James Cameron: “There’s nothing we use now that I used when I started.”

From the Little White Lies interview with James Cameron:

Is there any reliable old technology that you use to make films now?

Interesting. There’s nothing we use now that I used when I started. Nothing. There’s photochemistry, which to me is obsolete. Mechanical movement is the same. As gorgeous as the Panaflex camera was – and it was a beautiful machine – it’s obsolete. Digital camera technology is so advanced now that I wouldn’t ever dream of going back to one of those old cameras. Large-scale physical miniatures, too, they’re gone. The last time I worked with miniatures was on Titanic. I still have the 42-foot long Titanic model, but it’s like a Model-T Ford. No, maybe something higher, like a Duesenberg or something.

The point is, we wouldn’t do it that way any more. We don’t work that way. We can’t. There’s too much flexibility with CG models. And they don’t degrade. I’m always repairing that damn Titanic. It’s always getting bumped into, railing getting snapped off, dust getting on the deck. We just do physical models, we don’t do matte paintings on glass, we don’t do photochemistry any more. And I think movies look better than they’ve ever looked. I know Chris Nolan disagrees, and he thinks that shooting on 65mm IMAX film is great, but you could achieve the same result digitally if you chose to.