Atlantic Salmon Federation
home | education | salmon journal | winter 2011 ~ vol. 60 ~ no. 4 | lost at sea: the documentary
Salmon Journal Articles
Lost at Sea: The Documentary
Martin Silverstone

January 10th, 2012

Salar Goes Hollywood with Award-Winning Crew

When fly fishers refer to “The Movie” they ine­vi­tably mean A River Runs Through It the film adaptation of the Norman Maclean story, directed by Robert Redford and starring Brad Pitt. Now another major film venture is focussing the camera on Atlantic salmon, and if Deirdre Brennan has her way, it will be known the world over as “The Documentary.”

Brennan is the producer of Atlantic Salmon—Lost at Sea, an ambitious film project that shines the spotlight on the mystery of what is happening to salmon at sea. The Irish American filmmaker arranged to film scientists working on the storm-tossed decks of the Irish research vessel, the Celtic Explorer, on its journey along salmon ocean migration routes. She has also brought her film crew to Canada where they filmed ASF researchers conducting groundbreaking acoustic and satellite tagging work. When the last film scenes are “in the can”, Lost at Sea will offer audiences unique footage of Atlantic salmon as it travels from its native rivers, down to the estuaries, out into the open ocean, up to the Arctic and back home again.

I was lucky enough to meet up with Brennan and two-time Emmy award winning cameraman Rick Rosenthal as they filmed dramatic scenes of nature in its primal form in Iceland (see “Before,” page 52). It was a couple of weeks of what the team affectionately called “Salmon Boot Camp” with predawn wake ups and long days of strenuous hikes hauling heavy gear. It was tough, but very rewarding and entertaining. Rosenthal’s humorous stories of some of the film world’s greats (including David Attenborough) he has worked with, kept me in stitches. Rosenthal is a film celebrity in his own right, with credits that include the Blue Planet series and the feature films Deep Blue, A Turtles Journey and Disney’s Earth. He also filmed on BBC’s blockbuster series Planet Earth.

Brennan’s other cameraman, Cian de Buitléar, is no slouch either having filmed all the underwater sequences on Steven Spielberg’s multi-Academy Award Winning (in­cluding Oscar for Best Photography) Saving Private Ryan.

Deidre Brennan, an Emmy-nominee herself, is determined that Lost at Sea will shed light on the mystery of what is happening to salmon after they leave their native rivers. She may not have Brad Pitt, but she does have Rosenthal and Buitléar who will go to any lengths in filming the King of Fish throughout its global realm. With such compelling underwater images, Brennan ensures “The Documentary” will contain never-before-seen salmon se­quences that may help convince millions of viewers to join the battle to save Salmo salar, wherever it swims.

—Martin Silverstone

If you have any comments on Atlantic salmon issues and coverage, or would like further information, contact:

Sue Scott, V.P. Communications
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