James Cameron has made some epic films like Avatar, The Abyss and Titanic. What he’s done visually in those films was pretty amazing and now he’s heading down into the deep to find real life visual wonders. Cameron took his cameras down into the Mariana Trench to explore the deepest of the deep and see for himself what wonders the world beneath hold. His new film Deep Sea Challenge, opens in select theaters today. National Geographic sat down with Cameron to ask him a few questions.
Filmmakers explore fictional worlds on screen, yet you don’t see many of them out exploring like you have done. Why are you different?
You have to go back to when I was a kid. I loved science fiction and exploring unknown worlds. I loved the things that were happening in the real world in terms of exploration at that time—this would have been in the ’60s—the U.S. space program, the Russian space program, and all the various undersea stuff including Jacques Cousteau.
When I became a filmmaker, my third movie, The Abyss, allowed me to bring together my love of film and diving.
From making The Abyss, I came into contact with the real deep-ocean community, and I started to realize that this was something I could do.
When I started to make Titanic, we did our first expedition to film the wreck in 1995, and after that I was hooked.
Would you film The Abyss differently now that you’ve seen the actual abyss?
It’s interesting—I made a lot of mistakes in terms of the accuracy in that film. I bent the facts to fit the story. I wouldn’t do that now. I’d make it adhere more to how actual deep-sea work is done.
I was much more of a filmmaker then. I wanted to make a dive movie that looked like a space movie. I wouldn’t do that now.
I’ve been to the real abyss, and it’s much cooler than what we saw in that film. Abyssal depths only go down to about 6,000 meters [19,600 feet]. DEEPSEA CHALLENGER was designed to explore hadal depths, [which are deeper]. Read more…
Check out the full interview HERE and be sure to check out the trailer for Cameron’s film below.