We reached out to our World Wildlife Day Film Showcase filmmakers to ask them five questions about the experience of making their films.
What inspired this story?
Executive Producer Steven Bedard: As a digital magazine with its primary focus on biodiversity and its loss, bioGraphic aimed to depict the researchers and conservationists on the leading edge of the effort to protect the world’s coral reefs. Most of the news we hear about coral reefs is about their demise, but there are promising solutions to this loss, and inspiring people leading the charge. Off the Caribbean island of Curacao, one such group is focused on coral colonies that have survived warming, painstakingly providing in vitro fertilization services to those colonies in hopes of breeding corals that will be more resilient in the face of climate change. This video, which was produced as part of the multimedia story "Spawning an Intervention," illustrates the challenges involved in trying to get corals to do in a lab what they typically only do in the open ocean.
What impact do you hope this film will have?
SB: We hope that this film will show that all is not lost for the world’s coral reefs. These are some of Earth’s most important ecosystems, and climate change has begun to threaten their very existence. We can’t afford to ignore the problem, but unfortunately, stories about coral reef devastation has caused many people to lose hope. With this film, we sought to re-instill some of that hope by demonstrating a proven technique for restoring coral reefs, as well as the inspiring people behind this effort
What drove you as a filmmaker to focus on biodiversity?
SB: Biodiversity is one of Earth’s most precious resources, providing food, nutrient cycling, water cycling, pollination, seed dispersal, and myriad other functions that not only make human civilizations and our way of life possible, but keep ecosystems healthy and functional for all of Earth’s organisms. The steady loss of the world’s biodiversity—resulting from climate change, coral bleaching, deforestation, habitat loss and degradation, among others—is increasingly seen by scientists as one of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. While the losses have been breathtaking, and the trends show no sign of letting up, there are signs of hope. There are ecosystems and populations that have shown resilience; there are innovative and effective solutions that have the potential to be scaled up; and there are brilliant and inspiring people working against all odds to better understand the natural world and to protect and restore what’s left. bioGraphic seeks to highlight these hopeful stories and solutions in an effort to inspire the next generation of conservationists working to make the world a better place.