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Ghosts of the Abyss: Production Notes

© Copyright Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and Walden Media, LLC. All rights reserved.


In this unprecedented motion picture event, Academy Award®-winning director and master storyteller James Cameron travels back to the site of his greatest inspiration -- the legendary wreck of the Titanic. With a team of marine experts and historians, Cameron and his friend Bill Paxton embark on an unscripted journey to the final grave where nearly 1,500 souls lost their lives almost a century ago. Using state-of-the-art technology developed expressly for this expedition, Cameron and his crew explore virtually the entire ship, inside and out, as never before. The advanced 3-D technology will allow audiences to experience the journey as if they are part of the dive team, travelling deep below the surface of the ocean and far inside the ghostly shipwreck. Made especially for IMAX® 3-D Theatres and specially outfitted 35mm 3-D theaters across the country, Cameron and his team discover amazing images and artifacts that have remained hidden from explorers for over 90 years and then use those images as a doorway into history. More than any other shipwreck, Titanic continues to intrigue and fascinate the public. And the more Cameron discovers, the more intriguing this legendary wreck becomes.

Walt Disney Pictures presents Ghosts of the Abyss in association with Walden Media, an Earthship Production, produced and directed by James Cameron. Ed W. Marsh is creative producer. Chuck Comisky, Gig Rackauskas, and Janace Tashjian produce. Buena Vista Pictures distributes.


"When you're a kid growing up, you think of Titanic as a myth, a story, something Hollywood might have created," says director James Cameron. As the director of Terminator, Terminator 2, Aliens, The Abyss, True Lies, and Titanic, Cameron has captivated audiences with amazing tales of ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances. "But when you're down there, and you can point at the wreck and say, 'That's where the band played, that's where First Officer Murdoch would have been loading people into boats,' it gets very personal. You can imagine and understand the event much more clearly.

"People have seen Titanic before," Cameron acknowledges -- after all, the director himself brought audiences to the wrecked vessel in his 1997 film. But this time, the experience is profoundly different, intensified by the visceral nature of the new 3-D technology and made more personal by the fact that the focus is on the wreck and its history and not the dramatic retelling of the event using traditional Hollywood storytelling techniques. "You're really there; you're experiencing it close-up. It's only then that you truly see what a magnificent artifact this is."

© Copyright Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and Walden Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Deeply affected by his visit to Titanic in 1995 (footage of which Cameron incorporated into his Oscar®-winning 1997 film), Cameron wanted to bring that experience to audiences around the world. "When I first went to Titanic, I was so in awe of just being there that I couldn't really think beyond that. Having had a few years to think about it I knew that if I ever went back it would be with a specific purpose in mind. That purpose was to do the most beautiful imaging that we could of the ship, and to do the most thorough investigation of that ship that was possible."

Cameron knew that such a mission would require new technology to explore the ornate interior spaces that had been just beyond the limits of his cameras and remote operated vehicles six years earlier. "I got to go back and do all the things I really wanted to do in 1995," says the director.

Time was of the essence because Titanic is collapsing. Biological formations known as "rusticles" are eroding Titanic's steel, breaking it down layer by layer. Comparing photographs of the wreck now with the wreck when it was first discovered in 1985 have allowed scientists to estimate that the standing sections of the wreck will collapse sometime within the next twenty to thirty years. Some observers estimate that in less than a century the wreck will no longer be recognizable as a ship. Cameron decided that a definitive photographic expedition of the site was needed in order to capture Titanic as it is now, and in late summer of 2001, Cameron and his hand-picked crew of explorers, WALT DISNEY PICTURES' scientists, artists, and historians headed out to the North Atlantic.

Ghosts of the Abyss was the maiden voyage for the Reality Camera System™, which Cameron invented in collaboration with Sony and director of photography Vince Pace. (Pace had collaborated with Cameron on The Abyss and Titanic and had received a technical Academy Award® for his efforts in designing a unique underwater lighting system for The Abyss.) Previously, large-format capable cameras weighed hundreds of pounds and could only shoot a few minutes of film at a time. By embracing the advances of digital technology and by repackaging Sony's formidable CineAlta™ imaging capabilities into a custom 3-D system, Cameron could shoot for hours at a time and then deliver the final product in practically any release format imaginable, including 3-D IMAX®.

