Academy Award winning filmmaker Murray Lerner reveals his approach to 3-D filmmaking with Sea Dream and Magic Journeys.
An ordinary orange frisbee flies over a rolling seacoast surf and into the hands of a youth on the beach. He and a companion toss it back and forth for a few times, but suddenly it leaves the scene and floats into the audience suspended as by some will of its own just out of reach, but close, ever so close. Just as we might reach out to touch it, it slowly transforms itself into a shimmering living sea-shape. This is the opening of Sea Dream, a 3-D nature documentary. Cast in a framework of fantasy, the film cross-cuts impressionistically between the sea and the land to give the audience an experience of nature as "the web that binds all living things."
Sea Dream is a very remarkable film created by Murray Lerner, a New York-based Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker. Produced in Spacevision (a process owned by E.M.I. Films) for Marineland of Florida, this 23-minute film in color, quadraphonic sound and 3-D has been enchanting visitors since 1978.
Recently, Murray Lerner has taken on another 3-D film project, this time for the Imagination Pavilion at the new billion-dollar EPCOT center which opened in October 1982 at Orlando's Walt Disney World.
"The people at Disney had seen Sea Dream at the Marineland Studios and contacted me about doing several films. I was at the ground breaking ceremony for EPCOT and noticed that each of the pavilion areas was staked out with balloons. One in particular caught my eye; it said 'Images & Imagination.' I had been asked to create a 3-D film for another pavilion, but I immediately knew that the film for Images & Imagination had to be in 3-D. I spoke with the people at W.E.D. (Disney's imagineering and design facility) and they must have been thinking along similar lines, because they agreed on the spot and and the 'other films were forgotten.
"First, I began sketching out ideas for the script. I felt that the film should be an experience that stood on its own, rather than being tied into a park ride. I wanted it to be a very powerful imaginative experience. Music deals very directly with the emotions and very powerfully, so why not base it on a song? I was put in touch with the Sherman brothers who wrote the song "Magic Journeys" for the film.