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Jonathan Payette


In James Cameron's movie, at the beginning when they explore the wreck, one ROV passes by a piano in what I believe to be the First Class Reception Room. Is there really a piano left, in that amazingly good state of preservation ?

Nov 23, 1996

I am sad to disipoint you but the piano and that area doesn't exist, that sequence and many others are computer generated images, using scale models. Cameron' didn't or couldn't get the images he wanted to use during his dives, so scale models were used. If I remember correctly the only real footage is of the two Mir's looking at each other.

Most of the wreck footage is computer generated imaging using scale models.

If I can find my copy or someone has a copy of Cinefex number 72, it has all the details and information on were they got the piano and who did this imaging. As I read this magazine and filed it away back in 1997 I can't remember the details so to say.

Jonathan Payette

Thanks for your reply.

I knew Cameron used scale models for the film, but I thought he reproduced exactly what he saw on and in the wreck. So the piano dosen't exist. Is it the same for the suite in witch the ROV got in ? It looks well preserved to me (doors, tables, even bed tissue it seems). I know he did actually film the fireplace of that suite though.
Dec 7, 2000

I can't remember too many details either, but there was real footage. If we see both submersibles in the one shot, then that's fake otherwise most other wreck footage is real. There is some real interior footage, but very little of it. The close up of the fireplace, and the ornate D deck door are real shots. Much of the other stuff was filmed in underwater sets.

The sitting room Cameron used was fictional. The real one did not look like that, so the shot of the underwater room and fireplace are from sets for the movie. If you want to know more about the wreck and interiors go to the following link. This is an excellent report by Ken Marschall, and all thanks to Parks Stephenson for hosting it:


The piano is also described in the report. Nothing recognisable in way of a piano can be seen in the reception room, although Ken does feel that something on the port side (not starboard) resembles the piano.


Jan 31, 2001
I heard once that the piano had been blowtorched to look like it was in really poor condition, and had been used on one of the film's wreck sets. Whoever told me this said they got it out of the book dealing with the movie. I think it's the illustrated screenplay.

Steve Smith

Dec 14, 1998
You can amuse yourself for hours playing "spot the real footage" in Cameron's film. Bear in mind that ANY interior footage that isn't seen through the eyes of the ROV can't be real... unless there was a VERY intrepid diver down there with a camera too(for instance most of the piano shots the ROV entering the suite, or the close up of the head of the doll laying on the floor).

Similarly there are shots showing both MIR subs in picture as they skim over the wreck. This would have needed another sub to achieve - which Cameron didn't have.

The real giveaway is the quality of picture. Stunning as Cameron's real footage is - it never matches that of the recreations

João Ricardo Alves de Oliveira

As far as I Know there was 3 pianos on the first class.
There was one grand Piano in the titanic's reception and there was also in the boat deck grand Staircase.
There was one in the second class on D deck if i'm sure, front the second class dinng room.
About the third class, I don't know... can someone help me?
The other I Don't know, but perh

Shane Worthy

Aug 12, 2004
I was corrected in that post though...one minor mistake...
Here is the list:
* Boat deck, 1st class Grand Staircase foyer
* D deck, 1st class Reception Room (grand piano)
* D deck, 1st class Dining Saloon
* C deck, 2nd class foyer (outside Lounge)
* D deck, 2nd class Dining Room
* C deck, 3rd class General Room.
I would also like to thank Daniel Klistorner for his imput and corrections.
All Ahead Full!

Tom Cole

I just discovered this newsgroup and thought I'd do a little research on the subject of pianos on the Titanic since pianos are my interest and profession.

One of my piano technician colleagues supplied me with a German website, below, which describes 5 Steinway grands (model B, Hamburg) and 3 uprights (model K). Centerpiece was a B for the first class. Dark brown walnut and carvings in the style of Luis-Quince. Allegedly Steinway used special materials/glue for the grands because of the wet climate expected (how prophetic!).

For those whose German is decent enough to read the whole story:
Apr 30, 2007
actually everything from the movie was the actual titanic, except for the shots where you can see both submersibles and when you can see the rovs front, the fireplace was real and it did look like what was in the movie, back in 2004 (i think it was) cameron got down there and got to the fireplace and on top was the clock and to the right (our left) you can see the gilded lights
Peter - There is footage of the building of some of the sets of interiors of the wreck. The wood was blowtorched and painted to look caked with goo and decayed. The suite, in particular, was built. I don't think anyone is in the wreck overturning doors to find safes.

Check out the SE of the Cameron film. The footage is on those DVDs.
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
>>I have heard of a report of an "electric pipe organ". Is there any truth in this ?<<

The only claim for a pipe organ of any kind...electric or otherwise...was made in relation to the Britannic. Don't know if there's any truth to it. If any such ever existed, I doubt it was ever installed.
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