Swiss watchmaker Omega is now also officially a production company, having produced the 2012 documentary film Planet Ocean about beauty of the world’s oceans and the perils they face. On Thursday night, the brand teamed up with actor Josh Duhamel, who narrates the 90-minute docu, to host a private screening at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Among the crowd were Dallas’ Jesse Metcalf, Shameless’ Justin Catwin, Omega’s Brice Le Troadec and Gregory Swift and representatives from the Surfrider Foundatioun.
For the film, co-directors Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot enlisted dozens of the world’s top aerial and underwater cinematographers, oceanographers and biologists who traveled to nearly 50 locations around the world -- from Australia to Africa to Antarctica -- to record spectacular nature footage, but also shots of environmental degradation and habitat loss. “We try to speak to the heart and not too much to the head,” Bertrand, a French journalist and photographer, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We try to bring emotion, and we try to bring a sense of responsibility. The reaction I see at the screenings is exactly what I want -- to have people thinking ‘What can we do?’ We live in denial and don’t want to believe what we know."
The film, which just came out on DVD, originally debuted at Earth Summit 2012 in Rio de Janeiro last June and went on to win the 2012 Award for Best Cinematography at the Blue Ocean Film Festival in Monterey.
Omega commissioned Bertrand and his non-profit organization GoodPlanet to make Planet Ocean as a call to action in protecting the earth’s oceans from pollution, over-fishing, global climate change and other environmental and political challenges. Omega produces a collection of Planet Ocean dive watches and has launched a limited-edition Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GoodPlanet timepiece ($8,000-$8,100) to help promote the film. Omega will donate a portion of the proceeds from sales to preserve mangroves and sea grasses in Southeast Asia
Because the goal is to reach the widest possible audience, Planet Ocean will be made available free of charge to any interested NGO. The film will also be posted to YouTube this fall. “It is an activist movie,” says Bertrand. “It is meant to produce change by reaching millions of viewers, not to make millions of dollars.”