The Final Word With James Cameron
While best known for his filmmaking, Cameron has also been an explorer for 16 years. He made 12 dives to the wreck site in 1995 in preparation for his feature film, Titanic. The Titanic wreck sits two miles below the ocean surface, and Cameron has personally piloted ROVs (Remotely Operated underwater Vehicles) from a manned submersible to explore and film the interior of the wreck.
That same leadership and attention to detail that makes James Cameron a great director is being employed in the service of history, exploration, and science. It is not enough for him to know that the ship struck an iceberg and sank; his goal is to establish a correct timeline of the Titanic’s sinking and balletic plummet to the bottom of the ocean, to try and set the historical record straight.
But he can’t do it alone; the factors involved are incredibly complex, and the evidence is elusive. To pull off
an investigation of this magnitude, Cameron has assembled a crack team of engineers, historians, artists, and naval architects. Each member of the team is a victim of the Titanic’s siren song; their cumulative obsession with the ship spans over a century. This is the single greatest meeting of minds ever led by Cameron on the subject, the climax of 100 years of inquiries into a disaster that still resonates in popular culture.
Operating like detectives, Cameron’s team takes inventory of the scene of the crime. The thousands of bits of shredded steel on the ocean floor are like a bloodstain; the bow and stern are two halves of a decaying corpse. Using this evidence they work their way backwards in time through the ship’s descent, breakup, and flooding, until they are back at the fatal iceberg strike, making some new discoveries along the way.
The team examines rare salvaged objects and never-before-broadcast dive footage as they debate fresh theories. Sparks fly as revelations emerge. Though the disaster happened nearly a century ago, to the experts in this room it remains a fresh wound. Their intellectual interest is fused with deep emotional ties to the ship and those who perished on it—to them Titanic is a long lost friend, killed in uncertain circumstances. Understanding is the only way to fill that void.
The frenzy of debates and discoveries climaxes to yield surprising results—discoveries that may alter the fundamental interpretation of what exactly happened to the Titanic on April 14th, 1912.
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