Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Shooting for Impact: An Interview with Pacific Wild Founder and Film Producer Ian McAllister

Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Shooting for Impact: An Interview with Pacific Wild Founder and Film Producer Ian McAllister

Article excerpt

Chelsea Gutzman: Pacific Wild's documentaries offer an intimate perspective on one ecosystem that the pipeline proposal would change. What makes film an effective educational resource in this debate?

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Ian McAllister: Because it's such a remote coast, considerable and expensive logistics make getting here not possible for most people. One of the most important things we can do is show people what is truly at stake. That's what is undeniable when people see the beauty of this coast: the ecological importance, the fact that Indigenous people are still making their living from the lands and waters of their territories. This place is still functioning and it's just so jaw-dropping gorgeous.

CG: How do you approach the creation of documentary films?

IM: Traditionally, we would try to work with broadcasters to make large-budget, labour-intensive productions that would be broadcast once or twice. We would get quite a bit of feedback initially, but then the film wouldn't air again. But now, with the opportunity for independent filmmakers to put together professional, compelling documentaries and post them online, we find they are having a much longer life and reaching a more diverse audience. I think they're also having a lasting impact because people are choosing to watch them on their own time and of their own volition.

CG: Tipping Barrels is different from many environmental documentaries, and really lets the wilderness speak for itself Has that difference been successful?

IM: Ben [Gulliver] and Mike [Reid] are surfers and documentary filmmakers, and there's a huge constituency of surfers around the world who don't know about this area. When they did Tipping Barrels, it was watched by more than 200,000 people from around the world who are interested in surfing and in wilderness, and this is just another segment of society that we're able to reach out to through documentary filmmaking. Each film tends to have a base, whether it's science or entertainment or recreation, and the idea is that we're trying to educate and inspire as many people as possible, because we're running out of time. …

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