Patagonia Films has recently released its latest short film ‘Lessons from Jeju’. The film centred around a group of freediving and fishing women called the haenyeo. And sees host and professional freediving and environmental activist, Kimi Werner, joins these islanders of Jeju in South Korea whose activities continue to forge its coastal seafood economy today.
Accompanied with music produced by AcousticLabs, the film unravels the unique story about a group of women whose culture dates back centuries, and who broke cultural norms by becoming the first group of working mothers in South Korea.
In a recent interview with AcousticLabs founder and music producer, Gregory C Johnson, we asked him about his collaboration with director of the film, said: “Director Nicole Gormley had a very clear idea of what she wanted, which was a very positive and organic score with a more minimalist and intimate feel. I wrote her and editor/DP Chris Naum a 10 minute moodboard which featured four or five different emotions and a lot of those initial ideas became what you hear in the final score.”
Mesmerized with the underwater footage and the camaraderie between Kimi and the Haenyeo, Johnson mixed various traditional instruments including the Erhu, Haegeum and the guitarviol — a six-stringed fretted cello to add texture and colours to its melodies and rhythms.
On how did the collaboration came about? “I had worked with Chris Naum on some projects before and loved working with him. As editor and DP I believe he introduced my music to Nicole Gormely with this project in mind and she gifted me with this very wonderful opportunity to write music for such a beautiful story and footage,” added Johnson.
Acoustic Labs began as a personal challenge of Gregory C Johnson to write and perform new material every month and to focus on the guitar, exploring different sounds through effects and techniques. Today, Acoustic Labs is now a platform that showcases Johnson’s multi-instrumental work. For more information about AcousticLabs, please click here.
‘Lessons from Jeju’ Production team:
Featuring: Kimi Werner & Buddy
Underwater Cinematographer & Dad: Justin Turkowski
Director: Nicole Gormley
Director of Photography & Editor: Chris Naum
Audio Mixer & Translator: Nancy Kwon
Production house: Backroad Pictures
Producers: Peter Goetz, Kevin Hoban, Nicole Gormley, Kimi Werner
Executive Producer: Maile Schulbach, Alex Lowther, Monika McClure
Local Producer: Min Chul Shin
Production Assistant: Seok Ryu
Safety Diver: Kook Jae Lee
Special thanks: Our Amazing Haenyeo, Moon Bok-Soon & Moon Bok-Hee, Eunkyung
Color: Jensen Vinca, Marshall Plante/Olio Creative
Audio Mix: Brandon Gatson
Assistant Editor: Christian Carvallo
Graphics: Shea Zmerzlikar
More film synopsis:
Seven months pregnant and apprehensive of the effect motherhood would have on her career as a professional freediver, Kimi Werner took a trip to the island of Jeju in South Korea to meet her heroes. In Kimi’s quest for understanding, she saw that these women of the sea, most of whom are well into their 70s, never let motherhood slow them down–that in the water they move and feel like young women. The same way that Kimi, while pregnant and wobbly on land, still navigates the sea with precision and grace.
Starting this month, we’re dedicating part of our editorial efforts to films and music made in the name of nature, especially towards conservation. If you have released, watched or even experienced how nature has inspired you, we’d be glad to hear from you too. Just send us a note and/or press release to our fantastic Editorial team at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to highlight in the subject, ‘Conservation’.