tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg August 28, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
money so i can dive. the project follows his diving. the two passions are diving and making movies. here is the trailer for the film "james cameron's deep sea challenge." >> james cameron is on a mission to dive to the deepest point on the planet. >> he has made history. >> it is 36,000 feet down. a new record for a solo man dive. >> he is only the third person ever to reach the bottom of the mariana trench. >> untold possibilities. this is james cameron's most ambitious project yet.
[cheering] >> i've seen some pretty astonishing things in the depths. things that fill your soul with wonder. cousteau said, if we knew what was there, would not have to go. the mariana trench is the deepest part, the last great frontier of our world. it is my dream to build a machine to take us there. we are going to do things that the governments of the world cannot do. we are going to do something nobody else can do. >> when you dive to the bottom of the ocean, you have to face the fact that there are 100 horrible ways to die. in the event there is a break in a hatch, the water will bust through. >> it is such an internal drive for him. he has to do it.
>> we have to pit ourselves against the elements. we have got to dive. here we go. moment of truth. uh-oh. that is not good. we have got a lot of failures here. we have got a problem. pretty soon you realize you are in this metal coffin. consistently getting weaker and weaker. maybe such risks should not be taken. maybe the consequences to our families are too great. i'm ready to descend when you are. exploration comes with risk, but it is a risk that is worth something. you need to see what is there beyong the edge of your life, to see the unknown for yourself. it is the force that drives all exploration -- curiosity. ♪ >> this is a story of a man's great obsession to go to the bottom of the ocean.
>> it felt like science fiction when we were doing it. it was like being in a spaceship. it was like getting launched into space, except it is interspace. >> take me back to the beginning in canada. was this idea of being an explorer deep inside of you as a young boy? >> i think it emerged from my fascination with the natural world. i used to be out -- i was surrounded by woods. i would be out there catching frogs and snakes. they got me a microscope for christmas, maybe 10 years old. i started to look through pond water and seeing all of the microorganisms that live there. to me, it was endlessly fascinating, the natural world. that leads to -- they say exploration is just curiosity acted upon. you want to go and look with your own eyes. >> but you got sidelined by the movies. >> in college i could not decide between science -- i was studying physics and astronomy,
and that was a quest to understand the natural world -- and the arts. i became a lit major. the narrative drive was there as well. that took over. that is when i became a filmmaker. >> you wrote something called "the abyss." >> in high school. >> a short story. it was about scientists who are leaving a submerged space, similar to what i made into the movie, and they're going down a wall deeper and deeper into blackness and they do not come back. the ones that are left behind wonder what happened and go after them. and one after another, they keep going into the darkness and they do not return. and the last man goes, the last diver goes down to find out what happened to his buddies and he gets to the point of no return and his curiosity overwhelms his caution and he keeps going. that is how the story ends. >> was there moments in doing this that curiosity might have trumped caution? >> absolutely. that is the danger. self-knowledge is a beautiful thing when you are down there by
yourself and that's fear. the astronauts call it go fever. we want to keep going. on the other hand, the engineer side says, let's not do anything that is unsafe. let's minimize risk. >> from "the abyss," there was "terminator." then "titanic" came along and that was fueled by your desire to explore something. >> exactly. i got to have the privilege to dive to the real titanic wreck in 1995. it is not an exaggeration to say that i made that film so i could make those dives. >> when you make a movie like "titanic" and "avatar," you seem to say, "i'm going to make it as big as i can possibly make it. i'm going to make it as real as
i can make it." which also calls on your engineering skills. >> absolutely. we are always creating new technology for every film to realize that vision or to put the camera in some unique place. you try to give something to the audience they have not seen before. that led naturally to creating new technology to go to places that people had never been before, whether it is inside the titanic or inside the bismarck wreck. or ultimately going deeper than anybody's has gone. >> so, compare ocean exploration with exploration of space. and where we are in both. >> i think we are much better funded in space, because it is a good -- pork appropriations to a lot of aerospace companies. i'm not putting down space exploration. i love it. but the oceans are underfunded. desperately underfunded. especially now after all of the
discretionary funding was cut back in the last couple years. but the oceans are our life support system here on spaceship earth. we need to understand them before we kill the life in the oceans or permanently disrupt it. so, part of what i was trying to do with this film was get people interested in expiration here on earth and realize that the ocean is this vast enigma down there that we need to understand better. >> two interesting things. this morning there was a story on the bbc about this comet and going up and trying to circle the comet. called rosetta. raising the question of finding out how scientifically life had begun on this planet. a subject you're interested in. looking for answers in the ocean. >> it provides a great laboratory. most people think life did emerge on earth. did not come here from somewhere else. so, where? was it in the shallow pond that got hit by lightning?
