Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Filmmaker Q&A: Pangolin Pictures, "Killer Whales"

Pangolin Pictures’ “Killer Whales” follows many unique pods of orcas all over the world. Orcas are social mammals and effective hunters, with different pods specializing at hunting specific types of prey. Orcas are found in all the world’s oceans but little is known about their conservation status. Join the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival at the first Family Program 10 am on Saturday, March 12 to follow these great marine hunters.
Click here to purchase tickets for the program.

For the first time, all San Francisco Ocean Film Festival programs will include complimentary admission to Aquarium of the Bay. Located next door to Theatre 39, the Aquarium provides the opportunity to continue your underwater exploration, after the last film credits have rolled. View the full Festival lineup at:

What is your summary of the film?

Razor sharp teeth pierce through flesh. Blood flows freely. A two hundred pound mammal is tossed through the air. The ocean’s great predators have fed again. They are known as Orcas… Killer Whales… Wolves of the Sea. Highly social and highly deadly, they stand at the top of the aquatic food chain.

What was your inspiration for creating the film?

We’ve been inspired by the extreme intelligence and hunting ability of the orca for some time. It had been years since someone made an entire film about them, following different pods all throughout the world. We were excited to be given the opportunity.

What was the most challenging part of creating the film?

Definitely finding the orcas. They can travel hundreds of miles each day. They can disappear in an instant. We spent many, many days not seeing any at all.

What do you want to impart on your film’s viewers?

How amazingly individual each pod is. They are so sophisticated, so specialized and ever adapting.

What was the most enjoyable part of creating the film?

Having the opportunity to look in the eyes of an animal that is easily one the world’s most ruthless killers, and seeing intelligence. We would never get that close to a lion when it’s hunting, but orcas know what they want and we’re not on the menu.

How or why did you begin creating ocean-focused films?

Both Kevin Bachar and Joey Allen were former employees at National Geographic. We’ve always had a love of the capturing the natural world. Oceans are, of course, the largest natural world we have to explore.

Why did you choose to submit your film to the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival?

The film takes place in numerous oceans all over the world. It seemed like a perfect fit for the festival.

What was the most memorable moment in creating the film?

Swimming with the orcas in New Zealand

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