BLAST! Excerpt - Polar Bear Spotter

Posted by Paul Devlin:


Fascinating local flavor? A distracting digression? A critical comment on how science ignores the local culture it impacts? The most endearing character in the movie? There are many different reactions to the polar bear spotter in BLAST!

Of course, for me as a filmmaker it was irresistible to focus on Kevin, the local Inuit who helps with the first recovery of BLAST in Arctic Canada. It introduces an element of danger and emphasizes the remoteness of this adventuresome science. But leading into a look at the indigenous people of Cambridge Bay, Arctic Canada, is leftover from a concept proposed by BLAST!’s science writer Emily Kagan. Emily suggested that as the scientists pass through various cultures in search of the origins of the Universe, it would be interesting to contrast the current scientific models with the creation myths of those cultures. It was a fascinating idea, and we explored the creation myths of the Sami people in Arctic Sweden, the Inuits in Canada, even the Moaris in New Zealand (no creation myths out of Antarctica though!). Ultimately, these were too difficult to communicate effectively, and became a digression in the editing process as well as the narrative. But people loved Kevin and the Inuit story, and complained when it was removed in early rough cuts. I’m happy we kept it. Look for even more of that part of the story in an upcoming BLAST! Extra, “Life in Cambridge Bay.”

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