James Cameron

Canadian film director, film producer, deep-sea explorer, screenwriter, and editor James Cameron was born August 16, 1954. He found success with the science-fiction hit The Terminator (1984). He was then hired to write & direct Aliens (1986) and followed this up withThe Abyss (1989). He found further critical acclaim for his use of special effects in the action packed blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). After his film True Lies(1994) Cameron took on his biggest film at the time Titanic (1997) which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and him the Academy Award for Best Director and Film Editing. AfterTitanic, Cameron began the science-fiction epic Avatar (2009), for which he was nominated for Best Director and Film Editing again. Cameron also spent several years creating many documentary films (specifically underwater documentaries) and co-developed the digital 3D Fusion Camera System. Described by a biographer as part-scientist and part-artist, Cameron has also contributed to underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies. On March 26, 2012, Cameron reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, in the Deep sea Challenger submersible. He is the first person to do this in a solo descent, and is only the third person to do so ever. He has been nominated for six Academy Awards overall and won three for Titanic. In total, Cameron’s directorial efforts have grossed approximately US$2 billion in North America and US$6 billion worldwide. Cameron’s Titanic and Avatar are the two highest-grossing films of all time at $2.19 billion and $2.78 billion respectively and in March 2011 he was named Hollywood’s top earner by Vanity Fair, with estimated 2010 earnings of $257 million

His first film was called Xenogenesis (1978) . In 1979 he worked as production assistant on a film called Rock and Roll High School. Cameron started working as a miniature-model maker at Roger Corman Studios. He then found employment as an art director in the sci-fi movie Battle Beyond the Stars (1980). He did special effects work design and direction on John Carpenter’s Escape from New York (1981), acted as production designer on Galaxy of Terror (1981), and consulted on the design of Android (1982). Cameron was the special effects director for Piranha II: The Spawning in 1981. The interior scenes were filmed in Italy while the underwater sequences were shot at Grand Cayman Island. However he was fired as Director after failing to get a close up of Carole Davis in her opening scene.  Instead Cameron stayed on location to assist in the shooting. Once in Rome, Ovidio took over the editing when Cameron was stricken with food poisoning. During his illness, he had a nightmare about an invincible robot hitman sent from the future to kill him, giving him the idea for The Terminator.

After completing a screenplay for The Terminator, Cameron decided to sell it so that he could direct the movie. However most Production Companies were unwilling to let an inexperienced director make the move. Eventually Hemdale Pictures, agreed to let him direct thanks to Gale Anne Hurd, who had started her own production company, Pacific Western Productions, and had previously worked with Cameron in Roger Corman’s companY. For the role of the Terminator, Cameron envisioned a man who was not exceptionally muscular, who could “blend into” a crowd. Lance Henriksen, who had starred in Piranha II: The Spawning, was considered for the title role, but when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cameron first met over lunch to discuss Schwarzenegger playing the role of Kyle Reese, both came to the conclusion that the cyborgvillain would be the more compelling role for the Austrian bodybuilder; Henriksen got the smaller part of LAPD detective Hal Vukovich and the role of Kyle Reese went to Michael Biehn. In addition, Linda Hamilton first appeared in this film in her iconic role of Sarah Connor, and later married Cameron. It became a box office hit

During the early 1980s, Cameron wrote three screenplays simultaneously: The Terminator, Aliens, and the first draft of Rambo: First Blood Part II. While Cameron continued with The Terminator and Aliens, the sequel to Alien, the 1979 film by Ridley Scott. Cameron cast Sigourney Weaver in the iconic role of Ellen Ripley. However the crew on Aliens was hostile to him, regarding him as a poor substitute for Ridley Scott. Cameron showed them The Terminator but the majority of the crew refused to watch it and remained skeptical of his direction throughout production. Despite this and other off-screen problems (such as clashing with an uncooperative camera man and having to replace one of the lead actors – Michael Biehn of Terminator took James Remar’s place as Corporal Hicks), Aliens became a box office success. It received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Weaver, Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound, and won awards for Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects. In addition, the film and its lead actress made the cover ofTIME magazine.

Cameron’s next project stemmed from an idea that had come up during a high school biology class. The story of oil-rig workers who discover otherworldly underwater creatures which became the basis of The Abyss, which cast Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Michael Biehn. It was considered to be one of the most expensive films of its time, requiring cutting-edge effects technology. Because much of the film takes place underwater and the technology wasn’t advanced enough to digitally create an underwater environment, Cameron chose to shoot much of the movie “reel-for-real”, at depths of up to 40 feet (12 m). For creation of the sets, the containment building of an unfinished nuclear power plant was converted, and two huge tanks were used. The cast and crew resided there for much of the shooting.

