A 51-year-old Australian film/TV writer-producer and a 60-year-old American cinematographer died in a helicopter crash shortly after takeoff on the New South Wales south coast today. Oz news reports describe Andrew Wight as James Cameron’s ‘right-hand man’ in Melbourne and was piloting the craft with Santa Barbara-based Mike deGruy aboard. Wight was writer-producer of the most successful Australian movie of 2011, the 3D film Sanctum executive produced by Cameron, as well as general manager of Cameron’s first 3D production company outside the U.S., the Melbourne-based Cameron Pace. DeGruy specialized in underwater cinematography and had won multiple BAFTA and Emmy awards for his camera artistry. Wight was a diver/explorer whose Sanctum screenplay took in $100M worldwide at the box office and was based on his own near-death experience in an underwater cave. The pair were believed scouting locations for an upcoming project together said to be a documentary about Papua, New Guinea.
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