It’s January 2016, and Emma and I have been working on Cuttlefish Country and the enormous body of research associated with it, practically full time for the past four and a half years. We are thrilled to say that the end is finally in sight. The film will ultimately take the form of a feature-length documentary, as previously promised. We have developed a rough cut of the film already, and are now wrestling to condense it down to an accessible and engaging 100 minutes or so in duration. The film will be rich in photography, animation and music, and will be chock full of places and wildlife that we love, problems we have carefully analysed and a number of potential solutions.
Long term followers of our work will have some idea of the broad scope of the film’s content and research effort. Earlier this week, I was interviewed by the Whyalla News, which published a nice article in today’s newspaper. You can read the story here or by clicking on the photograph below.
Cuttlefish Country has grown to become a regional development story, which looks at the history and future of the cuttlefish aggregation near Point Lowly, the birth of Whyalla, the Olympic Dam mine, Santos and the Cooper Basin gasfields and the plan to develop new mines, ports and desalination plants around Spencer Gulf. The film also considers rarely discussed environmental implications of existing industrial activities, including industrial pollution, water and energy consumption, shipping, fisheries and aquaculture and touches upon the conflict that exists between some competing interests.
Cuttlefish Country is both an environmental story and a political story. It’s chock full of original research, delivered in a novel and distinctive way that is intended to have a positive influence on planning decisions made in South Australia in the immediate future. It presents many decisions of the recent and distant past and presents their consequences, in the hopes that we may learn valuable lessons from them.
With your help, we hope its influence will extend well beyond South Australia’s borders into other regions and countries. The film is to be entered into international film festivals and will hopefully enjoy limited releases in other regions. Eventually it will be available to view or own via online video-on-demand, plus DVD and Blu-ray discs. A regional tour in Australia will also follow the film’s completion, and any interested parties will be able to arrange a screening of their own.
You can read a current synopsis of the film here.
We have managed to scrape through this project financially, largely by making many personal sacrifices and through the support of our family. If you would like to help improve our film’s impact and distribution prospects, we invite you to make a donation. All named donors will receive acknowledgement in the film’s credits, and for those who wish to give discretely, an option to remain anonymous when donating is also available. A special mention must be made of our general sponsors and ecotourism sponsors, who have also helped us with in-kind support, special prices on equipment or services or modest donations.
Play Cuttle Scuttle!
Another way to support our work is to consider buying a copy of our computer game, Cuttle Scuttle which has been released as a Beta version for Windows only. The full commercial release of the game will accompany the release of the film and will be available for Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile. The Beta version received an unsolicited review recently, which gave it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. You can read the review here.
We’ve come a long way, but the best is yet to come… I promise!