In the summer of 1988, Quale joined the art department on The Abyss, where he helped Cameron design complex action sequences by building and videotaping study models of various sets with a miniature camera. After a summer working at George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic, Quale was called back to work on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where Cameron enlisted his help in shooting several second unit sequences.
In 1992, Quale served as Director of Photography on the Miramax film The Crude Oasis. That same year, Quale performed a multitude of duties on The Abyss: Special Edition, including picture editing and the insertion of all the new music.
When Titanic first loomed on the horizon in 1995, Cameron recruited Steve to join his select crew for an expedition aboard the Russian research ship, Academik Keldysh, filming a dozen dives to the wreck. When principal photography began two years later, Quale directed a large second unit shoot that by many standards was bigger than most first units. He was responsible for sequences in the Engine Room and the Boiler Room, including all of the below-deck flooding shots as the Titanic strikes the iceberg. Quale also supervised the visual effects for the Engine Room sequence, including the most radical handheld motion-tracking green screen composites ever attempted at that time. To further enhance the reality of the Titanic's engine room, Quale flew to San Francisco to shoot aboard a World War II-era Liberty ship, seamlessly integrating this footage with shots of a 1/14 scale model and digitally composited green-screen actors. The film won an Oscar for its visual effects.
After Titanic, Quale continued his second unit work on Universal's Rocky and Bullwinkle and Disney's The Haunted Mansion. In addition, he has shot commercials and music videos, working with such artists as Eminem, Dream and Montell Jordan.
In 2001, Quale directed the Lions Gate/ABC movie Superfire, for which he created a blazing inferno in the woods of New Zealand. The film, with its spectacular fire sequences, was nominated for an Emmy for Best Visual Effects.
Aliens of the Deep is Quale's return to open-water photography aboard the Keldysh, and a chance for him to express his long-standing passion for outer space.
Steven Quale Facts