Born To Be Wild 3D is the latest IMAX wildlife documentary that uses the immersive medium to transport audiences into the wonders of nature.
In this case, the focus is on the remarkable efforts of Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas, who saves and raises orphaned orangutans in the rainforests of Borneo, and Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who provides the same service for orphaned elephants in the Kenyan Savannah.
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Veteran IMAX director David Lickley says he was attracted to the project because “these two women are absolutely amazing and the animals are fascinating, intelligent and passionate. The stories of both the humans and the animals they rescue needed to be told.”
Lickley described transporting his crew to the remote filming locations as “a logistical nightmare. We had 30,000 pounds of equipment that we had to take deep into the desert and rain forest.”
The physical challenges of the project were immense, but aided by new technology created specifically for the movie.
“We built and pioneered a new 3-D IMAX camera that’s digital with no film involved. It has the same IMAX quality, but also the lightness and quietness of digital photography. We could put the camera on a crane and go up 20 meters in the air in the rainforest. Things that had never been done before and allowed for an all new level of audience immersion.”
The results speak for themselves. Lickley created grand sweeping imagery that pulls the audience into the vast wilds of the Savannah desert and Borneo rainforest. On a technical level, the film is remarkable, but it’s also a project that the director hopes will inspire a conservationist passion in his audience.
“I hope there will be young people in the audience who will grow up to become Birutes and Daphnes themselves,” Lickley says. “Hopefully in some small way the film can ignite that spark, because we dearly need more people like them.”