Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wayfare Breathes Life Into 3D Underwater Survival Drama SANCTUM

Jim here. SANCTUM promises to be a very intriguing project. Just after the low budget and Peter Jackson produced DISTRICT 9 was released to much acclaim we learn that SANCTUM has gotten $30 million financing from Wayfare Entertainment. James Cameron will executive produce.

The underwater survival drama will be using the FUSION 3D camera system (photos) invented by Vince Pace and James Cameron. Wise move. There is no one better in the world in underwater 3D. Expect the production to begin shooting in Australia in Q4 this year with Vince Pace most likely as DP (I have an email into Vince inquiring about this).

Another similarity with DISTRICT 9 is that the relatively unknown Alister Grierson (KOKODA) will direct the movie under the guidance and technology of an industry power player. Obviously the intent is to duplicate the overwhelming success.

Andrew Wight (GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS, ALIENS OF THE DEEP) co-wrote and will produce. John Garvin co-wrote as well.

From Variety: "Sanctum" is a fictional drama inspired by Wight's near-death experience when he led an expedition of 15 divers into a remote underwater cave system below Australia's Nullarbor Plain, and then watched a freak storm collapse the cave entrance. It became a two-day battle to survive until all 15 were rescued, an ordeal recounted in the 1989 docu "Nullarbor Dreaming."

In "Sanctum," a hard-edged father and his teen son lead a diving team, and the true character of the divers surfaces when they are faced with adversity."

As one who was nearly killed in that cave collapse, I thought there was great stuff in how people react in crisis, and become heroes or cowards," Wight told Daily Variety. "Jim and I spoke about all this while working on these 3-D adventure projects, and we had a burning desire to make a gritty film about what it's like to be on an expedition and have it all go horribly wrong. We wanted to show that the 3-D equipment and technology can be used to tell a story in a modest budget independent film."

We can expect more such ventures from Cameron. He obviously is taking a strong approach to ensuring their is plenty of 3D movies in the pipeline for distributors to make the call to changeover to digital 3D. This is yet another underwater 3D drama from Cameron/Pace with the other being his THE DIVE project which he will be directing. I have to say that I would not want these films under anyone else's influence - the man knows submerged filmmaking.

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