My (Dean Clark) Titanic adventure started over lunch with a young technician working in the fledgling “Motion Capture” industry. Brett worked for Viewpoint Datalabs. When Viewpoint closed the studio down suddenly, my friend’s co-worker used his family connections to buy the studio facilities. Talk about being in the right place at the right time, Brett the technician was now a partner in Hollywood’s top Motion Capture studio: House of Moves.
Their studio had the perfect location in Venice, CA and served the biggest movies and video game projects of the day. They were even located across the street from James Cameron’s studio Digital Domain! After designing business cards and an intro flyer for the new studio, I got the call that would literally change my life: “Do you want to work on our Titanic ad for Cinefex”! I had no idea what that was, but was open to working on anything connected to James Cameron.
I first designed the ad for House of Moves featuring Captain Smith and his First Mate and made it my goal to elevate the material and honor the lives that were lost. Little did I know that my friend would take my artwork and show it to the head of Digital Domain’s marketing department. He loved the ad and expressed a desire to work with me! The next week I got a call from Vicon (who also saw the original ad), they asked if I could design their Titanic ad for Cinefex.
Now, I got to actually go into Digital Domain and meet the head of marketing…it was AMAZING! The capsule for Apollo 13 and cityscape from Fifth Element were in the studio on display. Bob, the marketing guy then looked at me and said “I like your work…what’s your quote”? Totally unprepared, I blurted out a number and he said…”OK”. I was than able to hand pick an image from the movie to feature in the Vicon ad…it was awesome to see how the effects were layered to make the final image. I was able to pick a classic shot from the movie and the Vicon ad was approved.
My day job at the time was selling wide-format poster printers to the studios. I then sent Bob at Digital Domain a 36″ wide poster featuring the Cinefex ads and thanking him for the use of his images. His mind was blown and he hired me as the designer for the official Titanic ad opposite the review in Hollywood Reporter! The highlight was getting to feature blueprints from the ship directly from the model shop.
I ended up working for James Cameron over the next year on ads for Titanic, Fifth Element and commemorating their Oscar, British Academy and Cleo awards.