Avatar The Movie - James Cameron - The Early Influences

James Francis Bacon Cameron is the writer, producer and director of the box office record breaking blockbuster “Avatar”.

Cameron was born in Kapuskasing, Canada on August 16 1954 but he grew up in Chippawa, a small town just outside of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and he was the eldest of the five sons born to Phillip and Shirley Cameron., Philip was an electrical engineer and Shirley a housewife and an artist and together they gave Cameron the blend of genes and nurture needed to start him on the journey to where he is today.

Image courtesy of Natasha Baucas at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdnatasha/
Image courtesy of Natasha Baucas at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdnatasha/

Cameron has admitted that engineering has always fascinated him and his desire to build things has been lifelong. He believes this interest may have been an attempt to get his father's respect or interest, or it may be just down to a genetic love of technology. It would seem that his ambition started at an early age, as rather than look to make things like a bow and arrow or a wooden boat to float down the river, he instead chose to make a fully functional catapult that was capable of throwing boulders large enough to create craters on impact and a submersible vehicle for a mouse that took it to the bottom of the Niagara River and back again! He also made news at an early age due to U.F.O. scare caused by the night time launch of a candle powered hot-air balloon.

Through his mother Cameron was inspired to paint and as a teenager he also illustrated his own comic book and these skills have proved extremely useful on his chosen career path. In spite of his obvious practical talents for making things and his drawing and painting talents he didn't think of himself as being gifted. The standards for being gifted in the environment he grew up were being good in Little League or football and he was considered by his peers to be a nerdy kid which resulted in him being bullied at high school. Payback did come as Cameron advised in one interview "If you ever go to a 25th high school reunion make sure that in the previous two months you've made the world's highest-grossing movie [“Titanic”], won 11 Academy Awards and become physically bigger than most of those guys who used to beat you up. I walked up to them one by one and said, You know, I could take your ass right now, and I'm tempted, but I won't.”

In spite of the bullies Cameron made good grades at school and he was an avid reader. It won’t come as a surprise to many to find that his favourite books were science fiction books by authors like A.E. Van Vogt and Arthur C Clarke. However it was the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick which provided the inspiration for Cameron’s film making career. He desperately wanted to know how the film’s special effects had been created.

Cameron also developed his lifelong interest with scuba diving in his youth and he learnt to dive at a YMCA pool in Buffalo when he was seventeen. His hero was Jacques Cousteau and Cousteau probably set the seeds of the environmental agenda which Cameron developed later in life and which were shown in the storyline of "Avatar".

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Comments 17 comments

TAW Global profile image

TAW Global 5 years ago

@ Amber

You haven't seen Avatar?

It's a solid flick with a deep rooted message for what we are doing to our earth.

I wrote a hub about it...check it out...


Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 6 years ago Author

Hi TVTopTen

I haven't seen this movie yet but I'm looking forward to seing it soon.


TVTopTen profile image

TVTopTen 6 years ago

Unfortunately the "REAL" Avatar movie is called "The Last Air Bender" :)

Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 6 years ago Author

Hi Wren

Thanks for visiting and the seal of approval for the hub. James Cameron does seems to be a very interesting man and as he has been married five times he seems to have a way with the ladies too!


wrenfrost56 profile image

wrenfrost56 6 years ago from U.K.

Nice piece Amber, very interesting, I learnt alot about the man behind Avatar and his inspiration, I have yet to see the film though.

Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 6 years ago Author


He is a truly fascinating guy. I've got some more info about him that I want to put in another hub if I can make the time to put it together. Thanks for popping by.


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TattoGuy 7 years ago

Hey Amber great insight on Cameron who is a true genius. I was a big fan of titanic but seeing Avatar in 3D in the cinema was for me the best movie experience of my life, great hub, keep em a comin ; )

Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 7 years ago Author


I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. $2 Billion will buy a lot of most things at least it will in my world! I'm following you too now.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

Hy Amber, I enjoyed reading this. It's a great film, and ytes, made $2 Billion! That's a lot of cheeseburgers right there! LOL! Great hub! Me a Fan now!

Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 7 years ago Author

garcilazoand - I found the research for this hub really interesting too. Thanks.


Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 7 years ago Author

st0rm3 - Avatar is really a great movie. It would certainly be my favorite sci fi fantasy of all time. Thank you for your comments and stopping by.


garcilazoand profile image

garcilazoand 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

interesting background info. good job.

st0rm3 profile image

st0rm3 7 years ago from Durban, South Africa

I rate avatar as one of the best movies of all time. Thanks for the background!

Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 7 years ago Author

Hi Bat115

I loved the movie too. Thanks for reading my hub.


bat115 profile image

bat115 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Great story. Loved the movie.

Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 7 years ago Author

Hi Maita

Thanks for stopping by. Unfortunately you won't get the same visual effect from the DVD but I'm sure you'll enjoy it anyway.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

nice one dear, I havent watched it yet, maybe when they release the DVD, I liked it and I have CD games AVATAR here, thanks, Maita

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