THE BLUE TEAM
DIRECTOR / PRODUCER
Growing up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Karina has spent her life in saltwater. Passionate about protecting nature, she studied science at Sydney University and then completed a Postgraduate degree in Conservation Biology from University of Queensland. Fieldwork led her to work on the Great Barrier Reef, the Simpson Desert and the wet tropics of the Northern Australia.
At the age of 23, Karina joined the Natural History Unit of the ABC where she worked for the next 7 years on blue chip wildlife documentaries as a researcher and eventually as a producer. Next, her spirit of adventure led her to living in Vietnam and Thailand for several years, where she made films in the Asian region for National Geographic and Discovery Channel.
Returning to Australia, Karina continued making documentaries in many genres including wildlife, science and anthropology. This allowed her to travel to remote regions and tell unique stories of nature from tribal perspectives. With her 6 month old son, she spent time living with the Samburu tribe in Northern Kenya and gained a deeper insight into the importance of connection to land.
In 2010, Karina took the job of commissioning editor of science and natural history at ABC TV. She over saw the production of 150 hours of factual content, before the desk job became wearisome and the wilderness called her back.
Her role as Head of Factual at Northern Pictures has allowed her to oversee content creation for broadcast series, as well as director her own films. Karina has over 200 articles in print in nature magazines and is a passionate ambassador of conservation work in Australia.
PRODUCER / IMPACT PRODUCER
Sarah has over 20 year’s experience delivering content to commercial clients, broadcasters and for feature release. She has worked across a broad spectrum of projects ranging from, The Matrix trilogies, James Cameron’s documentary Voyage to the Bottom of the Earth and the award winning Australians at War. As Visual FX producer at Animal Logic she worked on projects such as George Millers Happy Feet and produced animation content for Time Warner’s Cartoon Network. In 2012, Sarah joined Northern Pictures and focused her work on delivering Natural History series to international networks.
As a passionate ocean conservation advocate, marine themed stories have always been Sarah's passion including; The Adventures of the Quest series, Island Life, Great White Matrix and Saltwater Heroes.
In addition to her film work Sarah has been working as an outreach producer and Director on the board for Take 3 For The Sea, a grass roots organization giving a global voice on marine plastic pollution. Through her outreach work teaching kids in surf life saving clubs about caring for their ocean, Sarah has presented to over 3000 nippers and their parents around the country over the past three years. She has facilitated community beach clean ups clearing over ten tonnes of plastic pollution from our coastline. Working on Blue has been the ultimate project for Sarah, combining her extensive marine based film work and her not for profit ocean advocacy work.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
After working her way through the ranks of the camera department and cutting her teeth shooting countless shorts and music videos, Jody has emerged as one of Australia’s most exciting young DOPs whose work encompasses television, film and documentaries.
Her first feature film One Eyed Girl won the prestigious ‘Dark Matters’ award at the Austin Film Festival. Through her work on The Turning (Berlin Film Festival) she participated in the prestigious Berlin Talent Program in 2014.
Blue was a different kind of project for Jody, though it played to the strengths of her work, which is known as darkly atmospheric. She says, “It's always the story first that gets my creative mind ignited to the possibilities for the visual storytelling of a particular project. With Blue it was the promise of telling the story of the oceans that immediately made me excited about being a part of the film. As a diver I have seen many of the wonders of the ocean's depths over the years, however when I read the script for Blue I was presented with a lyrical opportunity to represent the many different challenges of our oceans in a distinct and beautiful way. We found a gentle observed approach that strayed from the traditional wildlife style allowed us to impart a tone of reflection throughout the film. Some sequences feeling more like a piece of dramatic narrative between our characters and the oceans, than documentary. For me the film is a calling for change but with a breath of fresh air to come closer, look deeper”.
Emmy nominated cinematographer Jon Shaw, has had a passion for the ocean and environment from an early age. From his beginnings as a marine biologist (University of Plymouth) and commercial diver, Jon has developed an enviable career travelling the world to film astonishing wildlife both above and below the ocean’s surface.
Jon was drawn to working on the Northern Pictures documentary Blue by his passion for arresting the perils that face the ongoing sustainability of the world’s oceans. “Coral bleaching, dwindling shark numbers and the outcome of today’s overuse and disposal of plastics in our environment are issues I witness repeatedly through my work. Its been great to be a part of production that’s taking those issues to the people through film”, Jon Shaw said.
Jon’s love for using the most advanced filming technology allows the audience a seemingly real-life glance into the environments he captures on film.
Vanessa is a documentary editor who is passionate about telling true stories that inspire audiences to pause and take a closer look at the world we inhabit and the people we often look past. She has worked on documentaries for the big screen, TV, web and radio for the last 15 years and has been fortunate to work alongside some of Australia’s most respected non-fiction filmmakers. She has won the Australian Film Institute award for Best Editing for her feature documentary work.
Vanessa says, “For so many of us, the ocean is the last great wild space we have at our doorstep. I have been lucky to be able to explore some of our beautiful coastline in a small yacht, and I now live in a small town on the NSW far south coast where I see first hand the way ocean change is affecting the lives and livelihoods of those who live by the sea”.
“The challenge with Blue was to keep the viewer engaged emotionally while also gripping them on a rational level. Ultimately, I feel that the greatest strength of Blue lies in the spirit of the activists we follow in the film. I hope that their determination to fight for the ocean, and not turn away from the devastation they witness every day, will leave the audience with a sense of their own empowerment, and the will to act.”
Ash Greig Gibson
Ash has composed the music to over 110 hours of TV documentaries and series including Who Do You Think You Are, The War That Changed Us, Jandamarra’s War, Frackman, Desert War, and Yagan), over 50 plays (recently Picnic At Hanging Rock and Angels in America) and 4 features.
Ash has won 6 W.A. Screen Awards, in 2007 won an APRA/Australian Guild of Screen Composers Award for Best Music for a Short Film (Iron Bird) and has garnered 9 other nominations at those awards.
In 2014 Ash was part of the team that won an AACTA Award for Best Sound for a Documentary for Desert War, and has two other AACTA nominations. Ash was also composer for the acclaimed 2017 Perth International Arts Festival opening event, Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak.
Ash says, “The sheer beauty of Blue as a work of cinematography and the importance and power of its message were both inspiring and intimidating to work with. It was tempting to compose to grandeur and the darkness of the film, but it was important to give the audience the room to feel their own emotions in relation to what they were experiencing. This meant finding a subtle balance of instrumentation and tempo to support the images and enhance the broad yet shifting pace and moods”.
“Scores like this are always the most challenging, as a single chord change or instrument can push it too hard in a certain direction. In the end, the music for Blue doesn’t overwhelm the power of the story, but instead negotiates the moods and shifts in pace and place with restrained sensitivity”.