For this Friday spotlight we’ve chosen a Canadian film director: James Cameron.
James Franci Cameron was born in Kapuskasing (Canada) in 1954. Because of family reasons he moved to California and before becoming a filmmaker, he studied at University of California, getting a degree in Physics. With his modern mind, Cameron had a lot of different passions, but filmmaking was the only one that could let him exploit and encase better all his interests; it was “the best way to reconcile the urge to tell a story with the urge to create images”. This is the reason why he started his career as a filmmaker, trying “to inspire people”. He landed his first professional film job as art director on Roger Corman’s BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS and debuted as a director with PIRANHA PART TWO: THE SPAWNING in 1981.
In 1984 Cameron directed TERMINATOR, his first masterpiece. The topic of the film was not very easy to understand for that generation; but James had his own theory: “don’t put limitations on yourself”, so he didn’t and he watched over the present by creating something new, something different from his reality. He wanted to let people understand “how real science fiction films could seem” and he reached his aim: the audience really appreciated Cameron’s innovation, “people were mesmerized by this apparent magic, they were seeing something magical” and that got him “very excited”.
James’ most famous film is with no doubt TITANIC directed in 1997. One of the most expensive films ever made until then, it shows the most tender side of the director. It took a lot of preparation, James looked at “the real Titanic through a view port. Not a movie, not HD – for real”. With this film James wanted to let audience experience the real wreck of Titanic: “it’s going to be an epic romance, passionate film” Cameron said before starting shooting, and it was; the film had a wonderful success with audience and critics. In fact, thanks to TITANIC Cameron won a lot of awards, the most important of which are the Academy Award both as Best Film and Best Direction.
“Imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality” James thinks and, using the force of imagination, Cameron manifested his innovative conception of reality by directing one of his last masterpieces: AVATAR. The film was an incredible success and recorded the highest number of proceeds in the story of the cinema. The filmmaker also won the Golden Globe in 2010 for Best Direction and Best Drama.
“Failure is an option, but fear is not” Cameron said, so “don’t be afraid of failure, just try” is our Friday message. Be innovative, be creative, be independent; use your imagination and “don’t put limitations on yourself”.
If you are creative like James Cameron don’t hesitate to share your films with us. Submissions for ÉCU 2016 are still open.