“Deep Blue” BBC Movie

Wetpixel member Alex Mustard reports on the new feature film about the ocean "Deep Blue". Deep Blue is the cinematic version the BBC series "Blue Planet", and is sure to be on most divers "must see" list during 2004. The film is directed by Alastair Fothergill and Andy Byatt and will be distributed in North America by Miramax.

Last night I went to a special preview showing of the film in London's Leicester Square. The film uses many of the sequences from Blue Planet, but these have been re-edited and include some of the 7000 hours of footage that did not fit into the 8 hours shown TV. The style of the film is much more emotional than educational. The narration, by Michael Gambon, is only minimal and the images are accompanied by a new, full orchestral score from Oscar nominee George Fenton, creating an almost balletic experience.

Visually, the film is stunning on the big screen and really takes the viewer on an enthralling journey from the poles to the tropics, and from shallow coral reefs to the deep ocean. The cinema really conveys the scale and raw power of the ocean, from waves crashing into the coast to the enormity of the great whales. The film does not shy away from the savage side of the ocean either- the sequences of the remorseless annihilation of bait balls, by dolphins, sharks, billfish, tuna and sea birds, are amongst the films most powerful. It also shows sequences of rarely seen deep sea species, and close-ups of plankton that make charming stars on the celluloid!

The film contained all my favourite sequences from the series, and in fact I enjoyed it more! It is a beautiful celebration of the ocean, which I hope will convince audiences around the world that this magnificent realm that defines our planet must be conserved.

I'll leave the final word to co-director Alastair Fothergill, who said in his introduction "the Deep Blue is the real Finding Nemo".

Alex Mustard (www)