James Cameron, a visionary filmmaker and director, has left an indelible mark on the world of cinema through his groundbreaking approach to storytelling and technological innovation. Renowned for his ability to create immersive and visually spectacular experiences, Cameron's films like "Titanic" and "Avatar" have redefined the possibilities of cinematic achievement. Beyond their box office success, his films often tackle themes of human ambition, environmentalism, and the delicate balance between humanity and technology. Cameron's dedication to pushing the boundaries of filmmaking technology, such as his pioneering use of 3D and CGI, has revolutionized the cinematic landscape, setting new standards for visual storytelling. His influence extends beyond the screen, as his commitment to ocean exploration and environmental conservation highlights his multidimensional approach to impacting the world through both art and advocacy.
James Cameron Quotes
Imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality. Don't put limitations on yourself. Others will do that for you.
Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you're a director. Everything after that you're just negotiating your budget and your fee.
People call me a perfectionist, but I'm not. I'm a rightist. I do something until it's right, and then I move on to the next thing.
If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success.
Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.
There are many talented people who haven't fulfilled their dreams because they over thought it, or they were too cautious, and were unwilling to make the leap of faith.
I set my goals way higher than the achievable. And when I fail, I fail at a very high level. That's my process. It's really demented, but it actually works. When you are aiming really high and doing something new, you must be also prepared to fail, learn from your mistakes and begin with a new plan. More motivated than before.
If you wait until the right time to have a child you'll die childless, and I think film making is very much the same thing. You just have to take the plunge and just start shooting something even if it's bad.
There seems to be a lot of excitement around something that, to me, is a yawn, frankly.
Your imagination can create a reality.
There is a vast frontier that's going to take us a while to understand... it was very lunar, a very desolate place, isolated.
Here's my philosophy in life: If there's a fire, you put it out. If there's a flood, you fill sandbags and you build a dike. You roll up your sleeves and you get to work.
A director's job is to make something happen and it doesn't happen by itself. So you wheedle, you cajole, you flatter people, you tell them what needs to be done. And if you don't bring a passion and an intensity to it, you shouldn't be doing it.
When you have the feeling that anything’s possible, sometimes you wind up acting on it.
What are the lessons learned? Well, I think number one is curiosity. It's the most powerful thing you own. Imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality. And the respect of your team is more important than all the laurels in the world.
But failure has to be an option in art and in exploration - because it's a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks.
The magic doesn't come from within the director's mind, it comes from within the hearts of the actors.
Your only competitors are your past achievements.
Sometimes your whole life boils down to one insane move.
Don't get seduced by your own stuff. Don't get high on your own supply. The hardest thing as a filmmaker is when you're watching a film that you've worked on for several years. You know every frame so intimately that holding lots of the objectivity of a new viewer who has just seen it for the first time is the hardest thing. Every aesthetic decision you make - and you make thousands of them every day, have to - in theory, must be done from you being a blank slate. You almost have to run a program, like a mind wipe, every time you watch the movie.
Every time you dive, you hope you'll see something new - some new species. Sometimes the ocean gives you a gift, sometimes it doesn't.
Targets and timetables do matter. But there is a dispirited feeling that the U.S. just rejects multilateral target-setting for the time being.
Getting the audience to cry for the Terminator at the end of T2, for me that was the whole purpose of making that film. If you can get the audience to feel emotion for a character that in the previous film you despised utterly and were terrified by, then that's a cinematic arc.
Old Rose: It's been 84 years, and I can still smell the fresh paint. The china had never been used. The sheets had never been slept in. Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make.
We have nightmares because our brain is running simulations to put us in jeopardy to see what we'll do or to acclimatize us to that idea that something bad could happen. It's just how human beings are wired because the entire time we were evolving we had to jump quick or the leopard would get us or whatever it was. It's Darwinian.
Inspiration can hit you in the head at any time in any context. It could happen in a conversation. Talking to someone at a party, you can get an idea. But you've got to remember those inspirations.
So my message is in whichever realm, be it going into space or going into the deep sea, you have to balance the yin and yang of caution and boldness, risk aversion and risk taking, fear and fearlessness. No great accomplishment takes place, whether it be a movie or a deep ocean expedition, or a space mission, without a kind of dynamic equipoise between the two. Luck is not a factor. Hope is not a strategy. Fear is not an option.
Don't get seduced by your own stuff; work hard to keep a blank slate state of mind each time you watch your film.
You can't be an environmentalist, you can't be an ocean steward without truly walking the walk and you can't walk the walk in the world of the future, the world ahead of us, the world of our children, not eating a plant-based diet.
