JAMES CAMERON (Director/ Writer/ Producer/ Editor) was
born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada, and grew up in Niagara Falls.
In 1971, he moved to Brea, California, where he studied physics
at Fullerton College while working as a machinist and, later,
a truck driver. In 1978, setting his sights on a career in film,
Cameron raised money from a consortium of dentists to produce
a short film in 35mm. He served as producer, director, co-writer,
editor, miniature builder, cinematographer and special effects
In 1980, his work on the short film led to a position at Roger
Corman's New World Pictures on "Battle Beyond the Stars."
In the frenzied world of low-budget guerrilla filmmaking, Cameron
found a home on the production where he could again wear many
hats: miniature builder, model unit DP and matte painter among
them. Most importantly, he became the art director of the picture's
main unit and found the energy of the set exhilarating.
Determined to direct, Cameron parlayed his production designer
job on a subsequent Corman film, "Galaxy of Terror,"
into a stint as second unit director. When the production fell
behind schedule, Corman asked him to shoot some dialogue scenes
with principal cast. Finding the work with actors exciting, Cameron
began preparing a script for himself to direct.
Cameron wrote "The Terminator" in 1982, hoping to couple
his effects and design experience with a low-budget high-impact
vehicle that could find independent financing. After two lean
years, Cameron finally brought the film before cameras as a Hemdale/HBO
co-production released by Orion. Though costing only $6 million,
the film received international acclaim, appeared on numerous
10 best lists (including Time magazine) and made over $80 million
While waiting for financing for "The Terminator," Cameron
wrote two scripts to keep busy. In a three-month period he wrote
(with Sylvester Stallone) "Rambo: First Blood Part II"
and "Aliens," the sequel to the 1979 science fiction
classic "Alien." "Rambo II" later became an
international mega-hit grossing over $250 million globally.
After the success of "The Terminator," Cameron agreed
to direct "Aliens" and plunged into production in 1985.
Shot in England and released in the summer of 1986, "Aliens"
received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Actress
for Sigourney Weaver. The film won Oscars for Best Visual Effects
and Best Sound Effects. "Aliens" became one of the most
successful R-rated films of all time, grossing over $180 million
In 1988-89, Cameron wrote and directed his next project, the underwater
epic "The Abyss," which required 18 months to complete.
It starred Ed Harris, Michael Biehn and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
and received four Academy Award nominations. "The Abyss"
blazed a new trail for visual effects with the creation of photo-realistic
computer animation. It won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects and
grossed $110 million worldwide.
Cameron next co-wrote "Point Break" with Kathryn Bigelow,
who directed. He was executive producer of the film which made
over $100 worldwide and topped video rental charts for five weeks.
As writer, producer and director of 1991's "Terminator 2:
Judgment Day," Cameron achieved a new high-water mark for
action and visual effects. Building on techniques pioneered in
"The Abyss," he worked with ILM to create computer animated
images for this visual tour de force which came to be known globally
as "T2" and earned over $500 million in worldwide grosses,
close to $1 billion with worldwide ancillary revenues.
In addition to box office success, "T2" received six
Academy Award nominations of which it won four: Best Makeup, Sound,
Visual Effects and Sound Effects Editing. It also received the
Ray Bradbury Award for Dramatic Screenwriting, five Saturn Awards
from the Acade
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