James Cameron’s epic Mariana Trench dive to be the subject of 3D documentary

James Cameron Deepsea ChallengerMovie director James Cameron has returned from his historic dive down into the Mariana Trench — Earth’s deepest known underwater point. Cameron’s solo trip was made possible using an Australian-built submarine named Deepsea Challenger, and the project has been sponsored by among others, The National Geographic Foundation and the filmmaker himself.

The Mariana Trench is more than six miles deep and 1,580 miles long. Only one other manned mission to explore it has been made, back in 1960, by Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard and US Navy Captain Don Walsh, who joined Cameron’s team of engineers aboard the support ship this weekend.

Squeezing into a cockpit measuring 43-inches wide, although the sub itself is 24-feet long, Cameron began his two-and-a-half hour descent early Monday morning, and explored the ocean floor for three hours before beginning his 70-minute ascent back to the surface.

He brought with him a variety of samples and a lot of film, as along with an array of scientific equipment, the Deepsea Challenger was kitted out with cameras and lighting rigs.

An underwater movie studio

Deepsea Challenger Submarine

James Cameron, a veteran of more than 70 dives using a submersible, is no stranger to filming underwater, having shot not only The Abyss (albeit in a very large tank) but also documentaries on the Bismarck and the Titanic.

The Deepsea Challenger was equipped with a Red Epic 5K 3D camera with a wide-angle lens, and it 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.

One of the most vocal advocates of 3D technology, 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 provided Mr. Cameron with enough control over the cameras and the sub’s huge 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.

Future dives and documentaries

Following the success of the dive, there’s every chance the Deepsea Challenger will make several return journeys, including one with a fiber-optic umbilical cord, so scientists will be able to study live images sent back from the sub.

James Cameron is expected to make at least one documentary film based on his incredible 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.

Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

The best Amazon Original series, from 'Bosch' to 'Transparent'

Amazon Studios may not have as big a collection of in-house productions as Netflix, but there are still lots of shows worthy of your eyeballs. Here are our picks for the best Amazon original series.

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Movies & TV

Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel conjures up a director and a release date

Doctor Strange director and co-writer Scott Derrickson will return to helm the Sorcerer Supreme's next big-screen adventure. Filming will begin in 2020, after Strange's mysterious Avengers: Endgame fate is resolved.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Movies & TV

A ‘Venom’ sequel is on its way, and Spider-Man could play a role

'Venom' screenwriter Jeff Pinker confirms that a follow-up to Sony's Spider-Man spin-off is in the works. Could a certain friendly neighborhood webslinger join the action? Pinker says that it's "not impossible."
Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.
Movies & TV

Netflix is testing an instant scene-replay feature, but would you use it?

Ever felt like Netflix was missing a scene-replay button? The company is currently trialing a feature that lets you skip back to the start of the scene you just watched, though early tests appear to be annoying some viewers.
Movies & TV

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' is one of the hero's best movies ever

One of Spider-Man's most memorable big-screen adventures, animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse simultaneously feels like nothing we've ever seen before and a tale that feels familiar in all the best ways.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.