Titanic Blog

You're really cute, but I should warn you...I'm starting to get sea sick.

On September 10th, James Cameron’s epic Titanic will be released for the first time ever on Blu-ray 2D and 3D.

I thought I would commemorate 4-disc set with a 3-part blog on my experiences with the Titanic.

I am embarrassed to admit I bought a DVD copy of Titanic when it came out. There’s something about buying certain movies or music that can make a man silly. This stems from an incident I had at a used CD shop where the guy with tattoos and piercings covering his face, and a ripped Sex Pistols shirt, laughed at my purchase of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. But I digress.

I don’t normally buy DVDs because once I see a film, I have no desire to see it again; but because I was going to a party at James Cameron’s house in Malibu, I thought it would be cool to have a DVD for him to autograph. The details of that party will be in the 3rd of this three part blog.

This recently release with have 2 ½ hours of new special features. So if you’re one of the many that went to the theatre earlier this year to see Titanic in 3D, you’re probably going to be plunking down the $30 for the two-disc Blu-ray, $40 for the four-disc combo pack, or $45 for the four-disc Blu-ray 3D combo pack.

I love all the extras DVDs have, but I don’t get all excited by the “high definition” things that are advertised on lots of these things. I did enjoy the visuals in Titanic (even if some of the dialogue seemed to be written for teenagers), and after being blown away by Avatar – this is something I’m looking forward to.

One of the things I’m curious to see is the documentary footage produced by National Geographic with James Cameron. Many experts on the Titanic will be talking about the mysteries involving the “unsinkable” ship.

Of course there will be deleted scenes (30 of them), and many peeks behind-the-scenes. And for my sleazy friend that is fascinated by famous actresses appearing nude in movies, he won’t have to just rely on The Reader for his fill of Kate Winslet. This is the first film she appeared nude in (remember the drawing Leo did of her?). It’s also what made her and DiCaprio big stars.

And speaking of The Reader, I sometimes think of my time working for the San Diego Reader when Titanic was being made. I was still working an overnight shift at the Post Office as well. I’d soon be leaving the world of mail, to take a job writing stories and receiving hate mail, whenever something was published that people disagreed with.

One of my last experiences at the Post Office involved a guy that was an extra on Titanic. Each week he’d tell us different stories from the set. He would talk about the amount of money they were spending on the movie (at the time it ended up being the biggest budget in film history, near $150 million). I will never forget saying to him, “This will be the biggest bomb in film history. Worse than Ishtar or any of them. The biggest star is Kathy Bates (playing Molly Brown).”

Boy was I wrong. The movie has made billions, and snagged 11 Oscars.

My favorite story from this extra (who ended up being fired for showing up to work drunk), was the time they first tipped the ship on its side. He said he didn’t hear the cue, and wasn’t holding onto a pole. He was the only extra that wasn’t a stuntman in the scene, that slid down and hit his head on a pole. He got knocked out. When he woke up DiCaprio was standing over him, holding his arm and asking if he was okay. He was thrilled he got to spend a few minutes talking to him. It wasn’t until a week later that he got enough nerve to go strike up a conversation with Bates, who he said was a sweetheart.

Another funny thing involved this guy showing up for work, with 8x10s showing him in his outfit. The movie was being shot in Mexico, and he’d have to be there hours early to be fitted for his outfit and make up.

The studio gave some extras photos in their outfits, and he went to Kinko’s and made copies. He was autographing them for the staff at the post office, yet nobody was asking for them. They all just looked shocked as he’d sign one and hand them off.

There was an awkward silence around the machine that was sorting 1,000 letters a minute. A short Vietnamese woman we all loved, took off her glasses to inspect the photo. We erupted in laughter as she said “Can you get me a signed photo of Leo?”