JK: “So there’s this story of a guy who was working on the foley for the ‘Titanic’ movie with James Cameron that’s become this like legendary story in the audio world. Not sure how exact it is, but I’ll tell it how I remember.”
Me: “That’s perfect.”
JK: “Okay, so, supposedly the [foley] guy had been working on creating the sound for this sequence for a while and was going into a review with James. And obviously being near completion, weeks of work have gone into this.”
JK: “And James walked in to check out the scene, the dude presses play in ProTools. They’re sitting there, watching the scene, there’s all the sound- he’s watching it. James leans over, and he hits Command+A on the keyboard, then the delete key… and then Command+S. Closes the project, and walks out.”
Me: “Did he say anything?!”
JK: “I’ve heard some people say he did, but most say he walked out silent. [Again] not sure but it seems like it would be, and everyone I know believes it.”
The informant works in the audio industry for voice over, sound mixing, mastering, etc. This story was told amongst co-workers at a larger audio company he was working for at the time and moved quickly from shock-gossip to legend status.
While I was receiving a recounting of it over the phone, it was most commonly exchanged as a recognition of the maltreatment of people in their industry by the big shots. Knowledge of the story provides a certain wisdom and a sense of community with the other audio engineers on your level.
Stories like these in an industry that can be very cut throat because of certain unsavory individuals seem to serve as a reminder that everyone is there to make good art, but also to work and interact with others as human beings. Obviously, it is a stab at James Cameron’s character but also between the lines almost mocks his performative seriousness. Finally, having done work myself in audio and with music, losing project data is always the worst possible thing to happen. You will never really be able to re-create what you’ve done exactly how you had it before, and it can be extremely discouraging. This legend also serves as a lesson to always keep backups of your work. Because if it’s not a crash or a weird glitch that comes for your data, it’s a self-righteous director.