James Cameron Quotes

1. I mean, you have to be able - you have to have made the commitment within yourself to do whatever it takes to get the job done and to try to inspire other people to do it, because obviously the first rule is you can't do it by yourself.

2. Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you're a director. Everything after that you're just negotiating your budget and your fee.

3. I like the evening in India, the one magic moment when the sun balances on the rim of the world, and the hush descends, and ten thousand civil servants drift homeward on a river of bicycles, brooding on the Lord Krishna and the cost of living.

4. I love short trips to New York; to me it is the finest three-day town on earth.

5. I had read tons of science fiction. I was fascinated by other worlds, other environments. For me, it was fantasy, but it was not fantasy in the sense of pure escapism.

6. The film industry is about saying "no" to people, and inherently you cannot take "no" for an answer.

7. I actually started as a model builder and quickly progressed into production design, which made sense because I could draw and paint. But I kept watching that guy over there who was moving the actors around and setting up the shots.

8. There are many talented people who haven't fulfilled their dreams because they over thought it, or they were too cautious, and were unwilling to make the leap of faith.

9. I blame it on Walt Disney, where animals are given human qualities. People don't understand that a wild animal is not something that is nice to pat. It can seriously harm you.

10. I certainly didn't think of myself as gifted. The standards for being gifted in my environment were if you were good in Little League or if you were good in football.

11. I had pictured myself as a filmmaker but I had never pictured myself as a director if that makes any sense at all.

12. I do an awful lot of scuba diving. I love to be on the ocean, under the ocean. I live next to the ocean.

13. I lived in a small town. It was 2,000 people in Canada. A little river that went through it and we swam in the - you know, there was a lot of water around. Niagara Falls was about four or five miles away.

14. I watched a couple of really bad directors work, and I saw how they completely botched it up and missed the visual opportunities of the scene when we had put things in front of them as opportunities. Set pieces, props and so on.

15. I was always fascinated by engineering. Maybe it was an attempt maybe to get my father's respect or interest, or maybe it was just a genetic love of technology, but I was always trying to build things.

16. If you wait until the right time to have a child you'll die childless, and I think film making is very much the same thing. You just have to take the plunge and just start shooting something even if it's bad.

17. It'll be all of our efforts together. It won't ever be exactly the way I imagined it. And that is, I think, an important lesson as well, is that in any group enterprise it's going to be the sum total of the group.

18. It took me a long time to realize that you have to have a bit of an interlanguage with actors. You have to give them something that they can act with.

19. My mother was a housewife but she was also an artist. My father was an electrical engineer.

20. The films that influenced me were so disparate that there's almost no pattern.

21. The magic doesn't come from within the director's mind, it comes from within the hearts of the actors.

22. So much of literary sci-fi is about creating worlds that are rich and detailed and make sense at a social level. We'll create a world for people and then later present a narrative in that world.

23. There is a hugely underserved population out there... those who are the least capable of paying pay the highest.

24. What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?

25. You have to not listen to the nay sayers because there will be many and often they'll be much more qualified than you and cause you to sort of doubt yourself.

26. You know, in the film making business no one ever gives you anything.

27. People call me a perfectionist, but I'm not. I'm a rightist. I do something until it's right, and then I move on to the next thing.

28. I was petrified at the start of Terminator. First of all, I was working with a star, at least I thought of him as a star at the time. Arnold came out of it even more a star.

29. A director's job is to make something happen and it doesn't happen by itself. So you wheedle, you cajole, you flatter people, you tell them what needs to be done. And if you don't bring a passion and an intensity to it, you shouldn't be doing it.

30. If I never touch film again, I'd be happy. Filmmaking is not about film, not about sprockets. It's about ideas, it's about images, it's about imagination, it's about storytelling. If I had the cameras I'm using now when I was shooting Titanic (1997), I would have shot it using them. (on using newly developed 3D cameras, and traditional film)

31. As much as I love Star Wars (1977) and as much as it's really revolutionized the imaging business, it went off the rails in the sense that science fiction, historically, was a science fiction of ideas. It was thematic fiction. It stopped being that and became just pure eye candy and pure entertainment. And I miss that. With Battle Angel (2007) I'm going to flirt with that darker, dystopian message as much as I can, without making it an art film.