Next Cameron directed the sequel of The Terminator which continued the story of Sarah Connor and her struggle against machines from the future. Although Cameron had come up with a core idea for the sequel, and Schwarzenegger expressed interest in continuing the story. Despite a few problems Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger both returned For the sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  Schwarzenegger prep risked his role as The Terminator, but this time as a protector. Unlike Schwarzenegger’s character—the T-800 Terminator which is made of a metal endoskeleton—the new villain of the sequel, (T-1000), is a more-advanced Terminator made of liquid metal, and with polymorphic abilities. The T-1000 would also be much less bulky than the T-800. For the role, Cameron cast Robert Patrick, a sharp contrast to Schwarzenegger. The ground-breaking effects used in The Abyss to digitally depict the water tentacle convinced Cameron that his liquid metal villain was now possible. Like Cameron’s previous film, it was one of the most expensive films of its era, with a budget of about $100 million. The biggest challenge of the movie was the special effects used in creating the T-1000. It became the highest-grossing film of 1991 and won four Academy Awards: Best Makeup, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing, but lost both Awards to JFK.

A sequel Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was released in July 2003 without Cameron’s involvement. Jonathan Mostow directed the film and Schwarzenegger returned as the Terminator. Cameron reunited with the main cast of Terminator 2 to film T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, an attraction at Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan. It was released in 1996 and was a mini-sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The show is in two parts: a prequel segment in which a spokesperson talks about Cyberdyne, and a main feature, in which the performers interact with a 3-D movie. Before the release of T2, Schwarzenegger came to Cameron with the idea of remaking the French comedy La Totale! Titled True Lies, with filming beginning after T2’s release, the story revolves around a secret-agent spy who leads a double life as a married man, whose wife believes he is a computer salesman. Schwarzenegger was cast as Harry Tasker, a spy charged with stopping a plan by a terroristto use nuclear weapons against the United States. Jamie Lee Curtis and Eliza Dushku played the character’s family, and Tom Arnold the sidekick. True Lies was released in 1994 and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

Cameron expressed interest in the famous sinking of the ship RMS Titanic. He decided to script and film his next project based on this event. The picture revolved around a fictional romance story between two young lovers from different social classes who meet on board. So he dived to the bottom of the Atlantic and shot actual footage of the ship underwater, which he inserted into the final film. Cameron then cast Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Victor Garber, Danny Nucci, David Warner, Suzy Amis, and Bill Paxton as the film’s principal cast. Titanic became the most expensive movie ever made at the time and was widely ridiculed for its expense and protracted production schedule. But went on to gross more than $1 billion worldwide. It remained the highest-grossing film since 1998, until Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar. The CG visuals surrounding the sinking and destruction of the ship were considered spectacular. Titanic received 14 Oscar nominations (tied with All About Eve) at the 1998 Academy Awards. It won 11 Oscars (also tying the record for most Oscar wins with Ben-Hur and later The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), including: Best Picture,Best Director, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score, Best Original Song.After receiving the Best Picture Oscar along withJon Landau, Cameron asked for a moment of silence for the 1500 men, women and children, who died when the ship sank. Titanic was subsequently re-released in 3D in April 2012, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the real ship.

Cameron then created Dark Angel, a superheroine-centered series influenced bycyberpunk, biopunk, contemporary superhero franchises, and third-wave feminism. It starred Jessica Alba as Max Guevara, a genetically enhanced super-soldier created by a secretive organization. Cameron’s work was said to “bring empowered female warriors back to television screens by mixing the sober feminism of his The Terminator and Aliens characters with the sexed-up Girl Power of a Britney Spears concert.” And Cameron himself directed the series finale, a two-hour episode wrapping up many of the series’ loose ends.

Whythankyouverymuch uh-huh!

Often referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” or simply “the King”, Elvis Presley sadly passed away 16 August 1977. Born 8th January, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. At the age of 13 Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family and began his career there in 1954, working with Sun Records owner Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was one of the originators of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm and blues. Presley’s rise to national attention in 1956 transformed the field of popular music and had a huge effect on the broader scope of popular culture.

Presley’s first RCA single, “Heartbreak Hotel“, was released in January 1956, and was a number one hit. He became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited performance style made him enormously popular—and controversial. In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender. He was Conscripted into military service in 1958, and relaunched his recording career two years later with some of his most commercially successful work. He staged few concerts however, and guided by Colonel Tom Parker, he proceeded to devote much of the 1960s to making Hollywood movies and soundtrack albums, most of them critically derided. In 1968, after seven years away from the stage, he returned to live performance in a celebrated comeback television special that led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of profitable tours. In 1973 Presley staged the first concert broadcast globally via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii, seen by approximately 1.5 billion viewers.

