Harshest place on earth – To the Arctic
IMAX : To the Arctic
Not many people will ever have the chance to travel to the wild, forbidding, majestic Arctic. That is what makes this particular documentary so special, a 40-minute film that gives an intricate view including spectacular waterfalls, fantastic ice cliffs, and the clarity of the freezing ocean. Directed by veteran director Greg MacGillivray, who directed the award-winning documentary Everest, and written/produced by Stephen Judson, Warner Brothers presents the largest institutional launch in the history of IMAX: To the Arctic.
I was invited to attend the screening before the movie releases on April 20th (Friday). I had the honor to interview both Greg MacGillivray (director) and Steven Judson (writer/producer) about the film.
Greg told me about how he started a campaign called One World One Ocean, a non-profit foundation dedicated to teach people about the importance of the ocean. To The Arctic is the first movie presented in the One World One Ocean campaign.
Steven Judson has worked with MacGillivray for a long time, and explained the birth of the movie. “It occurred to [Greg] ten years ago that this would be a fantastic movie, largely because of the environment. We like to take people to environments that are difficult to get to otherwise and are visually striking. ”
To The Arctic is indeed stunning, brought to life thanks to the king of all 3D formats. “It feels like real life, unlike all the other digital projectors out there. That’s why people love the IMAX format,” said Greg.
The film certainly brings out the fierce loyalty of the mother polar bear and the playfulness of her adorable cubs. Greg and Stephen laughed as they talked about their challenges – polar bears were shy stars, evading the humans’ company. Another challenge was filming underwater, where the water would freeze if not for the salt in the ocean. The filmmakers also had trouble shooting in the cold.
“The cameras don’t like cold, the batteries hate it. The crew doesn’t like the cold either, especially when I wake them up super early,” Greg chuckled.
Even so, the notorious cold of the Arctic isn’t going to last for long. By 2050, it is predicted that the Arctic will disappear entirely due to global warming, and One World One Ocean is determined to surface the facts through media.
Stephen affirmed this point. He said that they were trying to use filmmaking as an educational tool, so that people pay attention and learn about the ocean through entertainment. Yet it’s not limited to just films, but through our favorite pastimes – namely, Facebook and other social media that teens like me are addicted to.
“From IMAX to iPhones, we’re going to do whatever it takes to get people to care about the ocean, starting with To The Arctic. It’s a movie that has a strong environmental message but also has a lot of heart to it.”
Judson emphasized that the Arctic isn’t as far away as you think. “We’re connected in more ways than you can imagine, and your generation is the most important. If you can be conscious of your own carbon footprint on the planet, your friends will see it, and slowly, it turns into a movement. If each one of us goes out of our way to conserve energy, it all adds up to saving the Arctic.”
Celebrate Earth Day by heading to the theaters this April 20. Visit http://www.oneworldoneocean.org/ to help save the Arctic!
First Published @KidsPickFlicks To the Arctic
Posted on April 18, 2012, in Interview Videos, Interviews and tagged Earth Day, environment, Greg MacGillivray, Meryl Streep, Movies, polar bears, Stephen Judson, To the Arctic, Warner Brothers. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.