Friday, August 17, 2007

“Once Upon a Tide”

Sea Studios Foundation, Monterey, CA 8/15/07.
In addition to producing science documentaries like “Shape of Life" and "Strange Days on Planet Earth" , we are starting to depart from traditional science narratives. “Once Upon a Tide” is a live-action / animated fable designed to touch people’s hearts by witnessing the journey of a little girl named Olive. Olive lives in a world, set in a time, not unlike our own, where a spell has been cast causing people to forget about the ocean and its importance to our lives. Luckily for Olive, she finds a shell that helps open her eyes to the magic of the ocean. Here are some stills from the film:

Animation created by LAIKA/house

Yesterday we shot two of the live action scenes in Monterey. We had what I thought was a big crew, a director, a DP, a sound recordist, an AC, a grip, a gaffer, two caterers, several producers, a child actress, her mother, a make up artist, a prop designer, me, and a crane operator. I guess that isn’t big by Hollywood standards, but it was the biggest shoot I had been on.

Everything went great. Olive, our star was good as gold. The weather cooperated for the most part. We thought our big hero, dune jib shot would be ruined by fog. But the sun came out just in time and we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset. It was a fabulous day!

Signing off for now...Hannah Smith Walker (Sea Studios Production / Post Coordinator)

Harry Potter and the search for the perfect children’s bedroom

Sea Studios Foundation, Monterey, CA 8/15/07.
While most everyone at Sea Studios was out having grand adventures in Africa, I had my own quest in Monterey. I had three weeks to find the perfect sand dune and the perfect children’s bedroom for an upcoming documentary called “Once Upon a Tide”. It was great trekking all around Monterey finding all different shapes and sizes of sand dunes.
But the bedroom was another story. I had struck out at every turn finding the mythical perfect child’s bedroom. But luckily, a boy named Harry Potter led me to a woman named Tammy.
The night before the new Potter book came out, I found myself in a library-sponsored trivia contest. I didn’t know a soul in the audience, but I noticed one of my competitors seemed to know everyone. Scores of people held up placards supporting a woman named Tammy and her daughters in Harry Potter trivia domination. Tammy wiped the floor with me and ended up winning the competition. When I went up to her to congratulate her, I surprised her by asking to take pictures of her daughters’ bedrooms. She gave me quite a funny look, as I tried to explain that I was scouting locations for Sea Studios. It all came out in a nonsensical rush, but fortunately a woman near by perked up and said, “Sea Studios, I know Sea Studios, they make wonderful films”.

So, to make a long story short Tammy showed me her wonderful home, and two weeks later a giant film crew invaded her house.