Titanic Movie Information

Behind the Scenes:  

SCENE 2  –  MIR / NORTH ATLANTIC DEEP MIR ONE & MIR TWO – Russian deep submersibles from the science vessel Akademik Mistislav Keldysh ANATOLY MIKAILAVICH – portrayed by Anatoly Sagalevitch, Senior scientist of the Keldysh LEWIS BODINE – portrayed by Lewis Abernathy, a Titanic buff and longtime friend of James Cameron

SCENE 3 – THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA THE TITANIC – most of these shots were filmed in September 1995 when James Cameron and the Keldysh crew went to the wreck site SNOOP DOG – on these dives, this ROV went 90 feet into the wreckage, farther than any previous Titanic expedition The grand piano – this is one of the props developed to simulate the furniture of the wreckage The bathtub is from Rose’s stateroom.  The fish that swims behind it is a CGI.

SCENE 15 – LAB DECK The sketch – these drawings were coated in clear gel so they could be submersed without visible damage.

SCENE – 17 CERAMICS STUDIO Old Rose – Cameron modeled Old Rose after 103-year old sculptress Beatrice Wood of Ojai California

SCENE 29  – INTERIOR IMAGING SHACK / KELDYSH Bodine starts a computer animated graphic on the screen, which parallels his rapid-fire narration – Cameron included this animation early in the film to help prepare the audience for the eventual sinking of the ship, making it easier to follow the love story during the disaster. The sinking animation was composited into the television as the animation was not available for live, on-set playback.

SCENE 34  –  SOUTHAMPTON DOCK Use of color – Cameron mimicked the black and white to color effects of his favorite film, The Wizard of Oz. Watch the contrast between the muted colors of the present day scenes and the bright colors of 1912. Also, the bright colors worn by the first class passengers versus the drab colors of the second and third class – accurate for 1912 clothing. Flopping – This scene was “flopped” since only the starboard side of the ship set was built. The scene was filmed “backward” then reversed for the movie. This required all text (on hats, trucks, buildings, etc.) to resemble a mirror image. Young Rose dressed in a stunning white and purple outfit, with an enormous feathered hat – the large hat is symbolic of the oppression Rose feels, as is the walk up the elevated boarding bridge a few minutes later. ROSE:”I don’t see what all the fuss is about. It doesn’t look any bigger than the Mauretania” – the Mauretania was the largest luxury liner in the world prior to Titanic. CALEDON HOCKLEY AND SPICER LOVEJOY – Billy Zane and David Warner also appeared together in an episode of the television show “Twin Peaks.”  In this episode, another cast member utters the line “I’d rather be his whore than your wife.”  (There is no reason to think Cameron knew this when he used the same line in this script.) A man is filming with a wooden Biograph “cinematograph” camera mounted on a tripod. This is Daniel Marvin ,whose father founded the Biograph Film Studio, and who was on his honeymoon with  bride, Mary.   Theirs was the first filmed wedding in history. Daniel died in the sinking.  

SCENE 36 – SOUTHAMPTON DOCKS / PUB Jack Dawson was loosely based on writer Jack London.

SCENE 46 – SUITE B-52-56 Rose and her paintings –  This scene was filmed on 9/18/96, the first day of principal filming at Rosarito. These reproductions were painted by on-set painter Marilyn McAvoy in the five days before the scene was shot. She was also responsible for some of Jack’s sketches and for the “aging” of the contents of Cal’s safe.

SCENE 52 –  SERIES OF SCENES The engine room – watch the emphasis on the overwhelming size of the machinery. One of Cameron’s trademarks is the idea of “man v. machinery.”  The engine room sequence was filmed on the WWII ship Jeremiah O’Brien, which boasted the same triple expansion reciprocating steam engine as RMS Titanic.

SCENE 60 – POOP DECK/DAY Bert Cartwell & Cora – Cartwell is portrayed by one of the stuntmen, Rocky Taylor Jack sees Rose – Rose is positioned higher than and opposite of Jack, symbolizing the class difference. The characters are diametrically opposed – a first class woman had the greatest chance of surviving the sinking, a third class male the least.

SCENE 65 POOP DECK/NIGHT Rose’s suicide – the close-up of Winslet’s feet is a Cameron trademark JACK: “Water that cold…it hits you like a thousand knives all over your body” – this was based on a quote by Second Officer Lightoller, who survived the sinking. Jack pulls Rose over the rail, one foot slips off the edge of the deck – the torn lace is symbolic of Rose shedding her constrictive upbringing. Later, she will shed her shoes (steerage dance), then her clothes (sketch scene) She plunges; Rose barely grabs a lower rail with her free hand – during the filming, Winslet was hanging over a 12 foot drop

SCENE 66  POOP DECK/NIGHT CAL: “What made you think you could put your hands on my fiancee?! – this line foreshadows the scene in the Renault when Rose says, “Put your hands on me, Jack.”

SCENE 67 – ROSE’S BEDROOM Cal places the necklace around her throat – symbolic of Cal’s control and oppression

SCENE 73 – BOAT DECK/DAY Jack and Rose walk the decks in first class -this scene was used for Winslet’s screen test and for DiCaprio & Winslet’s screen test together. It was also used for the Oscar reel for Winslet’s Best Actress nomination. Jack’s sketch book – Most of the sketches were done by Cameron, though other artists contributed

SCENE 74 – RECEPTION ROOM / D-DECK ISMAY: “What a glorious end to your last crossing if we get into New York Tuesday night and surprise them all” – watch the woman in the background listening to Ismay and Smith. This woman is based on Elizabeth Lines, a survivor that claimed to overhear this conversation.

SCENE 76 – DECK PROMENADE/ SUNSET Spitting scene – neither DiCaprio nor Winslet nor studio executives wanted to include this scene but Cameron insisted. In pre-screening, it was an audience favorite.

SCENE 81- DINING SALOON The string quintet – Professional string quartet I Solonisti portrayed the band , joined by Jonathon Evans-Jones as leader Wallace Hartley.

SCENE 82 – DINING SALOON ROSE: “To making it count” – Cameron had DiCaprio deliberately hold the wine glass by the globe rather than the stem in contrast to the other characters.

SCENE 85 – THIRD CLASS GENERAL ROOM (D-deck) The steerage party dance –  the band is portrayed by Gaelic Storm of Santa Monica, California. This scene was choreographed by Lynne Hockney, who was also the film’s etiquette coach. Other than the principle actors, the scene boasts professional dancers. Rose pulls off her high heeled shoes to dance with Jack – Winslet, a trained dancer, required the least work with the choreographer; DiCaprio, the most. This is another “foot shot” – a Cameron trademark.

SCENE 90 – RUTH’S SUITE RUTH: “You are not to see that boy again, do you understand me Rose?”- this scene was originally written as Rose helping Ruth with her corset, but Cameron and the actors decided Ruth tightening Rose’s corset was more dramatic.

SCENE 91 – FIRST CLASS WORSHIP SERVICE “Almighty Father Strong To Save” is sung during the worship service (‘O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea.’) and was sung during the last worship service on RMS Titanic. Winslet is a trained vocalist. Listen for her voice mixed in front of the others.

SCENE 94 – A-DECK A man is playing with his son, who is spinning a top with a string. – this scene is based on one of the last known pictures taken on the ship; watch for Titanic historian Don Lynch in this scene.

SCENE 99 – TITANIC’S BOW Rose finds Jack on the ship’s bow – This scene was shot at different angles both against a natural sunset and against a “green screen” with the footage being combined to form the entire effect. Most of it was shot on the last day of principal filming (3/20-22/97).

SCENE 101 – EMBRACING ON THE BOW The transition from the past to the present reminds the audience of the impending danger, loss and horror that is to come – both a temporal and emotional transition.

SCENE 103 – ROSE’S SUITE Sketch scene – This scene was the first that DiCaprio and Winslet filmed together (filmed 9/19/96). Watch for Rose’s engagement ring, which is missing when she exits the dressing room. Watch the shots of Cameron’s hands, which are drawing the sketch, spliced between the close-up shots of DiCaprio. JACK: “Over there on the bed, I mean, couch.” – DiCaprio accidentally said “bed,” it wasn’t written in the script,  but Cameron liked it and left it in the scene.

SCENE 104 – ROSE’S BEDROOM Rose takes the butterfly comb from her hair – Rose’s hair is worn up when she is with her first class circle, but down during many of her scenes with Jack, signifying her rebellion.

SCENE  105 – THE SKETCH SCENE Rose hands Jack a dime – It is a “Barber” dime. They were minted between 1892 and 1916. The Barber dime is distinctive because the portrait of Liberty on the head of the coin faces the right, not the left.

SCENE 120 – CARGO HOLD The Renault touring car  was actually on the Titanic, stored on G-deck, and was owned by William E. Carter. Cameron had the movie prop designed as an exact duplicate of the original, designed based on pictures from the wreckage as well as from insurance records.

SCENE 131 – TITANIC STRIKES THE ICEBERG Cinematography: The style shifts from slow and smooth (elegance) to bouncing and jarring (panic).  

