LOS ANGELES, CA (September 22, 2010) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA), a national non-profit trade group committed to protecting the rights and credits of producers in film, television and new media, announced today that the legendary Oscar award-winning producer, director, writer James Cameron will be honored with the 2011 Milestone Award. The award will be presented to Cameron at the 22nd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 22nd at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
The Milestone Award is the Guild’s highest honor that recognizes an individual (or team) who has made historic contributions to the entertainment industry. The Producers Guild has paid tribute to such luminaries as Clint Eastwood, Alfred Hitchcock, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ron Howard & Brian Grazer, and Walt Disney, among others.
“James Cameron is an exceptionally talented producer—a true innovator with the rare combination of technical ingenuity and creative vision,” said Paula Wagner, Chair of the 2011 Producers Guild Awards. “Jim has continued to change the film landscape with his ability to deliver groundbreaking masterpieces that present audiences and the industry with unrivaled beauty, originality and impact.”
“As one of the most respected and admired storytellers of our time, James Cameron has inspired audiences with his creativity time and time again. We are proud to recognize his many talented contributions to the film and entertainment industry with the Guild’s highest honor,” said PGA Co-Presidents Presidents Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon.
Born in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada, Cameron grew up in the historic village of Chippawa, near Niagara Falls. In 1971, he moved to Brea, California where he studied physics at Fullerton Junior College while working as a machinist and, later, a truck driver. Cameron quit his trucking job in 1978 and raised money from local dentists to produce a 35mm short film. The visual effects in this film led to work on Roger Corman’s BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980). In 1983 Cameron wrote three scripts: RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART 2, ALIENS, and THE TERMINATOR. He directed THE TERMINATOR, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 1984.
Cameron subsequently directed ALIENS (1986) and then wrote and directed THE ABYSS (1989). Following that he wrote, produced and directed TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991), TRUE LIES (1994), TITANIC (1997) and AVATAR (2009). He also co-wrote and produced POINT BREAK (1991) and STRANGE DAYS (1994), as well as produced SOLARIS (2003).
His films have blazed new trails in visual effects and set numerous performance records both domestically and abroad. AVATAR currently holds both the domestic and worldwide box office records having grossed over $2.7 billion at the global box office, beating the previous record holder, TITANIC, which held that record for 12 years. Cameron’s films have also earned numerous nominations and awards from a variety of organizations, including TITANIC’s 14 Academy Award nominations (a record) and 11 Oscars (the most any movie has received), including Cameron’s 3 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction and Best Editing. AVATAR won the Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Picture. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won three.
Cameron has also been an avid scuba diver since 1969. In 1995, Cameron made 12 manned-submersible dives to the Titanic in preparation for his feature film. The technical success of that expedition fueled his desire to bring the experience of deep ocean exploration to audiences around the world. He turned to documentary filmmaking and formed Earthship Productions to develop films about ocean exploration and conservation.
His team’s historic exploration of the inside of Titanic was the subject of Cameron’s 3-D IMAX film, GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS, which utilized the 3-D camera system that he developed with Vince Pace. In May of 2002, Cameron guided his robotic cameras inside the wreck of Bismarck for the Discovery Channel documentary, JAMES CAMERON’S EXPEDITION: BISMARCK.
Cameron’s team then made four expeditions to deep hydrothermal vent sites in the Atlantic, Pacific and Sea of Cortez over a two-year period, which became the subject of ALIENS OF THE DEEP, also released in 3-D IMAX. Most recently, Cameron has ultimately led 7 deep ocean expeditions with over 70 deep submersible dives, including 51 Mir dives to depths up to 16,000’.
As an explorer, Cameron has been equally fascinated by outer as well as inner space. He is currently a co-investigator on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mastcam, which will be the first 3-D motion imaging camera to operate on another planet, when it begins its exploration there in 2011. Cameron served on the NASA Advisory Council for three years. Cameron is also continuing to develop a number of ocean projects, and other environmentally themed documentaries.