We reached out to our festival filmmakers to ask them questions about the experience of making their films.
What inspired this story?
Africa has some of the most spectacular wildlife and wild places on earth and we’ve all worked there, experienced this and been inspired ourselves. Producing in 3D for giant screens gives us the wonderful opportunity to immerse audiences in these amazing natural worlds, experiencing the wild in a way that is as close as possible to actually being there, and hopefully inspiring many others as we have been inspired ourselves.
Describe some of the challenges faced while making this film.
This is probably the most ambitious nature film ever shot in 3D for the giant screen, because of the great variety of camera techniques we had to employ to shoot all the various scenes in the wild, from macro to long lens, to underwater to time-lapse and slow motion. Almost every one needed us to develop and then operate a new 3D rig to capture the images, in some extreme conditions. It was a huge team effort.
How do you approach storytelling?
As our aim was to immerse audiences in the wild, we needed a simple storytelling structure that gently guided audiences and did not get in the way of the emotional and visual experience. A journey from frozen mountain tops to sea, following water, was a very natural one, and one that also enabled us to educate audiences about how critical water is in all its forms to life on earth. The journey following water also allowed us to give the audience some thrilling moments of travel too, that play to the strength of the giant screen in 3D eg. tumbling over Victoria Falls.
What impact do you hope this film will have?
This film will be seen by large numbers of children, in both school groups and families, in theatres all around the world. As the experience is such a visceral and immersive one in these theatres, the closest you can get to being in the wild, we hope this film will spark a real connection with nature in kids, that will be carried beyond the theatre. For educators who want to build on this experience we also provide extensive educational materials.
Anything else you would like people to know?
What is very pleasing is to see how audiences in many different continents and cultures are enjoying this film. As a theatrical experience, it is currently being successfully shown in North America, Mexico, Europe, Saudi Arabia, China and Japan. It is truly a wildlife experience that works across cultures.