ELVIS PRESLEY 50 GREATEST HITS 

Presley is regarded as one of the most important figures of 20th-century popular culture. He had a versatile voice and unusually wide success encompassing many genres, including country, pop ballads, gospel, and blues. He is the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music. Nominated for 14 competitive Grammys, he won three, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame, and is regarded As the catalyst for the cultural revolution that was rock and roll, he was central not only to defining it as a musical genre but in making it a touchstone of youth culture and rebellious attitude. His name, image, and voice are instantly recognizable around the globe, and in In polls and surveys, he is recognized as one of the most important popular music artists and influential Americans.“Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century”, said composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. “He introduced the beat to everything and he changed everything—music, language, clothes. It’s a whole new social revolution—the sixties came from it.” Bob Dylan described the sensation of first hearing Presley as “like busting out of jail”. A New York Times editorial on the 25th anniversary of Presley’s death observed, “All the talentless impersonators and appalling black velvet paintings on display can make him seem little more than a perverse and distant memory. But before Elvis was camp, he was its opposite: a genuine cultural force. … Elvis’s breakthroughs are underappreciated because in this rock-and-roll age, his hard-rocking music and sultry style have triumphed so completely.” Not only Presley’s achievements, but his failings as well, are seen by some cultural observers as adding to the power of his legacy.

Sadly Prescription drug abuse severely compromised his health, and this together with poor diet led to his sudden death in August 1977 at the age of 42. Despite this Elvis Presley remains a supreme figure in American life, one whose presence, no matter how banal or predictable, brooks no real comparisons, The cultural range of his music has expanded to the point where it includes not only the hits of the day, but also patriotic recitals, pure country gospel, and really dirty blues. Elvis emerged as a great artist, a great rocker, a great purveyor of schlock, a great heart throb, a great bore, a great symbol of potency, a great ham, a great nice person, and a great American.

Madonna

American singer-songwriter, actress, author, director, entrepreneur and philanthropist Madonna Louise Ciccone was born August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance and performed in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy. In 1982, Madonna signed with Sire Records (an affiliate of Warner Bros. Records) and released herself-titled debut album the following year. She has since released a series of successful albums, including the Grammy Award winners Ray of Light (1998) and Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005). Many of her songs peaked atop record charts, including “Like a Virgin”, “Into the Groove”, “Papa Don’t Preach”, “Like a Prayer”, “Vogue”, “Frozen”, “Music”, “Hung Up”, and “4 Minutes”.

Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry. She attained immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Critics have praised her diverse musical productions which have also been known to induce controversy.Madonna received generally positive reviews for her role in Desperately Seeking Susan(1985), though her later film appearances received mixed commentary. She received critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Evita (1996), but has received harsh feedback for other performances. She has been recognized as an acclaimed businesswoman, involving herself in fashion design, writing children’s books, and film directing and producing. In 1992, she founded entertainment company Maverick as a joint venture with Time Warner, which also included the label Maverick Records. In 2007, she signed a US $120 million record, touring and merchandising 360° deal with Live Nation, resulting in her leaving Warner Bros., her label

Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. Time considered her to be one of the “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century” for being an influential figure in contemporary music. Madonna is the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second best selling female artist in the United States, with 64.5 millioncertified albums. Considered by Forbes and other publications as a cultural icon, she is often referred by the international press as the “Queen of Pop”. In 2008, Billboard ranked her at number two, behind only The Beatles, on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, making her the most successful solo artist in the history of the chart. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the same year. In 2012, she was crowned the “Greatest Woman In Music” by VH1. As of 2013, Madonna’s net worth was reported as over one billion dollars.

Lawrence of Arabia

Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO was born 16th August 1888. known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, he was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title which was used for the 1962 film based on his World War I activities. From 1907 to 1910 Lawrence studied history at Jesus College, Oxford. He became a practising archaeologist in the Middle East, working at various excavations. In 1908 he joined the OUOTC (Oxford University Officer Training Corps), undergoing a two-year training course. Before the outbreak of World War I, Lawrence was co-opted by the British Army to undertake a military survey of the Negev Desert while doing archaeological research. In the summer of 1909 Lawrence set out alone on a three-month walking tour of crusader castles in Ottoman Syria. Lawrence graduated with First Class Honours after submitting a thesis entitled The influence of the Crusades on European Military Architecture — to the end of the 12th century, based on his field research in France, notably in Châlus, and in the Middle East.

