This ten-minute short film is a free resource for teachers, parents and kids who want a wonderful, musical story about the Marine National Monuments of the Pacific Ocean. It is the Winner of Best Children's Program at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival, Best Children's Program at the International Wildlife Film Festival and has been nominated as a Finalist for Best Children's Program at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival! It was funded by a generous grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
What is it about? A man with a mustache (Robert Sams) mysteriously emerges from the ocean with a briefcase on his way to deliver a report about the four Marine National Monuments of the Pacific Ocean. But his report is anything but ordinary. In fact, it is a hilarious musical tribute (with a backup band) that showcases incredible footage from these remote, wild areas. You'll see giant clams, sharks, baby frigate birds, red footed boobies, sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals, albatross, fairy terns, deep volcanic trenches, hydrothermal vents, shrimp that survive without sunlight and coconut crabs that climb up trees! The video shows footage of all four monuments: The Northwest Hawaiian Islands, the Marianas Trench, The Rose Atoll and The Pacific Remote Islands.
The video footage was filmed over the course of two years by Stephani Gordon of Open Boat Films. She spent years on NOAA research ships tracking down these incredible creatures.
What was most fun about making this movie?
Laura: So many things! We got to collaborate with our good friend and fellow filmmaker Stephani Gordon who has visited and filmed these monuments. We used her footage as a guide for writing the music. Then we traveled to Oahu and spent a full week filming the various scenes for the music video. Watching Rob sopping wet and walking through the busy streets of Honolulu was hilarious! Also, it was a privilege getting to work with our good friends, young Lucy Bowman and baby Sia Dworkin Saturn. And of course, recording the music and singing harmonies with the talented Jason Wells is about as fun as it gets at a music studio!
Why did you make this movie?
Robert: NOAA was really interested in making a fun short film that focused on all the positive reasons for protecting these island regions as monuments. We jumped at the chance to do something that blended our passions for comedy, music, nature and education.
What is your favorite part of the movie?
Laura: I really like how the bosses are kids. I think it sends a great message that the reason we are protecting these places is for the future generations. In that way, we can look at each new generation of kids as our boss. We're working for them to have a better life.
What was challenging about making this?
Robert: It was a challenge coming up with a melody that fit the phrase "Marine National Monuments." That wasn't an easy piece of lyric to make singable. But it worked out nicely in the end.
The Marine National Monuments Activities Packet
Click on the image for a free packet, full of activites about the Marine National Monuments!
You'll find the lyrics to the song, plus fun activites like creating Story Stones, Finding New Species, Making Recycled Instruments from Marine Debris and Learning about Marine Careers. You will hear first hand about ocean careers from a Marine Debris Specialist, Oceanographer, Marine Scientist, Underwater Filmmaker and Fishpond Pracitioner.
The packet also includes some common translations from English words into the Hawaiian language, Chamorro and Somoan languages. There is even a fun certificate that you can use to honor someone you know, who is doing something great for the ocean!
Feel free to download and copy the activities for any kind of educational use.