that has been discredited. people like the idea of hydrothermal vents. but there is a new hypotheses that way down in the steepest trenches where they are getting energy from one crustal plate grinding under the other, that would've provided energy for life on earth. >> something like a big bang moment? >> it could be. it is not a widely accepted theory yet, but we were able to find evidence to support it on this expedition. >> we will come back to that later in terms of scientific purposes. so you get, i mentioned titanic and "avatar." so, when was the dream to go to the mariana trench is and for jim cameron to be the explore and to be the first person ever to do it solo? >> yeah. i think there is a moment where you step part way down the path. and there's a moment where you realize you are on that path and you did not know it.
in 2002, we were driving at the bismarck. we were going down 16,000 feet. less than half. but we were certainly at the limit of our equipment. we were near the limit of the russian submersibles that we were diving with. and so i just posed the question to the engineers sitting around on the ship, "what would it take to go all the way, to go to 36,000 feet? what with that technology look like?" then the conversation got started. one thing leads to another, and before you know it, you are going beyond just a napkin drawing to technical drawings. >> which reminds me -- all great things begin with a question. an unanswered question. in fact, you were out there because i guess on the return you could not land for 10 days. you were held off. >> on the russian trip. they needed a port permit and we wound up slow rolling. >> you had time to talk to these guys. >> talk to them and look at our footage.
we had time to think. it became a sequestered engineering group session. >> once you have the idea, why not? what do you do? >> for me, once i can visualize the machine, whatever it is -- >> the submersible. >> yeah. how it would work and what it would feel like to be in it, i then have to realize that. i will be patient about that. it took us seven years from the time we started. it we started in 2005. that is when i push the button and said i'm going to fund the development of this vehicle. >> "titanic" and "avatar" are parents to this journey. as you once said, i make films so i can dive. >> they were my rich parents. >> an homage. so, how do you start out, though? do you assemble a group of, because it is a small community
of smart divers. >> i started with a guy i worked with in australia. he is one of these polymath genius guys. he quietly figured out many of the technologies. just pay ron and a couple of assistance and work out the heart problems before i get a big team. that is when the cash starts flying out the door. and ronnie figured it all out. then there was a moment where we went to the next stage. from this moment on, it is going to start costing us money. i decided that that milestone was when ronnie had completed the sphere. it is like to see a bubble, floating like a champagne bubble. nature forms a sphere naturally. that is the best shape to take extreme pressure from the outside. a cylinder will not work. a cube will not work.