On completing his degree in 1910, Lawrence commenced postgraduate research in mediaeval pottery with a Senior Demy, a scholarship, at Magdalen College, Oxford, which he abandoned after he was offered the opportunity to become a practising archaeologist in the Middle East. In December 1910 he sailed for Beirut, and went to Jbail (Byblos), and then went to work on the excavations at Carchemish, in northern Syria, where he worked for the British Museum. As the site lay near an important crossing on the Baghdad Railway, knowledge gathered there was of considerable importance to the military. From November 1911 he spent a second season at Carchemish and continued making trips to the Middle East as a field archaeologist until the outbreak of the First World War.

In January 1914, he was co-opted by the British military as an archaeological smokescreen for a British military survey of the Negev Desert in order to search for an area referred to in the Bible as the “Wilderness of Zin”; along the way, they undertook an archaeological survey of the Negev Desert. The Negev was of strategic importance, as it would have to be crossed by any Ottoman army attacking Egypt in the event of war, Lawrence also visited Aqaba and Petra. Upon the outbreak of World War One in 1914 Lawrence was working as a university post-graduate researcher and had travelled extensively within the Ottoman Empire provinces of the Levant (Transjordan and Palestine) and Mesopotamia (Syria and Iraq) under his own name. As such he became known to the Turkish Interior Ministry authorities and their German technical advisors. Lawrence came into contact with the Ottoman–German technical advisers, travelling over the German-designed, -built, and -financed railways during the course of his researches. Due to his first-hand knowledge of Syria, the Levant, and Mesopotamia, He was posted to Cairo on the Intelligence Staff of the GOC Middle East. The British government in Egypt sent Lawrence to work with the Hashemite forces in the Hejaz in October 1916

During the war, Lawrence fought with Arab irregular troops under the command of Emir Faisal, a son of Sherif Hussein of Mecca, in extended guerrilla operations against the armed forces of the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence obtained assistance from the Royal Navy to turn back an Ottoman attack on Yenbu in December 1916.Lawrence’s major contribution to the revolt was convincing the Arab leaders (Faisal and Abdullah) to co-ordinate their actions in support of British strategy. He persuaded the Arabs not to make a frontal assault on the Ottoman stronghold in Medina but allowed the Turkish army to tie up troops in the city garrison. The Arabs were then free to direct most of their attention to the Turks’ weak point, the Hejaz railway that supplied the garrison. This vastly expanded the battlefield and tied up even more Ottoman troops, who were then forced to protect the railway and repair the constant damage. Lawrence developed a close relationship with Faisal. In 1917, Lawrence arranged a joint action against the strategically located but lightly defended town of Aqaba. On 6 July, Aqaba fell to Lawrence and the Arab forces. After Aqaba, Lawrence was promoted to major. In January 1918, the battle of Tafileh, an important region southeast of the Dead Sea, was fought using Arab regulars under the command of Jafar Pasha al-Askari which was described as a “brilliant feat of arms” and Lawrence was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership at Tafileh, and was also promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and described as a very inspiring gentleman adventurer.

Lawrence was also involved in the build up to the capture of Damascus in the final weeks of the war, the newly liberated Damascus had been envisaged by Lawrence as the capital of an Arab state and he was was instrumental in establishing a provisional Arab government under Faisal. Faisal’s rule as king, however, came to an abrupt end in 1920, after the battle of Maysaloun, when the French Forces of General Gouraud, under the command of General Mariano Goybet, entered Damascus, destroying Lawrence’s dream of an independent Arabia. Immediately after the war, Lawrence worked for the Foreign Office, and also as as an advisor to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office. In 1919 his flight to Egypt crashed at the airport of Roma-Centocelle. The pilot and co-pilot were killed; Lawrence came off with a broken shoulder blade and two broken ribs. He continued serving in the RAF based at Bridlington, specialising in high-speed boats. Lawrence was also a keen motorcyclist, and, at different times, had owned seven Brough Superior motorcycles. His seventh motorcycle is on display at the Imperial War Museum. Sadly In May 1935, At the age of 46, two months after leaving the service, Lawrence was fatally injured in an accident on his Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle in Dorset, close to his cottage, Clouds Hill, near Wareham. A dip in the road obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles; he swerved to avoid them, lost control and was thrown over the handlebars. He died six days later on 19 May 1935. The spot is marked by a small memorial at the side of the road.