Cameron Saved $1M on Titanic By Banning Tall Actors From Set

Cameron Saved $1M on Titanic By Banning Tall Actors From Set
Image credit: Legion-Media

To fit more people on a door, perhaps?


  • Titanic was released in 1997 and held the title of the highest-grossing movie of all time until 2009.
  • But during production, no one expected it to be so successful.
  • The team saved nearly a million dollars by scaling back the set and casting only short extras.

Many people who go to the movies on the weekends and don't think too much about the production details don't realize how much goes into making a movie. There is, of course, a general understanding of the various crew members, set and costume design, and sound and lighting production, but no thought as to how all the magic comes together.

Meanwhile, even the smallest details can affect the shoot in many different ways. That is why it is so important that the set is well-prepared and coordinated. Especially when you have a large group of extras to maneuver for several takes in a row. The more people you have to direct, the more chaotic the day can get.

For James Cameron 's production of Titanic, however, the task of working with extras was challenging from the very beginning of casting. It was important for the movie that all the people were under a certain height for a very specific reason.

How James Cameron Made Titanic Set Look Bigger

Cameron Saved $1M on Titanic By Banning Tall Actors From Set - image 1

At the moment, Titanic is considered one of the greatest movie classics. Originally released in 1997, the film not only gave Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio unprecedented fame and influence, but it also became a huge box office success before any re-release.

During production, however, those involved in the making of the film had their doubts. As Cameron admitted in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he never thought Titanic would make the studio's money back. Such a big production required a lot of money, so they tried to cut costs wherever they could.

As a result, the crew and cast had to work on a smaller scale on the set and compensate with various visual effects.

“We only cast short extras so it made our set look bigger. Anybody above five foot eight, we didn’t cast them. It’s like we got an extra million dollars of value out of casting,” Cameron said.

No matter how much the team managed to save by making such smart casting choices, the sacrifice turned out to be unnecessary. However, this case perfectly illustrates that even with the intention of saving some money, a truly talented and dedicated team can create a masterpiece as great as Titanic.

If you want to see the movie again, you can stream Titanic on Paramount Plus.

Source: Los Angeles Times