Five Questions for Filmmakers: Watson
We reached out to our past World Wildlife Day Film Showcase filmmakers to ask them five questions about the experience of making their films.
What inspired this story?
Director Lesley Chilcott: Captain Paul Watson himself. He is living his life like a superhero in an action movie, every moment is dedicated to saving the life in the ocean, on or off the high seas. I’m always looking for a new way to talk about biodiversity and extinction, and making an action movie masquerading as a documentary seemed like a fitting way to tell Paul’s story.
Were there any surprising or meaningful experiences you want to share?
LC: The sheer numbers of fish and creatures of the ocean we kill every day is even more staggering than I previously knew. This is a problem with many solutions and most of the time we do nothing, primarily because it is all done out of sight of the public eye.
Yet when you swim or scuba dive with some of these magical creatures, say a humpback whale or a tiger shark, and they look back at you and allow you to get close to them, you realize there is a whole other type of intelligence we really know very little about.
What impact do you hope this film will have?
LC: I hope that people will appreciate the sheer beauty of the ocean and all that lies within it, and that starts by paying attention to what is on your plate. And if you don’t care about that, then perhaps think about how up to 70% of our oxygen coming from the ocean itself.
Describe some of the challenges faced while making this film.
LC: Captain Paul has done so much over the years, maybe ten major pieces of action per year for nearly fifty years so it was difficult to choose the actions or campaigns that could fit in a 99 minute film while still showing the breadth of his unique experiences and outlook on life. A good problem to have, but challenging nonetheless!
What drove you as a filmmaker to focus on biodiversity?
LC: Biodiversity is the key to individual health as well as the health of our planet. It’s so extremely interesting and it never ends…so many more stories to tell!
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