I don’t go see many movies. Time, travel, money and life seem to get in the way a lot. I understand I miss a lot of cool stuff, and I love the movies, it just doesn’t seem to work out.
But there was one I really wanted to see. The DisneyNature distributed “Oceans.” So, last night, I trekked off the theater with a couple friends and was not disappointed. Well, not in the movie, at least. It starts a little slow, but where do you start when you’re talking about something as vast and diverse as the ocean? Watching the closing credits, you realize the producers logged literally millions of air miles to make this project happen. I would love to have their budget for a project.
The movie itself was visually stunning. Of course, they focused on the marine mammals (dolphins, whales, sea lions, otters), and the big, cool or pretty animals (turtles, octopus, jellyfish, sharks). Those are the things that attract attention and what people want to see. At the same time, they showed the amazing diversity that is marine life. Favorite laugh line from the narration “Down here, it looks like nature tried everything” or something to that affect, commenting on the incredible variety of shapes, sizes and configurations animals display.
So, what disappointed me? The turn out. Opening night, on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, and the local theater only had it on one screen. And that theater was only half full at the 8:30 showing. (I just heard that the earlier show was “pretty full”) Granted, school night and all that, but come on.
A few years ago when Mel Gibson released The Passion local churches were renting out movie theaters and taking their entire congregations to see the film. It was a way to initiate discussions. They took advantage of a multi-million dollar marketing effort to get people talking on a local level. So, dive community, why aren’t we doing the same thing? Maybe some of you out there are and I’ve just missed it. If so, way to go! But think about it. What could be better for our business than an hour and a half long exploration of the every ocean on the planet?
A friend asked me yesterday “why isn’t the marine/diving community angry about what is happening to the oceans?” I didn’t have a really good answer to that. We should be, but it seems as if there is no immediate disaster to respond to so we don’t want to deal with coral reefs dying and fisheries collapsing. As divers we have a unique perspective on the ocean that most people will never get to see. We need to stand up and make people want to learn, to understand and to talk about it..