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Ultimate Wave Tahiti Gains Broad Support From National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

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Written by: K2 Communications
Date: September 18, 2009

NOAA scientists are involved in reviewing science content in the film, as well as its related educational outreach materials.

  

Category: Press Releases

NOAA involvement in 3D IMAX® theater film has many facets, including a Kelly Slater public service announcement.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Sept. 18, 2009)---Principal filming for "Ultimate Wave Tahiti" recently concluded with nine-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater doing what he does better than anyone else -- attacking the giant Teahupo'o waves. As director Stephen Low and his team captured the magnificence of Slater's athleticism and Teahupo'o's stubborn strength, another story was also unfolding. Part human interest, part science, and all fascination, it is a story that will be told by partner the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA is consulting with producer The Stephen Low Company and executive producer, K2 Communications, Inc. on this unique 3D IMAX® theater and giant screen film look at one of the world's most threatening waves. NOAA scientists from a variety of relevant disciplines are involved in reviewing science content in the film, as well as its related educational outreach materials.

But the organization's involvement also takes on a much more expansive role, beginning with Slater's recent Tahiti-based exploits.

One of NOAA's primary objectives is to provide educational enrichment through scientific information derived from the organization's studies of the atmosphere and the oceans. Keeping citizens informed of environmental changes is part of that outreach objective.

With so much of the film's integrated science message focused on the birth, growth, and affects that waves have on island cultures, it perhaps wasn't so much of a surprise to see a NOAA-directed film crew also shooting footage in Tahiti. It was there specifically to produce a public service announcement featuring Slater. Scheduled to be released nationally in conjunction with the film's February premiere, the PSA will draw significant attention to NOAA's "Please Care" initiative and the film through its television, Worldwide Web and mobile distribution. It will also be seen on action sports retail location video screens and on theater lobby plasma displays.

More than anything else, it will meld the personality and on-screen awareness of the world's best surfer with the importance of the environmental stewardship that embodies NOAA's mission. It will reach broad audiences, touching on marine debris, reef health, urban runoff, litter, and many more subjects.

"Our involvement with the film was predicated on the accuracy of the scientific information being delivered to theater audiences," said Linda Taylor-Austin of NOAA.

The PSA will include film footage from Ultimate Wave Tahiti, and will show Slater discussing a very personal subject -- the ocean environment.

The surfer's Kelly Slater Foundation, has as its mission the raising of awareness and financial support for existing social and environmentally conscious charities. His personal commitment to that cause includes an educational component that is a perfect fit for NOAA.

According to Taylor-Austin, "NOAA will guide the development of film-related educational materials and we view the Slater relationship as an authentic, believable mechanism for reaching out to the student community."

NOAA plans call for involvement in the development of the teacher's guide and educational content for the film's Website. Consisting of lesson plans geared to grades 4 through 6, with adaptations for other grade levels, the educational outreach will be centered on themes in the film, including wave types, volcanic island science, Polynesian culture, and storm formation.

The forward-thinking organization won't be stopping there, however.

According to Taylor-Austin, NOAA will also develop a family activity guide for distribution at museum theaters showing Ultimate Wave Tahiti. It will be developed to encourage subject matter-related discussions and further inquiries between family generations.

NOAA will be promoting the availability of its education materials through various methods, including the National Marine Educators Association's "Building a Presence for Science/Science Matters" 42,000-strong list of teachers, and the Ocean Explorer Education Listserv which reaches approximately 4,000 professional educators, primarily in the K-12 bracket. It will also reach more than 1,200 subscribers through the National Marine Sanctuaries Program Listserv.

The film's website will eventually integrate three separate modules that are being created with NOAA's involvement. The modules -- "Island," "Culture," and "Wave" -- will bring added emphasis to the educational messages inherent throughout the overall communications program.

For more information, consult www.k2communications.com

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