you always deal with a sphere. >> he designed a sphere that might have the possibility of withstanding the pressure at 35,000 feet. >> he and i decided together. he worked with all of the metallurgist. it wasn't an exotic material. we decided to use a gun steel that was developed in the second world war because we know that it was reliable. >> gun breach, meaning? >> the breach of a big bun like a howitzer. you think of the energy, when that shell goes off, that is the kind of pressure we are talking about. we start with the sphere. we pressurize the sphere and the chamber. we realize that works. now we tell the science community we are doing this. they have to believe us because we have got a sphere. now we have to wrap the rest of
the sub around that sphere. >> at every moment on this journey we have just described, in your mind it was james cameron that was going to be in the vessel? >> unquestionably. it would not be any fun. i knew i was going to be a least one of the pilots. >> was their decision that you made a decision that had to be sold because of the demand of the trip? >> it was really based on the size that the sphere could be. the vehicle gets bigger and order to floated and bring it back to the surface. you reach a certain pressure where you cannot lift it on and off a ship anymore. then you're in a class of vehicles that you have to tow out there. >> -- went down in 1960. >> two guys. john walsh and jacque picard. don walsh became a friend of mine. he's in the arctic at the age of 80-something. >> here is the interesting thing. we will see this in footage. to go down, you have these
things that look like a ballast or something. they are like balloons that are holding it on the surface of the water. it is got so much weight that as soon as you release them to come back up, you have weights in there. you have to eliminate them. those weights have not been able to throw them off, you would still be on the bottom of the sea. >> we would not be having this conversation. >> there are little things like that. all of them have to work. >> and typically when things go wrong, it is not one thing. it is several in sequence, because we have thought of one thing. we may have even thought of two things in combination. >> you think of fire, flooding. >> exactly. i call it healthy paranoia. you think for seven years while you are building this thing of
all the things that can go wrong and you do the engineering to prevent it, but you cannot prevent everything. so there will always be some small risk. but what you do if you drive that risk down to that one asked -- one little x factor. you are not going to take risks on the things you know and could have prevented. you feel stupid. >> you have to have a checklist in your mind. in terms of normal operation, but also if you run into trouble. you have to check everything. >> when things start going wrong, you try a, b, c. if you get down to f, we know what that stands for. >> and somebody said, if something goes wrong, of certain dimension, and you can still try to think you know it's ok, because you would have been crushed to death. >> we are talking about a kind of pressure where the sphere did buckle and failed, it would implode faster than the speed of sound. so i would not feel anything. i visualize it as a a cut to black.
then it is everybody else's problem. >> all right. we have got a lot to talk about. this is exciting stuff because it is real. it is the future. it is exploration, something i have always been fascinated by. this is a man that went to the bottom of the earth. and came back to tell about it and make a movie about it. and not only it is the wonder of exploration, it shows you that to explore you have to practice, practice, practice. take a look at this. >> just got to do a final check. ok, final check. division i, 18% 02. c02 is 0.3%. fan is running. at 87%. looking good. gauges working, compasses working.
weight -- ok, ready for descent. are you ready? >> whenever you are ready. >> ok, here we go. and release, release, release. see ya. i think my heart rate is up a little bit at the moment, but i tell them to release the sub. i start to drop. right away there are so many things to do -- establishing communications and all that. deep sea challenger, do you copy, over? >> deep sea challenger, mermaid, how do you copy, over? >> copy you, loud and clear. you have a good voice. >> the skipper says it is like i am talking to my grandma.
do you want a biscuit? >> those people are on top and the boat is on the surface of the ocean. >> i'm so reliant on that surface team. my life is in their hands. >> who are the frogman, divers? >> the divers. nick and david. they became good friends. they are connecting me, on launch they are disconnecting me from all of those lines. to get me back out of the water, they are connecting. that was a relatively calm launch. but sometimes those guys are getting whipped around like tetherball's. they were really good divers. >> you said about fear it is the night before, it is not when you are launched into the capsule because then it is all engineering and piloting and thinking about what i have to do. >> and excitement. anticipation.
the apprehension is when you have nothing to do. the night before, i've gone through my checklist and written up the whole dive checklist for everybody else. there is nothing left to do and there is that free-floating anxiety. on the day, you get go fever. >> that is what the astronauts said. are you this way about all of life? is this journey a metaphor for the way you have lived your life? >> probably, yeah. i think if you like challenges, you put yourself in situations that test you. but then you prepare. i prepared very carefully, so that test is not going to be a failure. but there is always that moment of apprehension or thinking, why did i do this to myself? of course i know why. because maybe i want to prove something. maybe i want to assemble a team and have the pride in that group that we have done something somebody else hasn't done.
