Cameron, Ph.D., AQ
Cameron was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada, on August 16, 1954.
He moved to the USA in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in
physics at California State University but, after graduating, drove
a truck to support his screen-writing ambition. He landed his first
professional film job as art director, miniature-set builder, and
process-projection supervisor on Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the
Stars (1980) and debuted as a director with Piranha Part Two: The
Spawning (1981) the following year.
1984, he wrote and directed The Terminator (1984), a futuristic action-thriller
starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton.
It was a huge success. After this came a string of successful science-fiction
action films such as Aliens (1986) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day
(1991). Cameron is now one of the most sought-after directors in Hollywood.
young Cameron, a natural leader organized his playmates in such adventurous
endeavors as building a functional catapult that pitched boulders
large enough to make impact craters; on another occasion, he and his
friends created a miniature diving vessel to send mice to the bottom
of Niagara River.
high school he wrote sci-fi stories and fantasized a lot instead of
doing his homework. An
avid reader of science fiction since childhood, he was fifteen when
he saw Stanley Kubrick's visionary film, 2001: A Space Odyssey for
the first time. He became fascinated with the whole motion picture
process he subsequently watched the film ten times. "As soon as I
saw that, I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker," explained Cameron, "It
hit me on a lot of different levels. I just couldn't figure out how
he did all that stuff, and I just had to learn." And learn he did,
grabbing his father's Super-8 camera, attempting to direct his own
next pivotal juncture in Cameron's evolution as a filmmaker came in
1977, when he saw Star Wars for the first time. It was exactly the
movie he had dreamed of making since watching 2001: A Space Odyssey,
and it inspired him to finally reach out for the dream.
occurred to him that the possibility of integrating his interests
in science and art were possible, due to the book Screenplay, which
encouraged himself and two friends to create a ten minute script together.
They raised the money to shoot it in 35mm and rented a camera, lenses,
the film stocks and a studio. To understand how to operate the camera
they simply dismantled it and spent the first half-day of the shoot
just trying to figure out how to get it running.
decided to put all of his talents into his own work, The Abyss (1989)
Abyss would later set new standards for underwater shooting. The crew
along with Cameron had to design and create most of the gear worn
by the actors, which was no small feat. Furthermore, the entire movie
was exhaustingly time-consuming and expensive and post-production
ended up delayed because of some of the difficult effects shots that
were to be in the movie, which were later edited out. The film took
18 months to complete.
continues to share and blend his interests with film making and exploring.
A frequent in-person visitor to the underwater site of the Titanic,
Jim has also designed and build ROVs and joined Dennis and Claudia
Chamberland in the Scott Carpenter Space Analog Station adventure
in 1998 where he earned his certification as an aquanaut.