Filmmaker recalls ‘miraculous’ whales and dolphins at play

November 12, 2012 | By Maria Dias | Community, Creative, Friends, Our artists, Video

Sara Hine is a Getty Images contributor as well as the founder, CEO and Producer with Helifilms Australia.  With her partner, Jerry Grayson (writer/director and helicopter film pilot), Sara has just completed their new IMAX film “The Earth Wins.”

A Helifilms production, the film is an amazing look at the world from above, challenging viewers to consider whether we are damaging the planet – or themselves.  It is the first Australian IMAX film in 10 years (it will be exhibited at Melbourne and Sydney IMAX theaters next year and throughout the USA and worldwide also in 2013), and also is the first IMAX film to be crowdfunded.



Photo of a globe, shot to look like a view of thee Earth from outer space, from our Stone+ collection. To see more photos like this one, click through the image. (Photo by Siri Stafford, Stone +)


We asked Sara to talk about one of her favorite images available on, and we were not surprised that, like the film itself, her response brings viewers closer to nature. Here’s what she had to say:

“The final scene in our IMAX film, “The Earth Wins” is set to an evocative piece of music by Australian music sensation, The Temper Trap, who you may have seen performing live on their world tour this year?…  The piece of music is called “Miracle” and the opening beats are the heart beats of one of the band member’s newborn babies.  The footage we chose to illustrate the music is also pretty miraculous!  We’d been filming off the Cape of Good Hope, near Cape Town in South Africa for some TVcommercials, when my director, Jerry Grayson, spotted activity in the South Atlantic Ocean below us.

From 1,500 feet we were able to clearly make out  three Southern Wright Whales basking in the cool southern waters of the South Atlantic Ocean.  Not that unusual as we were filming during the whaling season, but what we saw next was quite incredible:  A pod of bottlenose dolphins came to play with the massive whales.

As we were filming using our Cineflex gyrostabilised camera, we were able to stay high above the marine life, up at 1,500 ft, but still be full frame on the whales and dolphins – from that height there was no noise from the helicopter nor downdraft so we were able to film and observe their behaviour for over 40 minutes without disturbing them.

This unique footage showing miraculous behaviour has, to my knowledge, never before been captured on film.  Are they playing, is this a mating ritual, do they return to the safeyy and purity of these waters every year?  We need to ensure such rituals are allowed to take place for centuries to come.

Our film has a very strong environmental message, but the take home is that through the beauty of the images and power of the lyrics in the soundtrack, we want the audience to be inspired to preserve and conserve our planet, to think about alternative energy sources, to recycle, to protect mother earth, not just ourselves.”


The Earth Wins – Trailer from Helifilms on Vimeo.

Editor’s note:   To see the video clips of the whales and dolphins, click here. Want to get involved? Learn more about the film and the funding here, but move quickly: Their Pozible campaign closes on November 18.

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