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Credit: Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Interview exclusive: Hollywood legend James Cameron on his love of the deep ocean

8 August 2023 • Written by Stewart Campbell

James Cameron has dived the Titanic some 33 times, and remembers his first visit to the wreck vividly: "We were coming in tangentially to the bow and the first thing I saw was some mounded up bottom clay. It actually looked like it had been ploughed up. I understood what it was before the pilot did. I said, 'This is the bow. This is where it hit the bottom. Go forward very slowly and just rise up.' And there it was, right in front of us, this wall of steel, this big black wall."

The Canadian filmmaker, who is responsible for three of the five highest-grossing movies of all time, sat down for an extensive interview for the September issue of the magazine – and is also the subject of this week's Big BOAT Interview podcast.

Cameron produced a series for the National Geographic Channel, following a team of scientists aboard 87m OceanXplorer, owned by his friend Ray Dalio, whose OceanX foundation is devoted to researching the deep. OceanX deploys certified submersibles from US firm Triton Submarines.
Credit: Taj Howe

In the interview, he discusses his enduring love of the Titanic and why making billion-dollar movies helps pay the bills for his true love: deep sea exploration. "It's not doing the expeditions to facilitate better movie making, it's doing movie making to facilitate the science and exploration," he says.

Cameron also reveals the motivations behind his investment in Triton Submarines, explaining that his goal is to "go deeper, cheaper" and expose more people to the deep ocean. "We're looking at better lighting. How to do better cameras so we can record what's seen. Better battery systems, longer life."

Credit: Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Don't miss this exclusive interview with one of the world's best-known filmmakers and explorers and make sure you subscribe to the BOAT Briefing podcast for regular interviews and updates from the world of superyachting.

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