You have to not listen to the nay sayers because there will be many and often they`ll be much more qualified than you and cause you to sort of doubt yourself.
Action is a way of externalizing an emotional state. You might not be running, leaping, climbing and doing all that. But, the way you create that emotional state in a movie is by having the characters have physical jeopardy that they have to work against.
It's important for me to have hope because that's my job as a parent, to have hope, for my kids, that we're not going to leave them in a world that's in shambles, that's a chaotic place, that's a dangerous place.
I was always fascinated by engineering. Maybe it was an attempt maybe to get my father's respect or interest, or maybe it was just a genetic love of technology, but I was always trying to build things.
It’s not a requirement to eat animals, we just choose to do it, so it becomes a moral choice and one that is having a huge impact on the planet, using up resources and destroying the biosphere.
When the ship docks, I'm getting off with you. This is crazy. I know it doesn't make any sense, that's why I trust it.
Everybody's going to do the 3D slightly differently the same way that people are going to deal with color differently. Some movies downplay the color, some color is very vibrant. Color design is very different. We've got to think of 3D like color or like sound, as just part of the creative palette that we paint with and not some whole new thing that completely redefines the medium.
I'm hopeful that we'll be able to study the ocean before we destroy it.
Usually, when you go to a movie, your consciousness floats above the film. 3D sucks you in and makes it a visceral experience.
Broken Horses is an artistic triumph. Beautifully written, acted and imaged, this film wraps slowly around you like a king snake and squeezes.
The snake kills by squeezing very slowly. This is how the civilized world slowly, slowly pushes into the forest and takes away the world that used to be.
All my films are love stories.
Writing a screenplay, for me, is like juggling. It's like, how many balls can you get in the air at once? All those ideas have to float out there to a certain point, and then they'll crystallize into a pattern.
Every time my cameras go out on a movie, we learn something new and then we take what we learn and we put it into the next generation of the cameras so we're constantly improving. It's kind of like building a race car, racing it, then running back to the shop and working on the engine some more and tinkering with it to improve it.
In writing the new films, I’ve come to realize that AVATAR’s world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen.
I actually started as a model builder and quickly progressed into production design, which made sense because I could draw and paint. But I kept watching that guy over there who was moving the actors around and setting up the shots.
It was long ago in my life as a simple reporter that I decided that facts must never get in the way of truth.
Rose: You're crazy. Jack: That's what everybody says but, with all due respect, Miss, I'm not the one hanging off the back of a ship here. Come on. C'mon, give me your hand. You don't want to do this.
We have a great responsibility. Whatever we make will become the truth, the visual reality that a generation will accept.
The literature now is so opaque to the average person that you couldn't take a science-fiction short story that's published now and turn it into a movie. There'd be way too much ground work you'd have to lay. It's OK to have detail and density, but if you rely on being a lifelong science-fiction fan to understand what the story is about, then it's not going to translate to a broader audience.
My mother was a housewife but she was also an artist. My father was an electrical engineer.
Rose: But now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson and that he saved me... in every way that a person can be saved
Everybody is always talking about droughts and sea level rise, but when human civilization, with more crowding and greater resource depletion, is under that much stress, it translates into wars and huge displaced populations. The Syrian refugee crisis is just a first taste of what it's going to be like. I don't want my kids growing up in that kind of world.
The quickest way to destroy ocean science is to take human explorers out of the water
I love it when I have a nightmare to me that means I got my money's worth out of that eight hours
If you want to move through a virtual reality it’s called a video game, it’s been around forever.
So much of literary sci-fi is about creating worlds that are rich and detailed and make sense at a social level. We'll create a world for people and then later present a narrative in that world.
I certainly didn't think of myself as gifted. The standards for being gifted in my environment were if you were good in Little League or if you were good in football.
I don't look at scripts. I just write them.
I blame it on Walt Disney, where animals are given human qualities. People don't understand that a wild animal is not something that is nice to pat. It can seriously harm you.
I'm certainly not a fan of conversion when you could shoot the movie in 3-D.
I probably spend more time writing than reading science fiction. I find that science-fiction literature is so reactive to all the literature that's gone before that it's sort of like a fractal. It's gone to a level of detail that the average person could not possibly follow unless you're a fan. It iterates upon many prior generations of iterations.
I watched a couple of really bad directors work, and I saw how they completely botched it up and missed the visual opportunities of the scene when we had put things in front of them as opportunities. Set pieces, props and so on.
