FROM THE DIRECTOR
DEFEND, CONSERVE, PROTECT is a film I've wanted to make for many years.
As a passionate environmentalist, I like many others, are watching in utter
horror as the human species slowly and brutally exterminate all life on earth.
We also live in a time of great apathy and unrest, and this film is a rally cry
to individuals from all walks of life, that it’s possible to leave the safe
confines of your homes and neighbourhoods, and to go out into the world and
make a real difference – because from one drop of water does a mighty ocean
I wanted to make a movie that elicited real human drama, compassion and
emotion, devoid of reality TV sensationalism… following a group of young
passionate people on a crusade to make fundamental change in the world.
The film is a jigsaw puzzle of archival footage, new footage, minor
reconstructions and extensive interviews, that hopefully weave together a
dramatic tapestry of one of Sea Shepherd’s major oceanic campaigns to Antarctic
waters. With ten cameras across 4 vessels and over 4-months at sea, we literally
had thousands of hours of footage to assemble and edit.
In many ways I structured the documentary as a narrative feature. I also avoided
traditional narration and I tried to give a human voice to the whales via the voice
of the amazing Dan Aykroyd who generously donated his time and efforts
towards the project. I also wanted the audience to really feel like they had been
out at sea – as we follow Sea Shepherd from leaving port to returning home. I
wanted the audience to feel like they were there when every Japanese harpoon
was fired and every whale mercilessly killed.
The result is, I think, an unconventional documentary that will move people to
action. For me personally as a filmmaker, this story is about giving something
back to humanity and all the amazing species across the planet.
- Stephen Amis , Director/Producer/Editor
BIO - Stephen Amis - Producer, Director, Editor
Cutting his teeth on childhood super-8 epics, Stephen graduated from Swinburne Film & Television School in Melbourne, Australia and later wrote, produced and directed two low budget TV features, SEE JACK RUN (1991, Nine Network) about a boy struggling with illiteracy, and THE ALIVE TRIBE (1996, Showtime) a farce about environmental decay. In 2000, he released the romantic comedy, THE REAL THING, starring Kate Fischer (Arclight, Universal Pictures) while shooting film and TV projects for other directors including Working Dog’s FRONTLINE, FUNKY SQUAD and A RIVER SOMEWHERE ; and the AFI nominated doco DR SARMAST’S MUSIC SCHOOL, shot in Kabul Afghanistan.
In 2012 he directed, co-wrote and co-produced THE 25 TH REICH, (2012, Monster Pictures/Label; Lightning Entertainment), a rollicking tongue in cheek, sci-fi homage to Sam Fuller, WWII movies and classic creature-features. While working on DEFEND CONSERVE PROTECT for 4 years, Stephen also directed, co-wrote and co-produced the mainstream comedy THE BBQ starring Shane Jacobson and Magda Szubanski, (Label/Madman; CMG Intl) which was released in Australia on more than 200 cinemas.