Visionary director James Cameron (Avatar) came from humble beginnings and worked a string of blue-collar jobs before eventually making a foray into the world of cinema. To celebrate his 59th birthday, here’s a video interview with Cameron in which he talks about those formative experiences during his early career and reveals just where his inspiration comes from. From painting posters in a small apartment, to working his way up to second-unit director for Roger Corman, to finally seeing his teenage dreams realized on screen in his own big-budget productions. Cameron also shows off artwork from 1976 that clearly leads to the blue-skinned Na’vi from Avatar, plus looks at concept art from Terminator and even a rare drawing from Titanic (you know the one). Hit the jump to see the images and watch a video interview with Cameron.
Thanks to Movies.com for bringing this retrospective look to our attention. Here’s just a bit of Cameron’s commentary on the early stages of his career:
“I used to paint posters for Z-grade movies, and the way I would paint them was that I had a little apartment in Tarzana, California, and I would paint on the back of the bathroom door. And when I wanted to check if the perspective was right in the painting, I would turn the door and look at it in the bathroom mirror. I would see the painting’s mirror image, and I would immediately see the flaws.”
“This [painting] is going back to 1976 I think, and this was for a film project that never went anywhere. The thing that’s interesting about it is that I’ve already got a tall, hot blue girl in that movie. Her name wasn’t Neytiri and it was in a completely different context, but I was already thinking about it then.”
Watch a video in which Cameron talks about his early career, inspiration for his films and how he got started as a director (via Oprah.com):