The film industry is about saying 'no' to people, and inherently you cannot take 'no' for an answer.
I try to live with honor, even if it costs me millions of dollars and takes a long time. It's very unusual in Hollywood. Few people are trustworthy - a handshake means nothing to them. They feel they're required to keep an agreement with you only if you're successful or they need you.
You can't really call yourself an environmentalist if you're still consuming animals. You just can't.
The nation that leads in renewable energy will be the nation that leads the world 10, 20 years from now.
To convince people to back your idea, you've got to sell it to yourself and know when it's the moment. Sometimes that means waiting. It's like surfing. You don't create energy, you just harvest energy already out there.
The films that influenced me were so disparate that there's almost no pattern.
If you faced a long hungry period with nothing between you and starvation but a bit of barley and a pig, you'd be better off turning the barley into beer and letting the pig starve.
I don't just want to be associated with a few good 3D movies and the audience is saying all of the other ones are crap.
Religions fulfill deep-seated psychological needs for people, and if you don't get it from a specific religious doctrine, you'll get it from the kind of films I like to make. A film like The Terminator is consciously meant to give a sense of empowerment to the individual.
The universe is like a giant bank vault lock, where the tumblers are constantly moving and once in a while the tumblers line up and you have to listen for the click. So you must be prepared in that moment to step through the door.
It took me a long time to realize that you have to have a bit of an interlanguage with actors. You have to give them something that they can act with.
People of conscience in our leadership in Washington have been scared off by the right and the fossil fuel lobbies. They won't even use the term "sustainability" or "climate change" in an energy bill, which is ludicrous on its face. It completely ignores the elephant in the room that we're all dealing with. The average American doesn't even believe climate change is real, they think it's all a hoax.
God wears white flannels.
Nature's not our enemy, it's our sustenance; and we need it - and we need nature healthy for us to be healthy and to survive long term
It's about human imagination and curiosity. What's out there? What's in the great beyond? What exists at levels we can't see with our five senses?
That worst evil of long dictatorships: the loss of all political experience.
If it was up to the studio, everything would be shot with a camcorder.
I pick my feature film battles very carefully. They're going to be personal and they're going to take a lot of my energy. I'm not going to be some big production company and be Jerry Bruckheimer or something like that. It doesn't interest me.
You know, in the film making business no one ever gives you anything.
Failure is an option, fear is not.
Go home, pick up your video camera, and make a film.
I always do makeup touch-ups myself, especially for blood, wounds, and dirt. It saves so much time.
I think people had somehow gotten the sense that we have explored everything, when that isn't the case. We so know so little about the ocean, and so much of it is being destroyed.
Tread softly upon the earth because the faces of the unborn look up at you.
Climate change is critical to me because I'm a parent; I feel a sense of responsibility to the future. I'm not going to be around to see its worst effects, which are going to be hitting in the 2030s, '40s, '50s, but my kids will.
You don't rest well as long as you're seeking vengeance. I feel sad justice wasn't done, but it's time to move on and sleep well.
I've tried not to get sucked into the Hollywood hierarchy system. Personally, I don't like it when people are deferential to me because I'm an established filmmaker. It's a blue-collar sensibility.
It's really the sense of isolation, more than anything, realizing how tiny you are down in this big vast black unknown and unexplored place.
Any direct experience that I have with indigenous peoples and their plights may feed into the nature of the story I choose to tell. In fact, it almost certainly will.
When Nikita Khrushchev wrapped himself in the bloody mantle of the Czars he broke Hungary, he broke the little Communist parties over the western world, and he broke the hearts of many honest men who had trusted a little too far, a little too long.
You can have a strong economy or you can help the environment, but you can't do both at the same time. That's ridiculous. In fact, as a sustainable vision for a healthy economy has to involve changing our energy policy and changing with respect to the natural world. Because we're hitting nature's thresholds, we're hitting nature's limits with respect to water and crop yields and energy use and fossil fuels heating the atmosphere at the same time we're past global peak and running out of that.
The last I checked, 'Titanic' worldwide has grossed $1.3 billion. Imagine how much more it would have grossed if I had gotten the sky correct.
I dreamed I was a soldier who could bring peace. Sooner or later, though, you always have to wake up.
What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?
I'm willing to engage or indulge real ideas, but if we don't do something [about global warming], we're all going to die! What's it going to take, a big f--ing disaster with all kinds of people dying? We need to change our priorities fast.
There is a hugely underserved population out there... those who are the least capable of paying pay the highest.
― James Cameron Quotes
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.