James Cameron is the director of Avatar, Titanic, Terminator, The Abyss and many other blockbusters. While his outsize films push the bounds of technology, they're always anchored in human stories with heart and soul.

Why you should listen

James Cameron has written and directed some of the largest blockbuster movies of the last 20 years, including The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Titanic, and Avatar. His films  pushed the limits of special effects, and his fascination with technical developments led him to co-create the 3-D Fusion Camera System. He has also contributed to new techniques in underwater filming and remote vehicle technology.

Although now a major filmmaker, Cameron's first job was as a truck driver and he wrote only in his spare time. After seeing Star Wars, he quit that job and wrote his first science fiction script for a ten-minute short called Xenogenesis. Soon after, he began working with special effects, and by 1984 he had written and directed the movie that would change his life -- The Terminator. Today, he has received three Academy Awards, two honorary doctorates and sits on the NASA Advisory Council. 

Read more about Cameron's planned trip to the Challenger Deep, the deepest point yet reached in the ocean »

What others say

“He really does want us to risk our lives and limbs for the shot, but he doesn't mind risking his own.” — Sigourney Weaver

James Cameron’s TED talk

More news and ideas from James Cameron


TED speakers who’ve won Oscars

February 24, 2013

Think quick: what was the best film of 2012? Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook or Zero Dark Thirty? This question will be decided tonight at the 85th annual Academy Awards. As you prepare your Oscars ballot and debate whether Seth MacFarlane will […]

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7 miles down: James Cameron’s sub set to explore the Mariana Trench

March 24, 2012

Update: This Storify tells the story of the descent in tweets from around the world … If all goes as planned, today James Cameron (watch his TEDTalk) begins an epic dive to the deepest point in the ocean — taking the director almost 7 miles down into the Mariana Trench. Follow the Deepsea Challenge expedition […]

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Live from TED

Before Avatar … a curious boy: James Cameron on TED.com

March 4, 2010

James Cameron‘s big-budget (and even bigger-grossing) films create unreal worlds all their own. In this personal talk, he reveals his childhood fascination with the fantastic — from reading science fiction to deep-sea diving — and how it ultimately drove the success of his blockbuster hits “Aliens,” “The Terminator,” “Titanic” and “Avatar.” (Recorded at TED2010, February […]

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