32. We had to cut scenes I was in love with in order to save money. (About dropping several sequences from the finished film of the Terminator)

33. I guess Titanic because it made the most money. No, I'm kidding. I don't really have a favorite. Maybe Terminator because that was the film that was the first one back when I was essentially a truck driver. (about his favorite movie he directed)

34. That was the purest experience, even though it was the cheapest one and the cheesiest looking one. (about "The Terminator" - 1984)

35. I don't look at scripts. I just write them.

36. Of the three that we're planning, it's a question of the order, one's historical and two are science fiction. None are ocean. (about his future projects)

37. With digital 3D projection, we will be entering a new age of cinema. Audiences will be seeing something which was never technically possible before the age of digital cinema - a stunning visual experience which "turbocharges" the viewing of the biggest, must-see movies. The biggest action, visual effects and fantasy movies will soon be shot in 3D. And all-CG animated films can easily be converted to 3D, without additional cost if it is done as they are made. Soon audiences will associate 3D with the highest level of visual content in the market, and seek out that premium experience. (On the future of 3D)

38. The only compelling reason for me to have done that film was a sense of pride of authorship. Well, dammit, I did the first one and I did the second one and it's my creation and I should do the third one. But ultimately, that's a stupid reason to spend a year, year and a half of your life in hell to make a big movie. I'd rather spend a year of my life in hell to make something new, which is what I will be doing. (about his reason to decline Terminator 3)

39. I haven't paid for lunch in two weeks. (When he was the new hot screenwriter in the mid-1980s)

40. I would see these images of a metallic death figure rising Phoenix-like out of fire, I woke up and grabbed a pencil and paper and started writing. When I originally got the idea for Terminator, I was sick, I was broke, I was in Rome, I had no way to get home and I could barely speak the language. I was surrounded by people I could not get help from. I felt very alienated and so it was very easy for me to imagine a machine with a gun. At the point of the greatest alienation in my life, it was easy to create the character. (on how he came up with the idea of "The Terminator")

41. I wanted someone who was extremely fast and agile. If the T-800 is a human Panzer tank, then the T-1000 is a Porsche. (on Robert Patrick's casting as the T-1000 in "Terminator 2: Judgement Day")

42. So, Spider-Man was obviously good casting for him (Sam Raimi). I mean, he was good casting to do Spider-Man. Would I have done it differently? Yeah, absolutely. It would've been a very different film, but that's the film you've never seen. I've seen it. (on Sam Raimi's Spiderman)

43. It was good training to think spatially and to think in terms of story boarding and so on. So I was already a filmmaker but I hadn't realized it yet.

44. We had been dragged across a cheese grater, face down, for two solid years, and we thought we had the biggest money-losing film in history. Then we had our first preview screening in Minneapolis, and there was a woman sitting behind me - I had no idea who she was: a Minneapolis housewife, maybe - who narrated the entire film. She was like a Pez dispenser: everything just popped out of her mouth. I just kind of leant my chair back so I could hear what she was saying. I remember distinctly the moment when Jack and Rose are shaking hands when they are about to part, and Rose is saying: "You're very presumptuous," and the woman sitting behind me is saying: "Yes, but you're not letting go of his hand, are you?" That was the moment when I knew the movie was communicating exactly the way it was meant to. (When interviewer asks if he thought he had a hit on his hands)

45. I've always enjoyed it when it was John Woo in his Hong Kong days like Hard Boiled, but I think it's overused now. (on Hong Kong film making styles)

46. You can read all the books about film-making, all the articles in American Cinematographer and that sort of thing, but you have to really see how it works on a day-to-day basis, and how to pace your energy so that you can survive the film, which was a lesson that took me a long time to learn.

