What does ILM have to do with the Sundance Documentary THE COVE?

     January 6, 2009

Written by Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub

One of the things that’s so great about the Sundance Film Festival is the abundance of documentaries. Each year the festival seems to raise the ante on subject matter and this year seems to be no exception, as the festival is filled with a myriad of docs on a variety of subjects.

That being said, one of the documentaries I was looking forward to watching this year was called “The Cove”. I was going to check it out based on the subject matter (eco-warriors protecting dolphins) but after watching the clips I was provided, I’m even more interested.

The reason…it ends up ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) helped make the movie not using their expertise with CGI or other computer effects….nope…it ends up they helped to create ways to hide the HD cameras using practical effects that you’d see in a Hollywood movie! Trust me, watch the first clip and you’ll be amazed.

But I’ve clearly gone ahead of myself.

The first thing you need to know is what “The Cove” is about…

Flipper was one of the most beloved television characters of all time. But ironically, the fascination with dolphins that he caused created a tragic epidemic that has threatened their existence and become a multibillion dollar industry. The largest supplier of dolphins in the world is located in the picturesque town of Taijii, Japan. But the town has a dark, horrifying secret that it doesn’t want the rest of the world to know. There are guards patrolling the cove, where the dolphin capturing takes place, who prevent any photography. The only way to stop the evil acts of this company and the town that protects it is to expose them….and that’s exactly what the brave group of activists in The Cove intend to do. Armed with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, the members of the small group, led by the most famous dolphin trainer in the world, devise a covert plan to infiltrate the cove to document the horrifying events that happen there. Along the way, they uncover what may be the largest health crisis facing our planet— the poisoning of our seas. Part environmental documentary, part horror film, part spy thriller, The Cove is as suspenseful as it is enlightening. The final result is a heart-wrenching, but inspirational, story that shows the true power of film in the hands of people who aren’t afraid to risk everything for a vital cause.

As you’ve just read, the people who made “The Cove” are putting their lives on the line to try and bring a terrible story to the mainstream. In the coming weeks expect a review….but until then, here are three clips from the movie. Take a look.

Clip 1 – ILM and Assembling the Team

Clip 2 – Mandy Kirk and Dolphins

Clip 3 – Prologue

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