Avatar director reaches out to consultancy Armatus Oceanic

09 January 2023 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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Deep ocean and science consultancy Armatus Oceanic has fostered a new connection with Hollywood director James Cameron. The Avatar director has long been noted for his fascination with ocean exploration, and recently appeared on the firm’s podcast, having reportedly been involved in “several” of its recent projects.

James Cameron is one of modern cinema’s most successful figures – with his latest release ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ winning him a third place in the 10 highest-grossing films of all time. The film is also the latest in a long line of films which have illustrated his life-long interest in the deep – along with previous sci-fi classics ‘The Abyss’ and ‘Titanic’.

Perhaps it is not so surprising that Cameron has stuck up a relationship with Armatus Oceanic, in that regard. The firm – based in the National Centre for Subsea and Offshore Engineering in Wallsend, in the UK – consults on a range of oceanography projects, working with universities and businesses. Armatus’ team was part of the initial Deepwater Horizon spill response, and has also published more than 120 peer reviewed scientific papers covering new species descriptions, deep-sea biology and ecology and new methods of ocean depth exploration.


Avatar director reaches out to consultancy Armatus Oceanic

Due to this expertise, Cameron's interest in oceanography eventually led the box-office juggernaut and the consultancy to cross paths. In particular, Cameron’s interest in the deepest part of the seabed – the Challenger Deep, within the Mariana Trench, which he has travelled alone – is an area in which Armatus CEO Alan Jamieson is a leading authority. It was not long before he found himself discussing hadal science, and the nature of deep ocean exploration technology, with Cameron.

Jamieson explained,  "Early last year, we were lucky to speak with James Cameron on our light-hearted monthly podcast. We chatted about his passion for the ocean, some of his own deep-sea adventures, and he even gave us some spoilers about the newly released Avatar 2 film."

According to Jamieson, Cameron reached out to the firm after its autonomous deep-sea landers “caught his attention.” The landers in question allow Armatus to send cameras, sensors and traps to the bottom of the ocean, in order to capture images and data about the species that live in the ocean’s depths. Since then, Cameron has been “involved in several of [Armatus’] deep-sea projects” – to see the firm’s technology in action.

Explaining his interest in the oceans to The Deep Sea Podcast, Cameron noted, "I think where people have consistently gotten it wrong is that they think my primary focus in life is to make entertainment films for mass audiences – and it really isn’t. My primary focus in life is curiosity, and wherever that takes me. Whether that's curiosity about what narratives can work with people or curiosity that might drive documentary filmmaking. So, when I go into the ocean it's as a documentary filmmaker… We've got some of the best designers in the world making up aliens left and right, and nothing that we do can compete with the imagination of nature itself."