James Cameron graces this months cover of National Geographic for good reason. Not long ago, Cameron took his solo manned submarine Deepsea Challenge, to depths no other human has traveled into Challenger Deep.
In the behind the scenes video, we get to see photographer Marco Grob working through pre-production with the team, how the shoot came together in a couple of hours and the tracking down a huge tank (apparently from America's Next Top Model) for the shoot.
From the start we hear a little bit about the concept for the cover, how the the set came together before the award winning director arrives and how the layout was shot with an iPhone. The shoot happened to take place on a soundstage Cameron uses in Manhattan Beach, California, where two massive models of the Titanic can been seen in the birds-eye view resting behind the commotion of the cover shoot. Not long after Cameron arrives on set he is in his wet suit and submerged underwater. He seems to be comfortable the entire shoot and certainly is a pro at holding his breath.
The cover does stray a bit from what National Geographic is know for, telling the truth through imagery, but even though the photo is digitally altered it works well for the cover. The added in photographs of the ocean floor and submarine were apparently taken from the actual dive. Even though the cover is Photoshopped, it's still a great tip of the hat to Cameron's record breaking solo voyage to the deepest part of the Western Pacific Ocean. Cameron was awarded The Explorers Club Medal, the highest honor that the club can bestow. It is awarded for extraordinary contributions directly in the field of exploration, scientific research, or to the welfare of humanity. Previous award recipients are Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, President Herbert Hoover and Jane Goodall.