James Cameron is a one-in-a-million director. What kind of artiste can make a sequel that many argue is better than the movie that spawned it? Cameron’s done it twice with “Aliens” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” And he may do it again, if and when “Avatar 2” eventually comes out.
From the beginning of his career as a model maker at Roger Corman Studios, Cameron proved his dedication to the artform. “I sort of proved myself as a production designer in the scrappy, stay-all-night-for-15-days-in-a-row kind of independent filmmaking that was done at Roger Corman’s place,” he told the Academy of Achievement. And since one of his first gigs was in special effects, Cameron has always been interested in advancing that particular art. “The Abyss” broke new ground in 3D modeling, which was used to even greater effect in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.“
In order to get the highest quality footage of the Titanic where she lies at the bottom of the Atlantic, Cameron invested in deep sea exploration. “I sort of joke about this, but it’s more true than not, that I made the movie [“Titanic”] because I wanted to do an expedition to the wreck of the Titanic, and I did explore it,” he told NPR. That investment paid off big time — and that’s what makes “Titanic” the most impressive achievement of his long career.