For many years, friends and colleagues have tried to persuade me to write a book about the subject that has always interested and inspired me the most, the world of open ocean drifters, Plankton. Who on earth, though, would ever want to read a book about things you can hardly see?
More recently, however, I ventured to suggest to someone steeped in the world of wildlife publishing, whose opinion I greatly respect, the concept of combining an undeniably self indulgent autobiographical account of a life that has been both fulfilling, eventful and enjoyable, in combination with a survey of what most fascinates me about that extraordinary drifting oceanic community.
To my surprise that same person replied: “That might work.” So you mustn’t blame me for what follows.
Intended as a brief summary of what 57 years of film and film making in a field seldom countenanced by any sane individual, this two and a half year, self-imposed sentence of computer-designed and enabled assembly and exhilarating, if unpredictable journey from childhood to the dizzying heights of 3-D Imax Wildlife production, Life on Sir David’s Earth, and a slew of weird and wonderful special effects assignments for Hollywood, via the lifelong passion for a world seldom ever seen, never before fully documented, and yet today so incredibly important and relevant, (if we humble mortals are to survive, for more than a century or two more, on this planet), eventually became a two-book, boxed set, 950 pages long, 4,000 full-colour image account, unlikely to be even thumbed, let alone fully read.
The learning curve, that both my colleague, Chris, and I experienced, grappling with the digital world of design and naïve self-publishing, was an almost perfectly vertical straight line. That’s my way of saying sorry for the numerous mistakes embodied within the two volumes, be they typos, genuine spelling mistakes, or infuriating computer equivalents to intuitive spelling, all of which plagued us throughout.