The Unsinkable Director

James Cameron continues to impress the world movie after movie.

National Geographic

James Cameron continues to impress the world movie after movie.

Faith DeSio, Photojournalist

James Cameron has done it again—making another spectacular movie that was an instant box office hit. Thirteen years after his first Avatar became the highest-grossing film of all time, many doubted that its late follow-up would have anywhere near the cultural impact that it once had. Somehow, Cameron seems to have captured lightning in a bottle, again. 


Cameron has always had an interest in filmmaking, since his early college years when he took action on his passion. “After leaving college early he picked up a number of odd jobs including truck driving and becoming a janitor as he studied special effects in filmmaking in his spare time. Once he finished studying special effects he managed to get his first short film Xenogenesis funded by a consortium of dentists. This is how he learned how to write, produce, and direct a film in order to get it completed” (IFILMTHINGS). From here, he was able to continue pursuing his passion and worked hard on small projects, and eventually larger ones as well. 


Cameron’s progression eventually culminated with him writing, directing, and co-producing the 1997 film, Titanic. This film was unlike any other at the time. Cameron’s special effects, budget, and overall attention to detail made this film such a success. This was good, because Titanic cost over $200 million USD to create, making it one of the most expensive films ever made. This movie pushed Cameron even further into the spotlight, and opened up the necessary opportunities to make his true passion project.


On December 18th, 2009 Avatar was released into theaters and took the world by storm. This movie was revolutionary to say the least. The impact that this film had on the world was crazy! People were astonished and awestruck by the high quality CGI effects, and it single-handedly pushed 3D film into the mainstream (although the technology was not able to retain its prominence without Avatar’s continued presence). This film set the bar high for movies coming out after it and the world to new methods of cinematography. 


On December 16th, 2022 Avatar: The Way of Water had its cinematic debut. The dormant fan base showed up seemingly out of nowhere for the sequel film. Fans could not be happier with the film. After waiting 13 years for the next installment of the franchise, the overall consensus was that t it not only lived up to expectations but actually exceeded the work of the previous film. One student, Natasha El-Maissi (11), says “I thought the movie was very very good. I am excited for the next one!” With filming for the next installment being done simultaneously with The Way of Water, and even some filming for the fourth installment completed, fans won’t have to wait another decade to see what happens next with their favorite blue aliens.