How Titanic Movie Set Was Constructed

POSTED BY Heather Johnson, UPDATED ON January 17th, 2024
How Titanic Movie Set Was Constructed

The movie set design and construction are some of the most amazing temporary structures that have ever been created, and when James Cameron set his mind to the story of the Titanic, there must have been more than a few raised eyebrows over the scope of the construction needed to create a living and breathing movie set of the famous sunken vessel. Creating the set near Rosarito Beach in Mexico, construction workers dug a tank and built one side of the Titanic model, built to scale from the blueprints from the original Titanic builders, Harland and Wolff. All of this construction, by Peter Lamont (Production Manager) and his crew of workers, began construction in May 1996 and had less than 100 days to create the set of the Titanic, directly to scale and with the input of two recognized expert historians who have dedicated their life work to the construction of the Titanic. Here’s how the Titanic movie set was constructed:


The Construction of the Gigantic Titanic Movie Set

Titanic model made with wood

On the newly acquired 40 acres of land in Mexico, the trenches were dug on the beachfront so that filming from set angles would provide viewers and the camera crew with the illusion of over 250 degrees of open ocean views. Two of the actual sets for filming were created inside the massive mass of sets for the Titanic and the rest of the interior sets were filmed at other locations.

Safety was paramount in the construction of the movie set with the set being required to be submerged in water and to in later sequences of filming be dismantled through the recreation of the events that occurred almost 100 years previously.

Interesting factors that needed to be incorporated into the build were props that were predominantly made of rubber for the safety of the actors during the sinking sequences and also the position of the facing ship so that during the filming of sailing moments, the wind would be blowing in the smoke in the direction to highlight movement.

Using wooden framing to cut costs and due to time constraints only creating in pure detail one side of the ship caused some problems and after the entire filming process was completed the ship was in no state to be preserved and was dismantled.


Where Are the Titanic Pieces

Titanic museum

Hailed by movie buffs throughout the ages as one of the most amazing movie set constructions in existence, the Titanic production will have to be remembered in history as one of the entertainment industry’s most illustrious sets with huge production and amazing values and authenticity.

Some of the amazing movie sets can be found in museums and private galleries the world over, but if you’re looking to get a peek at the ship’s wheel, you’ll need to be in direct contact with James Cameron himself to see it in his private office. Alternatively, just have a quick look at this video:

Do you have any other movie set in mind that was as grand as the Titanic? Share with us in the comments!

One Comment

  1. S Slater says:

    The tank was actually blown out of the igneous rock with dynamite, rather than dug. The real leader on construction was Architect Roberto Curiel of Tijuana. Most work was performed by local labor and craftsmen, who were truly amazing.

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