CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY
JAMES CAMERON (executive producer), the Academy Award-winning director/screenwriter/producer whose films AVATAR and TITANIC remain the world's top two blockbusters of all time, is an industry game changer whose unmatched advances in 3D filmmaking technology is propelling the entertainment experience forward for filmmakers and audiences alike.
His films have blazed new trails in both visual effects and performance records worldwide. AVATAR, Cameron's 3D science fiction epic journey set in the virgin ecosystem of a distant planet, currently holds both the domestic and worldwide box office records, having grossed over $2.7 billion internationally, beating TITANIC, which held that record for 12 years.
The industry responded to his contributions, with TITANIC receiving 14 Academy Award nominations (a record) and 11 Oscars (the most any movie has received), including Cameron's three Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction and Best Editing. AVATAR was nominated for nine Academy Awards and garnered Cameron the Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Picture.
AVATAR required over two years of development of new production 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.
A cinematic auteur and committed conservationist, Cameron is also an inventor and explorer who has comfortably bridged the realms of art and science. Aside from a nonpareil track record of blockbusters (an estimated $6 billion box office gross from his directorial efforts), Cameron's documentaries have plumbed the ocean depths and deserts to pursue unresolved historical mysteries as well as environmental concerns for the planet. An avid supporter of space exploration, Cameron has been actively involved on the NASA Advisory Council and as a member of the Mars Society and the Planetary Society.
His ability to take what he mastered in the making of a film -- AVATAR -- and catapult the technology used (the creation of the FUSION 3D camera system) into a new high-demand niche industry that can alter the course of filmmaking is one of his strengths. In 2011, his Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away collaborator Vincent Pace, who has worked with Cameron on many of his films, formed CAMERON | PACE Group (CPG) to develop, sell and lease 3D production technology to filmmakers, broadcasters and game manufacturers. CPG's FUSION Camera System is the world's leading stereoscopic camera system, used on AVATAR, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, HANNAH MONTANA: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, U2:3D, TRON: LEGACY and numerous special event projects such as the NBA All Star Game.
The native Canadian's journey to success is the making of an American dream. Born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada, Cameron grew up in the historic village of Chippawa, near Niagara Falls, and later moved to Brea, California, where he studied physics at Fullerton Junior College while working as a machinist and later truck driver. In 1978, he quit his job as a driver, raised money from local dentists and produced a 35mm short film. Its visual effects landed him an opportunity to work on Roger Corman's BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980) as a production designer, matte artist and visual effects cinematographer.
By 1983, he had written three scripts -- RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II, ALIENS and THE TERMINATOR -- and a year later directed THE TERMINATOR, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film was a runaway hit and made Time magazine's 10 best list of the year. After his breakthrough film, Cameron directed ALIENS (1986), wrote and directed THE ABYSS (1989), and wrote, produced and directed TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991), TRUE LIES (1994), TITANIC (1997) and AVATAR (2009). He also co-wrote and produced POINT BREAK (1991) and STRANGE DAYS (1995), as well as producing SOLARIS (2002).
He co-created the one-hour television series DARK ANGEL in 1999, which aired for two seasons on the Fox Network, launching Jessica Alba as a star and gaining a loyal fan base. It won numerous awards including the People's Choice Award for Best New Television Drama. Cameron's passion for archeology led him to executive produce EXODUS DECODED and produce THE LOST TOMB OF JESUS, both award-winning documentaries directed by Simcha Jacobovici.
An avid scuba diver since 1969, having logged more than 3,000 hours underwater, Cameron combined his zeal for diving with filmmaking, directing THE ABYSS -- a film that broke new ground in underwater cinematography and lighting. He became enthralled with Titanic, the ultimate shipwreck tragedy, and in 1995 made 12 manned-submersible dives to the ship's remains in preparation for his 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. He formed Earthship Productions to develop films about ocean exploration and conservation. It was then Cameron began to work on a digital 3D camera system he developed with Pace. The goal was to bring back the experience of deep ocean exploration with unrivaled clarity. In preparation for his 2001 Titanic expedition, he developed revolutionary fiber-spooling mini-ROV's as well as numerous other deep ocean lighting and photographic technology. His team's historic exploration of the shipwreck was the focus of his 3D IMAX film, GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS.
In 2002, Cameron explored the wreck of the Bismarck with his robotic cameras, resulting in groundbreaking discoveries about the sinking of the legendary German battleship and the Discovery Channel documentary JAMES CAMERON'S EXPEDITION: BISMARCK. His team made three expeditions to deep hydrothermal vent sites in the Atlantic, Pacific and Sea of Cortez over a two-year period, which became the subject of ALIENS OF THE DEEP, also released in 3D IMAX. He was joined in his exploration of these extreme environments by a team of young scientists and marine biologists to study how life forms discovered there represent life we may one day find on other planets and moons in our solar system. He returned to the Titanic to complete his interior exploration of the ship, later showcased in the Discovery Channel's program LAST MYSTERIES OF THE TITANIC. Cameron has led seven deep ocean expeditions with over 70 deep submersible dives, including 49 Mir dives to depths up to 16,000 feet. He is currently developing a number of ocean projects and environmental documentaries.
His fascination with space exploration prompted Cameron to work with space scientists and engineers in developing viable architectures for human exploration of Mars. He has been involved with a number of robotic space exploration projects and is currently a co-investigator on the Mars Science Laboratory Mastcam -- the "eyes" of the Curiosity rover -- which is currently exploring the Martian surface.
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