SCENE 177 – BOAT DECK / PORT SIDE FLARES – underline the desperate nature of the situation, the complete isolation and forebode the doom of the ship. ROSE : “I’d rather be his whore than your wife.” – This scene was written for Rose to stick Cal with a hairpin but Winslet suggested spitting in Cal’s face. This scene was shot 27 times and eventually required the crew to use KY jelly on Winslet’s tongue to keep it from drying out.

SCENE 192 –  THE STAIRWELL Rose plunges into the water holding the axe above her head    – Winslet admitted that her reaction to the cold water was real. She had asked Cameron not to heat the water for this shot. There were 26 copies of Rose’s dress because of the conditions imposed on the material by filming in the water.

SCENE 193 – MASTER AT ARMS OFFICE The axe used on the wardrobe was real; the axe used on the handcuffs was rubber.

SCENE 223 – GRAND STAIRCASE Jack finds Rose after she jumps from the lifeboat – After this scene was filmed, DiCaprio asked Cameron to shoot one “for the actors.” With everyone unaware of what he had planned, DiCaprio lifted Winslet in the air when they embraced. This became the shot in the movie.

SCENE 253 – GRAND STAIRCASE Glass dome implosion – this scene, filmed 12/21/96 right before the casts’ 5 week break, cost $500,000 and had to be done in one take. The first class dining saloon and the grand staircase were constructed on a hydraulic platform at the bottom of a 30-foot deep tank, designed to be angled and flooded with 5 million gallons of filtered seawater.

SCENE 257 – BOW SINKS / STERN RISES These scenes were filmed 3/6/97-3/12/97 and were the most expensive filming days in motion picture history. The stern section used for this shot weighed 1.3 million tons.

SCENE 265 – STERN A man falls from the poop deck, hitting the bronze hub of the starboard propeller – This propeller was made out of foam, as were the other objects the falling passengers “struck.” The full size set could only be tilted by splitting it in half.  Two pieces of footage were composited to give the impression of the full ship sinking into the water.

SCENE 274 – TITANIC – NIGHT Jack looks to his left and sees Baker Joughin, crouching on the hull. The ship’s stern drops like an elevator. – Joughin, the baker on RMS Titanic, did ride the stern when it descended. He described it feeling as an elevator dropping.

SCENE 283 – OCEAN Rose’s wooden debris – the debris was a specially made floatation device covered in oak.  It was modeled after a piece of debris recovered after the sinking. Simulated cold breath – the breath was digitally inserted.

SCENE 285 – OCEAN ROSE: “I’ll never let go, Jack” – this scene was filmed on 10/5/96, Winslet’s 21st birthday. The still from this scene was also used as the “For your consideration” Academy Awards advertisement. For this scene, DiCaprio and Winslet spent 13 hours in the water, with only two breaks.  

SCENE 301 – ROSE ON THE CARPATHIA The Statue of Liberty is a miniature.

SCENE 310 – THE WRECK OF THE TITANIC Zooming through the decks of the sunken ship which transforms into the ship in its original state – this is the longest special effects shot in the film.


Movie Timeline:

1987: James Cameron started developing the idea for Titanic. September 1992: James Cameron and his staff began diving expeditions to the RMS Titanic August – September 1995: Filming at Titanic wreck, seabed, North Atlantic March 1996: Cast auditions begin. March 1996:  Kate Winslet accepts the part of Rose Dewitt Bukater. May 1996: Winslet and DiCaprio discuss Titanic at Cannes Film Festival. Winslet begs DiCaprio to accept the role of Jack. May October 1996: Model makers construct the 45-foot copy of the Titanic. June 1996: Leonardo DiCaprio accepts the role of Jack Dawson. July – August 1996: Filming at Halifax, Nova Scotia August 1996: On the last day of filming in Halifax, the cast and crews’ clam chowder was spiked with PCP, ending in their quarantine at a local hospital.                   August 10, 1996: Groundbreaking ceremony for the Rosarito set. September 4-10, 1996: Cast rehearsals in Los Angeles. September 11-17, 1996: Cast rehearsals in Rosarito. September 18, 1996: Filming begins at Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico September 19, 1996: DiCaprio and Winslet’s first scene is filmed, the sketch scene. October 1996: $75 million of total budget has been used. October 5, 1996: DiCaprio & Winslet spend 13 hours in the water filming the “I’ll never let go” scene that follows the sinking. It is Winslet’s 21st birthday. December 21, 1996: Filming of glass dome implosion December-January 1996: 5 weeks break for cast. February 24, 1997: Original targeted wrap date for Rosarito. Filming continues. March 1997: $150 million of total budget has been used. March 6-12, 1997: The most expensive filming days in motion picture history, the “bow sinks, stern rises” sequences. March 20 , 1997: DiCaprio & Winslet begin filming the “I’m flying” scene. March 22, 1997: Principal photography wrapped in Rosarito. May 11, 1997: Los Angeles Times interview with Kate Winslet paints unflattering picture of Cameron May 27, 1997: Actual premiere date announced as December 19, 1997. July 4, 1997: Original targeted US premiere date. July 14, 1997: First test screening at Minneapolis’ Mall of America July 18, 1997: Second targeted US premiere date. August 1, 1997: Third targeted US premiere date. August 12, 1997: Second test screening in Portland, Oregon. August 17, 1997: Third and final test screening in Anaheim Hills, California. November 1, 1997: Tokyo International film festival premieres Titanic. November 18, 1997: UK premiere at 51st Royal Film Performance); the soundtrack is released. December 14, 1997: US premiere at Mann’s Chinese Theatre December 19, 1997: Titanic opens in theatres across the US. December 28, 1997: The soundtrack enters the Billboard Charts. January 18 1998: Golden Globe Awards January 21, 1998 : The soundtrack moves from #11 to #1 on the Billboard Charts.  It held that position for 16 straight weeks. February 22, 1998: Titanic breaks even by exceeding $400 million gross February 1998: Edited Titanic causes a scandal in Singapore. February 10, 1998: Oscar nominations announced. February 10, 1998: The soundtracks biggest sales leap occurs in the days preceding Valentine’s Day. February 20, 1998 (approximate): breaks the worldwide box office record held by Jurassic Park. February 27, 1998 (approximate): surpasses $1 billion in worldwide sales March 8, 1998: Screen Actors Guild Awards March 13, 1998 (approximate): surpasses Star Wars at the US box office March 23, 1998: Oscar night. Titanic has made nearly twice the combined earnings of the other best-picture nominees. March 28, 1998: Cameron’s letter to the editor – berating their movie critic – appears in the LA Times April 1998: Paramount sends out a record number of replacement prints because the film is wearing out from repeated showings. April 3, 1998: Falls from #1 in US. April 3, 1998: premiere in China, last premiere in a major country. April 12, 1998: The soundtrack falls from the #1 spot. April 24, 1998: surpasses $1 billion foreign gross May 22, 1998: Falls from #1 at International Box Office. May 1998: The Passenger Vessel Association issues a warning not to imitate the “flying” scene in Titanic. May 29, 1999: breaks record for consecutive weeks in U.S. Top 10 May-August 1998: Deluxe Video Services, Inc., in Little Rock, Arkansas produces the VHS tapes. June 19, 1998 (approximate): Falls from the Top 10 at the US Box Office. June 1998: A Danish woman imitating Rose’s suicide attempt falls 65 feet from a passenger ferry. July 17, 1998: Titanic moves to discount theaters August 21, 1998 (approximate): surpasses $600 million in US sales August 25, 1998: The second soundtrack is released. September 1, 1998: Titanic is released on video (VHS). October 9-10, 1998: “Back to Titanic Live in Concert” is scheduled at the Hollywood Bowl. The concerts are subsequently cancelled.


Making the movie:

163: Days of principal photography. 12 minutes: The amount of wreck footage Jim Cameron could film with the special underwater camera. 1.3 million feet: film used for the entire movie 17,280 minutes: length of the entire film footage 202 minutes: Cameron’s first edit 195 minutes: Cameron’s final edit 118: number of speaking parts 39: speaking parts in the average movie 3: The number of injuries on the set. 1: The number of crew member deaths during the filming (off the set). 30: The number of divers used during filming.
1,000: extras during the sinking scenes 100: stunt people in the tilting poopdeck scene 26: copies of the sinking dress available for filming 27: takes of the scene where Rose spits in Cal’s face 13: hours DiCaprio & Winslet spent in the water filming the post-sinking scenes 5: weeks the cast had for Christmas break


Post-release:

5 minutes: length of the trailer 2.5 minutes: MPAA limit for trailer length 22: #1 weeks at the international box office 15: #1 weeks at the US box office 26: weeks in the US Top 10 $3,000: cost of each theater replacement print 20%: number of moviegoers that saw Titanic more than once 16: weeks the soundtrack was #1 14: countries where the soundtrack went to #1 3: weeks “My Heart Will Go On” was #1 $60 million: approximate domestic network and pay TV revenues 20 million: copies of the original VHS shipped for US release 12-15 million: VHS sold in the first week 1 million: DVD units sold by pre-order prior to the release