James Cameron collaborators killed in helicopter crash

Andrew Wight and Mike deGruy were working on a documentary in Australia

Two of James Cameron‘s closest collaborators have been killed in a helicopter crash in Australia.

Andrew Wight, an Australian writer and producer, and Mike deGruy, an American cinematographer, crashed just minutes after take off on the south coast of New South Wales at the weekend.

Both were widely known for their work with the director. Wight wrote the screenplay for the Cameron-produced Sanctum, Australia’s biggest cinema hit of 2010, and also managed his 3D production company Cameron Place, which provided most of the work on Avatar.

Santa Monica-based DeGruy was an expert in underwater cinematography. He won several BAFTAs and Emmy awards, including one for his work on The Blue Planet.

The two men were location scouting for an upcoming documentary about Papua New Guinea.

In a statement to The Guardian, Cameron said: “Mike and Andrew were like family to me. They were my deep sea brothers and both were true explorers who did extraordinary things and went places no human being has been.”