If not for Star Wars and the studies he’d already completed concerning film James Cameron might have remained a truck driver with ambitions towards making movies and little else. That’s pretty much the truth, watching Star Wars finally spurred him on towards making his own movies and with a couple of friends he embarked on the path that would take him the spot he currently sits at as one of the worlds most renowned and acclaimed directors. In fact he and his friends took apart an old camera just to see how it worked and spent a good deal of time trying to get it back together and running again so that they understood the dynamics of it and how to operate the thing.
It’s a little intense to hear of how people get their start sometimes, especially when you learn that they had a very different line of work before they became a big shot in their current industry. I get the feeling the driving truck was a way to pay the bills and not much else for Cameron since he’d already been studying film and the various special effects that could be used in a variety of movies. After all the bills have to be paid and one has to eat in order to keep moving forward to the dream that we all chase whether we know it or not.
He didn’t become a director right out of the gate however. Obviously that’s not how it works in the industry on a regular basis, which is a good thing since the role of director is one that takes a lot of sacrifice and requires a lot of hard work. Instead Cameron eventually became a production assistant, then a miniature model maker, then an art director, production designer, and even special effects director. His initial debut as a director didn’t come until the first director for Piranha II left because of creative differences, therefore giving Cameron his shot. He didn’t fare any better though and was fired from that position to become the editing assistant. It was around this time that he fell ill with food poisoning and had a dream that would eventually lead to the creation of The Terminator. From that point on things started to move forward and he started to take off.
Still, a lot of studios didn’t want to let an inexperienced director take the helm of his own movie idea. He found someone that would let him direct and from the moment the film was released he was on his way to the fame that had finally found him. If not for Star Wars and his love of film Cameron might have very well stayed right where he was and we would have been robbed of another visionary that has brought us so many great and epic films. It doesn’t matter that they’ve gone a bit off the rails in the current day, the originals are still what we came to love and without him they wouldn’t have happened.
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