"Movies are artificial," says Cameron. "We all see in 3-D. We're used to seeing the world that way. With movies in 2-D, flat on a screen, that's an artificial experience. That's not how we experience life. With 3-D, we're taking away the screen. You are looking through a window into a reality. That's why we call the camera the 'Reality Camera System' -- we're trying to share the reality we had, when we were on the expedition, with an audience."

The Reality Camera System begins with two custom-designed Sony HD-950 cameras in which the core imaging electronics have been de-coupled from the rest of the circuitry (which now trails behind the camera via cable or fiber). This reduces the size of the actual camera to the point that two of them can be mounted side by side so that their lenses are separated the same distance as the space between a pair of human eyes (roughly 70 millimeters). This is the first large-format capable camera system to place the focal planes in exactly the same location as that of human eyes. The results are stunning. To further the camera system's ability to mimic human vision, Cameron and Pace devised an "active convergence" system that would allow the lenses to cross and uncross much as our own eyes do when tracking objects moving closer or far away. This creates 3-D images that are much more natural and greatly reduces the eyestrain associated with previous 3-D motion picture imaging systems, allowing for longer presentations. When the film is played back, the two images are projected onto the screen at the same time while polarizing filters or active liquid crystal shutter devices keep each eye from seeing the alternate eye's image. The human visual cortex then "fuses" the image into "reality."

"I would encourage filmmakers to tell stories -- dramatic films, fictional films, as well as any kind of filmmaking, including sporting events -- with this format," Cameron says. "There have been many problems with 3-D photography, but we've really solved all of them."

According to Cameron, the fact that the camera could shoot 3-D images lent itself perfectly to the expedition. "Underwater and 3-D are naturals for each other," he says. "It's a perfect choice, because you feel like you're really there. Ultimately, I wanted to give audiences the same experience that was such a life-changing one for me, -- to plunge down 2 1/2 miles of water, to experience something as strange and exotic as the wreck of Titanic, to really feel it and see it. The 3-D high-definition system would be the way to do that.

"We can't get hundreds of thousands of people to go jump on the ship with us and go out on an expedition and go down in a sub," says Cameron. "But you can feel like you've been there. You can feel like you've made that dive. That's what this camera can do."

The water pressure at Titanic's depth is approximately 6,000 pounds per square inch and any camera system mounted outside the crew sphere of the submersible had to be small to minimize the risk of implosion. In fact, the only large-format photography of the Titanic previously was limited to propping a bulky camera up to the porthole of the submersible and shooting through the tiny opening. Panning and tilting wasn't possible and the angle of view was severely limited.

"We needed an entirely new underwater camera housing," says Mike Cameron -- James Cameron's brother -- whose company, Dark Matter LLC, specializes in deep-sea engineering and design. Mike, who built the deep ocean camera housing for his brother in 1995, was called upon to create an entirely new titanium housing for the twin cameras. This required a special optical dome port and a corrective "contact lens" which would allow twin lenses to shoot off-center through a single dome port without introducing distortion that could destroy the 3-D effect. The whole system was then mounted on a Dark Matter LLC designed pan and tilt system and integrated with existing controlling mechanisms from the 1995 expedition, also designed by Mike. "Even making the system as small as possible," says Mike, "the 3-D camera system still required packaging one of the largest implodable volumes ever mounted outside of a manned deep submergence vehicle. The energy that could be released, if that was to suddenly implode, would very certainly result in instant death for the people inside. You would die faster than a sound recording device could record the event. So I'm pretty proud of the engineering work that went into that housing. You'd actually have to go to the bottom of the Mariannas Trench -- which is almost five miles deeper than the Titanic wreck -- and dig a hole 5,000 feet deeper than that before the housing would start to have problems. So I think that the deepwater housing will be around for a long time." Mike Cameron's housing stands alone as the deepest underwater system to date. The design worked so impressively that the U.S. Navy has come to him for advice.

