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Today in Titanic History - with Searching
Today in
Titanic History

Friday, July 12, 2024
1941 - 1st class survivor Mrs Malvina Helen Cornell died in New York, USA at the age of 84.

1972 - 2nd class survivor Miss Kate Buss died of heart failure / disease in Independence, Oregon, USA at the age of 96.

1892 - 3rd class passenger Mr Peter Andreas Lauritz Andersen S°holt was born.

1911 - 3rd class survivor Miss Helene Barbara Baclini was born to Solomon Baclini and Latifa Qurban Baclini.

1924 - 3rd class survivor Mr Neshan Krekorian married Persa Vartanian, who was not on the Titanic.

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2000: April

Corey's interviews
Copal's Inspection Queue
Graphic sets
Monthly Stuff
Titanic Through History


I think the month April is very special to all of us Titanic fans. Thinking history, this is the month it happened. It is sad, but it gives us the chance to remember Titanic and all the people onboard. We hope that you will take some moments dedicated to all the lost souls on Titanic.

On April the 14th we will have the remembrance day at B2T. We dedicate this day to remembering them in hopes that such a tragedy never happens again.

April the 20th is Back to Titanic's birthday. On this day in 1999, Back to Titanic was launched with the mission to remember the Titanic sites which had shut down, as well as creating a community to enjoy the movie and history.

If you visit Back to Titanic, you will see that we have a new feature, The B2T visitors choice. This is your chance to vote for the top 50 Titanic sites. Add your site today and check back to see who is the "master of the universe." Our image gallery also has 59 new images... check it out!

We are happy to report that the newsletter now has 314 members. We are very pleased that so many have joined. Lots of thanks goes to our all members...


The following interview is with a man I met in the Titanic chatroom online. He kept insisting he worked on the film, and of course no one believed him. I am a believer, so I started to talk to him. He is a really fantastic person, and I am honored to have met him. Without further adieu, this is Jeff DiSario's interview!

1. Who are you, and what was your part in "Titanic?"
Well, you already know my name [Jeff DiSario]. I was on the visual effects team at Digital Domain. I was on the model team, and we built all of the miniatures used in the movie's effects shots.

2. What was your typical day like?
We would arrive at the model shop at about 6:30am. After opening up the big doors for some air (the model shop was an old Hughes aircraft hanger in Playa Del Rey) we would get to work on the models, picking up where we left off the night before. We had plans of the ship to look over, and many on the spot drawings were made so we could tell the machinists what parts we needed made. Problem solving was never ending on models of that scale and detail. I particularly had the duty of fixing a symmetry problem with the main model used in most of the shots. The tasks ranged from the challenging to the mundane. At times I would fix big problems and get to design and make pieces by hand, and at other times I was doing nothing more than hammering in thousands of brass brads that were used to simulate the ship's rivets in the hull. On Fridays we would meet with the digital crew at DD's main office to coordinate our efforts, and hammer out timelines as to when certain aspects could be expected to come together. Usually it was each of us bringing in footage of tests and shots and saying, "hey look what we did!" Then we would gather around the keg and drink and eat. I think it was mostly used as a release after a week of long hours.

3. What did you think of the outcome of the movie? Did you like the final product or not?
I most certainly like the outcome. I have heard the wide range of compliments and criticism about the movie, and all I can say is that I thought it was well planned and executed by James Cameron. But don't take my word for it, look at the box office returns and video sales. I thought the story was well thought out, and achieved its goal of connecting a modern audience with the lives of people on board. It was done so well that when the disaster strikes, you actually feel that sense of loss and sadness. That is what was intended, the emotional connection. It wasn't meant to be a documentary on the details of each passenger on board. And of course I have to say I am happy with the outcome of the visual effects. :-) Not only because I worked on them, but because many of them are not obvious. So many shots that you would think have no effects in them, actually have many. Of course there are the panoramic shots that were done to be beautiful breathtaking views of the ship, but most were there just to make certain shots "look" right, and not obvious at all.

