Director China – Zhang Yimou
Director (UK) – Dominic Faraway
Assistant Director (UK) – Tracey Clark
Underwater DOP – Zac Macaulay
Camera Assistant – Jess Mitchel
Lighting Gaffer – Neil Blackman
Lighting Crew – Ryan Huffer & John Burke
Underwater Gaffer – Jason Lobb
Lighting – Kagey Lighting Ltd
Studio Manager – Fred Woodcock
Studio – The Underwater Studio Basildon
This version was edited down from x2 10 minute films. The cinematic version (as it was shot) and the performance on stage in China. In front of the film are two large Manta Rays, representing the creatures of the deep. Two performance artists suspended on wires, represent divers moving in a ballet, to a beautiful sound track with the film screened behind.
The project started in early March 2019 with a call from Dominic. His vision, which we successfully created, involved the filming of a pristine seascape with sunlight dancing down through the water, like ‘Gods fingers’. We then slowly contaminate the water with different types of plastic. Small beads at first, then Happy Meal type toys, plastic bottles and giant sheets of plastic, swirling in a vortex, like some foul ocean soup.
Planning was extensive. Diving riggers released the plastic at precise moments, either from the bottom of the six meter tank, or on top of my head, as the camera was turning over and looking downwards.
Neil Blackman and his team expertly applied the lighting, creating the ‘god’ beams and enhancing the effect of the moving plastic with special coloured effects.
All water scenes were shot in the Underwater Studio in Basildon. As ever, Fred’s invaluable advise and input made the whole thing work without a hitch.
I shot the project on my Red / Gates combination at 25 fps and was ably assisted by the skilful and patient Jess.