x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

King of content to talk quality in Abu Dhabi

Media Summit special: It is indisputable that in more than three decades in movies, James Cameron has emerged as the 'king of content' in the global media industry.

James Cameron is one of this week's key speakers at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit.
James Cameron is one of this week's key speakers at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit.

There are three sides to the director James Cameron: artist; scientist; and businessman. Each facet will be on show in the capital this week, writes Ben Flanagan

In his acceptance speech for Titanic's haul of Oscars in 1998, the director James Cameron declared himself the "king of the world", echoing the famous line from the film.

While there is an amount of artistic licence in that claim, it is indisputable that in more than three decades in movies, Mr Cameron has emerged as the "king of content" in the global media industry.

Quality content is the key theme of this week's Abu Dhabi Media Summit, at which Mr Cameron will give today's opening address, in conversation with the News Corp executive James Murdoch.

Mr Cameron has made the two highest-grossing films of all time: Avatar, which had worldwide box-office takings of US$2.8 billion (Dh10.28bn); and Titanic, which took in $1.8bn.

Along the way, he has directed blockbusters including The Terminator, Aliens and The Abyss.

The future is mapped out in 3D for the director, who will give a masterclass on the topic at thesummit.

A 3D version of Titanic will hit the theatres next year to mark the 100th anniversary of the ship sinking. Mr Cameron has promised technological advances in 3D filmmaking for the sequel to Avatar, set for release in 2014.

Mr Cameron's biographer Rebecca Keegan has said the director has "equally developed" sides of his personality, as both a scientist and artist.

You could add businessman to that list. He runs the production company Lightstorm Entertainment, and made a reported $350 million from Avatar, partly from DVD sales.

With the Arab media industry looking at ways to boost home-grown content, the address by Mr Cameron will have added significance.

 

bflanagan@thenational.ae