Film Director extraordinaire James Cameron is one of the world’s most intensely curious inhabitants. He has stretched the boundaries of film, imagination and now too science with his record shattering deep-sea dive 2 years ago, 7 miles into pitch darkness at the bottom of the ocean. He is one of the newer uber-wealthy who happily for the rest of us combine incredibly creative brainpower with financial resources to explore and innovate. And, thankfully, along the way, we get to watch the story unfold. Cameron partnered with National Geographic–and carried the flag of the venerable Explorers Club with him. The 3D film documenting the descent was released in August —probably in IMAX theatres. The Dive itself on March 26, 2012 is talked about here Dive into the famed Mariana Trench these links offer a glimpse into the exploration and resulting film. Deepsea Challenge 3D and more video/background here.
Oh, and what got me started: some fun facts from Wikipedia about his 1989 movie The Abyss stemmed from an idea that had come up during his high school biology class. The story of oil-rig workers who discover otherworldly underwater creatures became the basis of Cameron’s screenplay for The Abyss, which cast Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn. Initially budgeted at $41 million U.S. (though the production ran considerably over budget), it was considered to be one of the most expensive films of its time and required cutting-edge effects technology. Because much of the filming took place underwater and the technology wasn’t advanced enough to digitally create an underwater environment, Cameron chose to shoot much of the movie “reel-for-real”, at depths of up to 40 feet (12 m). For creation of the sets, the containment building of an unfinished nuclear power plant was converted, and two huge tanks were used. The main tank was filled with 7,500,000 US gallons (28,000,000 L) of water and the second with 2,500,000 US gallons (9,500,000 L). The cast and crew resided there for much of the filming.