‘Watermark’ – The Making of an Epic Documentary about Water, Shot in 5K

Featured Projects April 28th 2014 10:40 AM 2 Comments

Water. It’s one of the most taken for granted commodities in the world. After all, most of you reading this right now, can walk over to your kitchen, turn on the faucet and have good, clean(ish) water come out whenever you want to use it, hot or cold. We tend to forget that water, though 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in it, is a finite resource. Only about 1% of the Earth’s water is easily accessible for use and the growing population is putting a strain on our supplies.

[REWIND:  ‘SLOW LIFE’ – A GORGEOUS UNDERWATER MACRO TIME-LAPSE CREATED FROM 150,000 RAW IMAGES]

 

Enter Canadian filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier who have released the feature length documentary, “Watermark,” which follows photographer Edward Burtynsky as he travels the world to capture the “existential interactions around the world with water.” The film takes us around the globe giving insights to places we probably will never see: China’s largest fish farms, Mexican oil rigs, India’s Kumbh Mela pilgrimage to places where we get a new vantage point, the Colorado River from above for example, the perspective making it look like a barren wasteland. The visual shows the negative impact society has on our natural resources.

Colorado River Delta #2, Near San Felipe, Baja, Mexico, 2011

Colorado River Delta #2, Near San Felipe, Baja, Mexico, 2011

Groundbreaking new technology was used in making this film, from the Hasselblad 60 Megapixel cameras, a Red EPIC and an unreleased, Red prototype that shot the 5K resolution. (A 5k sensor is capable of capturing up to 120 frames per second at five times the resolution of today’s HD). And then attaching this very expensive equipment onto a quadcopter and sending it high above over these bodies of water.

“The richness of this film was dependent upon the proper use of technology,” explained Baichwal. “This film is about allowing you to experience these places. If it opens up your consciousness to make you think about something you take for granted—turning on a tap, having a drink of water, jumping in a lake, having a shower—all these things that we do without thinking about it. If it changes your perspective on that a little bit, then it’s done something; it’s meaningful.

Xiaolangdi Dam #1 Yellow River, Henan Province, China, 2011

Xiaolangdi Dam #1 Yellow River, Henan Province, China, 2011

Phosphor Tailings Pond #2 Polk County, Florida, USA, 2012

Phosphor Tailings Pond #2 Polk County, Florida, USA, 2012

Thjorsá River #1, Iceland, 2012

Thjorsá River #1, Iceland, 2012

Dyralaekir River on Myrdalssandur Iceland, 2012

Dyralaekir River on Myrdalssandur Iceland, 2012

Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Station, Baja, Mexico, 2012

Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Station, Baja, Mexico, 2012

Marine Aquaculture #1, Luoyuan Bay, Fujian Province, China, 2012

Marine Aquaculture #1, Luoyuan Bay, Fujian Province, China, 2012

See the behind the scenes making of this documentary in the video below. The full length film can be seen at select theaters around the US. Here is a full listing.

You can get more information on this project and the people behind it here:

Edward Burtynsky’s website
Watermark‘s website
Mercury Films’ website

[Via Creator’s Project]
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2 Comments

  1. Rick

    This doesn’t make any sense: “Red prototype that shot the 5K resolution. Yes, 5K – thats about 120fps – 5 times the resolution of today’s HD.”

    Not sure why the mention of frame-per-second when talking about resolution. Also, a 5K Red EPIC is 5120 x 2700 so actually 6.67 times the resolution of 1080p HD.

    • Hanssie

      Hey Rick, Thanks for your comment. Yes, that was a typo on my part. Sometimes my typing fingers don’t actually do what my brain is trying to tell it to do. Lack of sleep doesn’t help either :)

      What I meant to do was give a reference that a 5k sensor is capable of capturing up to 120 fps at 5x the resolution of today’s HD.

      Hanssie

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