>> people watching this and hearing this interview as it is broadcast are saying, what about religion? does james cameron have any sense of some other being? >> i'm not religious in the traditional sense, but when i am in these places -- in the film i call it my church. this is where i feel connected to a greater order, if you will. when i see things that nobody has seen before, but they are incredible and detailed and perfect organisms, i think, there is a higher set of principles that guides all this somehow. that is when the mystic takes over. >> here is a clip of you talking about that. here it is. >> it's chasing me. ha. you are a mighty warrior, aren't you? ♪
each one of these encounters is a gift from the ocean. i'm grateful. this is my church. down here, alone, i feel the power of nature's imagination. so much greater than our own. >> a couple of things. it is not -- there was a tragic moment on that helicopter which was taking aerials of the submersible. went down. you lost two collects, two comrades. -- two colleagues. >> these guys were not just my friends. they were, in a way, mentors and role models to me. they represented the value system that, as an explorer, i strove for. these were guys that had fearlessly gone to the face of great whites and salt water
crocodiles and diving in subs. their whole careers. and they brought such an enthusiasm to it, that as filmmakers -- both of them. both of them, they were such incredible representatives of the ocean and of exploration. but it just called everything into question. >> you had to bring everybody together and say, do we go forward? >> here we were doing this potentially very risky operation. and it just called into question, do we take these risks? and we all face risks. even the surface crew and the divers. as a group, we said, this is what these guys stood for. they believed that the risks are worth it. to expand the circle of human knowledge. this is what exploration is. we do not honor them by stopping. we honor them by fulfilling the task. and it wasn't arrived at lightly, because it is one thing
to decide to go forward. it is another thing to find the will. >> the interesting thing. this did not come from an accident in terms of the work of going down. this came from a helicopter that went down on takeoff. >> the great irony. here are these guys who had been in these incredibly risky situations. this is the equivalent for them of getting in their car in the morning and driving to work. it was a helicopter that andrew had flown many times. i had flown in it with him. he was a very occultist pilot. and it was just one of those freak accidents -- he was a very accomplished pilot. >> when i asked you what is a metaphor and how you approach life? do you drive fast? do you test the elements? are you a pilot? >> i used to. look, i think earlier in my life when i was a teenager, young
adult, i was an adrenaline junkie. i put that behind me a long time ago. probably being a father, having kids -- i've been a father -- >> you are responsible not only for your own life, but others. >> you start to respect -- and being a director, especially doing big stunts and all that, you have to change. you have to embrace a culture of safety and real rigor and real discipline to keep people alive. then that translated -- i did not find it such a strange experience on my first expedition when i had to deal with those disciplines. you know what i mean? if you are keeping people alive as an action film maker, now i am out at sea, and there are real hazards. so i just applied the same kind of rules. >> so, when did you make the decision that we are going for it now? that everything -- we have tried everything. we are as perfect as we believe we can be.
