James Cameron, the mastermind behind  The Terminator, Aliens and Titanic, had an exhibition opening in Paris recently showcasing his lesser known skills with pencil and paper.

.-  How important was drawing when you were a child?  

 Drawing was everything. It's how I processed the world. I was reading, watching films, taking in all the storytelling, and I just had to tell my own.

I remember in high school being very serious about disciplining myself to draw in all kinds of different styles. I created my own comics. I thought maybe I'll write a novel and illustrate it.

They didn't have graphic novels yet, but I was thinking in panels ...........  so I was really thinking in shots. The transition into filmmaking was really pretty easy.

.-  How did these early drawings inspire your films?

[ My first avatar drawing ] was done when I was 19 so that was 50 years ago. That drawing led me to think about a bioluminescent world and I wrote a story about that in the late 70s.

In the early 90s, when I founded a visual effects company and we were trying to do  computer-generated characters and creatures, I needed a script about another planet, and so I went back and found that artwork, and that became AVATAR - in 1995.

The Terminator image came to me in a dream, I was sick, I had a high fever, and in that fever dream, I saw a chrome skeleton emerging out of raging fire. I drew it right away.  And then I thought :

' How did he get in the fire? What did he look like before? And I knew instinctively that he looked human before the fire.

I had dreams as a kid of going through watery tunnels at high speed, kind of a like a circulatory system, that wound up in the abyss.

I had a nightmare about being in a room where the walls were covered with hornets that would kill me, and that became the scene in ' Aliens ' where she runs into the egg chamber.

The World Students Society thanks AFP.


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