The filmmaker chatted with the Los Angeles Times this week and said that the film’s budget expanded by the need to build enormous and complicated sets, in addition to a replica of the ocean liner that was full-scale and 800-feet-long. The 1997 film’s production costs ballooned to the biggest budget ever to that point to quell studio panic.
That led Cameron to try to lasso costs. One way was to cut down on the size of the cast. Literally.
“We only cast short extras, so it made our set look bigger. Anybody above five-feet-eight, we didn’t cast them. It’s like we got an extra million dollars of value out of casting.”
The film went on to win 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.