Rebutting A Comment By Cameron


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Oct 23, 2000
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It really stuck in this writer's craw to read in Cameron's introduction to "Ken Marschall's Art Of Titanic" his assertion that he could not dramatize the Titanic based on "the facts alone" and created his romantic leads to "humanize" the story.
Having just seen Clint Eastwood's masterpiece "Flags Of Our Fathers", I cannot help but groan over such narrow-minded views re: historical characters.

Despite some very minor changes in detail (which does not spoil the remarkable versimilitude of "Flags"), everything we see happen regarding the six men captured in the famous flag photograph really happened. And are far more fascinating that anything with fictional characters could have been.
Even John Wayne's classic "The Sands Of Iwo Jima" (which has a cameo with the three surviving flag raisers from the famous picture), pales in comparison to the genuinine humanity of the true people of "Flags."

There are dozens of voices from the Titanic disaster, both of those who lived, and those who died, that cry out to be brought to life dramatically in eithier print, stage, or screen. Storeis that reek of drama, pathos, and courage. Stories that are not cold, sterile "facts" like how many rivets were in the Titanic's hull, her length, speed, etc. As Mr. Cameron apparently viewed them when writing his screenplay.

Richard Krebes
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Such a movie would have been dandy,but a remake of 'A Night To Remember' would have appealed mainly to established Titanic buffs- hence a much smaller audience...
'Flags of Our Fathers' was a good film, but appealed mainly to people who are already interested in WW2...
 

Eric Paddon

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I still agree with Richard 1000 percent. For me, Titanic's victims were less human as a result of seeing Cameron's movie.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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quote:

would have appealed mainly to established Titanic buffs- hence a much smaller audience...

That depends on how it's handled, Tarn. If big popular names are in it and excellent graphics and FXs are employed, the size of that audience would naturally widen.​
 

John Clifford

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quote:

If big popular names are in it and excellent graphics and FXs are employed, the size of that audience would naturally widen.
But for how long??

I agree that for Cameron's film the true star was TITANIC, herself. However, whether we cared for the film story, or not, we have to admit that it did entice people to come, unlike the 2006 version of POSEIDON, which opened to mixed reviews, and a steady decline in attendance.

An even more telling example: BATTLEFIELD EARTH, based on the L. Ron Hubbard story, and financed by John Travolta. It had modest attendance in its first week, then "nose-dived", even as Mr. Travolta commented that "as the full story is realized, viewers will return" (exact quote not guaranteed).

We still have to admit that if the script or screenplay does not interest a wide audience, then the film will not work.

True, it would be great to see A NIGHT TO REMEMBER with the likes of Maggie Smith, Judi Densch, Sean Connery, Helen Mirren, and others, and/or those actors and actresses who could do a great job of portraying the many passengers and crew members. However, if a large audience cannot be found, then the film would not work, and, as been mentioned many times, "the bottom line is the 'almightly studio dollars' and the honchos putting forward the funds". Those individuals will be expecting a profitable return; otherwise, "it's a no-go".​
 
Jun 12, 2004
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John-

quote:

if a large audience cannot be found, then the film would not work

That's precisely what I was saying, as opposed to just the limited group of Titanic enthusiasts. Still, there are ways of ensuring that a realistic story can appeal to a larger audience, and without fictionalizing or taking artistic liberties. This falls under production and casting, among other things.​
 

Will C. White

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The only thing Cameron was looking at was feeding his huge ego with another one of his "blockbusters"-look at the speech he gave at the Oscars (tm). He may as well have thanked the 1200 people that kindly had the good sense to die so he could make the movie! I have friends who've worked with him, and he's a full blown schmuck!
 
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"He may as well have thanked the 1200 people that kindly had the good sense to die so he could make the movie!"



How does one respond to a comment like this....
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Will-

quote:

the 1200 people that kindly had the good sense to die

Um, I know you didn't mean anything ill by this, but, as Tarn suggested, can you please clarify this? Those 1,496 people did not die willingly, nor did they perish so that some producer could make a movie about them 90-some years later--they died due to means beyond their control, in a very horrible way. Their deaths should not even be associated with movie-making.

As for Cameron, I take it that he's not the easiest person to get along with?​
 

Jason D. Tiller

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quote:

He may as well have thanked the 1200 people that kindly had the good sense to die so he could make the movie!

