The Abyss 4K Blu-ray transfer was personally performed by James Cameron


Director James cameron stated that he personally oversaw a 4K digital transfer of his 1989 sci-fi film, The abyss. In an interview with, on the sidelines of the release of his next book Tech Noir, the filmmaker greeted the director of photography Mikaël Salomonabout the film and regretted not having liked it enough when working on it.

Cameron said he did The abyss before he began to take an active interest in lighting, but was very impressed with the “remarkable job” that Salomon did on the film, for which he was nominated for an Oscar. In his words:

“It’s really, really beautiful cinematography. This was before I started asserting myself in terms of lighting and asking the cinematographer to do certain things. I would compose with the camera and choose the lenses, but I let him have the lighting. He did an amazing job on this movie which I enjoy better now than I do even as we were doing it.

Cameron said that now, with a recently completed high-definition transfer, he hopes audiences will be able to enjoy the film in perfect condition, both streaming and on physical media. He said he completed the transfer just two months ago.


Featuring Ed harris, Mary elizabeth mastrantonio, and Michael biehn, the film told the story of a trio of characters who investigate mysterious underwater events near the Cayman Trench.

Image via 20th Century Fox

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The abyss probably at the origin of Cameron’s fascination with the deep sea; the filmmaker is currently working on the second Avatar film, an important part of which will take place underwater. He is also a scuba diver and has participated in documentaries on underwater exploration. In the interview, Cameron praised Salomon for his pioneering techniques in underwater photography. He said:

“I also want to point out that he took a look at the first day dailies on underwater lighting and went out and learned to scuba dive. He came the following Monday morning, the world’s worst diver, but he reinvented underwater lighting. He went for indirect lighting and got everyone to do things that weren’t just outside of their comfort zone, they never even thought about it. Suddenly the underwater shots start to measure up to the surface photography.

Cameron admitted that The abyss “didn’t make a lot of money back then,” but recognized his ever-growing fan cult. The film grossed $ 90 million against an estimated budget of $ 47 million.

But the days when a Cameron film underperformed at the box office are over. The filmmaker has the distinction of having directed Avatar and Titanic, the number one and number three highest-grossing movies in history (adjusted for inflation). The sequel to the decade to come is slated for release in December 2022. Stay tuned for more news!


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