By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung
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Videographer / director: Christine Beggs
Producer: Crystal Chung, Ruby Coote
Editor: James Thorne
Using her background in both dance and marine conservation, Christine Ren has embarked on a series of projects to produce striking images in order to raise conservation awareness of the issues threatening the underwater environment.
Christine, 30, said: “In my latest series, called Underwater Dance To Save the Ocean, I have brought all of my unique skills and passions together into one artistic endeavour.
“I truly believe that small ripples can create big waves and often we forget that on an individual level, there are things that each and every one of us can do to tip the scale for the environment in a positive way.”
Along with her conservation campaigns, Christine also ties each image in the series with a 30 day challenge.
She said: “Some of these challenges are going plastic free, being zero waste or buying only sustainable seafood.”
In Christine’s first project, titled Jellyfish Soup, the challenge was to only eat sustainable seafood for 30 days.
The Pennsylvania born filmmaker said: “Ocean over fishing is something that I am incredibly passionate about and it’s one of the biggest pressing issues that we’re facing.
“In the marine conservation world there is a phrase called ‘jellyfish soup,’ which is frequently used and it’s one that is so visual that it’s always really stuck with me.
“The idea of jellyfish soup is that we’re over fishing the ocean, to the point that only jellyfish will be left."
And for the filmmaker, bringing awareness to this pressing issue was something she couldn’t resist doing, with the help of various props, a number of photographers and assistants.
Ren said: “I collect a number of different props and I work with photographers and assistants, to help me shed more light on ocean issues such as overfishing, plastic pollution.
“My goal is to empower and inspire people to make daily changes in their behaviour.”
Christine’s second challenge titled ‘Blind Spots’ had hopes of persuading people to go plastic free.
Once again, Ren, combined underwater imagery with a 30-day-challenge - this time highlighting the vast quantities of plastic that end up in the sea, putting a huge strain on the world’s marine life.
She said: “Blind Spot’s empowers people to make changes in their waste and plastic habits, by doing a 30 day plastic challenge.”
“As incredibly fun and fulfilling as all of these projects and underwater shoots are, they are incredibly challenging to execute.
“But the impact that the images have and the feedback I get makes everything worth it.”
Christine’s third underwater project, due to be released in the summer will be titled ‘The Red Road’ - leaving the world in a better state than you found it.
Ren’s third project will feature a bleached coral reef, highlighting the damage that mankind has done to the earth.
She said: “In Native American spirituality, incredibly broadly translated, walking the red road in life, means doing no harm and leaving the earth better than you found it."
Christine will be shooting The Red Road project in New Zealand, and she is currently developing the concepts for her next two projects.
The filmmaker and dancer hopes that her combination of powerful imagery and 30 day challenges will inspire people to engage with conservation more actively.
She said: “Change truly does start with each and every one of us and it’s so easy to forget that, with such global and monumental issues.
“I have received such pleasant responses from people, sharing, commenting, liking the photos and also very personally reaching out and telling me that this has inspired them to make new changes in their daily habits conservation wise, that has meant everything to me.”
To help Christine raise funds for her next projects, visit her Go Fund Me page; https://www.gofundme.com/underwater-dance-film-photos