Tag Archives: titanic

James Cameron “Titanic” Post-Production Horror Story

Main Piece:

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.”
Me: “Right”
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.

The Titanic – Children’s Song


My informant, RW, is my mom. She grew up in Texas and attended YMCA camps most summers in her childhood in the 1970s. I have heard her sing this song to my brother and I at many points, but never knew exactly where she learned it. This piece was collected informally at home when I asked her to sing it again for me to record. I refer to myself as SW in the text.


Main Text:

RW: “This was from the YMCA camp I believe. Or… I think it was YMCA camp… it was at GDRA in Texas, I think it was YMCA but… 

‘The Titanic never made it

And never more shall be

It was sad when that great ship

Went down to the bottom of the sea

It was sad, how sad!

It was sad, too bad!

It was sad when that great ship

Went down to the bottom of the…

Uncles and aunts!

Little bitty children lost their pants!

It was sad when that great ship 

Went down to the bottom of the sea’

And it’s all happy and peppy and you sing right along with ‘everybody died, yay!’ There was a lot more to that song, but that’s like the chorus.”

SW: “So you did that at YMCA camp, did it spread past there? Did everybody know it?”

RW: “All of my friends did!”



This is a good example of the juxtaposition of tragic events in a joking context in folklore. While it’s not necessarily directly reckoning with the Titanic sinking since my mom learned it at YMCA camp in the 1970s, it is still an example of how children often have a morbid curiosity and like to make jokes about the things we would consider generally unfit for children to know about. In a way, it is also boundary exploration and learning how to express taboo topics in a way that is socially acceptable. By singing about the Titanic sinking, kids are learning how to navigate the unstable world of topics adults try to shield them from in their own unique and playful way.