It goes without saying that James Cameron is a perfectionist when it comes to his films. In the case of “Titanic”, which was released in 1997, he threw himself for years into not only the characters aboard the doomed ocean liner, but also the engineering of the vessel itself and the science behind her sinking. To that end, the movie has been mostly praised for its attention to detail and re-creation of the tragedy – at least, in terms of what was known in 1997.
Fast forward to 2012 – and the quickly approaching 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic – and James Cameron’s blockbuster is once again set to hit the big screen; this time as a 3D, remastered film.
Now, there’s all sorts of new information on the sinking of the Titanic – in particular its last moments. (For instance, the stern did not raise nearly as high as depicted in the film – only about 23 degrees) In a National Geographic special airing next week, Cameron admits that we would love to re-film those moments to more accurately depict what happened – but alas; perfectionism is not enough to justify rebuilding the massive set pieces needed for such a feat.
There was, however, one tweak that Cameron made to his film – a celestial correction courtesy of Neil deGrasse Tyson.
“Oh, there is one shot that I fixed,” he told UK mag Culture. “It’s because Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is one of the U.S.’ leading astronomers, sent me quite a snarky email saying that, at that time of year, in that position in the Atlantic in 1912, when Rose is lying on the piece of driftwood and staring up at the stars, that is not the star field she would have seen, and with my reputation as a perfectionist, I should have known that and I should have put the right star field in.”
“So I said, ‘All right, you son of a bitch, send me the right stars for the exact time, 4:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, and I’ll put it in the movie.’ So that’s the one shot that has been changed.”
It’s funny – I remember when “Titanic” first came out, there were rumors that if you looked close enough at the star field featured when Rose is drifting on the raft, you could see the constellation of an angel. I thought it was BS then (and uncharacteristically Cameron), and this likely proves it. So there you have it star gazers, Cameron just gave you a historical high five.
“Titanic 3D” hits Friday. Will you see it? Or like me, do you hate everything to do with 3D?