What did you learn from the making of this film?
Directors make and shape their films, but it is also true that films make and shape their directors.; They reduce what you take for granted.
For me, making Day Zero radically altered my conception of “Earth” for example, and “Nature”. With every location these concepts became more precious, more fragile, more vulnerable.
The expression ‘living in harmony with Nature’ took on a new and challenging meaning.
And because Day Zero - a global water crisis - is now a near certainty, a catastrophe that will soon affect everyone; and because its impact can be alleviated only if we all pull together in a concerted global effort, the making of the film revealed to me the debt that each of us as individuals owes to humanity as a whole. We can’t turn our backs on this story.
How do you approach storytelling?
These days, there’s always an apocalypse happening somewhere, but it’s normally happening somewhere else. Global warming, climate change, water crisis, most people may have strong opinions about such things, but they can’t always find them. We thought it was our job to help them.
We wanted to make an environmental film for people who do not watch environmental films. We wanted to beat drums. We had a message and we wanted it to be heard. We wanted to give climate change a human face and global crisis a local habitation. Yes, Day Zero is a film about potentially catastrophic shifts in natural weather patterns – but it’s also about your hamburger and fries.
Water is the element that links everything to everything else. Just like film editing. So Day Zero would tell the story of the Water Crisis in a way that only film can.
It would be a film that could cut from Outer Space to a slum kitchen in a South African township; from the Civil War in Syria to the cattle pens in Kansas; from the vast underground caves of Florida to the heart of the Amazonian Rain Forest.
Day Zero was conceived as a rallying cry -an unashamedly demotic, down to earth film about the future of the Planet.
It is a beautifully shot film with a terrifying warning, but also a film that finds in our shared humanity a solution - a way to fight back.
What impact do you hope this film will have?
Modern life on earth, the life we have grown used to, Is unsustainable - there’s not enough nature to go round.
Near the end of the film the narrator says: “People used to say that water was Nature’s way of talking to mankind”.
We hope that people will start listening.