Ghosts of the Abyss is a 2003 documentary film released by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. It was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron after his 1997 Oscar-winning film Titanic. During August and September 2001, Cameron and a group of scientists staged an expedition to the wreck of the RMS Titanic, and dived in Russian deep-submersibles to obtain more detailed images than anyone had before. With the help of two small, purpose-built remotely operated vehicles, nicknamed "Jake" and "Elwood", the audience too can see inside the Titanic, and with the help of CGI, audiences can view the ship's original appearance superimposed on the deep-dive images.
Also along for the ride Cameron invited his friend, actor Bill Paxton, who played Brock Lovett in the 1997 film. Paxton narrates the event through his eyes. The film premiered for IMAX 3D and was nominated for a BFCA award for Best Documentary. The submersibles Mir 1 and Mir 2 carried the filming team on 12 dives.
The film is also known as Titanic 3D: Ghosts of the Abyss.
Director James Cameron returns to the site of the 1912 wreck of the RMS Titanic, aboard the Russian research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh. With a team of history and marine experts, and his friend Bill Paxton, he embarks on an adventure back to the final grave of 1,517 people killed in 1912. Using technology developed for this expedition, Cameron and his crew are able to explore virtually all of the wreckage, inside and out, as never before. This documentary was made for IMAX 3D theatres and specially outfitted 35 mm 3D theaters. Cameron and his team bring audiences to sights not seen since the sinking and explore why the vessel continues to intrigue and fascinate the public. While diving on September 11, 2001, the filming crew hears about the 9/11/2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Afterward, they all compare and reflect on the tragedy of 9/11 with the tragedy of the Titanic.
Throughout the movie, there are re-enactments of events that are discussed that use CGI recreations of the interior of the Titanic.Don Lynch as Titanic's designer Thomas Andrews
Ken Marschall as IMM President J. Bruce Ismay
Miguel Wilkins as Qm. Robert Hichens
Federico Zambrano as John Jacob Astor IV
Dale Ridge as Elizabeth Lines
Judy Prestininzi as Molly Brown
Adrianna Valdez as Helen Churchill Candee
Justin Shaw as Wireless Officer Jack Phillips
Thomas Kilroy as a person who plays poker
Charlie Arneson as First Officer William Murdoch
Piper Gunnarson as Madeleine Astor
John Donovan as Captain Edward Smith
Janace Tashjian as Edith Russell
Jesse Baker as Second Officer Charles Lightoller
Justin Baker as Fifth Officer Harold Bride
Aaron C. Fitzgerald as Lookout Frederick Fleet
The film was screened out of competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.
The feature film on the DVD is 90 minutes long and is available in a 2-disc edition and as the 5th disc in the Titanic 5-Disc Deluxe Limited Edition.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the film on a three-disc Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD edition on September 11, 2012.
Rolling Stone included the documentary in their list of the best 3D movies ever, in 2012.
The official soundtrack's songs were composed and conducted by Joel McNeely, and the orchestrations were conducted by David Brown, Marshall Bowen, and Frank Macchia. The album was also recorded and mixed by Rich Breen, edited by Craig Pettigrew, and mastered by Pat Sullivan. The album was ultimately produced by James Cameron, Randy Gerston and Joel McNeely and released by Disney's Hollywood Records label. Part of the film was filmed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Toad The Wet Sprocket lead singer and songwriter Glen Phillips contributed the opening track, "Departure". James Cameron loved the bands 1991 track "Nightingale Song" but found Columbia Records licensing fee too high (they wanted over $5,000 for the use of the one minute he wanted to use) so he contacted the bands management hoping they could re-record it for his film, only to find they had broken up in 1998 and could not. however during the negotiations Cameron asked if Glen would be interested in writing a new track in the spirit of the older song and "Departure" was created. it was produced, mixed, and all instruments played by Glen in his garage studio though this was not credited in the CD booklet.
All music composed by Joel McNeely, except where noted.