A mysterious sea creature is stranded on a beach in a haunting new film directed by Park Pictures' Tom Tagholm (Channel 4's "Meet the Superhumans") for environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage.
Tagholm weaves a beautiful sense of mystery into the spot, which begins with the whale-like creature's strange appearance and is followed by a series of interviews with various members of the community who appeared on the beach to try and help it. Kids watch soberly as they pull plastic from its body, and for a moment we think all will be well, but then, we witness the creature's last gasp.
The film ends by telling us that 95 percent of the ocean remains unexplored, and if we keep polluting the ocean with plastic, there may be creatures out there that we will never get to meet.
The film was shot in Cornwall, where Surfers Against Sewage is based, and its cast includes local Cornish surfers and supporters of the charity. The sea creature was created full scale by a team at Anarchy and augmented and animated by MPC London, whose 3D supervisor Dominic Alderson says it worked hard to convey the pain of a "living breathing creature yet undiscovered."
The film is a passion project for Tagholm, who is himself a keen surfer. He says in a statement: "As a surfer, I wanted to do what I could to help. Park Pictures share a tendency towards political and environmental engagement, so the desire was there to do some work. The idea for Creature came when I was out in the water. I wondered what could be out there in the deep. And what might be suffering before we’ve even had a chance to meet.”
“We worked slowly and methodically with designer Kate McConnell over months looking at the evolutionary logic of our creature—how she might defy certain elements of known biology but also incorporate and combine other aspects that aren’t believed to go together. For example, you’ll see she has gills as well as its blowholes and of course there’s her panic response at the end of the film which hints at an energy we’ll never really understand.”