>> you know, i do not think there was a threshold where we would have stopped had it not been for andrew's crash. before that, we were racing to meet the deadline to get the sub together. >> were you breaking deadlines? >> we busted a few deadlines. we managed to pull that whole sub together in a couple months. i think there was a moment where we first put it in the water that was a big milestone. i stood in front of the sub and said to the team, right now it is a piece of sculpture. we put it in the water and we dive one meter below the surface and it becomes a submarine. that will be a threshold, and we will not go back from that. we dragged it down to the pier in sydney harbour and we sent it down one meter. >> you have partners in this, rolex. they joined you. at what purpose? >> i brought rolex in and asked them if they wanted to be involved because they had been involved in supporting the initial dive to the challenger back in 1960 with walsh and
picard. they built a special watch that survived the 16,000 pounds of pressure and came back ticking. i said, do you want to do that again? and it was such, they responded so favorably, because it is so reflective that dna of their brand, which is the original dive watch. so, they jumped in. we could not have done it without them. >> why? >> because it is expensive, the building of the sub, the ship, the fuel. the filming. we had national geographic and we have rolex. they built a new watch for me to take down. >> the watch you have on now? >> very similar. it was a larger one. this is a special commemorative watch that they did for the expedition. but they built one to withstand the pressure, a new one. >> and then national geographic is the place of this is going to
be seen. what was their contribution? >> national geographic funded the film. that's the cousteau model. >> filming of the thing pays for the doing of the thing. >> we drag scientists along with us. that was the model that cousteau initiated. he said, i'm going out there. i'm going to put it on tv, but i'm going to take scientists. i have tried to follow in his footsteps by always engaging the science community and having them do real research. i tell them, you can come, but you must publish. publish something. we had a couple of papers go out on this, and there will be more. >> i was speaking of this earlier, based on what you said, you have never met jacques cousteau. the one thing i have done you have not done. >> you may have done a few other things. a lot of the kids these days do
not know who he is, unless they happen to have an interest in the ocean. >> why 3d? >> well, 3d immerses you in the situation. for big action movies it is great because you feel like you are right there with the characters, but it is especially great for documentaries. as an audience member, it draws you into the frame and you become part of the journey. so, you watch this film, you're going to go inside that little tiny sphere with me. so many people have commented on the fact that they felt like they were on the dive. >> i should point this out. he could not stand up inside. you had to be lowered in there. >> yeah. your table is much bigger than that sphere. the inside diameter is 43 inches. it is packed full of electronic equipment and camera gear. >> a trip down, totaled beneath the sea was six hours. >> 7.5 hours on the deepest dive. i have done dives for 12 hours. it's a mental discipline.
i did a lot of diving in the mir subs. i did yoga. did running, because good circulation would be necessary because you are cramped in. you do not want to get deep vein thrombosis. the expedition doctor was concerned about that. we did a lot of biomedical testing in the simulator which was identical. i made a lot of simulated dives before the real thing. >> try to measure the risk and reduce it. >> exactly. >> how to photograph when you're down there? you had two cameras. you took selfies to the extreme. to the next level. you have for cameras on the outside, to inside on you. -- two inside on your. >> those are two create the 3d. one red epic camera which is shooting a 5k pristine image out to the front port. so, you are seeing basically a 3d image on me.
outside, we put one of those 3d cameras on the end of the 6.5 foot boom. so i could turn it around, kind of like how you hold your cell phone. so i could shoot the sub making contact with the bottom and look up. >> so, when you touched ground, what did you feel, what did you think, where was your curiosity? >> i did not want to say you did not seem real because i felt more present than i've ever felt. you know where you are, but there is a sense of amazement that you are actually there. and there's seven miles of water above your head. then there is this flush of pride that the team, all the
things we work together. i felt so much of a connection to the guys on the ship who had built the sub. i am just the designated driver. anyone of them would happily trade places and be down there. they used to joke about call to me on the head and saying it was unavailable. >> supposedly had happened, with somebody else had gone down? >> ron allen was trained. we were actually planning to have him dive as well. so he would have just taken my place if i had gotten sick but i got first dibs. >> what do you think we you're down there? >> i do not want to give away the movie, but basically is a very remote, lunar place. it is all about the details here people imagine that the giant squid is going to appear. of course, that would be my greatest fantasy, but we know scientifically that the deeper you go, the less energy there is to support ecosystems. so you don't find huge animals. >> there are no vertebrae. >> and no fish.
