James Cameron reveals why he only cast extras under 5ft 8ins for Titanic
Posted by  badge Boss on Dec 11, 2023 - 10:37PM
Director James Cameron shared an amazing hack about the making of Titanic (Picture: Getty)

Even over 25 years after its release, director is still coming up with priceless gems when it comes to the making of his blockbuster film .

The filmmaker is known for his absolutely massive budgets, but while discussing his sweeping fictionalised tale of the sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912, he did offer an absolutely fascinating hack that was used as a way to save money.

Titanic boasted enormous sets – including the matter of a partially reconstructed 800-foot-long full-scale replica ship – which, combined with complex sequences, made it the most expensive film ever made at the time.

However, one incredible cheat was employed that certainly helped : Cameron and producer Jon Landau requested that only short people be hired for background roles.

‘We only cast short extras so it made our set look bigger,’ Cameron told .

‘Anybody above 5ft 8ins, we didn’t cast them. It’s like we got an extra million dollars of value out of casting,’

Cameron had a lot of complicated and expensive sets to contend with on Titanic (Picture: 20th Century Fox/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, there were hundreds of extras (Picture: 20th Century Fox/Everett/Shutterstock)

That is… impressively simple.

Landau also revealed that they scrapped an entire set planned to be skewed at a three-degree angle, using just a level one for scenes shot ahead of the collision with the iceberg, and one at six degrees for replicating the sinking of the vessel.

‘We compromised the three degrees and we saved $750,000 (£596K),’ he shared.

Cameron insisted that he and co-producer Jon Landau ‘never panicked’ as the budget ballooned to $200million (£159m), but the studio certainly did.

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‘It’s not our job to panic,’ he added.

Much as Titanic still , in July a snipped of it when viral on TikTok when a viewer clocked the when Cameron wasn’t employing his short extras.

These big set pieces didn’t include anyone over 5ft 8ins (Picture: 20th Century Fox/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock)

CGI had been used to reconstruct the ship and its passengers, shortly after the Titanic sets sail, with the camera panning over the ship before zooming into the captain .

Not quite standing up to the rigours of high-resolution and special effects today, compared to watching on VHS tape in the 1990s, the people are tiny, their faces are obscured, and there’s a distinct air of video game graphics at play.

However, alongside joking descriptions of it as a ‘Sims 4 Titanic expansion pack’, others defended the ‘cutting edge’ visuals of the time.

mind blown 🤯

Released back in 1997, Titanic and scooped a record-equalling (to Ben-Hur) 11 Oscars – a haul that is yet to be beaten but has since been matched by Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

For a long while Titanic, which has received a new 4K remaster for an anniversary Blu-ray re-release, was also .

It has only been surpassed by Cameron’s own Avatar, released in 2009, as well as its 2022 sequel, plus some small movie called : Endgame.