James Cameron – Сustom Literature essay

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James Cameron was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario in Canada August 14 (16) 1954. His family later moved to Chippewa Falls near Niagra Falls. James Cameron was during his youth years always very fascinated with movies. He was mezmerized when he saw Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, and he drew himself crazy trying to figure out how they had shot that film. Cameron also wrote sci-fi stories and fantasized a lot instead of doing his school work.

It was actually during one boring biology class that Cameron wrote a short story which would later become the movie The Abyss. When Cameron was 17, his family moved to Orange County, California because of his fathers job. When Cameron moved to Orange County he learned that getting a career in movies might not be the easiest job to obtain. He let the hope of becomming someone in the movie business fade and he started studying physics and english at a local university. He later dropped out of both studies because the math in the physics course had been to hard for Cameron to deal with

James Cameron got a job as a miniature model maker at the Roger Corman Studios. The Roger Corman Studios were studios that made B-movies. They were fast and cheap productions, and none of the people working there were professionals so Cameron fit right in. He quickly moved up the ranks in the studio, jumping from one movie to another. Cameron worked as art director on the sci-fi movie Battle Beyond the Stars, he did special effects work and direction on John Carpenter's Escape from New York. It wasn't until 1981 when Cameron got his first shot at directing. It was an Italian producer named Assonitis who was to make a sequel to the movie Pirahna.

It was going to be called Piranha 2: The Spawning. Assonitis wanted a debut director because it would be the cheapest, and the director would not question Assonitis cutting in the film. The movie was terrible of course, it had a bad cast, lousy effects and Assonitis was always on Cameron's back. Assonitis kept telling Cameron that the shots looked like shit (crap), and when the main shooting ended he would not allow Cameron to edit the movie. This made Cameron mad, he knew that the movie was bad, but it was his movie, and he wanted to edit it himself. So Cameron broke into the editing room with a plastic card.

The movie was shot in Italy and Cameron could not speak Italian, so he did not know what role of films to look at, but he finally found the right ones and pieced the film together the way he wanted. Cameron was under tremendous pressure during the production, he was also sick and one night he had a dream of a machine coming from future which attempted to kill him. When Cameron woke up, he scribbled down some nasty ideas, and the ideas would later become the Terminator. After the shooting of Pirahna 2: The Spawning, Cameron accepted two writing jobs, Rambo: First Blood part 2 and Alien 2 (which would later become Aliens). Cameron later contacted action producer Gale Anne Hurd, and showed her the screenplay The Terminator which he had written. Hurd liked it and Cameron sold it to her for one dollar.

Cameron got Arnold Schwarzenegger as the role of the Terminator and Michael Biehn as the role of Kyle Reese. Actually Arnold Schwarzenegger was first cast as Kyle Reese, but then decided to play the Terminator instead. The Terminator became Cameron's breakthrough film. It features stunning effects, even though it has $6.5 million budget. The Terminator became a great succes, both critically and comercially. David Giler and Walter Hill, the would-be producers of Aliens, were very impressed with Cameron's work, and they suggested that he should direct the second alien movie himself.

Cameron did it on one condition, namely that Gale Anne Hurd would be brought on board as a producer. Cameron got Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton and Michael Biehn to star in the movie. Aliens was a great movie, it has great effects, a well written script and fine acting because Sigourney Weaver got an Academy Award nomination for her performance. Alien was nominated for 7 Oscars and won 4. This movie really made Hollywood open their eyes for James Cameron, everybody wanted to work with him. He got million dollar deals offered where ever he went, but Cameron decided to do something of his own.

It would be the toughest movie shot in history. Cameron's adventure movie The Abyss. As we mentioned before The Abyss was based on a short story that Cameron wrote during a boring biology class. It features a great story, very difficult shots, and it had effects written that were almost impossible to accomplish. But Cameron did not get afraid, he insisted on the fact that he was able to do it. The movie was finally started, and it would be on this movie that Cameron would get a reputation as a dictator on set.

He pushed his crew to the extreme. So much that one day Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (the actress who played the lead female character) ran off the set screaming. Mastrantonio has also said that she was very impressed with Cameron when she first met him, becuase of his vision of what this film would look like, but during the production she had wanted to kill him at least a dozen times. The movie also set new standards for underwater shooting. The crew and Cameron had to design a lot of new gear. Cameron then went on to producing and ghost-writing the very successful surfer movie Point Break. It was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, whom Cameron married in 1991, the same year the movie came out.

In 1990 Cameron contacted his old friend the screenwriter Wiliam Wisher. He would like Wisher to help him write a sequel to the first Terminator movie. There had been talk for many years that The Terminator definitely needed a sequel, and Cameron was finally about to make it happen. The two friends sat down and wrote. Initially they came up with a huge script from which they cut about half the stuff, and then revised it several times. James Cameron contacted Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger and they both agreed to be in the se...

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