What are you exactly saying here, Will? It's not as if the passengers and crew wanted to die. It was a disaster, just like any other. As Mark said, their deaths should never ever be put in the same light as the movie.​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I have friends who've worked with him, and he's a full blown schmuck<<

Have you worked for him???

Keep in mind, we have a couple members here who have worked with the man (Ken Marschall and Parks Stephenson) and the picture they present of Mr. Cameron is very different from yours.

Mind you, I'm not claiming he's a saint. He's known to be a perfectionist and a bit short tempered when things go wrong...but a schmuck?

Naaaaahhhh....that one's a stretch.
 
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"He certainly paints himself as a soccer dad-ish wonk"


I don't even want to know what that is.....

It occours to me that insulting a man whom you've never met because of second hand gossip probrolly isn't a good thing....
 

Will C. White

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All you have to do is rewatch his speech at the Oscars (tm) when he won for 'Titanic'; listen carefully and you'll see what the inside is like. As to those who died, in no way did I intend to deride them, and as to Cameron, he's a public figure, and with that comes all the "heat" that goes with it.
 
Jan 7, 2002
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"and as to Cameron, he's a public figure, and with that comes all the "heat" that goes with it."


I don't agree with that....
Plus I think the Titanic community is in his debt...Who else would have explored Titanic's deep interior?
 

John Clifford

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quote:

he's a public figure, and with that comes all the "heat" that goes with it."
True, you will be examined and scrutinized more closely.

However, as we have also discussed with Robert Ballard in another thread, we may not always like the person, but we must never overlook their accomplishments, and what they sometimes create as a result.
As Tarn said, we can only wonder what might have been (to paraphrase his statement) if James Cameron had not done what he did, especially regarding his dives to the wreck site.

As far as how your words, deeds, and actions are perceived, one must look to the words of Winston Churchill.
Churchill was asked to share some of his strategies that were successful. His reply was that there is no guaranteed formula for success, but that the one way to guarantee failure is to try and please everybody.
My source for that was from Art Linkletter, during one of his presentations on the Queen Mary 2, in February 2006; Mr. Linkletter cited Churchill.​
 

Jason D. Tiller

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quote:

he's a public figure, and with that comes all the "heat" that goes with it.

Well, you would be closely looked at under a microscope, but you can't ignore James Cameron's achievements no matter what. As John said, the same applies as with Robert Ballard. No one else would have stepped up to the plate and accomplished what Cameron did. So, the Titanic community is a lot better off and more knowledgeable thanks to him.​
 
Tarn - My apologies...it wasn't meant as an insult (even though it reads that way). My meaning was that he doesn't seem like a schmuck in those two docs. He seems like a genuinely nice guy who is amazed by what he's doing in a nerdy and oddly endearing way. He comes off not as Joe Hollywood but as a suburbanite dad with a "neato" hobby.

However, I'll disagree with your opinion about what goes along with being a public figure. He IS a public figure in the way that few film directors are. So, it is natural that he is going to be discussed and picked apart, whether by jealousy or by justified criticism. And in the position of being "the boss", one wrong move will bring gossip and backstabbing from people that work with or under you. It's natural in any industry at any level. Cameron just gets to deal with it publicly.

Plus, put him in a sub diving to the ocean floor and compare him to directing a film. Probably different sides of his personality show. When I'm at work versus when I'm at play, I'm a totally different person because the stakes and dynamics are different.

So, the schmuk comment may be justified from either one incident, one person's interaction, or the entire make-up of his personality. Apparently Tarn has a different experience, and that should put some of this discussion to rest.
 
Jan 7, 2002
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"Plus, put him in a sub diving to the ocean floor and compare him to directing a film. Probably different sides of his personality show. When I'm at work versus when I'm at play, I'm a totally different person because the stakes and dynamics are different"


I have a hunch James cameron is the same person whether he's directing a film, or exploring the Titanic wreck- He doesn't hold back, and gives his all......
 

Will C. White

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If we wish to differentiate, we must first go to motivation. Did his interest in RMS Titanic cause him to make the film, or did making a blockbuster about the ship spur his interest? We must also consider where the $ come from for all of this exploration-full true commitment is draining your own bank account, not talking others into draining theirs. Another good spot to see the real Cameron is the doc on making 'The Abyss'.
 
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