Terminator]: "We had to cut scenes I was in love with in order to save money."
92 [Talking about the appeal of the Terminator]: "It's fun to fantasize being a guy who can do whatever he wants. This Terminator guy is indestructible. He can be as rude as he wants. He can walk through a door, go through a plate-glass window and just get up, brush off impacts from bullets. It's like the dark side of Superman, in a sense. I think it has a great cathartic value to people who wish they could just splinter open the door to their boss's office, walk in, break his desk in half, grab him by the throat and throw him out the window and get away with it. Everybody has that little demon that wants to be able to do whatever it wants, the bad kid that never gets punished."
93 [on the future of 3D] "With digital 3D projection, we will be entering a new age of cinema. Audiences will be seeing something which was never technically possible before the age of digital cinema - a stunning visual experience which 'turbocharges' the viewing of the biggest, must-see movies. The biggest action, visual effects and fantasy movies will soon be shot in 3D. And all-CG animated films can easily be converted to 3D, without additional cost if it is done as they are made. Soon audiences will associate 3D with the highest level of visual content in the market, and seek out that premium experience."
94 As much as I love Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and as much as it's really revolutionized the imaging business, it went off the rails in the sense that science fiction, historically, was a science fiction of ideas. It was thematic fiction. It stopped being that and became just pure eye candy and pure entertainment. And I miss that. With Alita: Battle Angel (2018). I'm going to flirt with that darker, dystopian message as much as I can, without making it an art film.
95 [on using newly developed 3D cameras, and traditional film] "If I never touch film again, I'd be happy. Filmmaking is not about film, not about sprockets. It's about ideas, it's about images, it's about imagination, it's about storytelling. If I had the cameras I'm using now when I was shooting Titanic (1997), I would have shot it using them."
96 A director's job is to make something happen and it doesn't happen by itself. So you wheedle, you cajole, you flatter people, you tell them what needs to be done. And if you don't bring a passion and an intensity to it, you shouldn't be doing it.
97 Well, I see our potential destruction and the potential salvation as human beings coming from technology and how we use it, how we master it and how we prevent it from mastering us. Titanic (1997) was as much about that theme as the Terminator films, and in Aliens (1986), it's the reliance on technology that defeats the marines, but it's technology being used properly that allows Sigourney's character to prevail at the end. And Titanic (1997) is all about technology, metaphorically as well as on a literal level, because the world was being transformed by the technology at that time. And people were rescued from the Titanic because of wireless technology, and because of the advances that had been made only in the year or so before the ship sank that allowed them to call for help when they were lost at sea in the middle of the North Atlantic. So I think it's an interesting theme, one that's always been fascinating for me...
98 I went from driving a truck to becoming a movie director, with a little time working with Roger Corman in between. When I wrote The Terminator (1984), I sold the rights at that time - that was my shot to get the film made. So I've never owned the rights in the time that the franchise has been developed. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to direct the second film and do so on my own creative terms, which was good. But that was in 1991 and I've felt like it was time to move on. The primary reason for making a third one was financial, and that didn't strike me as organic enough a reason to be making a film.
99 I was petrified at the start of The Terminator (1984). First of all, I was working with a star, at least I thought of him as a star at the time. Arnold came out of it even more a star.
100 ...you can read all the books about filmmaking, all the articles in American Cinematographer and that sort of thing, but you have to really see how it works on a day-to-day basis, and how to pace your energy so that you can survive the film, which was a lesson that took me a long time to learn.
101 People call me a perfectionist, but I'm not. I'm a rightist. I do something until it's right, and then I move on to the next thing.

#Trademark
1 Often includes the theme of humanity's arrogance and over-reliance of technology
2 Has a tendency to cast well-known actors based on their performances in lesser-known films. For example, Michelle Rodriguez in "Girlfight" and Billy Zane in "The Phantom".
3 Known on-set for being very tough and demanding, and having a temper... hence his nickname "Iron Jim". However, off-set he is known to be very kind.
4 In all his films, at least one character yells "Go! Go! Go!"
5 Directs blockbusters which often have one-word titles, which are also the subjects of them: "(The) Terminator", "(The) Abyss", "Titanic", "Aliens" and "Avatar".
6 The use of machines as an important plot, point or weapon: in both Aliens and Avatar, the soldiers use a similar machine to fight in the final battle, the Terminators are machines, and The Abyss also features a lot of machines important to the plot.
7 Many of his films have water or the ocean as a central theme
8 His films frequently depict children in some kind of danger
9 Often employs composers Brad Fiedel and James Horner to score his films.
10 Utilizes slow motion in intense scenes or to intensify a scene
11 His films tend to have scenes with elevators with something dangerous happening near or in them. In Aliens (1986), Ripley goes up and down a cargo elevator several times, exiting the complex and then going backwhile loading weapons to get Newt and then leaving with the Queen Alien following. The Queen Alien rides the elevator to follow Ripley. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Sara sees the T-800 for the first time exiting an elevator. The T-1000 is shot from outside the elevator and then attacks Sara, John and the T-800 above it. In another scene, Sara, John and the T-800 crash in an elevator after an explosion on a higher floor. They are then gassed by the SWAT team at the bottom. In True Lies (1994), Harry enters an elevator on a horse in pursuit of a terrorist in the opposite elevator on a motorcycle. In Titanic (1997), Rose goes up an elevator with Jack to escape her fiancé. In another scene, Rose goes down an elevator to a flooded floor, filling it with water.
12 [Dreams] Often works dreams or characters sleeping into the plot
13 Often features shots of large explosions, crashes, gunshots, etc. in the background with people running away in the foreground. These shots were used heavily in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and True Lies (1994) but also in other films.
14 Often includes sequences in which a video monitor is the perspective of the camera. For example, the T-800's viewpoint in infrared in The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), the video log in Avatar (2009), the helmet cameras in Aliens (1986), Little Geek exploring the submarine in The Abyss (1989), television newscasts in The Abyss (1989), the surveilance cameras in True Lies (1994), the SQUID sequences in Strange Days (1995), and Brock's "Geraldo Moment" at the beginning of Titanic (1997). He uses this perspective at least once in every movie he is tied with.
15 Cameron's films tend to include broken, swinging flourescent lights, especially in fight scenes. See:The Abyss (1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), True Lies (1994) and Strange Days (1995).
16 Brings camera in close during fight scenes, achieving a claustrophobic effect.
17 Tight/close-up tracking shots on vehicles, especially during chase scenes
18 Likes to show close-up shots of feet or wheels, often trampling things
19 Likes to make nice/effective cuts
20 Plots or events involving nuclear explosions or wars
21 His films frequently feature scenes filmed in deep blues
22 Frequently casts Michael Biehn, Jenette Goldstein, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
23 Strong female characters

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