Curious Mind: James Cameron

James Cameron, as many people know, has succeeded more than he has failed. Despite all the rules he ignores and budgets he’s given, James Cameron seems to always do something right. Cameron has persevered in Avatar, The Terminator movies, Alien, and Titanic. When it came to Titanic every critic thought it was going to be a giant failure. The movie was described as Romeo and Juliet on a sinking boat. They ate their words when the movie finally premiered and exceeded everyone’s expectation by a land slide. But he did fail. The Abyss was a big budget film of its time. They filmed underwater and many of the actors did their own stunts. Opening weekend didn’t earn nearly as much money as projected, Phipps (2015). That would be Cameron’s first failure. Although he failed early on in his career, he didn’t let that stop him. He continued on to make great movies such as Avatar. He had a dream and a vision and nothing got in his way. He turned a deaf ear to all the critics waiting and wishing he’d fail. He pushed himself to the limit, even creating new technology just to see his vision through.

I’ve always known the name James Cameron. I never paid much attention to it. But then I saw a news article saying that James Cameron was going to explore the Mariana Trench. One thing led to another and I started to pay him attention. Before I even knew he directed Avatar, I was a fan. There was finally a story about something disastrous on another planet. The CG was amazing; the story line was amazing; and the accuracy on Earth was amazing. We were doing to Pandora what we did to Earth. Pandora is a fictional world where humans mine and search for a rare substance that will eventually lead to the inhabitants downfall if they mine it. James Cameron is an explorer of different worlds. He and I are a lot alike. We like to and enjoy bringing in other possibilities of life. He and I aspire to educate on what we’re doing to our home—Earth—through our work, Goodyear (2009). I’m a writer at heart and through writing I send messages that foresee humanities future on this plant. Whether if its aliens invading and killing everyone, or humans destroying humans, all of it has the message that we take this home for granted. One day its going to say, ‘I’ve had enough, get out’. And where will we go?

James Cameron had Avatar written years before production finally began (2009). He put it on hold because he didn’t have the money for that grad scale of a project. His manager told him to shelf it and to work on something else in the mean time (2009). Cameron listened and that’s when he took on Titanic. But he didn’t give it up. He brought Avatar back and made it better than it originally was. I’ve shelved many projects, some of which I know won’t be looked at again for lack of inspiration. But I do have several that will see the light again. I haven’t given up hope; I’m just waiting for the knot to be untied.

As a child, I’ve always been one for exploration. In middle school, during gym, I would disappear with my friends into the forest that outlined my school. We’d jump over the creek, waft spider webs from our path, and look for tracks in the dirt. Never once did we get lost, but it was something I looked forward to every time, and the high I got from doing something I wasn’t supposed to, was addicting. When I was fourteen I got SCUBA certified. Now I could explore the ocean. Not many people get to do that. I’ve always been someone that loved exploring. I was curious; I asked my dad about space and we would spend time watching alien shows. We enjoyed grand ideas and concepts. I had to have answers, but they always led to more questions. The reason why I’ve said all this, is because Cameron was the same. He says,

“…curiosity also manifested itself in the fact that whenever I wasn’t in school I was out in the woods, hiking and taking “samples” — frogs and snakes and bugs and pond water — and bringing it back, looking at it under the microscope. You know, I was a real science geek. But it was all about trying to understand the world, understand the limits of possibility.” (Cameron, 2010).

Cameron and I both have a love for science fiction. Its all I write, yet I occasionally do stray to Young Adult/Teen Fiction, but Sci-Fi is my genre. The concepts are easy and interesting to come up with. I can go in any direction and it’ll be justified because its my story so its my rules.

And with this curiosity and need to know how things work, I’ll make myself understand all aspects of the jobs on set. I like to know how things work and why they work the way they do. My curiosity won’t just be in the script, it’ll be everywhere. Cameron is the same with this aspect too. He makes sure he knows as much as possible so if someone calls in, he can take their job. Or if someone can’t catch the frame like he imagined, he’ll do it instead, Goodyear (2009), Alexander (2012). He also knows the limits of the job so he won’t demand anything more. It should be a requirement.

There are many things that make someone successful and not one thing makes everyone successful. To be successful you have to persevere, but you only persevere if you have passion and inspiration. You have to make things work even when there’s not much of a chance anything could work. If you keep trying and people notice the lengths you go to to make things work, that’s true success because at least you’re trying. People wanted to see James Cameron fail so much because they knew he’d succeed. They saw his effort and knew it was justifiable. Cameron did the right thing by not paying them any attention. He was too caught up in his own world to do so. It’s the place you need to be.

References

Alexander, B. (2012, December 21). Cirque gets carried ‘Worlds Away’ Acrobats, directors ‘had to jump … Retrieved September 10, 2015.

Cameron, J. (2010, February 1). Before Avatar … a curious boy. Retrieved September 10, 2015.

Goodyear, D. (2009, October 26). Man of Extremes. Retrieved September 10, 2015.

Phipps, K. (2015). Which version of James Cameron’s The Abyss is better? Retrieved September 13, 2015.

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