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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Tuesday's Connector: James Cameron

April 15th, 2010
06:40 PM ET

He's one of the world's most famous movie directors - responsible for films such as "Titanic", "Avatar" and "Terminator" - not to mention that James Cameron has quite a few Academy Award's under his belt.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/15/cameron.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="James Cameron is your Connector of the Day."]

The Canadian film producer, director, writer, editor and even inventor has proven himself as one of the most successful filmmakers of all time - his movies have grossed nearly six billion dollars worldwide.

While today, Cameron may be known for his spectacular movies complete with amazing special effects, his first few films were anything but special.

He began making low-budget horror sci-fi films and was part of a team that created lesser known films such as "Battle Beyond on the Stars", "Galaxy of Terror" and "Piranha".

However, his involvement in those films helped him develop the ability to create science fiction on film and it was his first big movie "The Terminator" that threw him into worldwide stardom.

Cameron's following films were all big hits and his 1997 blockbuster "Titanic" earned more than $1.8 billion dollars worldwide.

His last film, "Avatar" was an even bigger success than "Titanic" and it is currently the highest grossing movie of all time.

Today though, Cameron is fighting a different kind of battle.

Drawing parallels to his movie "Avatar", Cameron is opposed to the construction of a large hydraulic dam in the Amazon and has been fighting its construction for months.

Please leave your comments below.

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. hema666

    i want to ask mr james:

    could Avatar be better than this or it is perfect ???

    what do u think about the future of the 3 D movies ???

    how many years take Avatar to be done???

    what is your next project ???

    could u word again with leonado dicaprio and kate winslet???

    this is from egypt...

    April 15, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  2. Martin Pluta

    Dear Mister Cameron,

    I would kindly like to ask, if you believe that hollywood and the film industry could contribute more to the discussion about recent environmental developements and problems?

    If so, how could this be achieved and what would you personally like to draw the attention to?

    With best regards from Berlin, Germany

    Martin Pluta

    April 15, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  3. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello James Francis Cameron and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from James Francis Cameron to the following questions:
    – What is your opinion on the Brazilian policy on the Amazon?
    – What needs to be done to Connect All the people living in the Amazon with the rest of the world?
    – What has triggered you to create your latest movie called " Avatar"?
    – What future project can we expect from you?
    – How are you inspiring people all over the world to make our world a Better Healthier and Beautiful Place?

    I am awaiting James Francis Cameron’s replies.

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname
    Latin-American

    April 16, 2010 at 3:52 am | Reply
  4. Milanda v. Münchhausen

    What is Your favorite for South Africae WCS 2010 (Fußball-Weltmeisterschaften 2010)?

    And why the eye-colour in the film titanic was changed during the film?
    I saw one time green ... later blue or something like this.
    Your (in Hamburg) arranged exhibition for the victims of the titanic thing was amazing.

    Kind regards from Germany,

    April 16, 2010 at 10:12 am | Reply
  5. Christian

    Hey Mr Cameron
    I wanted to ask if without the dam, would brazil still acheive a higher standard of living?
    I also wanted to ask if theres a story behind avatar relating to a real life experience?
    And is there a sequel to avatar where jake creates a civilized tribe among the Na'Vis or would it be a prequel or a totally different story?

    From the Unique islands of Seychelles
    -Christian Moise

    April 16, 2010 at 11:02 am | Reply
  6. Tamas Horvath

    What do you think of the idea of the Amazon being an area that wouldn't belong to any cuntry (much like the Antarctic.) Dont you think that the current system of countries ruling over important assetts like the Amazon will be sustainable in the future?

    After all this area is an asset of the plane, the lung of Planet Earth.

    As for the damn, (referring to some comments above) I would not think that establishing the Damn would increase the standard of Living in Brasil. But would be interesting to hear your idea what the International Community could offer Brasil in return for not building the damn.

    April 16, 2010 at 11:55 am | Reply
  7. oyeka

    i want to know more aobut you and your movies

    April 16, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  8. jeroen ten berge

    Dear mr Cameron,

    I find your movies fantastic and very entertaining – thank you for hours of entertainment. My favorite would still be a either 'Aliens' or 'The Abyss', depending the mood.

    All your movies have a strong special effect/CGI component, with 'AVATAR' becoming even reliant on CGI (not complaining!). Would you consider making a movie that steps back from cutting edge technology, a more intimate one, a movie that isn't necessarily targeted at big box office returns? One that takes actors to their cutting edge, instead of computers? A movie like 'The Road', that in my opinion should have received much higher praise and should have done better at the box office.

    Warmest regards,

    Jeroen ten Berge
    Wellington, New Zealand

    April 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  9. Bruce Lyons

    First of all congratulations on the magnificent, quite profound influence that Avatar has had on the collective heart and mind of mankind.

    Do you feel mostly positive about the current paradigm shift that is transforming the planet? Do you think we can master the balance between individual privilege and the need to share resources across the complete demographic?

    Avatar captures a holism that unites physical with psychic but in the context of a quite ruthless conflict on several levels. Do you think we can collectively master those conflicts in the interest of the Earth's overall health or do you feel the ruthlessness will be too strong, too deep?

