Today’s cinema is full of magic worlds and distant planets, alien creatures and mystical beasts, but the strangest and most alien realm is already right here on Earth.
Created entirely by volunteers and funded by hundreds of fans worldwide, the Underwater Realm is one of the most ambitious independent film projects ever attempted. Each short set in a different time period, we watch the five times humans have caught a glimpse of the mysterious underwater Atlanteans.
The Underwater Realm is the creation of Realm Pictures, a group of independent film makers working from their home county of Devon. Realm was founded by Director David M Reynolds on the belief that independent film should no longer have to compromise itself in terms of scale or visual impact. The team’s first film, Zomblies, an action horror, has been watched by over 4,000,000 people worldwide. After winning the Raindance / Pepsi ‘Max It’ short film competition in early 2011 the team decided to take on a new challenge: setting a series of films almost entirely underwater.
Filming underwater is nothing like filming on land. Light and sound behave differently, communication is difficult and every minute is vital as precious oxygen run outs. Working with some of the world’s best free divers, the films’ cast have had to learn how to hold their breath for minutes at a time. Meanwhile, the production crew have developed entirely new technology: their own unique underwater lighting and communication systems.
The team’s challenges don’t end above the water. The film’s locations range from the harsh North-Cornish coast to the beautiful Mediterranean. Shooting on location has taken the team all over the world, while back home our set designers have built full scale replicas of the deck of a Spanish galleon and the cockpit of a British spitfire. The project is being shot on the Red EPIC camera system, the same cameras that were used by Peter Jackson to shoot The Hobbit – despite the complete budget being less than what that project spent on coffee.
These projects have only ever been possible thanks to amazing support of thousands of individuals worldwide, sharing the team’s love for the oceans and independent film. In December 2011, the team were humbled by the success of their Kickstarter campaign, raising over $100,000 in thirty days.
The project’s supporters include:
Now, after two years of hard work, sleepless nights and constant passion, the five films are finally ready.
This Christmas, we invite you to come and explore the Underwater Realm.