State of Titanic Movie Set


Feb 6, 2003
61
1
158
Does anyone know what happened to the Titanic set. I heard they destroyed it. That would be a shame. If they did does anyone know why and what parts were saved. Any answers would be appreciated. Josh Andersen
 
Mar 3, 1998
2,745
261
358
Joshua,

There is no easy answer to your question. The reason: the Titanic "set" consisted of a variety of interiors and one huge exterior.

The "ship" was actually a wood-covered framework that was constructed in a tank dug specifically for the movie on a lot south of Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Even then, only one side of the ship was completed. Few of the interiors were built into the framework itself...those were built in sound stages that were located adjacent to the large tank. A smaller tank (most notable used for the lifeboat sequences) was also built, enclosed within its own sound stage.

The large exterior pieces (the majority of the ship and the bow section) were designed to be raised and lowered into the water in the large tank. During this process, much of the plywood that covered the steel framework and formed pieces of deck gear became waterlogged and warped. By the end of filming, so much damage had been done to the structure of the set that for safety reasons, it had to be dismantled. Much of the debris was thrown away, but a good portion of that was scavenged by people who had an interest in the movie, its topic, or in making some money. Same thing went for the relatively few interiors that were required to be submerged or otherwise innundated with water.

The interiors built for the sound stages were dismantled and in many cases stored in warehouses both at Fox locations, both in L.A. and Baja. With the growth of the movie's popularity, Fox became more possessive of the surviving movie props. Recreations of certain interiors, constructed with the original movie props, were set up on the newly established Fox Studios Baja studio lot for the public to visit. That proved so successful that a separate theme park, with the Titanic sets as a nucleus, was set up adjacent to the movie lot. Information about the new theme park, Foxploration, can be found at http://www.foxploration.com. If you would like to see the various Titanic interiors on display, you can visit my website at http://marconigraph.com and click on the Foxploration Titanic Expo Virtual Tour link.

But the Titanic Expo is only the tip of the iceberg, if you will pardon the pun. The warehouses in Baja have a large number of props stored within. The fibreglass lifeboats, steel davits, plywood propellors, and assorted deck fittings are sitting outside in various locations around the lot. I counted over 200 First Class Dining Saloon chairs, some showing evidence of having been immersed in salt water, being used as everyday chairs in the studio commissary (the dining tables from the movie, with the holes for the table lamps filled in, are used to eat upon). Up in L.A., the costumes are stored at Central Wardrobe, as are various small props.

Other props have ended up in the hands of private collectors. Some "props" that you see sold in various venues may not have been used in the movie, but are of more recent manufacture. It's a tricky business trying to determine what props were actually used in the movie, especially when some of the newer pieces are being made by the same people who made the originals for the movie.

A good number of the original props were brought out of storage to use in "Ghosts of the Abyss." I was lucky enough to be tasked to rummage through the stores to find useful props for specific scenes. It was like wandering through the Cave of Wonders. Most of the props are not much to look at in real life...they are flimsy, most have suffered some damage of some kind, and don't really stand up to close examination. But others...I came across a pile of staircase balustrades made from iron, actual stained-glass inserts for the First Class Dining Saloon, and literally hundreds of First Class Dining Saloon chairs (all hand carved, some not even upholstered or stained) and wicker Reception Room chairs and sofas.

My favourite set was the Marconi Room. The original walls were brought out of storage and the equipment dismantled and brought up to Burbank for a GotA shoot. The Marconi equipment was custom-made in England and although fragile, relied heavily on brass, iron and slate parts to make it look real.

That's it in a nutshell. Some of the sets, most notably the interiors, were destroyed or dismantled permanently. A good number of sets, though, still exist, either rebuilt at Foxploration, or in pieces in Fox warehouses. There are a few collectors who have impressive collections set up in their homes.

One point I want to emphasise, though...the large exterior set of the ship could not have been saved as a public structure. It was a moving film set and had to be destroyed in order to keep from being required to conform to building codes. Besides, the sinking essentially destroyed its looks and structural integrity.

Parks
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Mar 3, 1998
2,745
261
358
Oh, and one last thing...Cameron took some key props for himself. The ship's wheel, binnacle, and telemotor, along with a couple of bridge telegraphs, decorate his office at Lightstorm Entertainment.

If I had been in his shoes, I would have taken quite a bit more.

Parks
 
Feb 6, 2003
61
1
158
Thank you all for your info. I appreciate it. What exactly does Cameron have planned for "GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS". Whats it about? I heard something about 3D people imposed on the wreck or something like that. Josh
 
Mar 3, 1998
2,745
261
358
Joshua,

"Ghosts of the Abyss" is a documentary of Cameron's 2001 expedition to the wreck, shot in high-definition, 3-D, large-screen format. As such, it will be shown in IMAX and large-screen format theatres. There is a home-release DVD version planned, which will run almost twice the length of the theatrical version.

Cameron spent a week filming re-enactment scenes at Fox Studios Baja, using props from the original movie on a greenscreen set. The intention was to have "ghosts" re-enact the events that took place on various parts of the deck. These scenes were mated and overlaid onto wreck footage, to provide the audience with a point of reference to what they were seeing. I don't know how many of these scenes will survive the final cut...last I heard, many have been edited out of the theatrical version (which can only run 55 minutes at most, because of the format used).

That's about all I should say here. For more info, please check the "Titanic Movies>Ghosts of the Abyss" thread. There has been quite a bit of discussion there that you might find interesting.

Parks
 
B

Brooke Watts

Guest
Hello all...

Many of Titanic props were sold by 20th Century Fox last year through Yahoo auctions.

I was able to buy quite a few props directly from the studios.

So, yes, Fox did "clear the decks" in 2002.
 
Jun 8, 2003
161
4
183
thats very sad - why why why would they do that to us younger fans? its not our fault we are too young to buy stuff and see stuff :eek:(!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jun 8, 2003
161
4
183
I just woke my mum up after lookin at the fox website - shouting and screaming I HAVE TO GO! i think its my heaven being both titanic and movie buff...
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
D

Deleted member 162143

Guest
Is foxploration still open to public, I cant seem to find anything about it. I would really love to see the lifeboat davits up close.
 

TOWER3

Member
Jun 11, 2019
141
26
73
Garland, TX
Was there any talk of permanently keeping the Titanic film prop at Baja Studios in Rosarito before it was demolished after filming for the 1997 movie ended.