James Cameron

James Cameron
Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

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James Cameron
Film: South side of the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Director | Producer
Born James Francis Cameron on Aug. 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada

James Cameron has a reputation for being one of Hollywood’s most demanding filmmakers, whose exacting creative process and urge to push the boundaries of visual effects has led to him to make “the most expensive movie made to date” on three separate occasions – “Terminator 2” (1991), “Titanic” (1997) and “Avatar” (2009). It’s hard to argue with the results, however. “Avatar” is the highest-grossing film of all time, with more than $2 billion in ticket sales worldwide, having surpassed Cameron’s own “Titanic” as the box-office record-holder in early 2010.

Cameron got his start creating visual effects for noted low-budget producer Roger Corman. He quickly moved up the ladder to art director, then got his first directing job on the flying piranha movie “Piranha 2: The Spawning.” But his breakthrough was the science-fiction action thriller “The Terminator,” starring former Mr. Universe and future California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Cameron, who also wrote the screenplay, gave Schwarzenegger his signature line, “I’ll be back.”

“Aliens,” “The Abyss,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “True Lies” followed, but Cameron reached another career height with “Titanic,” the epic historical love story that went wildly overbudget and suffered numerous delays but eventually became a worldwide phenomenon and won Cameron multiple Oscars, including best director and best picture.

Cameron worked full-time on his follow-up, the science-fiction film “Avatar,” for four years to develop cutting-edge performance capture and 3-D technology. Despite the sheer size of the production, Cameron has said “it’s my most personal film.”

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1997 Best Film Editing Titanic Win*
    1997 Best Director Titanic Win
    1997 Best Picture Titanic Win*
    2009 Best Director Avatar Nomination
    2009 Best Picture Avatar Nomination*
    2009 Best Film Editing Avatar Nomination*
    * A joint nomination shared with other people.

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