    April 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  10. Bruce

    Can I get a refund for Titantic? I took a date, two drinks and popcorn...$20 bucks or so back then but I feel after sitting through that for a little nudity and not much else I should get some kind of comp for those nearly three hours lost...How about a gift certificate to blockbuster? That way I can only blame myself if I don't like the pic?

    April 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  11. Amiru

    Hello,Mr Cameron i wanted to know what is the first movie you directed,and have you ever appeared in any movie?

    April 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  12. Amiru

    Hello,Mr Cameroon i wanted to know which movie you love the most amongs the movies you directed. Amiru from Birnin kebbi,Nigeria.

    April 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  13. Dr.N

    First of all I am from 3rd World country and I should not be a science fiction movie fan where hunger and death are all the time around me! But My Respected James Cameron, I since long time watching your movies and you are the really man of vision and ingenuity, I have 1000 of ideas like yours movie made in, but in this part of world no body cares what i am dreaming and thinking of? My Question is, is there anyway in USA you Join politics and become the President of United States of America and TRY YOUR BEST TO CREATE OF FUTURE IN PRESENT AND REAL TIME AS THE PRESIDNE OF USA...Please I request you the man like you should be the president of USA not Junkies of speaking highly of themselves but they are doing nothing for public and science advancement as it should be, according to my point of view you are 1000 years ahead in time and you can make whole world PARADISE if you become President of USA, if you do not know how to be, let me know I have full plan for you to make you PRESIDENT OF USA AND THE WHOLE WORLD YOU SHOULD RULE WITH YOUR ADVANCE IDEAS and create one-World for humanity...and finally help will come to me one day, otherwise take me away from this 3RD World and let me help you to do something in real for the greatness of humanity
    GOD BLESS YOU MR. CAMERON AND YOUR WHOLE FAMILY AND USA this country exploiting us in 3rd world countries but same time giving us many advance things and people like, you so I should say GOD BLESS YOU AMERICA even though today my pathetic situation is because of your country...
    take care and keep it up
    Dr. N

    April 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  14. Keira

    Greetings all!

    My question is, have you considered taking a 'risk' making a film that's a complete 180 from your previews films - perhaps a comedy? Or would you rather continue w/ the sci-fi/action genre that you know so well?

    Thanks guys,

    Keira
    NY

    April 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  15. Nestor Irias

    Hello Mr. Cameron

    You have been responsible of the creation of such memorable characters, like The terminator, also you have been responsible of my obsession with the Alien creature, after you directed that magnificent and perfect sequel “Aliens”.
    You have been responsible of groundbreaking technical’s advances in the filmmaking industry, such as The CGI in the Abyss, The 3D revolution with AVATAR.
    My question is… and I’m Sure you have been ask this so many times!

    How do you feel when other directors take your characters like Terminator, or continue franchise like Alien and go in a very different direction, and in the end the final product is less than mediocre. Like Alien 3, resurrection, Terminator Salvation, etc.
    Have you sometimes feels the need of taking control of this franchises an try to fix all the bad things that has been done with them?

    P.S. I’m from Honduras Central America, We have the most beautiful rainy forest, tropical forests and coral reef of the world , we hope someday you can visit us, we are nice and humble people , we won’t disturb you at all 😉

    Regards

    April 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  16. Nestor Irias

    I have another one!

    Will you work again with Michael Biehn? maybe in Avatar 2
    he died on Terminator
    He died in the Abyss
    And he was killed on Alien 3 "not by you"
    So please let him live in your next movie

    Thanks
    Nestor Irias
    from Honduras Central America

    April 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  17. David kimani

    Hello Sir am David from Africa,hope u pasonaly get 2read this mail,av had this dream of one day getting 2 work with such a great director,av been a very good and gifted actor since high school am now working with the Kenya National Theatre,all am asking is if u can give me a chance 2 work work with u or atleast link me to a producer or director u may know plz help i will be waiting to hear from you thank u.

    April 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  18. Josh Arcadia

    I want to ask James Cameron:

    – How he describes his creativity or which are the base elements of his artworks?

    Josh Arcadia
    Brazil

    April 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  19. Ricardo

    Mr Cameron,

    Your birth country Canada has devastated its rain and boreal forests for profit. If the Amazon was in under Canada stewardship or any other North American or European country it would have been wiped out a long time ago and its native population decimated and its children sent to reform schools. Why do you feel the priority is to focus on the Amazon as opposed to lobby to reconstitute native forests in North America and Europe and in other parts of the world to the level of the Amazon? Is your link with the Amazon cause that Brazilians take very seriously a PR move to promote your future movie projects?

    April 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  20. Jesse James

    Mr. Cameron,

    Do you think that the 3-D revolution will take away from the type of dramatic films Hollywood once produced? In effect limiting the type of films that are released?

    April 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  21. Tom

    Hello Mr. Cameron,

    How were you inform about the construction of a large hydraulic dam in the Amazon? I thought it was amazing how you went down there to
    fight for this. I am moving down to Brazil (Sao Paulo) next month and would like to help you with this.