© Copyright Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and Walden Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

To image the interior of the wreck and to explore places not seen by human eyes since the night of April 14th, 1912, would require yet another technological leap on behalf of Mike Cameron and his Dark Matter team. Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) had explored the wreck before, but these were limited by their design. "Typically, you're sending power and control commands to the vehicle through a fat cable, or tether. The power limits how long this tether can be and also dictates that you choose your path very carefully going in because you have to come out the very same way," says James Cameron. "We made the decision very early on to design a vehicle with a self-contained, high-density battery onboard, so that the only link we needed to the vehicle was for information. We needed to send control commands to it and it needed to send back video. We could accomplish that with fiber optics inside a very thin sheath, almost like a fishing line. That fiber was then fed from a two thousand foot spool inside the vehicle itself. This allowed us unprecedented freedom to explore. We could send the ROV wherever we wanted throughout the entire wreck. We could go in one door on one level and pop out of a window on another level. It didn't matter. As long as the ROV could make it back to the sub and dock in its garage, we could simply cut the fiber optic and go home. Naturally, we'd also recover as much of the fiber as possible." The fiber left behind is completely biodegradable and dissolves into the sea.

Originally named BOT 1 and BOT 2, creative producer Ed W. Marsh soon nicknamed them Jake and Elwood and they quickly became treated like members of the crew. "We went into every space on Titanic that was big enough to permit the ROV to enter," says Cameron. "We went into staterooms, saw their beds, their sinks, their mirrors; we knew who was in each room and we found their clothing, their personal effects. We went into the hold and looked at the cargo; we went into the dining room and saw the beautiful leaded glass windows that are still there, intact. The elegance of Titanic still exists, but it has remained beyond the reach of all previous expeditions, including our expedition in 1995.

"Seeing it this way, there's no way to think of this but as a human tragedy," says Cameron. "It's a very large canvas, but there's an amazing human connection. We go into a stateroom and see a water glass still sitting in its holder. Those glasses were normally stored upside-down, so we know that somebody poured a glass of water and set it there. Somebody was in that room. Ninety years later that glass is still sitting there. Our historians, however, say that there's no record of that room being occupied. The existing cabin lists and sales records don't tell us who was using this room, so it's a small but intriguing mystery."

"In another room, we found a bowler hat, and we know whose hat it was. We went into the staterooms where Edith Russell and Molly Brown stayed. This is a personal touch to Titanic; it's the things that people touched that bring history to life," Cameron continues.

Cameron hand-picked the experts in microbiology, history, art, and exploration that would join him on this mission.

Ken Marschall is one of the world's foremost maritime artists and a leading expert on Titanic. His work has appeared on the cover of Time and Life magazines. He has been commissioned for work by National Geographic, the Smithsonian, Walter Lord (author of A Night to Remember) and Dr. Robert Ballard, the explorer who discovered the wreck of Titanic. In 1992, he collaborated with historian Don Lynch on the best-selling book Titanic: An Illustrated History, and it was this achievement that impressed Cameron. "His paintings seemed to be stills from a movie that hadn't yet been made. And I thought to myself, 'The technology of moviemaking has come so far that I can make these paintings come alive. It became my goal to accomplish on film what Ken had done on canvas -- to will Titanic back to life," says the director. Marschall served as a visual consultant on the Oscar®-winning film. Subsequently, he authored Ken Marschall's Art of Titanic, which depicts the ship's entire story and Marschall's lifelong dedication to illuminating its memory.

Don Lynch -- the author of Titanic: An Illustrated History -- is the official historian of the Titanic Historical Society. Widely respected for his ability to collect, recall and cross-reference first-person accounts of the tragedy, Lynch's research ensures that his writing is as factually correct as possible, rather than repeating conjecture and myth as though they were facts. Credited as historian on "Titanic," he also plays 1st Class passenger Frederic Spedden in the 1997 film.

