James Cameron is an acclaimed filmmaker and explorer. As director, writer and producer he is responsible for some of the most memorable films of the past three decades: The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), The Abyss (1989), Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), True Lies (1994), Titanic (1997), and Avatar (2009).
His films have blazed new trails in visual effects and set numerous performance records both domestically and abroad; Avatar is the highest grossing film in history, and Titanic held that same record for 12 years. Cameron's films have also earned numerous nominations and awards. Most notably, Titanic received 14 Academy Award nominations and won 11 Oscars, both records, including Cameron's three Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing.
Avatar required more than two years of development of new technology, including image-based facial performance capture, a real-time virtual camera for CG production, and the SIMULCAM system, for real-time tracking and compositing of CG characters into live-action scenes. These techniques are combined with stereoscopic photography to create a hybrid CG/live action film. Cameron is currently in production for Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Cameron has been an avid scuba diver since 1969, logging more than 3000 hours underwater, including 500 hours in helmets. Seeking to combine his two great passions – diving and filmmaking – he wrote, produced and directed The Abyss, which broke new ground in underwater cinematography and lighting. His attraction to the deep ultimately drew him to the Everest of shipwrecks: Titanic. In 1995, Cameron made 12 manned-submersible dives to the Titanic in preparation for his feature film. For that expedition Cameron developed unprecedented filming, lighting and robotic equipment for use in the extreme pressures of the deep. The technical success of that expedition fueled his desire to bring the experience of deep ocean exploration to audiences around the world, which is expressed in his documentary filmmaking about ocean exploration and conservation.
Cameron has worn a Rolex for several decades. Rolex watches appear organically in his films; he gave the late actor Bill Paxton a Rolex Submariner to wear during the filming of Titanic. “Great movies are made in details, and not just a few details – every detail. Every character, every prop and every sequence,” Cameron said. “A Rolex is not only a beautiful watch and a masterpiece of engineering, it’s very tough. It’s a watch that you can take into any environment and which can stand up to the pressure. So, what you’re saying subliminally to the audience is: that character can take the pressure, too; he or she has what it takes.”
Cameron described his experience of participating in this year’s Rolex film with the other filmmakers: “All four of us have very different styles and we’re interested in very different types of subjects, but what we have in common is a devotion to excellence, from a unique and visionary perspective on the world.” It is with this visionary approach and perspective that Cameron’s work has been able to stand the test of time.
Rolex Testimonee James Cameron represents the peak of filmmaking, with his visionary approach and focus on technical innovation dominant throughout his many movies. Rolex is proud to support Oscar-winning directors as they continue to push the boundaries of the art of filmmaking.