4. What did you personally contribute to the movie? Any ideas that you came up with? Suggestions?
Well as one of the visual effects artists that worked on this film that was effects intensive I would have to say I contributed quite a bit. :-) As far as exactly what unique ideas that I had, I would have to say the biggest contribution I made was how to go about fixing the symmetry problem that existed on the main model, the 1/20th scale Titanic used in most of the shots. The wood and fiberglass hull of the ship was not exactly symmetrical from one side to the other. It was close, and you couldn't tell with your naked eye, but when it came time to map out the lines where we were going to be gluing on hull panels, it became apparent that they were not meeting at the aft section as we had planned. That meant that a symmetry discrepancy existed. As small as it was, once you continue to draw that line 45 feet to the ship's rear, that small problem near the front, became a huge problem at the back. So I had to tweak slightly the shape of each hull panel so they would meet in back, AND not be obvious that the panels were not uniform. Also, the back section of the hull had some interesting shapes for the hull plates to conform to. This meant that plastic panels couldn't be used there as they wouldn't bend enough to fit into or around some of those curves. I had to decide what other materials we could use. I settled on sheet aluminum. That was thinner than the plastic, so we doubled up on the layers of aluminum. This brought on more problems, but in the end it worked out and looked great.

5. What did you learn from the experience?
I certainly learned all about the anatomy of the Titanic. But more importantly I received an in depth understanding of this historical event. There were historians that helped guide the accuracy of the sets, props and models. They would share their deep knowledge of the Titanic and the lives that were part of her. We also had extensive footage of the wreck from which to guide the building of the wreck model. Seeing the ship in all of its detail at the bottom of the ocean, and hearing the stories of the historians really helped me feel responsible for doing my absolute best, not just so the film's effects shots look good, but in some way to make sure I got it right for history. Everyone I think felt extra proud to be working on this project. As the huge models slowly took shape, and our model shop started to look like a shipyard itself, at times I forgot I was working on effects shots and started to focus on building the Titanic. With the plans of the ship hanging all over the shop, it felt like a miniature Harland and Wolff shipyard. Thousands of pieces were taking shape all over the shop, and making their way to the hull of the ship which dominated the center of the shop's floor. All of these elements combined and really immersed everyone in the story of Titanic.

6. Did you work with Cameron? Is he as bad as they say?
I personally did not work with him. Our crew supervisors would meet with him and then pass along the job that was laid before us, or the changes that needed to be made. So if you are asking did I feel the infamous "wrath of James Cameron" I would say no. One thing I think effects people would prefer, is a director like Cameron who knows exactly what it is that he wants to see. There are too many directors that give such vague instructions that you have no idea what to create. Then you would show them, and they would say, "no that's not it." When you would then ask them what would be it, they would reply, "I'm not really sure, but I'll know it when I see it." That is a frustrating task. Not so with James Cameron. He knows exactly what it is that he wants, and makes sure it is crystal clear. That is a much more desirable situation. I cannot personally vouch for his personality as I was not exposed to it, but I will say that with as much money, time and resources that were on the line with HIS project, I would probably be edgy and really cranky at times also. He was getting it double barreled from the Fox and Paramount producers who's money was funding the movie. They are bottom line people and not the "creative" type. It is an age old battle in Hollywood. As creative a medium as film is, it is in the end a business. I think this particular bunch got a good return on their investment that they made reluctantly while making Cameron fight for every scene and cent that went into the production.

7. If you could do it again, would you? Why/Why not?
Absolutely. It was a fun experience that was a lot of work, but mostly it was fun and educational. We would work long hours, but they flew by for me.

8. If you could CHANGE anything, what would you change?
Can't think of anything off the top of my head.

9. If you could go back and be invisible and observe the movie being filmed, what part would you go to? Why?
I got to see the footage as it was shot for our models, and some of the test footage of the digital renderings, but not too much of what was being shot in Rosarita at the live set. I think I would have liked to have been able to walk along the life size set of the Titanic and the Southampton dock with all of the period props, extras, and cars. I think it would have been like stepping back in time, just to take a quick look around.