    Tom McDonnell
    Pennsylvania

    April 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  22. Chris Pool

    i think the moive was stupid

    April 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  23. Chris Pool

    Hey James,

    that movie was truly dumb and BORING! No.. im just kidding, it was a really good one, even though ive never seen it. i bet it sucks. hahaha

    April 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  24. Peter Wasmuth

    When will you produce a movie about the sinking of the Bismarck/Hood?
    Don't wait for Wolfgang Petersen to do it! You are better prepared!
    A lot of people already saw your fantastic documentary about the Bismarck.

    April 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  25. Dheeru verma

    Hello sir,
    My self dheeru verma frm india ,i loved all ur movies & Admire a lot u as a director . got some movie ideas with me to begun with .
    need to get in touch with u, so will carry on with that

    Details
    http://twitter.com/dheeruverma
    dheer21ind@gmail.com

    April 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  26. Robert

    Mr. Cameron,

    How would you define your secret for success?

    Thank you,

    Robert

    April 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  27. Jacob

    Hi Mr. Cameron I think Avatar is a master stroke just wondering whats your general philisophy on life that has guided you to your current success?

    April 16, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  28. Christain babatunde

    Mr james, i love all ur movies but i have'nt watch Avatar. i know it would be interesting.Make ur money man.

    April 16, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Reply
  29. Lynn

    Dear James,
    When you dream of and produce your films do you ever incorporate
    aspects of your faith into the films and what does that look like?

    Kampala Uganda

    April 16, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  30. Emmanuel

    Mr james f cameron i'll like to commend u on what u achieved by making 'AVATAR' a reality.
    1. I want to really know if avatar took up to 4yrs to be finished.
    2.i also want to know ur next piece of work i.e.name and release date,Emmanuel from,Nigeria.
    Tanx for ur time mr cameron.

    April 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  31. Jonathan

    After all impact in the wold of cinema where do you see yourself in the next 10 years

    April 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  32. FREDERIC STRAUSS

    My question to Mr Cameron : Avatar shows that seeing/watching is still the ultimate magic today, and that the experience of being a spectator in a movie theater can still be incredibly strong. The whole film celebrates the magic of the vision with the words "I see you" turned into a universal langage of love. Could this be the first message you wanted to send us, or just express for yourself, as a statement of faith : in the world of today, where people are used to watch images on all kind of devices, it's good to come back to the real power of the eye and understand that we are, in fact, not blasé at all with it ?
    Thank you for the beautiful proof of it.
    Frederic Strauss, Paris

    April 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  33. Timmy

    Is terminator ur best?

    April 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  34. Poetlucas

    Kudos your movie Avatar in Nigeria is more popular to most of our Nollywood home videos keep up the good work!

    April 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  35. Jeremy Francis

    James, I met you when you came to direct a movie in Jamaica several years ago. The movie was Piranha 2 -The Spawning. This film had some interesting special effects relating to a special breed of flying Piranhas which were featured in the film. Did your experience on this film have any bearing on where your career is today, considering also that you were uncannily fired from the film?

    April 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  36. futureinvestor

    Thank you for taking the time to visit CNN. Please, could you share your views on the Box-Office Futures Market?

    April 16, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  37. Lou Gold

    Olá James Cameron,

    Thank you for helping make Avatar real with your stand on the Belo Monte dam. I'm grateful for the delay just won. May little by little add up to something big like a global Avatar movement that you have already started.

    I hear that you are collecting information for Avatar 2. Do you know about terra preta de Índios? The ancient Indians of the Amazon developed a special soil to support and feed millions.

    Today, terra preta-like soil is called biochar and it promises to grow more food, slow deforestation, capture and sequester carbon, generate energy and filter run-off water. This win-win-win black gold derives from indigenous wisdom and one group that practices it still today are the Kayapo from the area you seek to protect.

    AVATAR2.0 could be the story of how a native people use ancient wisdom of to lead modern civilization back from the brink of disaster by demonstrating an earth healing and renewing agriculture, thus saving the forest, indigenous cultures and all of us.

    Instead of the romance of native people achieving a military defeat over the juggernaut of modern civilization, Avatar 2.0 might tell of how this earth wisdom saved everyone.

    What do you think of the concept?

    April 17, 2010 at 12:21 am | Reply
  38. Rebecca

    Do you believe that indigenous peoples deserve to have the same rights as citizens of the country they live within. And if so, how do you think these groups should go about to get their rights?

    April 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  39. Alike opaye

    I'd be very happy if you could make more movies to deal with the changes of the world .example the climate change situation .and why is it so hard to get stories to movie production houses .i've some nice stories but it looks like no one's intrested in them.greetings from ghana.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  40. Sil

    Good evening everyone!
    We really must be aproaching the end of the world.
    Where, How and since when a man like James and others can come and speak for an entire nation?
    I think he and others should stick to what they know and stop talking about Brazil.
    Please leave Brazil and Brazilians alone. Believe me, we don't need people coming to our country to say what we should or shouldn't do. Mr Cameron should turn himself to problems in his own country.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Reply

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