Conservation Filmmaking with Inka Cresswell


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Conservation Filmmaker, Inka Cresswell, is keen about documenting the state of the world’s oceans to encourage others to safeguard them for future generations. At 26 years previous, Inka is a PADI Open Water Dive Teacher, Underwater Images Teacher, and Dive Towards Particles Teacher, in addition to an Superior, Nitrox, and Decompression Procedures Technical Diver. She additionally holds a Bachelor’s Diploma in Marine Biology, and a Grasp’s Diploma in Wildlife Filmmaking. Her debut movie, ‘MY 25: The Ocean Between Us’ has been proven at quite a few movie festivals all over the world. Right here, Inka supplies some highly effective behind-the-lens views on all issues conservation filmmaking.

Inquisitive about conservation filmmaking? The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Course teaches you beneficial methods to enhance the standard of the pictures and movies you're taking whereas diving. This course is now additionally obtainable on eLearning, so you'll be able to full the web portion first, earlier than connecting with a PADI dive store at anytime to finish your in-water coaching.


What impressed you to earn your Masters Diploma in Wildlife Filmmaking?

Inka: From the age of six I had already determined I used to be going to be a Marine Biologist. I used to be utterly captivated by our underwater world, enchanted by all of the otherworldly marine species I examine in books and watched on mesmerizing packages like ‘Blue Planet’. However at that younger age, I had no concept that by the point I used to be capable of make that dream a actuality our oceans would have modified drastically. By the point I graduated from College with a level in Marine Biology and began engaged on analysis tasks the ocean I had grown up fantasizing about was lengthy gone and I discovered all of the work I used to be doing closely geared round saving the final of a species and trying to preserve the final of those nice ecosystems. All through my undergraduate diploma, I used to be more and more annoyed by the shortage of communication between the scientific group and most of the people and have become more and more fascinated about science communication.

As an avid underwater photographer, I made a decision to mix my ardour for marine biology and diving with my love of science communication and images and attempt to begin bridging the hole between science and common consciousness. I discovered that my digital camera was my strongest software in conservation because it allowed me to share my ardour and enthusiasm for marine life, painting marine species in a brand new mild and lend a voice to our oceans – creating content material that not solely educates however hopefully evokes individuals to look after our underwater world in the identical method I do. When the chance arose to earn a Masters on the College of the West of England in Wildlife Filmmaking, in partnership with the Pure Historical past Unit, it was a suggestion I couldn’t flip down because it allowed me to construct my movie making expertise to an entire new degree and offered a fantastic alternative to interrupt into the skilled wildlife filmmaking business.

What's your debut movie ‘MY 25: The Ocean Between Us’ all about?

Inka: MY 25: The Ocean Between Us’ is an intimate private authored movie about how I've seen the oceans change in simply my lifetime. By means of the movie, I needed to take the viewers on a journey from a few of our most degraded reefs to a few of our most pristine coastlines and share the tales of the individuals working to guard our oceans. From conventional fishing practices to state-of-the-art moist labs and coral restoration work, the movie exhibits the significance of studying from totally different cultures and generations and the way there's nonetheless time to vary the destiny of our oceans.

My aim as a filmmaker was to create a movie that may not solely educate individuals about ocean conservation subjects akin to shifting baselines, marine protected areas, and overfishing however depart them impressed and looking forward to the longer term. The movie is presently enjoying this yr at quite a lot of worldwide movie festivals together with ‘Wildscreen’ and the ‘Wildlife Conservation Movie Pageant’.

What kind of position has diving performed in your life and profession to date?

Inka: I began diving once I was simply 11 years previous. Diving has all the time been such an enormous a part of my life because it allowed me to take that step into our underwater world and start to attach with nature on a extra private degree. Through the years diving has develop into much less of a leisure expertise and extra of an important device in my work. As diving has develop into second nature I've been capable of shift my focus extra to my digital camera and observing interactions between marine life – permitting me to start out unlocking a few of these ocean mysteries.

I'm at present a PADI Open Water Dive Teacher, Underwater Images Teacher, and Dive Towards Particles Teacher, in addition to an Superior, Nitrox, and Decompression Procedures Technical Diver. I sit up for persevering with my dive schooling. With each course I take I’m all the time excited to see what different elements of our ocean I can start to unlock. 

Why is it essential to you to advertise variety in diving and conservation?

Inka: Rising up I by no means noticed anybody who seemed like me in my textbooks or within the documentaries I watched and I feel for an adolescent this may be very discouraging. In case you by no means see anybody you'll be able to relate to creating it within the business you aspire to be in its straightforward to really feel misplaced and defeated earlier than you've even begun your journey. As a lady of color, I really feel enthusiastic about making certain that we modify what we consider once we hear the phrase diver, conservationist, or Marine Biologist and I feel that media illustration is a good way to start out difficult these roles and making certain marine conservation and the dive business really feel extra inclusive.

Whereas engaged on my movie I felt keen about that includes native marine biologists because of this. As Marine Biologist Asha De Vos said ‘Each shoreline wants an area hero’, and that’s as a result of ocean conservation is a worldwide concern. Each shoreline is exclusive, with distinctive options. For us to be really profitable in conserving our oceans we'd like individuals from each nook of our planet working collectively and because of this all individuals regardless of their race, faith, gender, or sexual id should really feel empowered to interact with our marine setting and in conservation work. We shield what we care about and if solely a small a part of the inhabitants has entry to the instruments they should peer under the floor of the ocean it’s going to be a a lot more durable battle. As quickly as individuals begin to perceive the sweetness and fragility of our oceans I feel we will probably be in a a lot better place to guard them.


What recommendation do you might have for anybody trying to pursue a path in conservation filmmaking?

Inka: Crucial factor is to get on the market and begin making movies. Even when that’s simply together with your iPhone and a GoPro, everybody has a narrative to inform, and in the event you can encourage just some different individuals to make a constructive change you're succeeding. I discovered that making my very own movies was the best studying software, by going by way of that means of researching, writing, filming, and modifying you study a lot concerning the significance of every of position. For many who are concerned about a profession in wildlife filmmaking, an incredible begin is an effective background in science and analysis. By incomes a level in Marine Biology earlier than pursuing filmmaking, I really feel a lot better ready for a few of these more durable scientific questions and my strong basis in science permits me to make sure that the tutorial facet isn’t misplaced.

A Masters Diploma in Wildlife Filmmaking can also be a good way to maneuver right into a profession in Conservation Filmmaking. By means of my course I used to be capable of develop my editorial thoughts, making certain that my movies ship on schooling, don’t turn out to be slowed down by science, and have been additionally entertaining and impactful. I used to be additionally capable of achieve unbelievable perception into the movie business, with a ‘Blue Planet’ director mentoring me by way of my scholar movie, and touchdown my first skilled movie job engaged on a landmark ocean collection. And naturally being a talented diver is an important device for any ocean conservation filmmaker.

To comply with Inka’s diving and conservation filmmaking journey, you'll find her @inkacresswell on Instagram and Twitter. She is a passionate social media influencer, targeted on sharing imagery of the underwater world, in addition to her private journey, with the hopes that her work will encourage extra ladies and other people of shade to turn out to be concerned in diving, marine science, and conservation filmmaking.

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