In Cameron's own words, Charles Pellegrino is a "polymath" -- a self-described "space scientist and astro-paleontologist" and the author of 12 books, including several on Titanic. He designs robotic space probes and relativistic robots, and his writings -- including an article in OMNI magazine that suggested that dinosaur DNA could be extracted from mosquitoes preserved in amber -- have inspired many techno-thrillers. He predicted the presence of oceans on the icy moons of Jupiter and works with deep-sea robots to explore Titanic in order to eventually explore those oceans as well.

Lori Johnston is a microbiologist at Droycon Bioconcepts, Inc., a biotechnology company located at the Technology Development Facility at the University of Regina that undertakes research, development, and manufacture of biodetection systems. Johnston was onboard to study the "rusticles" that are eroding Titanic.

Finally, actor Bill Paxton -- James Cameron's longtime friend and cohort -- was asked to join the expedition. Although he is an accomplished diver, Paxton does not think of himself as an explorer, despite having played such characters in several films, including Titanic.

"It's a mind-blowing experience to make the dive," says Cameron, "and I thought it would be fun for Bill, having played the character in the movie, to have the chance to do it for real."

But Cameron had another reason for inviting Paxton. "Because Bill is an actor, he has experience with verbalizing emotional reactions and externalizing them in a way that's sympathetic with audiences. That's what I was looking for: someone who could bear witness at the wreck and be able to say what they were thinking and feeling. Bill is fantastic at that. He really became a kind of everyman's citizen-explorer."

"Here I was on this expedition," Paxton says, "with scientists, Titanic historians -- we even had a metallurgist on board. And I was wondering, 'Okay, what am I doing here?' I even made an entry in my journal: 'Gosh, I hope I don't embarrass myself and I can bring something to these proceedings.' But now, in retrospect, I realize that I bring something of the common touch to it. I am the audience going into this world. Most of them aren't historians or Titanic historians, and I'm pretty sure they're not metallurgists, either.

"Ultimately, one of my favorite books when I was a kid was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and I'm still fascinated by the secrets of the deep," says Paxton. "When you're down there, two and a half miles down into the ocean, it's like going into outer space. You're in a very malevolent environment and you're trespassing. You're hopefully just going to look around and then quietly get out of there. So, there's a real respect and a real wariness when you're going down that deep. But as you come upon Titanic and look through the porthole, and you're close enough that you could touch it, you can't quite comprehend that you're actually really looking at Titanic, at the ship. It's more myth than reality: it sank on its maiden voyage, and then it disappeared. For 70 years, no one really knew where it was. And now you're looking at it -- and that's when the 14-year-old boy who's read a little too much Jules Verne takes over."

Ghosts of the Abyss marks another maiden voyage for the director -- his first foray into nonfiction filmmaking. "Making an unscripted film is a terrifying thing," says Cameron. "As a filmmaker of Hollywood movies, you try to be in control of everything. This was wide open. We didn't know what was going to happen -- and there's no way that we could have predicted anything. So the story, in a sense, tells itself. Then our job during editing is to try to capture the essence of what happened to us while we were out there.

"We'd just let the cameras roll -- sometimes four or five hours at a time," adds Cameron. "We came out of it with 900 hours of material. Fortunately, most of it was never going to make it to the screen, but every once in a while, there'd be a nugget where somebody said something or we saw something on a dive that was interesting and compelling, and the film is the condensed version of all of that."

As gripping as the material is, Cameron looked for still another way of reaching his audience. "This could have been a conventional unscripted film," notes James Cameron, "and it would have been fine. We reveal a lot of new things, like the interior of the ship which no one has seen before. But I wanted to add a dimension to the story, to give it a different kind of perspective -- I wanted to use the wreck as a doorway into history, where we could use the experience of visiting the wreck as a time machine."

Cameron's method of helping audiences understand the history of Titanic and what happened on the night of April 14, 1912, is to place "ghosts" onto Titanic, actors superimposed over images of the actual wreck. "It's the next best thing to having a surveillance camera there to witness the event," Cameron says. "We follow Captain Smith and First Officer Murdoch, Second Officer Lightoller, and the bridge crew that tried to avoid the iceberg. We brought those moments to life.