47. I like her very much. She's just a natural. Not too exotic. Very hard-nosed, intelligent. And flawed too, in the sense she is flawed by emotion. People root for her in "Alien" because she's so often coming up with the logical solution to some problem and then it just won't work. (on Sigourney Weaver)

48. It just never really gelled and then the September 11th attacks happened and the idea of a domestic comedy adventure film about an anti-terrorism unit just didn't seem all that funny to me anymore. (about his reason to decline True Lies 2)

49. I went from driving a truck to becoming a movie director, with a little time working with Roger Corman in between. When I wrote The Terminator, I sold the rights at that time - that was my shot to get the film made. So I've never owned the rights in the time that the franchise has been developed. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to direct the second film and do so on my own creative terms, which was good. But that was in 1991 and I've felt like it was time to move on. The primary reason for making a third one was financial, and that didn't strike me as organic enough a reason to be making a film. 

50. So, what I said was: "If they come up with a decent script that you (Arnold Schwarzenegger) like and you think you can play, do something cool, and they pay you an awful lot of money, you should just go do it. Don't feel like you're betraying me or anything else". (about his view on Arnold Schwarzenegger for doing Terminator 3)

51. They were extremely hesitant about going over $4 million. We convinced them this movie could not be made for less than $6 million, especially with Arnold Schwarzenegger starring, because he commanded a significant salary; the final shooting budget was actually $6.5 million. (About the budget for the original Terminator)

52. It's fun to fantasize being a guy who can do whatever he wants. This Terminator guy is indestructible. He can be as rude as he wants. He can walk through a door, go through a plate-glass window and just get up, brush off impacts from bullets. It's like the dark side of Superman, in a sense. I think it has a great cathartic value to people who wish they could just splinter open the door to their boss's office, walk in, break his desk in half, grab him by the throat and throw him out the window and get away with it. Everybody has that little demon that wants to be able to do whatever it wants, the bad kid that never gets punished. (Talking about the appeal of the Terminator)

53. Well, I see our potential destruction and the potential salvation as human beings coming from technology and how we use it, how we master it and how we prevent it from mastering us. Titanic was as much about that theme as the Terminator films, and in Aliens, it's the reliance on technology that defeats the marines, but it's technology being used properly that allows Sigourney's character to prevail at the end. And Titanic is all about technology, metaphorically as well as on a literal level, because the world was being transformed by the technology at that time. And people were rescued from the Titanic because of wireless technology, and because of the advances that had been made only in the year or so before the ship sank that allowed them to call for help when they were lost at sea in the middle of the North Atlantic. So I think it's an interesting theme, one that's always been fascinating for me...

54. I've sworn off agnosticism, which I now call cowardly atheism. I've come to the position that in the complete absence of any supporting data whatsover for the persistence of the individual in some spiritual form, it is necessary to operate under the provisional conclusion that there is no afterlife and then be ready to amend that if I find out otherwise.

55. Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own. Imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality.

56. Failure is an option, fear is not.

57. Ιf you set your goals ridiculously high and its a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success.

58. I love it when I have a nightmare to me that means I got my money's worth out of that eight hours.

59. I tend to like strong female characters. It just interests me dramatically. A strong male character isn't interesting because it has been done and it's so cliched. A weak male character is interesting: somebody else hasn't done it a hundred times. A strong female character is still interesting to me because it hasn't been done all that much, finding the balance of femininity and strength. (From a 1986 Fangoria interview)

60. When I watch the film now they look like such babies. I sat with Leo in Sydney not long ago and I showed him 18 minutes we had converted. He just couldn't stop laughing at himself as kind of a kid. (saying Leonardo DiCaprio looked like a baby in the movie when they watched the Titanic 3D)

61. Ryan Seacrest told me I had to get on Twitter. So here I am. First tweet. I feel younger already.

62. I never tweeted before because I'm a long winded blowhard, and they don't allow enough characters.

63. The only thing to me that has any kind of franchise life to it at this point is Avatar. With Titanic we are going back and doing it in 3D, which is a little bit of a creative revision of history. We’re not going to add anything to it, its just going to be exactly the cut but it’ll be in 3D so it will be a different experience. But the other stuff I don’t feel the need. I had a choice when I was finishing Titanic to do another Terminator film and it just didn’t feel right. So I’ve moved on from that.

