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OCEANS

An Unknown World Surfaces
"The secrets of the ocean have always fascinated explorers. Man first ventured into the sea gradually, unaware of its infinite richness and diversity. Over the centuries, there have been so many discoveries, but the sea is still an immense and wild territory.”  Jacques Perrin, Director

Seven years ago, directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud embarked on a daring undersea venture. Their idea was simple, but seemingly impossible to realize: they would use their cameras to place audiences alongside the rare and magnificent creatures of the sea.

The result is "Oceans,” an epic journey around the globe that stars the fauna of the aquatic world in their element, from the notoriously shy humpback whales nursing their calves to the coral that lines the ocean floor and provides haven for some of the world's most elusive creatures. Traversing all five of the Earth's oceans over a period of four years, the filmmakers chronicled the exotic and the familiar in ways that will forever change viewers' perceptions of the underwater world.

"The secrets of the ocean have always fascinated explorers,” says Perrin. "Man first ventured into the sea gradually, unaware of its infinite richness and diversity. Over the centuries, there have been so many discoveries, but the sea is still an immense and wild territory.”

More than 50 years ago, Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle first brought the diversity and vulnerability of the ocean to the world's attention with the pioneering documentary "Le Monde du silence.” With "Oceans,” Perrin and Cluzaud go further than ever before to provide the most comprehensive look at marine life to date.

"In both of the films Jacques and I have made together, our goal was to experience the remaining wild parts of our planet,” says Perrin. "We accompanied the birds flying above manmade borders, continental landscapes and oceanic spans in ‘Winged Migration.' In ‘Oceans,' we were able to do what no filmmaker or scientist had ever before done—to move on and under the sea at the speed of the marine life that crisscrosses the world's oceans, and experience life from their perspective.”

"‘Oceans' is not an attempt to simply explain behavior or give information,” adds Cluzaud. "We wanted to arouse strong feelings in the audience, so we asked ourselves where we could go in order to find something ‘new.' There was only one answer: in all possible directions. From accompanying marine life in its travels to finding new ways of lighting up the oceanic night, we broke down the boundaries that separated us from the animals being filmed and transformed each one into an individual.

"‘Oceans' allows the audience to be a part of marine life,” continues Cluzaud, "to share all the emotions engendered by the exploration of the last great wild expanse: wonder, fear, calm, tenderness, violence, vitality, power and much more. We took the time to allow the animals to invite us in. We waited to become a fish among fish.”

This revolutionary approach and the dynamic nature of the subject matter required a complete rethinking of conventional moviemaking, says producer Nicolas Mauvernay. "How could we predict what we would be able to see? How could we set a pre-defined schedule that would encompass the storms we would search for in the four corners of the globe? We had all accepted that this would be a journey into the unknown, and that this film would lead us to a revelation. We came away with a renewed view and a new way of listening to the mysteries of the world.”

With input from experts from the Census of Marine Life, as well as fishermen, tanker captains, whale hunters, environmentalists, deep-sea divers, marine biologists and others, the pair brainstormed dozens of scenarios and made meticulous plans to capture as much of the emotional life of the sea as they possibly co

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