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February 9, 2009

‘Under the Sea’ is Here at Last

South Australia Filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall smile next to the massive IMAX® 3D camera as sun sets after another day of shooting in South Australia during the filming of the IMAX® 3D film Under the Sea 3D. © 2008 Michele Hall used with permission by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION

A few months back I told you about the upcoming IMAX film, Under the Sea 3D. Well, the wait is over — the movie comes out in theaters this Friday, the 13th. But fear not, while you wait for Friday to arrive, we have a guest blog from Producer Michele Hall, along with the final teaser webisode. I’m really excited to see this film — if the webisodes so far are any indication, it’s gonna be great.

Husband and wife team Howard Hall (Director) and Michele Hall (Producer) specialize in making marine wildlife films; between them, they’ve won seven Emmy Awards. Michele Hall is an accomplished still photographer whose images have been published by National Geographic, Fathoms, National Wildlife, and other publications, and she has also worked as an assignment photographer for National Geographic. Here’s what Michele had to say about making Under the Sea 3D:

One of the exciting things about making an IMAX film is what you see on the screen. The image is so big and so clear – I see things when I watch the film that I didn’t see when I was diving. For instance, there’s footage of a flamboyant cuttlefish going after a crab, and when I watched the dailies I could see bits of its eye and its skin that I didn’t see when I was underwater. So it just brings home the fact that when you watch an IMAX film, you’re immersed in the experience. And sometimes you see things that are even better than if you were diving and seeing it in person.

There are always stories to tell about marine wildlife, and what we wanted to do with this film was raise the bar a bit. With the last film, Deep Sea 3D, we concentrated our filming around North America. With Under the Sea 3D we wanted to do something different, so we took this project offshore to the Coral Triangle and South Australia. The Coral Triangle is an area that includes Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It boasts the largest biodiversity in the world for coral reefs, and is really important in terms of populating the reefs. It’s a very, very significant area and we were very eager to include it in our storyline. We know our coral reefs are in danger due to global warming and ocean acidification. By lending a sense of worth through looking at these animals, we hope people will have the desire to protect them, and to make efforts to help slow global warming.

While we address these environmental issues in the film, it’s far from a depressing film. We don’t like to make films that are ‘doom and gloom.’ One of the wonderful things about Under the Sea3D is that it’s fun to watch. And in the midst of that, people can learn. I hope viewers will have an increased sense of awareness, appreciation and understanding for marine wildlife. Not just for the areas that they’ve seen in this film, but globally. And that then they will want to do something to help protect not only marine creatures, but also the reefs. The reefs do need our protection. They need people dedicated to trying to make them healthier. Without that, we’re going to lose not only a great resource but, I think, part of our souls.

And here’s the final webisode for your viewing pleasure: