Great White Shark 3D Coming to IMAX May 24th
5/17/2013 12:27:42 PM
Great White Shark 3D, a NEW IMAX film comes to the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater in Chattanooga on May 24th.
Above: Audiences will feel as though they are diving in a shark cage while watching Great White Shark3D.
Photo: Luke Creswell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Thom Benson 423-785-3007
Giant Jaws - Great White Shark 3D Coming to IMAX May 24th
Experience A Virtual Shark Cage Dive with Iconic Predators
Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 17 , 2013) – The thought of encountering a giant shark face-to-face is spine-tingling and enough to keep some people out of the water. But Great White Shark 3D, a new underwater film coming to the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater on May 24th, promises to thrill audiences by taking movie-goers on a virtual cage diving expedition with the world’s iconic predators. Along the way, filmmakers hope to unravel many of the mysteries surrounding these almost mythical creatures. “Our mission is to change people’s attitudes toward the Great White,” said Steve McNicholas, co-director of the film. “Great Whites are not monsters any more than the polar bears or lions that we revere.”
Underwater filmmaker D.J. Roller spent more than four years of his life capturing spectacular 3D footage in the world’s Great White hotspots: the crystal clear waters of Mexico’s legendary Guadalupe Island; newly-discovered shark territory off the southernmost tip of New Zealand; off of the California coast near Los Angeles and in the bone-chilling waters ofSouth Africa where Great Whites burst out of the water. “This film isn’t a scary film,” said D.J. Roller, producer and director of photography for Great White Shark 3D. “It’s really about making the screen disappear as if you were looking through a dive mask. We were determined to bring audiences something truly ground-breaking in a shark film. People will find it thrilling.”
Above: Movie still from D.J. Roller
Using revolutionary high-speed, digital IMAX cameras in South Africa, Roller captured Great Whites leaping into the air for the first time in 3D. The film team towed a black rubber sea lion decoy in shark infested waters to entice 20-foot Great Whites to strike. “Then all of a sudden, a 3,000, or 4,000 pound creature comes rocketing out of the water like a missile,” said Roller. “Even though we filmed several of those events over a few days, it was exciting every time. People will love seeing that in 3D on a giant screen.
A special shark cage was built so that Roller could film Great Whites eyeball-to-eyeball. The design was modeled after the shark cage that’s on display at the Tennessee Aquarium. It was designed by filmmaker Peter Gimbel to be used as an “underwater elevator” for Blue Water, White Death - the first underwater documentary about Great White Sharks. “The cage we used to film Great White Shark 3D is very much like the one people can climb in at the Aquarium,” said Roller. “It has buoyancy chambers so we could drive it up and down in the water column. People who step into the Aquarium’s cage have a good sense of what we used.”
To gain worldwide awareness of the plight of all sharks, Great White Shark 3D has partnered with notable international conservation organizations Oceana and WildAid to educate viewers about the fate of sharks at the hands of humans.
“Over one-third of all open-ocean shark species are endangered and up to 73 million sharks are killed by fishermen every year to make shark fin soup that is sold throughout Asia,” said Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid. “A shark is finned and 98% of the shark is dumped back into the ocean to die.”
Dr. Geoff Shester, California program director of Oceana, said that juvenile Great Whites are regularly caught as by-catch in gillnets in certain fisheries off California and Mexico, yet scientists estimate only a few hundred adult and juvenile Great White Sharks remain in the entire West Coast population. Oceana is working to protect this population for Great Whites by winning endangered species status for these sharks from the State of California and U.S. federal government.
“Their future is now in our hands,” said Shester. “Listing Great White Sharks as an endangered species is the best way to afford reasonable protections from fishing, while promoting research to ensure they remain part of the ocean ecosystem.”
The filmmakers hope people will see the creature we love to fear with new eyes after experiencing Great White Shark 3D. “There’s a whole generation that hasn’t seen Jaws, so there’s a real opportunity to help people understand that protecting sharks is part and parcel of protecting our ocean,” said Roller. “I hope people will enjoy the sensations of being in the water with these amazing animals and leave the theater knowing that sharks deserve our respect and protection.”
Great White Shark 3D is suitable for all audiences and has a running time of 40 minutes.
Click here for showtimes and to purchase tickets online.