the pressure is so intense that it dissolves the calcium. so bones cannot exist. it is like you have gone to such an extreme place that the life itself must adapt. >> so what's there? >> we found 68 new species. >> we are constantly discovering new species. that is a part of -- these are 68 new ones no one has ever seen before. >> exactly. people have done some sampling in these places before but that did not find -- they did not find these ones. new sea cucumbers and other invertebrates and microorganisms. >> you hope that his, or scientists hope that you brought back some of this. that's how you know you have 68 new species. but you hope it might even be involved in medical treated like alzheimer's? >> sure. they found a compound -- it is an enzyme in one of these animals that just coincidentally happens to be in trials right now as an alzheimer's treatment. ok, let's say they have not found that compound another way, and it was something new. it might lead to a new cure. so you never know until you
collect these animals and you start figuring out how they are working at the biochemical level where it will lead. >> will you go back? >> absolutely. i have to do these movies first. got to pay for it. >> so you're making three 'avatar' movies? >> each one will be stand but will also perform a greater story. >> are you making all the same time? you are. same actors. >> same actors. and we will shoot everything and then we complete the post production on one and then the post production on the other. >> you're making three movies here. >> we know what we're doing. we think we know. it always seems that way when you start out. >> why are you so fascinated by "avatar"? finding another planet? >> it is an interesting decision to decide to work and one cinematic space.
but because "avatar" had such broad reach and because it resonated with the indigenous community, the environmental community, i think there are a lot of themes i feel compelled to say as a filmmaker that i can do. >> like what? >> like our propensity for the destruction of the natural world and what that means to biodiversity, to life to indigenous culture right here on earth, but it is all refracted through the lens of an entertaining science-fiction parable. >> anything in you that wants to go to mars? >> i would go to mars in a heartbeat, absolutely. >> but it takes time. and there are other people way ahead of you. like elon musk. >> support elon wholeheartedly. he has a real vision, and he shown he has the technical capability. when the capability is there, i will be a little long in the
truth. my specialization is the ocean. i should do what i do best. >> but there is no doubt we will go to mars? >> i do not believe that our government will send human beings to mars. >> they depend on people like elon musk. >> i think the political will fail? >> is there any political will to explore the sea? >> there is virtually none. we need to change that. mars could wait a little bit longer. i hate to say that. it sounds like heresy. but the oceans are our life support. we need the ocean, and we need to understand it before we destroy it. now our rate of destruction is much higher. >> how are we destroying it? >> in every way. the things we do on land that run off to the rivers and wind up in the food we eat, we take from the ocean. we've wrecked the food web, we are dumping chemicals, we are
warming the planet and killing the coral reefs. it is a very bad cycle. >> i wonder what will shock us into realizing that this is urgent and immediate and essential for survival? >> it will take a shock of some kind. maybe it will be a food shock. and it might be something that happens in the oceans that does that. i'm not talking about eating fish. where does the rain come from? it evaporates off the ocean. it rains on the land. ♪ >> you will go back to the
>> you will go back to the mariana trench? as you say, there were parts -- you have this wonderful analogy about somebody who lands in a small wheat field. >> i do not mean to trivialize what we did but i use it as an example of how we really only scratched the surface. if you jump out of an airplane at night with a parachute and you land in an iowa wheat field and you walk around with a
flashlight for a couple of hours, you do not get you say you explored america. if you put all of these deep trenches together, you get an area equivalent to north america. >> a continent. >> a dark continent. it has never been seen. that is pretty amazing. >> think aloud what we might find. >> we have seen evidence to support the idea that life may have originated in the deep trenches. we have found evidence. there are a lot of theories about where life came from originally on planet earth. but a fairly new what is the idea that the subduction process itself, these huge tectonic plates grinding over each other actually generates some energy and creates free hydrogen. then the bacteria eat the hydrogen. and that is a food source. it is not coming from above. it is coming from below. so it is stable over tens or hundreds of millions of years. that is a place that life might have emerged. >> one organism leads to another.
