“Sometimes your whole life boils down to one insane move” – James Cameron

If you’ve heard of James Cameron, chances are you’ve not only heard of his onscreen triumphs but also heard of his off-screen achievements. From navigating the deepest parts of the ocean to creating the highest grossing films of all time, the Canadian filmmaker, inventor, philanthropist, environmentalist, and deep-sea explorer has made numerous contributions to society. So, what don’t you know about this renowned figure? In honor of James Cameron’s birthday, DMG Entertainment has compiled a list of fun facts about the iconic filmmaker. So get ready to take a dive into James Cameron’s life!


College isn’t for Everyone


In 1973, James Cameron enrolled at California’s oldest community college, Fullerton College. However, Cameron dropped out a year later.


The Force is Strong with Him


While Cameron was working as a truck driver, he went to a movie theater and watched the original STAR WARS (1977). The film moved Cameron so much that it inspired him to become a director. Cameron decided to quit his truck driver job and focus on his silver screen dreams.


He Had to Battle Beyond the Stars


Cameron’s first feature film job was in BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980) as an art director. Cameron created unique spaceship models for the movie. However, his first feature film gig didn’t exactly go smoothly. Roger Corman, executive producer of BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, fired and rehired Cameron twice.


No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.


James Cameron’s first directing job was in the film PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING (1981). While shooting in an actual morgue, Cameron noticed human blood spilled on the set. Cameron stopped production and personally mopped up the blood. Despite Cameron’s commitment to the film and crew, the film’s producer, Ovidio G. Assonitis, found Cameron’s work unsatisfactory. Assonitis took over Cameron’s job after the first week.


A Multi-Million Dollar Dream


James Cameron came up with the idea for TERMINATOR (1984) during a fever dream. In the dream, he imagined a chrome torso emerging from a violent explosion, dragging itself towards Cameron with knives in his hand. According to Cameron, “I was sick at the time. I had a high fever… I was just lying on the bed thinking and came up with all this bizarre imagery … I was in a foreign city by myself and I felt very dissociated from humanity in general. It was very easy to project myself into these two characters from the future who were out of sync, out of time, out of place.”


Who Needs a Desk to Write a Masterpiece?


James Cameron lived in his car when he wrote TERMINATOR. Just like his cyborg killer, Cameron would stop at nothing to complete his mission.


Double Trouble

US 8381 - NGCI 036932

James Cameron isn’t just a famous director; he also is an excellent screenwriter. Cameron wrote and directed such films as THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS (1986), THE ABYSS (1989), TERMINATOR 2 (1991), TRUE LIES (1994), TITANIC (1997), and AVATAR (2009).

Far from a One Trick Pony


From earning underwater equipment patents to inventing the Fusion Camera, it’s no surprise James Cameron landed himself the third spot on 2007 Entertainment Weekly’s “The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.”


There is Always a Spot for his Best Friend


James Cameron’s German Shepherd, Wolfie, appeared in THE TERMINATOR. Wolfie barks at the Terminator when it enters the motel’s parking lot.


James Cameron Desu


James Cameron is a huge fan of Japanese anime


Trustworthy is an Understatement


James Cameron is the first director to be trusted with a $100-million film budget -TERMINATOR 2- and $200-million film budget -TITANIC. Since TERMINATOR 2 earned over $200 million and TITANIC earned over $1 billion, it’s safe to say the studios’ trust paid off


An Unusual Deal


James Cameron sold the rights to THE TERMINATOR to Gale Anne Hurd for $1. However, the deal came with a string attached: Hurd could produce the movie only if Cameron directed it. Although Cameron said the deal was a financial mistake, he credits the deal as the launch of his successful career.


Heard Around the World


James Cameron did voiceover work his films. In TERMINATOR, he left a message on Sarah Connor’s answering machine. In TERMINATOR 2, he voiced the T-1000 death cries. In TRUE LIES (1994), he said the line, “Yeah, she’s got her head I his lap. Yahoo!” In TITANIC, he shouted, “All ahead, full!”


To The Rescue!


While shooting THE ABYSS, a stunt rat stopped breathing. Cameron revived the rat using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.


A Close Call


While filming THE ABYSS, James Cameron ran out of oxygen during an underwater scene. A safety diver tried to aid Cameron but gave him a faulty regulator. Instead of providing oxygen, the regulator pushed water into Cameron’s lungs. Cameron had to strike the safety diver to free himself and swim to the surface.


Yeah, He Can Draw Too


Remember the iconic nude portrait of Rose in the film TITANIC? James Cameron personally sketched the image into Jack’s notebook.


How Low Can He Go?


In March 2016, Cameron took his personal submersible and made a solo descent to the bottom of the Marina Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. The descent not only made Cameron one of three people to ever explore the area, but also the first person to make the journey alone.


You May Find Him in The Forest


In October 2013, a new species of frog, found in Venezuela, was named after James Cameron. So what exactly is the frog’s name? Pristimantis jamescameroni. The honor was given to Cameron in recognition of his environmental efforts and public endorsement of veganism.


Happy Birthday James Cameron! Keep it real.


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