Filming of Abaco’s beautiful underwater caves will soon be making it to the big screen, literally, as a film crew spent time with Bahamas Underground capturing the hidden beauty of the island’s blue holes for IMAX theaters.
Jonathan Bird, who hosts a YouTube series called Jonathan Bird’s Blue World – an entertaining and educational program on the marine environment – and travels to locations around the world, took time to film Abaco’s underground caves in early March of this year.
Mr. Bird is working on a film about blue holes in conjunction with MacGillivray Freeman who operates as a mini film studio, specializing in everything from production to post-production, from finance to marketing and distribution for IMAX theaters.
Mr. Bird said “What makes this film special is that there are two kinds of IMAX flavors, if you will; There’s 3D IMAX which is on a big flat screen, and there is Dome IMAX which used to be called OmniMAX, which is on a hemispherical screen and is very immersive.”
“We are actually making the first IMAX film in 30 years that’s being shot specifically for domes,” He said, noting that over the years filmmakers would focus on creating a 3D film for the flat screen and later warp it for the dome screens.
He said that Dome IMAX films, which are shot using a fisheye lens, are very immersive and shooting films of caves is just perfect for this type of experience.
He said that “Todd (Kelly) and I came here three years ago and did an episode of my show where I learned to cave dive and Todd shot it, with Brian as my instructor.”
“And this is how we came to know Brian (Kakuk), because when we began doing our research we found that these were the most beautiful caves in the world, so we knew that the vast majority of the underwater filming would take place here,” he added.
He said they will be shooting other parts of the film in different locations such as in the Yucatan, the Devils Hole (beneath Death Valley, Nevada), Minnesota and France, and potentially Iceland.
He said “Our main character for the story is a cave paleo-climatologist from the UK and she is looking at the earth’s climate through cave data and Brian’s work can help give her access to the underwater world as she works above ground.”
Mr. Bird said that they should be done with principal photography on the film by November and have a rough cut by the end of the year with a plan to release in the Fall of 2019.