"Titanic" director Cameron brainstorms on oil spill

Film director and Lightstorm Entertainment Chairman James Cameron answers a reporter's question during a news conference after he delivered a keynote address titled "Renaissance now in imagination and technology" at the Seoul Digital Forum 2010 in this May 13, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “Titanic” director and deep sea explorer James Cameron took part in a brainstorming session with scientists, academics and Washington officials on Tuesday on how to contain the six week-old oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental sources said.

Cameron made two documentaries about the wreck of the ocean liner Titanic as well as the blockbuster 1997 Hollywood movie using a small fleet of specially designed remotely operated underwater vehicles.

U.S. agency officials said Tuesday’s meeting was “part of the federal government’s ongoing efforts to hear from stakeholders, scientists and experts from academia, government and the private sector as we continue to respond to the BP oil spill.”

It followed the failure last week of British Petroleum’s “top kill” effort to plug the leak by pumping heavy mud into the fractured oil well.

The gathering on Tuesday, one of many such meetings in the past few weeks, involved officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Energy and other federal agencies, Washington officials said.

The meeting, which included more than 20 top scientists, engineers and technical experts was described as a “listening session as these stakeholders shared ideas about possible efforts to mitigate the BP spill’s impact on the Gulf region.”

Details of Cameron’s contribution were not immediately available.

Cameron, 55, is one of the most wealthy and successful directors in Hollywood with the world’s two biggest grossing movies -- “Avatar” and “Titanic” -- on his resume.

He studied physics at college and helped develop deep sea submersible equipment and other underwater ocean technology for the making of series of documentaries exploring the wrecks of the Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck some two miles below the surface.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte