Filmmakers Sara Hine and Jerry Grayson have just released The Earth Wins, the first Australian produced IMAX film in a decade.By Barbara Sungaila
Filmmakers Jerry Grayson and Sara Hine had only just moved into their Mia Mia house when it was threatened by the Black Saturday bushfires.
Hine said they had just celebrated their first Christmas in their newly built home.
‘‘We’d literally put the water tanks in on Christmas Eve
The immediacy of the threat left a lasting impression on the couple, who were in the process of making their new film, The Earth Wins.
‘‘It’s a brick house and our plan was to stay and defend
‘‘But then, to get airborne a week after the fires, to shoot that (Black Saturday) sequence of film was gut-wrenching.
‘‘Having spent all of Saturday and Sunday defending, obviously staying awake around the clock to do so
‘‘Obviously, you’re very conscious of the fact that there are those people on the ground who are saving lives in that clear up.’’
The aerial shots of Marysville and King Lake show a blackened landscape dotted with the charred remains of houses and cars.
Hine said she was often asked about the immediate message of the film.
‘‘There are lots of imbedded messages
‘‘That could take the form of an earthquake, it could take the form of a tsunami, it could take the form of a hurricane like Katrina or the fires that are ravaging a lot of Europe, a lot of North America, and obviously here.
‘‘There are some we’ve been speaking to, scientists who would say we’re at a tipping point, and there are others that feel we’re over that tipping point.
‘‘But we feel we are at a point where we have the ability to step back, to think more about sustainable living.
‘‘To think more about conservation, preservation of species and we wanted the film to be an entry point so that people felt the same as us.’’
‘‘This isn’t An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore film... there aren’t any bar charts or pie charts, there’s no Jerry in front of camera, there’s no voice-over narration.’’
The film is a journey covering many landscapes and experiences, and it finishes with whales and dolphins swimming together near Cape Town in South Africa.
Hine said filming that particular sequence was incredible.
‘‘We were able to stay airborne for 40 minutes and we only left because of fuel,’’ she said.
‘‘We’ve shown that piece of film to scientists, to those working in marine mammal behaviour and so on and they’ve said ‘we have no idea what we’re seeing, we’ve never seen that interaction between the whales and the dolphins before’ and it really, to us, sums up that miraculous sense that we can live in harmony if we just stop and think a little bit more about the consequences of our actions.
‘‘And we very much believe in cause and effect.’’
Grayson is a former British Royal Navy pilot who became involved with film after he established a helicopter charter company in Cornwall.
He said an experience in Western Australia, while he was filming for the SBS documentary Dirty Money, provided the hook for the film.
‘‘We were filming the mine at Newman in WA and it’s very deep and long and thin
‘‘I don’t know how long ago they stopped, it was probably 20, 30 years ago and the way that it snakes down meant that there were all these terraces that had collected water; and you try finding water in WA in the middle of the summer and there was grass growing because it’s caught water.
‘‘I thought, okay, this is interesting.
‘‘There is a sort of relationship going on here and in 100,000 years who knows what’s in that hole.
‘‘Probably man won’t be around for whatever reason, but that hole will still be there and the earth will still be making use of it.’’
Grayson said he realised that ultimately the Earth would always win.
‘‘So all you need to do is to decide if you want to be on the winning side or the losing side,’’ he said.
The Earth Wins was filmed entirely from the air, giving a birds-eye perspective of the world and was made for a large-format IMAX display.
It is the first Australian-produced IMAX film in a decade and it opens at IMAX Melbourne on August 29 for a 12-month season.
Hine said because the film covered several areas of the national curriculum, it would go into the IMAX library and school groups can book it long after the general admission screening finished.
‘‘Having said that, school groups can also book their own screening now
Hine is also one of the founders of the Heathcote Film Festival which takes place at the end of the month.
For information about The Earth Wins, visit www.theearthwins.com and for information about the Heathcote Film Festival visit www.heathcotefilmfestival.com.au
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