Blockbuster film director James Cameron has created some of the most striking on-screen images – from the Terminator to the blue Na’vi of “Avatar”…
the original concepts of which stem from his early days as a young artist in Canada, as revealed in the new book, “Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron.”
But the director himself was actually among the last to see how his early artwork inspired his films – connecting the dots only after researchers compiled his sketches into thematic chapters.
“I think those strong thematic threads kind of were the surprise or the revelation to me, because I'd just always thought it was all scattershot, you know, all over the map, anything that occurred to me in the moment, which is also true. But you can see that there are some certain specific themes that continued on into the filmmaking."
Cameron began drawing as a child, and as a young man focused on scenes based on his favorite sci-fi stories and comic books.
“I was kind of like that skinny, geeky kid that didn't have a girlfriend but could actually play the guitar and so I'd be like, 'Hey, do you want to hear me play a song?', you know? Except I don't play the guitar, I could draw. So I'd sit there, I'd sit there on the college quad drawing other students that were sitting around using life subjects without their permission, kind of hoping that somebody would come over and go, 'Hey, that's a nice drawing', you know?"
The book shows pages of concept art from what would become one of Cameron’s first forays into filmmaking – a movie called “Xenogenesis” that was never produced, but portions of which can be seen on YouTube.
“It was an important, informative time because I literally came right out of that into working in film for real, and on the strength of those designs and being able to show a portfolio."
"Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron” is available in bookstores.