"We cast individuals who looked like their historical counterparts and we staged events so that we could overlay the action onto the wreck with geometric precision," Cameron notes. "It was extremely important to us that these re-enactments were as historically accurate as possible.

"And actually, even with all of the research we did for Titanic, there are several things I've learned since 1997, and there were even a few things I got to correct," laughs Cameron.

© Copyright Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and Walden Media, LLC. All rights reserved.


Born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada, JAMES CAMERON (producer/director) grew up near Niagara Falls. In 1971, he moved to Brea, California where he studied physics at Fullerton College while working as a machinist and, later, a truck driver. Setting his sights on a career in film, Cameron quit his trucking job in 1978 and raised money from a consortium of local dentists to produce a 35mm short film. He served as producer, director, co-writer, editor, miniature builder, cinematographer and special effects supervisor on that production.

Cameron's maiden film project led to a position at Roger Corman's New World Pictures, working on Battle Beyond the Stars, on which he served in multiple capacities, including production designer. He was soon able to parlay this experience into a stint as Second Unit Director on Galaxy of Terror. Convinced that he'd found his calling, Cameron decided to write his own script and attach himself to direct. That fateful decision led to Cameron's 1984 sleeper hit, The Terminator, which launched his directorial career.

Since that time, Cameron has served as writer, producer, director, and/or editor on such films as Rambo: First Blood Part II, Aliens, The Abyss, Point Break, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies, and Titanic. His films have blazed new trails in visual and sound effects and set numerous performance records both domestically and abroad. Titanic, which Cameron wrote, produced and directed, currently holds both the domestic and worldwide box-office records, having grossed over $1.8 billion at the global box-office. Cameron's films have also earned numerous nominations and awards from a variety of organizations, culminating in Titanic's record-tying 11 Academy Awards®, including Cameron's three Oscars® for Best Picture, Best Direction and Best Editing.

In recent years, Cameron has explored other entertainment avenues, including a small screen maiden television effort, the one-hour dramatic television series "Dark Angel", which won the People's Choice Award for Best New Television Drama.

Cameron is continuing his passion for exploration by immersing himself in the study of man's potential next great step in the exploration of space: Mars. Through extensive research, and working closely with experts at NASA and throughout the private sector, Cameron has developed a wholly feasible near-term mission architecture, which could put man on the red planet within the next 15 years. These central plans provide the spine of a group of related entertainment projects that Cameron is currently working on, including a novel, which he is co-writing.

Cameron recently produced an adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's science fiction classic Solaris, which was written and directed by Steven Soderbergh, and he produced and directed "James Cameron's Expedition: Bismarck", a two-hour documentary on the German battleship for the Discovery Channel. He is also in various stages of development and pre-production on a number of feature film projects. Cameron has yet to identify his next directorial feature film effort.

As one of the industry's most accomplished talents, actor-director-producer BILL PAXTON moves effortlessly between major studio films as well as independent features.

Last year, Paxton made his feature directorial debut with the critically acclaimed Gothic thriller, Frailty. The film, which starred Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe and Matt O'Leary, recently received the National Board of Review's Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking.

Later this year, Paxton co-stars in Club Dread -- a film by the comedy troupe Broken Lizard. Surrounded by limber, wanton women on a boozesoaked island resort, the Broken Lizard dudes face a machete-wielding killer on the loose in this comedy from Fox Searchlight Pictures.

In May, Paxton travels to London to film Jonathan Frakes' Thunderbirds, co-starring Ben Kingsley and Anthony Edwards. Paxton will portray Jeff Tracy, a billionaire former astronaut and partriarch to five sons who use their own private island as a base to launch daring rescue missions. Thunderbirds is a Working Title Films production.

Paxton first emerged as a leading man with his critically lauded performance as the small-town sheriff in Carl Franklin's One False Move. In 1998, critic Roger Ebert cited Paxton as best actor for his turn as Hank Mitchell in Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan. In addition, he received a Golden Globe nomination that year for his performance as Colonel John Paul Vann in HBO's A Bright Shining Lie. Paxton's credits also include Traveller, a film he produced and starred in with Mark Wahlberg and Julianna Margulies.

