93rd Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

SPEECH BY: Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster


Download Video


Q. I cannot hear you. 
A. Can you hear us now? 

Q. No.  Hi.  Hello. 
A. Hi.
A. (Pippa Ehrlich)  Hi.

Q. Congratulations, and good morning from Hong Kong.  It's early morning in Hong Kong this year.  And very, very congratulations. So tell us something about this, the concept of your movie, because this is something, different concept about the movie, how you film, the animation, all those things, and in the water?
A. (James Reed)  How you film everything in the water?

Q. Yes. 
A. (James Reed)  Well, this is an amazing and unique film because, for the most part, the star of the whole film, Craig, is actually filming the story himself.  So he's both the subjects of the film, but he's also there on his own for a lot of the time filming this incredible relationship. 
And it's all done ‑‑ it's breath‑hold diving.  And he was really committed to that.  And so he would go out every day in the freezing cold and dive on a single breath to the bottom of the kelp forest, looking for this octopus he had come to know and love.  And, yeah, he was doing that largely himself.
In later stages, there was another cameraman who got involved down the coast, but mostly it was Craig who did it on his own. 

Q. Yes.  Hi.  It's Unger the Radar, and I'm Randy Unger.  I want to congratulate both of you.  The film is beautiful.  I'm just curious, going into it, did you realize it was going to be that beautiful? 
A. (Pippa Ehrlich)  It's a really beautiful environment.  You know, the kelp forest is this place that very few people know anything about.  It's just designed to look beautiful on camera.  The light filters through the top, and it's changing all the time, and it's filled with weird and wonderful creatures.  So, from a purely aesthetic point of view, we knew we had a beautiful film.
And then, I guess as we got into the story telling aspects of it and started hearing Craig's story, then the emotional part of that started to emerge as well. 

Q. Hello, guys.  Congratulations for this ‑‑ this award.  I'm going to repeat the question in Spanish.  Really quickly, we just celebrated Earth Day.  What is your message to the human race especially, you know, with this award and this documentary? 
(Spanish transation.) 
A. (Pippa Ehrlich)  I think for us, you know, this really was a unique opportunity to tell a story about love and respect and awe between human beings and the natural world. 
And I think that, at this point in time, you know, our planet is in trouble and I think human beings are kind of losing hope some of the time.  So to feel like there is a more hopeful and respectful way of engaging with the planet ‑‑ yeah.  I hope that's a message that came through.


These transcripts may not be reproduced except as brief quotes used in conjunction with news reporting about the 93rd Academy Awards®. All content Copyright 2021 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Oscar®," "Oscars®," "Academy Awards®," "Academy Award®," "A.M.P.A.S.®" and "Oscar Night®" are the trademarks, and the ©Oscar® statuette is the registered design mark and copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additional information regarding the "Terms & Conditions of Use" and "Legal Regulations for Using Intellectual Properties of the Academy" may be accessed online at http://www.oscars.org/legal

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Communications Department
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211-1972
Phone (310) 247-3090
FAX (310) 271-3395