To Ocean Depths with James Cameron, Movie Director, Adventurer, Explorer & Innovator

James Cameron returning from submarine mission On March 26, 2012, Ocean frontier explorer and Academy Award winning filmmaker James Cameron plunged 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) below the ocean surface in a one-man submarine to the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, the first solo diver to reach such depths.

On Journey to the Deep the 2013 Nierenberg Prize recipient shares his experiences and perspectives from his record-setting dive. 

Journey to the Deep with James Cameron, Nierenberg Prize 2013

The Life Aquatic with James Cameron, Mariana Trench Dive

Expedition: Bismarck is a 2002 documentary film produced for the Discovery Channel by Andrew Wight and James Cameron, directed by James Cameron and Gary Johnstone, and narrated by Lance Henriksen. The film follows an underwater expedition to the German battleship Bismarck and digitally reconstructs events that led up to the ship’s sinking during World War II. In 2003 the film was honored with an Emmy award for Outstanding Sound Editing for Non-Fiction Programming.

Expedition Battleship Bismarck, James Cameron

Oscar-winning director James Cameron is best known for
box office hits Aliens (1986), Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009)


James Cameron is a critically acclaimed film director known for some of the biggest box-office hits of all time. A science-fiction fan as a child, he went on to produce and direct films including The Terminator, Aliens and Avatar. He has received numerous Academy Awards and nominations for his often large-scale, expensive productions. His most noted work, 1997’s Titanic, became the first film to earn more than $1 billion and landed 14 Academy Award nominations. Cameron took home three Oscars himself for the project: Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Picture.

James Cameron was born on August 16, 1954, in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. A science-fiction fan as a child, he grew up to become one of the most visionary filmmakers in Hollywood. He initially pursued physics as a student at California State University, Fullerton, but he left to follow his cinematic dreams. Working as a truck driver, Cameron would pull off the road to work on screenplays.

In 1978, Cameron made his first film, a science-fiction short called Xenogenesis. The film helped him get a job with New World Pictures, a company run by famed B-movie director Roger Corman. At New World, Cameron worked in number of different roles, from art director on Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) to director on Piranha II: The Spawning (1981).

Major Films

Cameron’s fortunes took a major upturn in 1984, when he wrote and directed The Terminator (1984). The movie told the gripping science-fiction tale of a robot from the future (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) who travels to the present day to hunt down the leader of the resistance in a yet-to-occur battle between humans and machines. The film became a critical and commercial hit and helped Cameron land his next project, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), which featured Sigourney Weaver as a female action hero in space. Aliens (1986) received several Academy Award nominations, including one for Weaver for Best Actress.

With The Abyss (1989), however, Cameron experienced a number of disappointments. The shoot for the film was grueling. Much of it was filmed in a huge underwater set, which took its toll on the cast and crew. After its release, critics and moviegoers were not impressed with the story of scuba divers who encounter aliens while recovering a U.S. Navy submarine. However, the film’s visual effects were stunning and earned an Academy Award.

Working with his third wife, Kathryn Bigelow, Cameron helped produce her 1991 action flick, Point Break (1991). The couple’s two-year relationship ended around the same time. But Cameron returned to form that year with another box-office hit, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The film earned more than $200 million and broke new ground with its impressive visual effects. Several years later he later he would marry one of the film’s stars, Linda Hamilton.