The Audacity of Ambition in the Underwater Realm

This week I saw a series of films on Vimeo that truly reaffirmed to me that sometimes great ambition, coupled with a tenacious desire to see that vision realised, can produce astounding work. That series is The Underwater Realm. If you haven’t seen the films already, I can’t possibly recommend them highly enough. I’ve embedded part one below, and I assure you that it’s well worth watching all five, they just get better and better.

I’m in awe of these films in so many ways. The sheer scale of them is fantastic, they’re genuinely different from anything else out there, and appreciating just how difficult they were to make, with so little resources can only serve to make them more impressive. The documentary that accompanies the films is very much worth watching, because you have to understand how hard the films were to make and how close they were to not happening at all. It would have been a very great shame had that been the case.

By setting so much of the films underwater, the Realm Pictures team have limited themselves to almost films almost entirely without dialogue and it makes the storytelling purely cinematic. The setting and lack of dialogue are incredibly brave choices and in a way extremely risky, but the films are so vividly realised it only serves to pull you into them more – you make your brain do just a little work and you become personally involved in the films.

You’d easily be forgiven for thinking they’d been made by a studio, the production design and cinematography is top notch, as is the sound design. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt more inspired by a short film than I am having watched these, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. It’s the kind of project I’d love to be a part of, and I really hope that their proposed features get made as soon as possible (after a richly deserved rest for the crew of course)!

So congratulations to the whole crew and cast of The Underwater Realm. You’ve made something that you should be really proud of and I wish that more films (especially in the UK) were made with such wild and audacious ambition. I hope people see them as proof that with ambition and intelligence you can create something that can stand up against even the biggest budget blockbusters. It’s a amazing example of indie filmmaking and I hope it leads to even bigger and better projects in the future. Keep being ambitious, keep shooting the moon. I for one can’t wait to see what’s next.