64. What I'd love to do is put together some kind of a forum with the DGA (Directors Guild of America), let's say, and maybe the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) and we'd have to do it in Canada, too. I think some quality standards do need to be discussed. I think the studios and big distribution companies need to be included in that dialogue. Let's not do stupid stuff that's going to hurt this burgeoning marketplace. (slamming the decision to put 3d effects to Clash of the Titans movie)

65. They worked against themselves with that film. I've heard people say that they couldn't watch (Clash of the Titans) in 3D and thought it looked better in 2D and they enjoyed the film more. I haven't seen the film, so I don't want to say too much, but I heard from enough sources that it was borderline unwatchable. And I have to say, I predicted that. When they said they were going to try to convert it to 3D in seven weeks, I said it's not possible. You can't do it. You can slap a 3D label on it and call it 3D, but there's no possible way that it can be done up to a standard that anybody would consider high enough.

66. Glenn Beck is a f*****g a**hole. I've met him. He called me the anti-Christ and not about "Avatar." He hadn't even seen "Avatar" yet. I don't know if he has seen it.

67. I think, you know what, he may or may not be an a**hole, but he certainly is dangerous, and I'd love to have a dialog with him. (calling Glenn Beck a raving madman)

68. I couldn't believe when he was on CNN. I thought, what happened to CNN? Who is this guy? Who is this madman? And then of course he wound up on Fox News, which is where he belongs, I guess. (calling Glenn Beck a raving madman)

69. He's driven to personal excellence as he defines it, not as everyone else defines it. He doesn't make the distinctions that other actors make, as in: "I'll do this one for the money, then this little indie movie for the art." Sam does them all for the art. That's a very distinct difference between him and other actors. (on Sam Worthington)

70. I wrote a speech, I'm ready but if we don't win, that's cool too. (on his Oscar speech)

71. We made three times what we thought the movie could make. Three seems to be the number because everybody keeps coming up to me and saying: "I saw the movie three times".

72. I think that while this has been a great season for Avatar financially, I think critically it's probably going to lean more towards The Hurt Locker at the Academy Awards. That's fine. That's cool too. I can't lose unless it leads to one of the other films.

73. In that case I'll probably be a little bit more disappointed but as long as it's either Hurt Locker or Avatar then I'll be happy.

74. The Oscars are a celebration of movies...even the gaffes and out of bounds stuff are all part of the fun.

75. The two best picture nominees that are 3D films, for some reason nobody's talking about that but it's a huge moment for the acceptance of 3D. It's not just relegated to a genre ghetto which it has been historically. Originally it was relegated to cheap horror films. Then in the last few years there have been some very fine animated films in 3D but now we're beyond that to talking about it as something that could be just equitably best picture. I think that's profound. I think it really is a watershed moment. Whether Up wins or whether Avatar wins or whether either wins, it doesn't matter because we're in that group for the first time.

76. Showing Avatar to the troops was truly an once-in-a-lifetime experience. To do something for the men and women who serve our country was a great privilege.

77. It's an irresistible opportunity for the Academy to anoint a female director for the first time... That is a very, very strong probability, and I will be cheering when that happens because I've worked with Kathryn over the years and have been a huge proponent of her as the genius director that she is... For me, it's a win-win deal. (tipping Kathryn Bigelow for an Oscar)

78. I've already got my statues. I don't feel greedy or needy at all, but it does sweep you up in its.

79. People confuse what we have done with animation.

80. It's nothing like animation. The creator here is the actor, not the unseen hand of an animator.

81. It's about human imagination and curiosity. What's out there? What's in the great beyond? What exists at levels we can't see with our five senses?

What do you think of James Cameron's quotes?

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