David at Fox Baja.
Picture of Titanic.
Leonardo's Room on Titanic.
David continues his drive from California across the border into Baja, Mexico to check out some more film locations.
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of David & Catriona on the Titanic
Just south of Southern California's border is Baja California. Baja is really a state of the Mexican Republic, bounded by the American states of California and Arizona, the state of Sonora at its north-eastern tip and the state of Baja California Sur to its south. Much of it is desert or mountain.
Baja California has a population of around 2½ million, has a hot, dry climate and is a popular destination for holidaymakers and those escaping unfriendly United States' winters. It is also the base for Fox Studios Baja.
The director, James Cameron, had an epic dream of making an unforgettable film about the short life of the Titanic. There was nowhere available to accommodate the size of what he had in mind, so in 1996 work began on building Fox Studios in Mexico. In just a few years, it has become the world's number one facility for water-related filming.
Fourteen hectares in the town of Rosarito was chosen as the site that's about half an hour from the US border. It is a touristy resort community with lots of hotels and restaurants, including one of the Puerto Nuevo chain where you can buy delicious lobster meals very cheaply.
Anyway … back to the movies. Since Twentieth Century Fox enjoyed the monumental success of Titanic, five other films have been shot there. Disney's Pearl Harbour, MGM's Tomorrow Never Dies, Warner Bros' Deep Blue Sea, Dreamworks' In Dreams and Phoenix Pictures' Weight of Water. It's also kept very busy churning out television commercials and movies as well as music videos.
As the public's hunger for things Titanic failed to diminish, last year Foxploration Park was opened. More than a theme park, it is a place of movie magic.
There are sets from Titanic, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet's cabins, a computerised 1/15th scale model of the engine room and things such as carpet are exactly as they were during filming. No detail has been overlooked. They share secrets as to how they filmed flooding scenes, and children can stand on the bow and be "king of the world". You can also see the tricky way those hair-raising scenes are captured.
During the filming, an etiquette coach was hired to teach actors the correct upper-class Edwardian way of walking, talking, eating, greeting and laughing.
You will see Kate Winslet's Heart of the Sea necklace and take a virtual tour of the ship or Southampton port. You can visit the very interesting props and make-up departments, and see some submarine trick lighting.
Exteriors were shot in a massive pool-like tank which blends with the ocean. While Getaway was there, it was being used for a new Peter Weir/Russell Crowe movie.
Once you've had your fill of Titanic, you can refill your popcorn cup and head for Planet of the Apes. There you will see the original props set up, the space ship, the chandeliers, bed and apes … all indoors.
Visual effects, animation, sound effects, how you can fly a plane, bomb a ship and go through a spinning tunnel will all come to life and on the back lot, you will see the sound experts at work.