10. Did you meet any of the cast members? If not, who would you LIKE to meet?
No, I didn't. I've never been "star struck" so I can't think of anyone in particular that I would just "love to meet." I would be curious to discuss with them though what it was like for them filming for hours in water, and just to hear some of their personal stories of what they got out of the experience.



As much as we all love to make our websites, there is something to be said for getting as many hits as you can. So once you've got them there, how will you make sure they stay for a moment?

We all know what it's like to wait for a page to load. Using Netscape, the browser won't allow you to see the rest of the page until it has finished loading. So the page may go on forever, and you don't know how long you'll be waiting. Some sites cram all of their content onto their first (and sometimes only) page. Simply linking to more pages or organizing into categories would help tremendously. Forethought about your site is crucial and when someone first sees your page they'll know if you cared enough to think it over.

If you're having trouble getting people to return to your site, visit the site yourself and time how long it takes. If it weren't your own site would you wait that long?

How to trim the fat and get your site running smoothly?

  1. If you have Photoshop, compress some of your images. Open the image and "Save As" and when the dialog box appears asking the compression amount, use a low number. Compare the original to several of the ones you compressed and see which one is the same quality as the original.

  2. Note the size of all of the files you have on each and every page. None of them should take more than 25 seconds to load or exceed 45Kb unless the visitor has a choice as to whether they view it. This would include a link to a video clip. It's one thing to want the viewers to experience sounds, large pictures, and animations, it's another to force them. If you have something that does exceed these, consider making them smaller images, replacing the sound with a quick-loading midi, or using them on a subpage.

  3. Make certain you are using thumbnails in picture galleries. (See my September 1999 article on "Thumbnails That Aren't")

GRAPHIC SETS - "Confrontations"

This time you can see 4 sets from the confrontation scenes, the two scenes where Rose has to confront Cal and Ruth. Please enjoy the sets, and remember to give B2T full credit if you use them....

by Ane:
by Copal:
by Corey:
by Taryn:

"I'm being selfish?"

  1. "You are my wife in practice if not yet by law so you will honor me!" This line is another of Cameron's open-ended lines (much like Rose's death/dream). Does this mean Rose was not a virgin with Jack? Or did Cal mean that she was his wife by daily things? You be the judge!

  2. This scene left Trudy in a bit more. The script actually had Rose and Trudy counteracting more, and you could tell that Trudy was the only friend that Rose had.

  3. Rose was actually written to have been tightening Ruth's corset, and being a bit meaner in this scene. Cameron and the actors decided that the scene had much more of an effect with Rose being in the corset.

  4. Anytime that Rose has a confrontation, her painting is in the room.


"I'd rather be his whore than your wife."

Chosen by Mark because: "I chose this quote because this is one of Rose's many powerful statements in the movie. Before this, all her statements to Cal were either polite or fairly weak. Earlier, she says to him "I am your fiancee!" This is also powerful, but the emotion she puts into this line is withdrawn right away when Cal towers over her. When Rose delivers this line, however, all emotion is kept, and she does not back down on her thoughts. You go, girl!"


Rare picture

In re-creating the ship, the Titanic production company built a 90 percent scale version of the 822,5-foot-long, 92,5-foot-wide ship. In doing so, they utilized 4.2 million pounds of steel, 1.1 million feet of lumber, 16,000 steel bolts and 18,000 pounds of plastics.


2nd April 1912: Titanic begins and completes sea trials off Belfast.

3rd April 1912: Titanic arrives at Southampton, England.

10th April 1912: Titanic departs from Southampton, captained by E. J. Smith; more passengers embark at Cherbourg, France.

11th April 1912: Titanic passengers embark at Queenstown, Ireland.

14th April 1912 (11:40pm) : Titanic strikes iceberg.

15th April 1912 (2:20am) : Titanic sinks

18th April 1912: Carpathia arrives in New York harbor with 705 survivors.

Thank you for reading this month's issue! We look forward to the next one...
Love, Ane

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