(CBS News) What drove James Cameron to the deepest part of the ocean's floor? "Curiosity," he said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."
"It's the same thing that drives exploration, that drives science. People just want to know the answers," Cameron said. "I think for explorers you just want to physically be there and bear witness ... to be that remote from humanity, in a place where no human eyes have ever seen."
"I believe strongly in exploration," Cameron added. "(It's) so hard for us to feel that exploration is important when there are so many economic imperatives. But we have to explore, it's in our DNA."
Re-releasing his blockbuster film "Titanic" in 3D gave Cameron a chance to re-invent the movie and bring it back to the big screen - but not change it editorially.
"I feel very connected to the story now, having dived 33 times to the wreck," Cameron said. "Titanic does tend to infect you the more you study it. I always say it's like a fractal. You think you understand it, then you get closer and you see so much more complexity in the story."
Cameron also weighed in on the controversy surrounding the selling of artifacts from the wreck. "That's where you get into a grey area. They have to fund these collections somehow. They have to fund traveling them around the world, putting them on display. I think when you sell them and they go into a private place and they're never seen again - that's where they step over the line."
Cameron feels that the structural part of the wreck itself should be left alone as a memorial to those lost. But he believes that bringing up the artifacts allows people to feel a connection the stories. "When you see those spectacles, you think, 'Who was that person? What did they experience?' It connects you to history."