Paxton has appeared in several blockbusters, accumulating worldwide box-office numbers that surpass three billion dollars. In addition to Titanic, he starred with Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon in Ron Howard's Apollo 13 and in Jan de Bont's Twister. Paxton appeared as the tough Texas billionaire, trapped at 26,000 feet on K2 in the action-thriller Vertical Limit, directed by Martin Campbell. He also portrayed the captain in Jonathan Mostow's WWII submarine hit U-571, co-starring Matthew McConaughey and Harvey Keitel.

Moving to Hollywood from Fort Worth, Texas, Paxton began his career as a set dresser on Roger Corman's Big Bad Mama. After working in the art department on several features, he decided to move to New York to study acting. Returning to Los Angeles in 1980, he met James Cameron while moonlighting as a set dresser on the low-budget scifi movie Galaxy of Terror. He subsequently started landing acting jobs, first in B-horror movies (Mortuary, Night Warning) and later in studio films (The Lords of Discipline, Weird Science). Paxton's filmography also includes Walter Hill's Streets of Fire and Trespass, Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark, Pass the Ammo, Tombstone, and Indian Summer.

In 1980, he directed the classic short film "Fish Heads" for NBC-TV's "Saturday Night Live." In 1999, he hosted the show with musical guest Beck.

Before proposing, documentary filmmaker ED W. MARSH (creative producer/editor) explained to his future wife that "being a filmmaker is kind of like being in the merchant marine. There will be long periods of time where I'm 'at sea' on a project and you won't see too much of me." He never guessed how literally true this statement would become.

Marsh began working with James Cameron on The Abyss, editing scenes for the motion picture as well as documenting its production, a project that culminated in 1992's "Under Pressure: Making The Abyss," a frank and uncensored look at what many in the film industry still consider to be "the toughest shoot in film history." Marsh also cut the trailer for the film, earning him his first Hollywood Reporter Key Art Award.

Since that time, Marsh has been involved in some way with most of Cameron's productions, cutting trailers, writing behind-the-scenes books or directing documentary projects associated with the productions at some level. Marsh's book, James Cameron's "Titanic," reached #1 on the New York Times non-fiction best-seller list at the peak of the movie's popularity and remained there for several weeks.

When Cameron set his sights on documentary filmmaking it made sense to enlist Marsh as a core member of his creative team. At sea, he quickly earned the nickname "Oz" because he was most often heard communicating with the camera teams via radio while he remained unseen, deep in mission control where he could respond to the live feeds. By the time Ghosts was completed, Marsh had worked with over 900 hours of footage, conducted indepth interviews with all of the expedition's participants (it is these dialogues that make up the bulk of the film's voice-over-only narrative), and had helped pioneer several creative and technical methodologies enabling Cameron to combine many different types of media into the comprehensive 3-D presentation of the film.

Outside of his work with Cameron, Marsh has had a variety of assignments ranging from creating the "mock" news broadcasts for the movie Independence Day to documenting organized crime activities in various parts of the world for PBS.

MIKE CAMERON is an aeronautical engineer and James Cameron's younger brother. He has served in various capacities on many of his brother's films: ROV engineer on The Abyss, creator of functional props on Terminator 2, creator of the special deep ocean camera system for Titanic.

LORI JOHNSTON is a microbial ecologist who was trained at the University of Regina and Royal Roads University, Victoria BC, and has now specialized in environmental management of various corrosion and biofouling problems in the water, gas and oil sectors. Extreme environments have also interested Lori; she has been on expeditions to the RMS Titanic (1998 and 2001), the Bismarck (2002) and the mid-Atlantic ocean ridge (2002) and dove to all three sites conducting scientific experiments (some of which are still at the sites for long term studies). Lori has published twelve papers on the deterioration of the RMS Titanic and is working on a paper on the microbiology of the ocean vents, tube worms and hydrates.

