James Cameron quotes

James Cameron

Canadian filmmaker, inventor, engineer, philanthropist, and deep-sea explorer


The Art of Art

If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success.  >>>

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.

Inspiration can hit you in the head at any time in any context. It could happen in a conversation. Talking to someone at a party, you can get an idea. But you've got to remember those inspirations.

Nature's imagination is so boundless compared to our own meager human imagination.

To convince people to back your idea, you've got to sell it to yourself and know when it's the moment. Sometimes that means waiting. It's like surfing. You don't create energy, you just harvest energy already out there.

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.

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

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.

Cameron's Approach

I'm a storyteller; that's what exploration really is all about. Going to places where others haven't been and returning to tell a story they haven't heard before.


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

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

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.

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.

I feed on other people's creativity, photographers, artists of every kind. Sometimes a feeling that you get listening to a song can be so powerful. I've wanted to write whole scripts around what I felt just listening to a piece of music. I think music is important, and surrounding your visual field with stimulating things.

I try to live with honor, even if it costs me millions of dollars and takes a long time. It's very unusual in Hollywood. Few people are trustworthy - a handshake means nothing to them. They feel they're required to keep an agreement with you only if you're successful or they need you.

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.