In 2010, filmmaker Nettie Wild stood on the banks of British Columbia's Adams River, witnessing the wonder of the sockeye salmon migration. She knew, instantly, that she wanted to share this incredible spectacle with city dwellers. What she didn't know instantly was how.
Securing awe-inspiring imagery would only be the beginning. Inspiration for how to share it came on a bike ride, as Nettie imagined the underside of Vancouver's Cambie Bridge as a projection site. But projecting high-resolution images filmed in the wild, on multiple surfaces of a long urban bridge, presented plenty of challenges. To meet the technical ones, the team created new ways to create and pre-visualize film sequences on a 3D laser scan of the Cambie Bridge. By 2013, Nettie and her collaborators, producing partners Betsy Carson and Rae Hull, were conducting initial tests at the site -- and they were excited by what they saw.
You can see the result through UNINTERRUPTED, from the heart of the river to the heart of the city.
The cinematic art installation brought the salmon run to Vancouver's Coopers' Park. As dusk settled over Vancouver, the undersurface of the Cambie Bridge transformed into a wild river filled with migrating salmon. The film takes viewers on an immersive and sublime journey that has been repeated in North Pacific waters for millennia. Spectators travel upstream with silver sockeye turning crimson as they return to their freshwater birthplace to spawn, an ancient cycle that has long nourished ecosystems and the people within them -- and that faces growing threats.
UNINTERRUPTED blends cinematic storytelling and high-tech art installation, bringing the mystery and magnificence of the salmon run to the heart of the city and reminding us of something profound in the process. The stunning images from three B.C. rivers have been digitally mapped and projected on the bridge surfaces, creating a half-hour of captivating cinema and sound that demonstrates nature’s resilience and vulnerability.
Even if you missed the live display, you can experience some of the project:
- Take an interactive journey.
- Watch a trailer (also below).
- Learn more about the team and what it took to make it happen.