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Since the hull was only completed on the starboard side, the scene had to be "flipped around" when they were shooting the port side. It was not uncommon to see people walking around with "White Star Line" written backwards on their hats.
James Cameron actually went down to the Titanic wreck to see it for himself - 12 times at an average of 16 hours each -and to take the real footage that you see at the beginning of the film. A camera was fashioned that could withstand the pressure and only had 12 minutes of film. There was no way the film could be reloaded, so the crew did test shots with a small model of the ship in smoke to make sure of the exact movements.
Most of the shots of Titanic at sea aren't real, but the real scenes were shot in Baja, Mexico. Many of the extras were Mexican people.
When Jack and Rose are "flying" and they kiss, the sunset behind them is real. They had to film the scene in only a few minutes before the sun went down.
The "frozen" people in the ocean were covered with a kind of powder that crystallizes when water touches it.
Every woman in the film wore a corset, even if they were extras that were barely able to be seen.
James Cameron did many of the camera shots in the film.
All of the extras in the film went through an etiquette class so they would know how people in 1912 talked, acted and moved. The waiters learned how to serve and what to say.
When the ship started to go down, it sent up flares. During the real disaster, there were no red emergency flares on Titanic, so instead the celebration flares were used. A ship did happen to see the flares but thought nothing more of them than a party on a ship.
The band that played below decks during the "third-class dance" is actually a band from Santa Monica called Gaelic Storm.
Most of the dancers in the "third-class dance" were professional dancers.
Remember when Molly Brown is telling the story about burning money in the stove? That's one of the famous tall tales she always told.
It was James Cameron's hands you saw doing the sketch of Rose nude. He also did the other drawings in Jack's portfolio.
Although the water rising in the corridors of the ship was as cold as it looked, the water temperature when Rose was floating on the drift board was about 80 degrees.
The lifeboat requirement at the time was 16 boats. Titanic had 20, which more than met the requirements, although there was room enough for only half the people on board.
If you had the money, you could get a private message sent across the wire through the Marconi Room. These were considered more urgent than even the iceberg warnings. The Marconi operators received many messages about icebergs that they ignored, considering the information unimportant.
Captain E.J. Smith was planning to retire after his voyage on the Titanic.