The movie Titanic was almost a disaster in itself, with budget and production issues, cast and crew sickness and more. Fortunately, this has stayed the course.
James cameron Titanic is arguably one of the most iconic films ever made. Even to this day, it has remained a gem of pop culture, with plenty of references, memes, and a genuine admiration for the film emerging all the time.
But despite his obvious box office accomplishments (which would only be beaten by Cameron Avatar later) and the praise of critics, the price for such a success was not so cheap. Cameron and his team had to go through many trials to make Titanic the great movie it is.
ten Cameron’s reputation was cemented
Before going into the details, it should first of all be mentioned that Titanic was THE movie that cemented Cameron’s reputation as “Hollywood’s Scariest Man”, partly because of his supposed need for perfectionism and partly because of his supposedly demanding and uncompromising nature.
Just watching the pre-production (when he went underwater to film the actual wreck of the “Titanic” and then had an almost identical model of the ship built for the filming) already shows just how much Cameron wanted to put in the movie, no matter the cost.
9 They were poisoned by the soup
The film features underwater footage of the actual wreckage of the “Titanic” that Cameron filmed while on board the “Akademik Mstislav Keldysh”. Interestingly, when he was shooting these scenes he and the crew were poisoned in Canada.
An angry crew member put the dissociative drug PCP in soup, which was eaten by Cameron and the other crew members in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. More than 50 people were taken to hospital, while Cameron managed to vomit before the drug had a full effect on him. The manager has never been arrested.
8 Critics have found anachronisms
With a movie set in a particular historical period, it is important that the characters behave correctly. This is why the actors – even the extras – were trained by a full-time etiquette trainer so that they knew the manners of upper-class gentility in 1912.
And yet, careful critics have still managed to find anachronisms – even those of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet themselves.
7 Kate Winslet suffered … a lot
Looking at Titanic, it’s not hard to imagine how difficult the filming was, judging by all of the complicated shots in the movie. But there was one person in particular who suffered a lot: lead actress Kate Winslet.
Winslet chipped a bone in her elbow and feared she might drown as they filmed the sinking ship in a 17m gallon tank. As she later admitted, she was afraid of Cameron. Could it be that she was more afraid of him than drowning?
6 Leonardo DiCaprio needed a helping hand
In one of the film’s most iconic scenes, DiCaprio’s character, Jack, draws Winslet’s character, Rose, fully nude, safe for the Heart of the Ocean diamond she wears.
DiCaprio, however, is not a very good artist and needed a helping hand. The sketch itself was created by Cameron, who is an accomplished illustrator. His hand is also that of the blow. That being said, since DiCaprio is right-handed and Cameron is left-handed, the shot had to be reflected in post-production.
5 Everyone is sick
Winslet wasn’t the only one whose health was in danger (though she was certainly the one suffering the most).
The shoot itself was extended from 138 days to 160 days and during filming many of the cast fell ill with colds, flu, and kidney infections from spending hours in cold water. . Winslet was no exception and also fell ill.
4 The crew began to leave
While the cast members fell ill, the team members did not get any better. In fact, many of them started quitting along the way. Several people left the production, which was probably, at least in part, because of the filming conditions and Cameron’s purported nature of control. Three stuntmen even broke bones.
3 “My heart will continue” was almost not in the movie
Composer James Horner did a really great job with the score. For the voices heard throughout the film, he hired Norwegian singer Sissel. But Celine Dion’s most iconic song of all, “My Heart Will Go On”, was almost not in the movie.
Cameron didn’t want vocals to be in the movie, so Horner wrote the song with Will Jennings in secret. Celine Dion was then persuaded by her husband to record a demo, and Horner waited until the right moment to present it to Cameron. The director listened to it several times and agreed to use it.
2 The producers started to panic
While it was relatively easy for Cameron to move the film forward and start production, things got more difficult for the director.
The film’s budget was already large, but it eventually grew to $ 200 million, making Titanic the most expensive film ever made at the time. Fox executives then started to panic and suggested an hour of specific cuts from the film that were three hours long at the time. Producers believed a long movie would mean fewer screenings and less revenue, but Cameron refused to cut it short.
1 People thought the movie would be a disaster
Before the film was delayed, it fueled speculation that Titanic was not just a disaster movie – but a literal movie disaster. Thankfully, word-of-mouth spread across the internet after the first premieres, which positively impacted expectations for the film.
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