James Cameron is a man of many talents. The man best known for revolutionizing the way we look at cruise ships and sparking an everlasting debate about wooden door buoyancy and floating diplomacy, the man who crafted a $2.8b grossing film about space Pocahontas and planned a never-ending franchise to continue the story forever, is now taking a little time for himself.
No, it’s not time spent changing the future of film by having all moviegoers watch films while sitting on his lap. According to the production, Disruptive LA and National Geographic will be releasing a documentary that chronicles the journey Cameron takes to fulfill his boyhood dream, one that seems pretty common to all our childhoods: becoming an explorer.
While most of us would chalk our six-year-old ambitions up to frivolous impracticality and unattainability at this point (not me though, I’m still going to be the President of the United States and also moonlight as a fashion designer in my free time), we’re not multimillionaires with endless cash flow, wild imaginations and nobody stopping us from doing whatever we want all the time.
Thus, the journey began and James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D was born. Directed by John Bruno, Andrew Wight and Ray Quint, the film tells the story of how Cameron made history by traveling to the deepest depths known to man on Earth.
Here’s a horrifying fact to dwell on tonight when you can’t really sleep — we know less about what’s going on in the deep ocean than we do about the surface of Mars. So while there’s definitely a kraken or two lurking somewhere around the Mariana Trench (don’t argue with me, you don’t know either), deep sea explorers are more eager than ever to get out there and keep searching through the depths to find out more and more about what lurks in the deepest recesses of the ocean. Cameron got in on this in 2012, and with the help of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and National Geographic, launched the Deepsea Challenger submersible for 13 dives, collecting samples and identifying new species along the way.
The film apparently shows Cameron as he completes more and more difficult dives, preparing for the biggest and most dangerous of them all — the one he must complete alone, the one he’s been waiting for his whole life. March 2012 marked Cameron’s historic solo dive — man, he’s gotta one up everyone on everything, doesn’t he? — down to the Challenger Deep, a frightening seven miles beneath the ocean’s surface as the crew and Cameron himself pray that the massive pressure of the water surrounding his vehicle doesn’t crush him to death.
It’s a fascinating concept, because we’re so used to Cameron crafting these insane stories for us to immerse ourselves in and these worlds that seem beyond comprehension. Now we get to see a real, almost impossibly strange world that exists here on our planet, in a story that Cameron has crafted just for himself. It’s self-indulgence and science wrapped in a fascinating package. But hey, would it have killed him to test whether or not two people could float safely, together on a giant wooden door without freezing to death while he was out there?
James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D is in theaters August 8th.