Hollywood director James Cameron has made a solo descent to the Mariana Trench. Cameron descended nearly 11km (seven miles) in a submarine called Deepsea Challenger and took over two hours to reach the bottom. His bottom time was over four hours exploring the ocean floor, before a 70 minute ascent. The submersible was equipped with with a Red Epic 5K 3D camera with a wide-angle lens which ran for almost the entire duration of the dive. The Red Epic was supported by four, custom-built, high-definition cameras, plus two boom-mounted cameras, one of which also captured 3D images.
Cameron believes that not only will his film be visually impressive for theater audiences, but the use of the stereoscopic imagery will help scientists “determine the scale and distance” of the objects and creatures he encountered. The on-board systems on the Deepsea Challenger provided Mr. Cameron with enough control over the cameras and the sub’s 2.5-meter LED light tower to “direct” as he went along. A “cruise control” mode made shooting smooth tracking shots along the ocean floor far easier too. It is expected that there will be at least one documentary film based on the dive, although no release date has been stated, and there is also a rumor some of the footage shot in the Mariana Trench will make it into the sequel to Avatar, currently set for a 2016 release.