by Avatar 2 Movie
Director James Cameron says his heart is going out to the people of Queensland whose lives have been devastated by this week’s "horrific" floods.
Cameron is in Australia to promote Sanctum 3D, which he executive produced. The film, shot in Queensland, tells the story of a group of cave divers who become trapped when a torrential downpour blocks their escape.
He has a vast experience of working with dangerous bodies of water – having shot Titanic, The Abyss and a series of documentaries about ocean exploration.
He says these experiences have taught him to respect the devastating power of water.
"People always underestimate the power of water. Water can crush you," Cameron, who also directed Avatar, said.
"Whether you spend a lot of time in the water or underwater, as we have in the ocean, or indeed made films when you have to move large amounts of water around, people always consistently underestimate the power of it.
"I think that gives us collectively a great respect for what people are up against in Queensland and, of course, our hearts go out to people who are losing their homes.
"The scope and scale of it is really horrific."
Sanctum’s director, Alister Grierson, agreed, adding it was difficult to make a connection about shooting a movie about a flood and people who were actually experiencing one.
"It’s a frivolous pursuit, in a sense, what we do for a living – so it’s difficult to compare to people’s real lives," he said.
"And we’ve all got friends and family in Queensland who are suffering through this."
Producer Andrew Wight says most of the crew that worked on Sanctum live in Queensland.
"If there’s any message to be taken from it, it is that mother nature unleashes and you have to pay attention," Wight said.
"But we will recover and we will rebuild and we will stick together.
"And out of these disasters often comes a lot of good – people take a fresh look at their lives and realise that a lot of the stuff that we surround ourselves with isn’t that important."