>> they adapt and move up the chain and they come out onto land and you wind up with us. so we could be looking into crucible of life itself. and that is pretty cool. and we found that energy source. and we found the deepest bacterial nats that have ever been observed. >> this this idea appealed to you or not? you send something down that can stay down for a while and you consent off submarines to explore? >> robotics. i love robotics. i am on the woods hole oceanographic institute hosts the center for marine robotics. i am on their advisory boards. i love robots, too. i also think there is no substitute for seeing it with your own eyes. >> there is also, you describe how it had an exquisite order to it. you say this is beyond my imagination. so i have some sense of awe about what makes this possible. do you have any search for an answer to that? why is it so -- >> the beauty of science, the
beauty of the natural world, the beauty of science is that every question you answer poses three new questions. if you embrace the spirit of science, it is job security. the investigation never ends. it's trying to create a framework for understanding of how it all works. that is what leads scientists on. i do not profess to have a degree. but i share the enthusiasm for science with the science community. i think a lot of scientists are close friends. >> they share your enthusiasm, too, and would love to have been there. when you go back down, are you going to make these three movies -- that will be through 2016. >> longer, because the third one will come out 2016, 2017, 2018. christmas of 2018. hopefully i will be on your show.
>> i would not miss that. by then, we will have all sorts of technological developments that could make it -- take the potential and make it exponential. cameras. can you imagine dropping the camera seven miles down and letting it fly? >> you have got to make it smart, though. it has to be able to navigate, to be able to think it's not like a human, at least it needs to solve problems. so, what i would love to do is build -- and that system, the delivery system to get that camera down there might well be based on some of the technology that we develop. that is why i donated a vehicle to the woods hole oceanographic institution because they have done the most cutting-edge robotic vehicles. >> things can go wrong. you are in the bottom of the ocean and your thrusters failed. >> yeah. >> thank god it was not something else that failed.
>> like the life-support system. >> what is a thruster? >> they drive you forward and drive you up and down. what happened was -- so, that old joke, you are walking in circles because your foot is nailed to the ground. so if the thruster fails on one side, you can only turn in a circle. so i got stuck. >> you said, i am not going to be able to go forward. so therefore, you decided to go back up. >> if i wanted to set a record for bottom time, i would've sat there and eaten my lunch and started to work on my memoirs. i wanted to get back. >> to tell about what you saw. >> no, i wanted to get them to start fixing the sub. so i could go back down. >> i see. this was the actual mission? >> yeah. when i was at the bottom of the challenger deep, we had planned several more dives. i was going to go back there. we were going to go to the serena deep.
we were going to look around, do some science. so i was in a hurry to get back and give it to the maintenance guys. [laughter] >> there was also a moment in which you had to make a decision, do we continue or not? what was that? >> they put me in the water. it was at a high sea state. i had the choice, the window was -- i had a choice launch in a high sea state or -- but i cannot have both. it is better if i get in the water. i would rather that you were pulling me out. >> there was a certain danger in doing that which was -- >> if we had a hole and they had to recover the sub to fix it, it would be difficult. of course what happened was that one of my safety systems, the hatch popped open and a bag deployed and the only way to fix that is to take me back on the ship. i said, cut it away. it is like cutting away a parachute. >> was that your decision? was it easy? >> i thought about it. that big bag that pops out, that
was a backup safety -- i knew i was going to be recovered in the daytime. we rely on that red bag. i knew it was going to take them longer to find me. but it was that or miss the window. so i said cut it away. let's go. >> where does this rank in terms of things that you have done with your life? >> i think it is up there. >> just up there? aside from family, and family which is clearly -- beyond that. >> delivering my three youngest children. i think you have to have a sense of respect. there are some things that are so deeply a part of your fiber that there is nothing in your life that would be greater. it is incredible. oh, another one. >> no more in the sense of the magic of birth.