KEN MARSCHALL is an artist and illustrator who first painted Titanic after seeing the film A Night to Remember as a teenager. Since then, he has become one of the world's foremost maritime artists and a leading expert on Titanic (his most popular commission). His work has appeared on the cover of Time and Life magazines, as well as featured in National Geographic and Smithsonian, and he has painted for such luminaries as Walter Lord (author of A Night to Remember) and Dr. Robert Ballard, the explorer who found the wreck, who included Marschall's work in his book, The Discovery of the Titanic.

In 1992, Marschall collaborated with historian Don Lynch to create the bestselling book Titanic: An Illustrated History, which so impressed James Cameron that he made Marschall the visual historian on his film. Subsequently, Marschall created Ken Marschall's Art of Titanic, a popular book that depicts the ship's entire life story and tells of Marschall's lifelong dedication to illuminating its memory. He most recently re-teamed with Don Lynch for Ghosts of the Abyss: A Journey into the Heart of Titanic.

DON LYNCH is the Official Historian with the Titanic Historical Society and for thirty years has studied the sinking. He has traveled extensively to museums and archives around the world, and met with many survivors and their relatives in order to learn as much as possible about the shipwreck. The author of Titanic: An Illustrated History with illustrator Ken Marschall, he is also credited as a historian on James Cameron's 1997 Oscar®-winning film, in which he plays 1st Class passenger Frederic Spedden. He most recently re-teamed with Ken Marschall for Ghosts of the Abyss: A Journey into the Heart of Titanic.

DR. CHARLES R. PELLEGRINO is a scientist, marine archaeologist, and author of 12 books, including Unearthing Atlantis, Her Name, Titanic, Ghosts of the Titanic. He is also a paleontologist who designs robotic space probes and relativistic rockets. In his spare time, Pellegrino writes mind-bending techno-thrillers, and acclaimed director Jan de Bont (Speed) has signed on to direct the film adaptation of Pellegrino's novel, Dust. He also wrote a piece for OMNI magazine about extracting dinosaur blood from mosquitoes preserved in amber. His patents (shared with others) include composite materials strong enough to build the mile-high cities of the future; most recently, Pellegrino has applied his scientific knowledge and hypothesizing talents to interstellar travel, extraterrestrials, and the politics of xenophobia.

LEWIS ABERNATHY, James Cameron's best friend, was once the youngest member of the Titanic Historical Society and long ago suggested to Cameron that a "good movie" needed to be made of the story. Years later, Abernathy would play Lewis Bodine, cynical sidekick to explorer Brock Lovett, in Cameron's Oscar®-winning film.

Abernathy has also guest-starred in the television show "Hardball," written the feature film DeepStar Six and the television film "Terminal Invasion," and directed the feature film House IV.

CHUCK COMISKY (producer) brings 20 plus years of supervising and directing digital and optical visual effects, process photography and miniatures. He produced the "Terminator 2 3-D" theme park film for James Cameron and Digital Domain while supervising the visual effects and directing the commercial for the popular attraction.

Recent projects include producing Universal Florida's 2001 remounted theme park attraction "Poseidon's Fury." Comisky also served as supervising producer for 1999's "The Nuttiest Nutcracker," a computer-animated 1-hour CBS special.

In 1979, Comisky produced and supervised the visual effects for Battle Beyond the Stars, a highly successful film for Roger Corman and his first association with Cameron. He pioneered the digital compositing of film elements for Jaws 3-D and supervised the refinement and the development of twin camera Stereo 3-D visual effects for "T2-3-D."

For New Line Pictures' Blade, Rush Hour, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5, Paramount Pictures' Drop Zone and The Addams Family, and Columbia Pictures' The Last Action Hero, Comisky designed shots, directed effects photography, and sat at workstations, with the digital artists guiding them to the results expected by the film's directors. He also has served as troubleshooter for The Crow 1 & 3, Space Camp, and The Blob, and continued his association with Cameron by producing the teaser trailer for Terminator 2.

Other production credits include production executive for the ABC prime time pilot "Wayside School" and production manager for the feature film Sister Sister.

Comisky continues to supervise and produce digital effects, including 2D/3-D animation, compositing, and optical effects. He has worked with directors ranging from Arthur Hiller and Brett Ratner to John Badham and Michael Ritchie.

