Vanity‘s Rebecca Keegan is reporting that two days ago in Washington, D.C., Avatar director James Cameron “convened a meeting of more than 20 scientists and engineers in Washington to brainstorm fixes for the Gulf of Mexico oil leak.”

“‘I know a lot of smart people who regularly work a whole lot deeper than that well,’ says Cameron, referring to BP’s 5,000-foot gusher. ‘I figured this group of top sub guys and deep-ocean scientists and engineers could maybe come up with something constructive.’

“The director did not, as many news outlets reported, respond to a call from the Environmental Protection Agency, but rather organized the meeting himself , and invited government bodies including the E.P.A., the Department of Energy, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coast Guard to participate.

“Cameron says he first contacted BP a month ago, but was told they had the crisis handled. ‘I didn’t want to be another well-meaning idiot with a bunch of suggestions,’ Cameron says. ‘But when the situation went on without a resolution, I figured the guys I knew had to be as smart as the engineers at BP, so it was time to sound the horn.;

“Tuesday’s 10-hour engineering brainstorming session included representatives from the federal agencies, as well as Anatoly Sagalevich, the Russian Mir sub pilot who first took Cameron to the Titanic; oceanic explorer Joe MacInnis, who participated in Cameron’s deep-sea documentary Aliens of the Deep; professors from the Universities of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara; Navy salvage contractors; and Cameron’s brother, Mike, an engineer with whom the director built a pair of mini remotely operated underwater vehicles (R.O.V.) that explored the Titanic wreck.

“The group made recommendations to various agencies, which will funnel them to BP. ‘It was fertile,’ Cameron says.”

How can Big Hollywood spin this and the Penn/Haiti story negatively? There must be some way. C’mon, Nolte — this is what you’re good at.