Underwater Production for Chasing Coral: Shooting the award-winning documentary in “affordable” 4K using a multitude of camera systems.
This year, the Sundance Film Festival introduced a thematic thread: The New Climate. Fourteen projects on the environment — a longtime passion of event founder Robert Redford — got a shout-out under that banner, beginning on opening night with Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel.
The film that spoke most directly to climate was Chasing Coral. Winner of the Documentary Audience Award, it follows photographers, divers, and scientists as they document the quick and dramatic death of coral reefs when ocean temperatures rise.
At the center of this three-and-a-half year endeavor was director/producer Jeff Orlowski, who shared cinematography credits with diver master Andrew Ackerman. (Contributions were also made by nine underwater cameramen, 33 on additional camera, and six more for manual time-lapse, plus divers from 25 countries for local reports in the global call.) Like Orlowski’s Emmy-winning film on melting glaciers, Chasing Ice (AC Oct., 2012), the narrative thread is the documentary process itself: assembling a team, getting input from scientists, and adapting camera systems to photograph these underwater organisms in all their living glory and sobering death. [...]
Published on July 4, 2017 on American Cinematographer's website.