James Cameron Essay

James Cameron Essay

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James Cameron was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario in Canada August 14 (16) 1954. His family later moved to Chippewa Falls near Niagra Falls. James Cameron was during his youth years always very fascinated with movies. He was mezmerized when he saw Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and he drew himself crazy trying to figure out how they had shot that film. Cameron also wrote sci-fi stories and fantasized a lot instead of doing his school work. It was actually during one boring biology class that Cameron wrote a short story which would later become the movie The Abyss.

When Cameron was 17, his family moved to Orange County, California because of his fathers job. When Cameron moved to Orange County he learned that getting a career in movies might not be the easiest job to obtain. He let the hope of becomming someone in the movie business fade and he started studying physics and english at a local university. He later dropped out of both studies because the math in the physics course had been to hard for Cameron to deal with.

James Cameron got a job as a miniature model maker at the Roger Corman Studios. The Roger Corman Studios were studios that made B-movies. They were fast and cheap productions, and none of the people working there were professionals so Cameron fit right in. He quickly moved up the ranks in the studio, jumping from one movie to another.

Cameron worked as art director on the sci-fi movie Battle Beyond the Stars, he did special effects work and direction on John Carpenter’s Escape from New York. It wasn't until 1981 when Cameron got his first shot at directing. It was an Italian producer named Assonitis who was to make a sequel to the movie Pirahna. It was going to be called Piranha 2: The Spawning. Assonitis wanted a debut director because it would be the cheapest, and the director would not question Assonitis cutting in the film. The movie was terrible of course, it had a bad cast, lousy effects and Assonitis was always on Cameron’s back. Assonitis kept telling Cameron that the shots looked like shit (crap), and when the main shooting ended he would not allow Cameron to edit the movie. This made Cameron mad, he knew that the movie was bad, but it was his movie, and he wanted to edit it himself. So Cameron broke into the editing room with a plastic card. The movie was shot in Italy and Cameron could not speak Italian, so he did not...


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... was not until the production of Terminator 2: Judgment Day that the effects were shown in their true colours. Another great thing is that James Cameron writes very entertaining stories that are particuarly good for movies. With great action and great characters that are unique. Cameron's movies are action movies, but they have other qualities too. For example Cameron uses a lot of messages in his movies. In the Abyss there is a message from an alien saying that all people should live in harmony, and in Terminator 2 - Judgment Day Linda Hamilton is ending the movie with this clever sentence, "If a machine can learn to respect a human life maybe we can too". These are the kind of messages which make Cameron's movies just a little bit better.

James Cameron is not afraid to reject his feminin side. In the movies there are always strong, independent women who guide the male hero (if there is one) through the movie. In Cameron's movies the women are essential, and they always steal part of the picture, if not all of it. Examples are, Linda Hamiton in Terminator 2 - Judgment Day, Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies and of course Kate Winslet in Titanic.

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