Jacques Perrin’s new film is a kind of ecological drama documentary about life under the ocean waves. It was filmed all over the world and is part adventure thriller and part meditation on the vanishing wonders of the sub-aquatic world.
Says Jacques Perrin: “The wildest, the least explored territories left on the planet are the oceans. That’s why I wanted to explore them, conquering a new territory, like the explorers of the 19th century, just for the joy of exploring! But more than that, up until now in most films, the observers were merely observers who looked at the sea like other people look at an aquarium. I mean they couldn’t move. The big thing that we have done, is to follow all the creatures in the sea, all marine life as it moves about.”
The camera does 10 knots an hour in a shoal of tuna, plays with dolphins in their own environment, swims with a Great White shark. This film shows the underwater world through the eyes of a fish.
Says Jacques Perrin: “What is fascinating is that these fish and marine animals have evolved in huge spaces, like birds… they live in a 3D space and that gives them an astonishing freedom of movement. Where is up? Where is down? That’s what makes following them so difficult for the camera operators and crew.”
New technological breakthroughs were needed for the making of the film. This is one such new development; it’s a camera which stays stable in all weathers, regardless of the movements of the boat.
Says Perrin, “We had to perfect all the new technology, get it working so that when it is skimming over the surface of the water at high speeds following a group of dolphins for example… with the spray, the sea and the animals all moving… we’re not moving. The camera remains stable. But we’re not watching it sitting on the camera, and we can see the camera moving in all directions, and you say “It’s going to be horrible” but no… it’s the boat which moves in all directions, it’s the sea… but the camera remains perfectly stable, completely aligned with the horizon.”
Making the film took a budget of 50 million euros, a crew of 15 cameramen, two years of preparation, four years of shooting and around 500 hours of rushes.
Says Jacques Perrin: “The more you prepare, the more ready you are… and the more things happen that you weren’t expecting. But we were ready for the completely unexpected stuff. That’s what’s exciting, beautiful… that’s where the film really happens. Because if the film was really only an illustration of a preconcieved script, well… what would it be? No, the exciting thing is to go with an emotion, an unsuspected adventure.”
Oceans will be on general release next year.
For more information see