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The Titanic disaster spawned many myths and popular misconceptions in its time, and the film Titanic has done no less. This simple true-or-false guide should help clarify rumors and exaggerations.

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The movie cost $285 million.

FALSE. The total cost is $200 million.

It is the most expensive film ever made.

TRUE, OR POSSIBLY FALSE. But this is the fourth time in a row that I have made a film that (rightly or wrongly) has been called the most expensive film ever made. In any event, many of our favorite epics from the '30s, '40s and '50s would cost more than Titanic if made today.

The production went way over budget.

TRUE. I hired the best, most experienced people in the film business to work with me on Titanic. The simple truth is that no one in any department (myself included) really understood the scale of this project going in. We were overwhelmed by the complexity of building a studio from scratch, including the world's largest tank facility, and simultaneously constructing one of the largest and most mechanically complex sets in history (imagine a 75-story building on its move it!). We were all seasoned big-budget veterans, yet none of us had ever experienced anything like Titanic--nor, I daresay, would we care to again.

The water was freezing.

TRUE. Or at least it seemed like it. We froze our butts off. I remember spending many days up to my neck in what felt like ice water. And if there had been any other way to do it, believe me, we would have.

We worked long hours.

TRUE. But no longer than the hours on any other big location film anywhere in the world. We did not, as reported, work 18-hour days. The majority of our shooting was exterior scenes filmed at night, so we clearly couldn't have.

The shooting went many months over schedule.

FALSE. The planned shooting schedule was 138 days. The film was completed in 160 days, a 16% increase.

Many stunt people were seriously injured.

FALSE. Titanic logged 6,029 stunt-man days, probably a movie-industry record (True Lies had 2,202). In all that time there were three injuries requiring hospital treatment: one broken ankle, one cracked rib, one cracked cheekbone--and in the latter two, the stunt players were back at work the next day.

Set conditions were unsafe.

FALSE. As a result of unfounded rumors of unsafe conditions, the Screen Actors Guild investigated the production thoroughly and observed our working methods. They concluded that "the producers have taken extraordinary measures to ensure the health and safety of the cast and crew," and that we had "set a new standard." In fact, during the entire production, there were no on-set injuries requiring hospital treatment among actors or extras.

I am a "screamer."

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