This came up in our Roundtable Discussion over a year ago. Prominent ocean filmmakers Bob Talbot and Chuck Davis both talked about how you can make documentaries about the oceans that conclude with the obligatory footage of ocean decline and pleas for conservation, but the cable channels will ask you to cut the footage of dead oceans. "NOBODY WANTS TO SEE IT," is what they said.
So here's a NY Times review of a new nature film, "Sacred Planet," that points out exactly that.
And the bottom line on all this is that film is a VISUAL MEDIUM. The audience walks away with what they are SHOWN, not told. Show them pictures of a beautiful, healthy ocean and they will conclude the oceans are beautiful and healthy even if the voiceover is trying to tell them the oceans are in peril.
In between its far-flung stops, the movie offers standard but stirringly rhapsodic glimpses of nature: wheeling flocks of birds, schools of silvery fish, orangutans at play, snow-capped mountains, forests and canyons, often in time-lapse photography that makes the clouds rush overhead and shadows dart instead of creep.
What the movie lacks is contrast. The sped-up ribbons of traffic in a city look as pretty as the interior of a redwood grove. As for the perils of logging, one brief shot of a clear-cut forest flashes by so quickly it is almost subliminal.
Here are some of the things you will not see in "Sacred Planet:" a limping animal, a vulture, a mosquito.