With a career of over thirty years in the business of creating images in and around water working on films like The Abyss, Sphere, Men of Honor, and Titanic, VINCENT PACE (director of photography) is able to go beyond the limitations of conventional filmmaking in this challenging field. As co-developer of the Reality Camera System, a 3-D High Definition imaging camera, and serving as Director of Photography on Ghosts of the Abyss, he bridges the gap between creativity and technology in this exciting market.

JANACE TASHJIAN (producer) previously served as producer of James Cameron's popular television series "Dark Angel" as well as the short film "The Tooth Fairy Gets Greedy." Her many other credits include co-producer of the Emmy, Golden Globe, and Producers' Guild Award-winning miniseries for HBO, "From the Earth to the Moon." She also served as co-producer of "Arli$$" and "Harsh Realm," and as associate producer of the series "Live Shot," "Earth 2," and "Law & Order," the television film "Midnight Run," and the HBO miniseries "Grand Avenue."

SVEN PAPE (editor) most recently directed the independent film LA Twister, and prior to that, the annual fashion event "Fire & Ash 2000" in Barbados and a commercial for the Channel K clothing line. In that same year, Sven participated as webcast director of the independent feature, Hollywood, PA.

Sven is a graduate from the prestigious American Film Institute and holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Motion Picture Producing. "The Water Ghost," his AFI thesis film, earned him the 1999 Producers Guild Award for Best Student Drama; the short film also sold to Lifetime Television and won several festival awards throughout the world.

A graduate in composition from the distinguished Eastman School of Music, JOEL McNEELY (music by) has composed the scores for nearly 40 films and television series, including Walt Disney Pictures' animated feature films The Jungle Book 2 and Return to Never Land; live action movies Soldier and Vegas Vacation; Jim Cameron's series "Dark Angel"; and the animated series "Tiny Toon Adventures." He has conducted more than 30 albums of classic film music, including an entire collection of works by noted Hitchcock film composer Bernard Herrmann, for Varese Records. Those works include the first-ever Gramophone Award for his work on an album of the score to Vertigo.

RANDY GERSTON (music supervisor) marks his fourth collaboration with director James Cameron, having supervised the music for Titanic, "Expedition: Bismarck," and the television series "Dark Angel." Other film credits include Sonny, The Man From Elysian Fields, The Mod Squad, The Opposite of Sex, The Thirteenth Floor, Renaissance Man, and Tombstone.

Founded by Cary Granat, former president of Miramax Films' Dimension label, and education entrepreneur Micheal Flaherty, WALDEN MEDIA produces films, television shows, live theater, books and interactive media that strive to inspire, engage, enlighten and entertain. Walden believes that quality entertainment is inherently educational and can capture the audience's imagination, rekindle curiosity and demonstrate the rewards of learning.

Walden selects each production for its entertainment value and educational merit. Walden's learning and production groups work closely throughout the development, production, and postproduction process to ensure that all projects have maximum learning value. Walden partners with educational experts, world-class museums, and schools to create a comprehensive learning outreach program to support each project. Every production is enhanced and extended by companion lessons, books, and Web sites. The company is also creating stand-alone projects to support their mission, such as Reel Thinking, a book series and premiere Web destination that helps teachers and parents use films to open new avenues to life-long learning.

Walden Media will release Holes on April 18, 2003 with The Walt Disney Company. Based on Louis Sachar's Newbery Award-winning novel, Holes stars Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Shia LaBeouf. Currently in production is a film adaptation of Jules Verne's Around The World In Eighty Days, with Jackie Chan attached to star. The company is making the first live-action film adaptations of C.S. Lewis's book series The Chronicles of Narnia, beginning with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, to be directed by Andrew Adamson (Shrek). Walden Media has also teamed with renowned television and stage producer Douglas Love to establish the first ever Walden Family Playhouse, a live children's theatre in Denver, CO.

Walden Media is a subsidiary of The Anschutz Company. The Denver-based company is one of the largest privately owned and operated ventures in the U.S. Its affiliated companies are principally engaged in telecommunications and media, natural resources, transportation, real estate, sports and entertainment.

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