How did your journey to the bottom of the Atlantic to film the Titanic's wreckage change your conception of the story you were making?
quote-leftIt was sort of like going to Mecca first, and getting religion. We went there with very specific objectives, and I took two things away from the experience. One, get it right. Do it "exactly right". We've got the "real ship" on film--everything else has to live up to that level of reality from this point on. That imbued everybody in the art department with the same kind of crusade of correctness. And that applied also to what boats were launched at what time, what officer was where. The whole physical staging of it was also influenced. But there was another level of reaction coming away from the real wreck, which was that it wasn't just a story, it wasn't just a drama. It was an event that happened to real people who really died. Working around the wreck for so much time, you get such a strong sense of the profound sadness and injustice of it, and the message of it. You think, "There probably aren't going to be many filmmakers who go to Titanic. There may never be another one--maybe a documentarian." So it sort of becomes a great mantle of responsibility to convey the emotional message of it--to do that part of it right, too.