James Cameron - Arts and Culture Wall of Fame
James Cameron was born in Kapuskasing in 1954 and grew up in Niagara Falls (Chippawa). In 1971, he moved
to California where he studied physics at Fullerton Junior College while working as a machinist and, later, a
Cameron quit his trucking job in 1978 and raised money from local dentists to produce a 35mm short film. The
visual effects in this film led to work on Roger Corman's "Battle Beyond the Stars" (1980). In 1983 Cameron
wrote three scripts: "Rambo: First Blood Part 2", "Aliens", and "The Terminator". He directed "The Terminator"
(1984) and "Aliens" (1986) and then wrote and directed "The Abyss" (1989). Following that he wrote,
produced, and directed "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991), "True Lies" (1994), "Titanic" (1997), & Avatar
(2009). His films have blazed new trails in visual effects, set numerous performance records, and earned many
prestigious nominations and awards.
James has been an avid scuba diver since 1969, and in 1995 made 12 manned-submersible dives to the Titanic.
The technical success of that expedition fueled his desire to bring the experience of deep ocean exploration to
audiences around the world. He turned to documentary filmmaking and formed Earthship Productions to
develop films about ocean exploration and conservation.
As an explorer, Cameron has been equally fascinated by outer as well as inner space. He is currently a coinvestigator
on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mastcam, which will be the first 3D motion imaging camera
to operate on another planet, when it begins its exploration there in 2011. Cameron served on the NASA
Advisory Council for 3 years. Cameron is also continuing to develop a number of ocean projects, and other
environmentally themed documentaries.