Where the Earth Breathes and Giants are Born
Collaborative submission by Richmond Productions, Inc.
and Dr. Diane Gendron CICIMAR-IPN
The Need for Conservation Awareness, Preservation and Protection
Blue whale populations once numbered 300,000 individuals. Whaling records reveal that over 29,000 blue whales were slaughtered in the Antarctic alone, in a single year. Today researchers estimate the total world population of blue whales to be less than 10,000 individuals. It is difficult to imagine that in this day and age the worlds largest living creature is now under new threats of extinction.
While no human has witnessed the birth of a blue whale, researchers for many years have documented blue whales nursing and rearing their young along a secluded section of Baja’s coastline in the
Gulf of California
Gulf of California
is the only region in the world that blue whales are known to consistently rear their young. Today researchers have tracked individuals and generations returning to this region to feed and rear their young. This same critical habitat for blue whales is now being considered for development. Plans include marinas, high rise hotels and access roads to a region that knows no human contact other than an occasional passing fisherman’s panga.
The blue whale is just beginning to show signs of recovery after 40 years of protection from hunting. The key to their survival certainly means protecting their nursery grounds. Like many issues related to threats on a species survival, too few people are aware of the issues in time to make a difference. Developing an effective means to communicate and educate the general public, government officials, environmental managers, and conservation organizations are essential in bringing about conservation measures to protect this region.
Collaborative work between lead researcher Dr. Diane Gendron and Richmond Productions, Inc., are underway in creating a scientific based conservation documentary program on blue whales and their threatened habitat. Blue whales do not recognize international boundaries, effects on their nursery grounds are far reaching. Since effects in one region can affect others is becomes important to reach a broad based international audience, thus this program will be produced in both the Spanish and English languages.
In addition to creating an international awareness for the need for long term conservation measures to protect this region, this production entitled “Where the Earth Breaths and Giants are Born” will also bring to light the latest understanding of this great leviathan. Over the past 18 years of intense research on the region, scientists are beginning to understand some of the social behavior and reproduction dynamics of blue whales. We will track one females family history into new generations; her offspring have returned to this area first as juveniles, and now as adults, to bare their own young. This program will take the viewer on a journey of discovery into the secret realm of the blue whale and give us new insight into their critical habitat protection.
Project Aims and Objectives
Our proposal is to create a captivating program and educational viewer experience that warrants mass audience appeal and usage. Two program versions, in addition to the English and Spanish versions, are to be produced: a 30 minute program for general audience appeal, school programs, educational institutions and institutional DVD sales, and a second 15 minute High Definition (HD) version will be produced for the HD Theater. Venues such as these will reach well over a million viewers. For example, the Aquarium of the Pacific in
, has given its endorsement for use of the program for their HD theater. Of the 1.3 million people who visit the aquarium each year, 300 to 400 thousand people attend the HD theater.
The program will conclude with an action plan on how the viewer can become involved in making a difference for conservation of the world largest living creature the blue whale.
Production Schedule and Timeframe
The production on this project started in early 2004, with the first blue whale season of filming in Betacam SP format. From this production startup we have identified the overall needs of the project and have made the commitment to increase the level and effort of filming. Having identified the greater advantage of the HD media, not only in quality, but with increased viewership (institution theaters and television broadcast) we are committing to filming and editing in true HD.
© Richmond Productions, Inc.