Didn’t have time to watch more than one Ted Talk today because I had to watch the Clint Eastwood RNC speech. Yes, I hadn’t watched it til today.
James Cameron’s talk wasn’t entirely inspiring but there were a few good quotes that I liked.
His selfish reason for making Titanic: You know, I went and pitched it to the studio as “‘Romeo and Juliet’ on a ship: “It’s going to be this epic romance, passionate film.” Secretly, what I wanted to do was I wanted to dive to the real wreck of “Titanic.” And that’s why I made the movie. (Applause) And that’s the truth. Now, the studio didn’t know that. But I convinced them. I said, “We’re going to dive to the wreck. We’re going to film it for real. We’ll be using it in the opening of the film. It will be really important. It will be a great marketing hook.” And I talked them into funding an expedition.
Cameron wanted to be a scuba diver since he was 15. His father let him get certified in Buffalo, NY in a pool in the dead of winter but he didn’t actually get to dive in an ocean until he was 17, when his family moved to California. He has logged over 3,000 hours underwater, 500 of which were in submersibles. Pretty incredible.
In between Titanic and Avatar, Cameron spent his time making documentaries about deep sea exploration. His most valuable lessons — on leadership, no less, curiosity, creativity, imagination and risk — were these:
- “No fame, no glory, no money. What are you doing? You’re doing it for the task itself, for the challenge…for the thrill of discovery,
- [T]hat bond, you realize that the most important thing is the respect that you have for them and that they have for you, that you’ve done a task that you can’t explain to someone else...So, when I came back to make my next movie, which was “Avatar,” I tried to apply that same principle of leadership, which is that you respect your team, and you earn their respect in return.…the respect of your team is more important than all the laurels in the world.” Too few people in the world get this. Most forget it.
- “…curiosity is the most powerful thing you own. Imagination is a force that can actually manifest a reality.
- “Don’t put limitations on yourself. Other people will do that for you — don’t do it to yourself, don’t bet against yourself, and take risks.”
- “…failure has to be an option in art and in exploration, because it’s a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks. So, that’s the thought I would leave you with, is that in whatever you’re doing, failure is an option, but fear is not.“