World renowned photographer, filmmaker, and environmentalist Bob Talbot’s new production, Being Dolphin 4D, is a highly immersive experience that transports viewers into a dolphin’s world in exhilarating and poetic fashion. Designed and created specifically for 4D exhibition, the project is part of a partnership between Talbot Films and the National Aquarium to blend science and art in a way that seamlessly provides a new perspective on dolphins. Their goal is to create a broad range of immersive media to be exhibited at the Aquarium and for general distribution. Talbot turned to EFILM for the editorial and color finishing post-production.
“This project was an evolution of some techniques I’ve used in the past as well as some completely new shooting methods. Most of the underwater sequences were shot with an Alexa mounted on a custom underwater propulsion rig. Using that rig made it possible for me to fly the camera with a pod of dolphins for minutes at a time. In a single take I could glide along the bottom with them and remain in the pod as they surfaced. We also rigged a Phantom Flex4K on the front of my boat to shoot 1000 frames per second over/under scenes of dolphins surfacing,” Talbot explains.
All of the footage from the various cameras had to be converted and color finished. From one dive to another the water visibility and light can change dramatically. Clouds appear and disappear. Reds go away as water depth increases. The central challenge was to achieve consistency throughout the short film’s ten-minute run time.
Talbot notes, “It took a lot of work to create a consistent look. Everyone at EFILM did an amazing job. They gave our little film the same care they give the blockbusters they work on every day.”
Being Dolphin 4D supports the National Aquarium’s revolutionary stance that cetaceans do not belong in captivity, by providing new and immersive alternatives for the public to learn about dolphins. The Aquarium ultimately aims to build a seaside sanctuary for its family of dolphins, and hopefully, for other dolphins from around the world.