No 3 “Film & Television” March 03 2015
Cover by William Tan
FROM THE EDITORS
“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum, Senegalese environmentalist, 1968
But for years, the sea was inscrutable; impossible, when looking at its surface, for people to imagine (let alone love or understand) the beauty, the peace, and the drama taking place below…
And then pioneering filmmakers began bringing back images of the life below the waves. And generations of people began learning about and falling in love with the sea and the adventures that it offered the intrepid. We were suddenly introduced to the greater part of our planet and came face to face with the desire, and need, to protect it.
Times have changed dramatically since the early days of underwater filmmaking, and not just in terms of technology and image resolution. Knowledge has transformed the way we interact with, and present, the underwater world on film today. While some of the old movies may seem dated, and some of their messages and practices less than politically correct to a modern audience, we have to remember that we wouldn’t be where we are without them.
We have a tremendous debt of gratitude to pay the early underwater filmmakers – Hans and Lottie Hass, Jacques Cousteau, and Valerie Taylor, all amongst the vanguard who opened up the possibility of conserving the incredible aquatic environment.
This issue is a celebration of underwater film and television, and the people who have brought the ocean into our homes, onto the screen, from the early days, through to the most cutting-edge and exciting modern underwater documentaries. Grab your popcorn and get comfortable. You don’t want to miss this.
Alice Grainger (Editor)
In the words of Sir David Attenborough, the knighted British broadcaster whose interview you’ll find on page 86, “What an incredible natural world we have.” Time to get out there and capture it.
But you don’t have to work for the BBC to produce compelling underwater film stories. Learn to “Channel Your Inner Cousteau” (pg. 90) with basic equipment and a little vision, and you could be the next conservation filmmaker, like Shawn Heinrichs who teamed up with freediver Hannah Fraser to create the viral video, Tigress Shark (pg. 98).
Once you’re ready to bring your story to the big screen (or just your ultra-HD flat screen), you can join the 4K-resolution revolution (pg. 94). With four times the resolution of regular HD, this new format captures details of the underwater world like never before. Whatever the format, there are countless underwater stories to be told.
Matt Weiss (Editor)