to be there. >> my wife and i are so deeply bonded over that experience. >> she was there. >> she was way there. oh, she was there on the dive! she was there at the birth, too. >> she was so supportive of this and involved. >> she was involved, and she was -- i do not want to say stoic. it was not that she was not emotional about me leaving. her dad was in the air force. he flew tankers. her brothers are pilots. she is a pilot. so she understands risk. as she understands why you take risks, because of the joy of flying. but you go through that checklist and you trust the engineering. so she had a framework to put it within that made sense. i talked her through every safety system. she understood that sub. smart girl. >> there is also this. willie sutton said that the
reason i rob banks is because that is where the money is. i think it was, maybe it was sir edmund hillary who said, "why do you want to climb the mountain?" and he said -- it may have been someone else. my apologies. "why do you want to climb mountains?" and he said, "because they are there." >> yeah. i think that is part of it, but it is not a major part. i tend to be really analytical. if we could prove to the science community that we could build a vehicle that could go to the deepest spot in the ocean. by definition it could go anywhere. it opened up a whole frontier. see what i mean? so it was symbolic but it was symbolic of access, of the capability. i saw it as the starting point, creating a platform to deliver cameras and instruments and people everywhere. everywhere down there. opening up that dark continent. >> they used to say, and
thinking about astronauts -- i've interviewed most of them -- they used to say, people of literature and poets would say, wouldn't it be great if there was a poet on board? even the late norman mailer used to talk about that. something to that, that somehow this is so amazing. >> i think there is a role for people to be artists within science and technology. >> exactly. to make sure that we understand all the ramifications of this remarkable -- feel it, touch it, take it to its highest place. >> there are two kinds of people in the world. people who think there are two kinds of people in the world and people who do not. i do not think there are two kinds of people. i think you can be a humanist and a scientist at the same time. >> there's this whole notion of
obsession, perfectionism. >> an obsession would be unhealthy overfocus on something, as opposed to drive and the desire to finish what you start. these are good things. in sports metaphors, it is good to have the drive to finish the race you start. >> so what remains for you? >> as an explorer, it is endless. >> tell me how james cameron at his age now, having done what he has done, wants to do. >> an idea popped into my head last night that i'm going to pursue. it may lead to something. we will have to see. what i'd love to see is a vehicle that could follow a sperm whale down a mile and see what it does down there. see how it eats, how it finds its prey in total darkness. that vehicle would have to become the silent so he did not scary or change its behavior.
yet somehow be able to see what is happening. >> and have the same agility. >> and speed and everything else. that is possible but it would require new technologies. that is a cool idea. >> you just thought of that idea? >> i was talking to some of my guys last night. we were together as part of the sub team, thank you about what we could do next. i said, what about this? you could see the wheels start to turn. this is how stuff starts. >> what is it about having done what you have done and thought what you have thought about the ocean, what is this one thing? what is it that sperm whales do? what else do we not know about the ocean that excites you? >> oh, well, what's -- what's down there. what is down there geologically. what causes, what are the exact causes of these tsunamis that kill so many people? why -- get some warning.
we are so smart. that is because there is no money. i bet you the japanese are interested in that problem. >> you bet. congratulations. it is really quite amazing. what's quite amazing, too, to suggest that why we need filmmakers and artists is that we can go down with you. we can experience what you did and we can through this kind of program understand what it takes to do what you did. and to see that. i also mentioned national geographic. this was june, 2013. we have technology today so you can go find it. some sense of what it is that makes explorers explore. my thanks to james cameron. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪
>> somebody has to go. a robot cannot tell you how it feels. i did not come all this way to not see it with my own eyes. it's important to physically be here, to bear witness to the things that have never been seen. ♪ to that kid dreaming of going to the bottom of the ocean, all things seem possible. i wonder what other kids will do. where they will go. what they will see. what new world awaits them. oh, yeah.
>> live from pier 3 in san francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west," where we cover innovation, technology, and the future of business. i'm emily chang. will the un-carrier be acquired after all? after rejecting talks from sprint and iliad, deutsche telekom is open to selling t-mobile if the price is right. samsung beats apple to the punch, announcing a smart watch just days before apple may announce one of the run. the gear s has a curved screen and can make calls without a smartphone. and, the video platform that has