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Exclusive on the new James Cameron project: Sanctum


Hollywood heavyweight James Cameron's 3D underwater epic Sanctum starts filming on the Gold Coast this Friday with local and international film crews busy making final preparations. I had the chance to speak with the director, local Alister Grierson, and location manager Chris Strewe, who shared some juicy, exclusive details. Work has already begun at Warner Roadshow Studios with sets being built in Sound Stage 2 and 8, and crews preparing to film underwater scenes in the studio's $2.1 million water tank. Construction is also under way at a private residence on Bonogin Road, Mudgeeraba where some of the opening scenes will be shot in a semi-tropical rainforest.

Cameron, known for his blockbusters Titanic, Aliens, Terminator 2, Judgment Day and the upcoming Avatar, is serving as executive producer alongside Grierson, from Burleigh Heads, as director. Sanctum will be the first 3D underwater action-adventure-fiction film ever and is being made on a budget of $30 million, relatively small for Cameron spawn.

Grierson remained tightlipped about which Australian A-list celebrities will feature in the film, and said fans will have to wait for the official casting announcement in a few weeks. Just quietly, my bet is on Sam Worrington as he was around recently for the Inside Film awards and lord knows he's on team Cameron. Sanctum follows a father and his teenage son as they navigate a treacherous cave-diving exploration gone wrong.

The underwater cave is being constructed in Warner Roadshow Studios outdoor water tank, where majority of the filming will take place. Cameron will arrive on the Gold Coast to work on the project early next year once he finishes the press tour for Avatar. The crew behind the film will be taking a break over Christmas then continuing filming until mid-March.

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