Out Of The Blue


TYPE
: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Pre-Production

LOGLINE

Rediscover the human connection to the ocean. 

SYNOPSIS

A global journey following people whose lives have been radically changed by their connection to the ocean. Our goal is to engage audiences in ocean conservation efforts through the emotional resonance of transformative stories.

One of the main characters in Out of the Blue has dedicated his career to exploring the human relationship with the ocean. Wallace “J” Nichols, a visionary biologist and founder of Grupo Tortuguero and Bluemind, works alongside Mexican fishermen (former poachers themselves) to save endangered turtles and also leads the charge in studying what is happening in our brains when we engage with the ocean. “You go through life knowing that water makes you feel good, but it is not something you are allowed to talk about as a scientist.” Bluemind is the nascent field of neuroconservation. “J” Nichols hopes that if we realize how much the ocean nourishes our psychological well-being, we’ll be more inclined to protect it. He sees a deeper affinity to the ocean as a radical approach to conservation.

This is our third feature documentary. Our two others had nation-wide theatrical releases as well as national PBS broadcasts. The Good Soldier aired on the Bill Moyers Journal and won an Emmy for Outstanding Historical Programming; Riding the Rails won the Peabody, DGA Best Doc, and LA Film Critics Award and was featured on American Experience.
 

 

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

The film speaks to our human yearning to not so much return to our roots, but to our rootlessness, to the primordial waves. Out of the Blue seeks to rediscover the human connection with the ocean. Using the long standing art of story telling, we will follow emotional stories of people from all over the world (from the coasts into the heartland) and share their adventures, their healing, and their transformative journeys. We will also hear from those who have discovered the ocean’s power not realizing how much they needed it. We will explore how connecting to the ocean can be described, in writer/surfer Steven Kotler’s words, "as a homecoming to terra incognita."

KEY CREW

Lexy Lovell & Michael Uys - Producer/Director

Michael and Lexy are a husband and wife filmmaking team. Their feature documentary, The Good Soldier, opened nationwide on Veterans Day to widespread acclaim. The film follows the journeys of five combat veterans from different generations of American wars as they sign up, go into battle, and eventually change their minds about what it means to be a good soldier. A.V. Club film critic Jason Albert wrote, “It’s hard to imagine watching a more affecting movie than The Good Soldier…it may be as affecting a movie as I’ve ever seen. Really powerful stuff.” The Good Soldier was picked up for theatrical distribution by Artistic License Films and presented on the nationally syndicated prime time program Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. The film has been broadcast in many countries overseas thanks to Journeyman Films and has been honored with multiple awards including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Long Form Historical Programming and the Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary.

Their first feature documentary, Riding the Rails, the story of teenaged hobos during the Great Depression, garnered 18 major awards including Best Documentary from both the DGA and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and was named as an Outstanding Documentary of the year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The film was also acquired by MoMA for their permanent collection. Kevin Thomas of The Los Angeles Times described the film as “irresistible, infinitely moving…an exemplary documentary, the kind of which has been raising the standards of the form.” The film enjoyed theatrical distribution in 100 cities, a Peabody Award-winning prime-time broadcast on PBS, international broadcasts in thirty-three countries, and best-seller status in non-fiction home video/DVD sales.

Before teaming up with Michael, Lexy’s previous work, a critically acclaimed narrative short film called Getting Ready for Later, aired on the UK’s Channel 4, won the Silver Hugo from the Chicago Film Festival, and won Honors from the National Council on Family Relations. Modelling herself on her late mentor, Louis Malle, Lexy worked in both drama and documentary. She was the first American recipient of the Joan Wilson Scholarship from the International Council of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which enabled her to study directing in London on Inspector Morse. Highlights of her work include the NOVA Science Series- Sail Wars, independent productions such as JB Jackson: Figure in a Landscape, An Armenian Journey, The Good Fight, and Confessions of a Suburban Girl. More recently, after taking time to be with their twin boys, Lexy directed a series of short documentaries on women’s careers for Lifetime. She graduated cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in History.

South African born filmmaker, Michael (whose last name Uys is pronounced "ace") has also produced and directed several shorter films including Pete Seeger and Billy Bragg: Songs of Protest and Empire, which won Best of Festival at Banff, Best Humor at the Telluride Festival of Mountain Films, the Silver Edelweiss Award in Torello, Spain, and Jury Awards at the New York Expo and the Aspen FilmFest. Michael brings his documentary sensibility to his work in commercials and television. His commercial directing clients include; Google, 2010 US Winter Olympics, The Washington Post, Bing, Women in Wine – Bordeaux, Fresh Direct, Viagra, Orencia, Humalog, Trading Spaces, Junkyard Wars (TLC), Bridezilla (We Television), and image campaigns for HBO, Lifetime, TLC, Viacom, and Spike. Michael has won several advertising awards including an Andy and a CTAM Gold. Michael started as a producer on fashion spots with Patrick DeMarchelier, Steven Meisel, and Albert Watson for Calvin Klein, Perfumes Guerlaines, Shalimar, and Elizabeth Arden. He has worked with a number of celebrities including Vivica Fox (Lifetime), Pierce Brosnan (Spike), Christy Turlington (Maybelline), Kareem Abdul-Jabar (PSA - Ralph Lauren Cancer Center), and Halle Berry (PSA - for prevention of domestic violence). Michael graduated cum laude with a double major in Film and Journalism from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he was mentored by documentary filmmakers George Stoney and Jim Brown.

 

 

 

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