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Leisure Management
2013 issue 4

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Sara Hine, producer and Jerry Grayson, director, The Earth Wins

“Making the film changed the way I view the world”

The Earth Wins, a new IMAX film shot entirely from the air, has been released.

Produced by Sara Hine and directed by Jerry Grayson, co-founders of film company Heli Films, The Earth Wins includes footage from Hurricane Katrina and the 'Black Saturday' bush fires in Victoria, Australia, in 2009, as well as aerial footage of animals in the wild.

“The film is called The Earth Wins, and the tag line is 'and if we listen, so do we'. What we're really saying is if we listen to what the earth is telling us, we can do things about the changing climate. If we don't, she is actually more resilient than we are,” said Hine.

“This planet we live on is unique, beautiful and life-sustaining, which is why we show the wonders of what the earth has created in this film, as well as the natural disasters. We believe those things are worth fighting for.”

The 40 minute film took eight years to make. The idea for The Earth Wins was born in 2005; Hine and Grayson were testing their new Cineflex camera in Los Angeles when they started seeing footage of Hurricane Katrina on the evening news.

“We finished our tests on the Saturday, then on Sunday Hurricane Katrina struck,” said Hine. “I spent all of Sunday negotiating with US homeland security to get into the airspace. They agreed, so on the Monday we scrambled a chopper, got together a crew, hired a winnebago and drove down to Baton Rouge [in Louisiana].”

Hine put together some footage of Hurricane Katrina, and showed it at several IMAX conferences, where it was well received. The project was then put on hold while the company filmed the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in 2006, and then produced the ZeroG Space Lab exhibit for the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney in 2007.

In February 2009, the 'Black Saturday' bush fires swept through the Australian state of Victoria, coming just 2km from Hine and Grayson's home. “That was a very personal, very visceral experience of the power of nature,” said Hine. “Overnight, we felt that the balance of the film needed to move from being a film about Katrina to being more all-encompassing, and looking at how it's not the earth that's fragile, it's we, as humans that are fragile, within the context of the power the earth has.”

Hine set about negotiating with the emergency services for access to the airspace, and they shot more footage for the film. Work on Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and Human Planet, as well as the Soccer World Cup in South Africa meant that they had the opportunity of filming animals in the wild.

The film was premiered in Rheged in the Lake District, UK, in June, followed by a screening in London in July. It launched in Melbourne in August and is being screened throughout the US in September.

The biggest challenge of making the film, said Hine, were the logistics. “Getting access to the airspace into Hurricane Katrina and the Victoria fires took a lot of persuasion on my part. The logistics of getting a crew down to an area like Baton Rouge after a hurricane, when there's no food, no accommodation, nothing, is a real challenge. You've got to be completely self-sufficient.

“If you spoke to Jerry [Grayson], who directed the film and flew the helicopter on all of the filming, he would say he had never actually smelled what he was filming before – the decay in Katrina, the acrid smell of burning land in the bush fires. They were difficult things to experience.”

Hine and Grayson set up Heli Films in 1989 to specialise in telling stories from the air. Grayson was a former British Royal Navy Search and Rescue pilot, who had set up a helicopter company when he left the Navy, while Hine was a producer of programmes including Treasure Hunt (the pair met while working on the programme).

The company has produced a number of IMAX films and simulator ride films and has provided aerial coverage of events including the Athens Olympics, the Soccer World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

"Making this film changed the way I view the world," said Hine. "This film doesn't draw too many conclusions, and I like that, because it isn't simple."


Sara Hine, producer and Jerry Grayson, director, The Earth Wins

The film intersperses shots of wildlife from the air with shots of natural disasters

The film intersperses shots of wildlife from the air with shots of natural disasters

The film intersperses shots of wildlife from the air with shots of natural disasters

The film intersperses shots of wildlife from the air with shots of natural disasters
Hugh Jackman, actor

“We worked on building muscle for that ripped Wolverine physique”

Hugh Jackman and his personal trainer Mike Ryan have been sharing the workout plan that got the actor in shape for The Wolverine film.

Jackman, who is 44, has been widely interviewed about his fitness regime, while his trainer – Australian fitness expert Mike Ryan, who started his career at Gold's Gym in Venice Beach, California – has explained how he put together the programme that got his client in shape.

Jackman told Oprah Winfrey that he worked out for three hours a day – spread between a morning and an afternoon session – and ate 6,000 calories each day to become Wolverine.
“I have a trainer whose philosophy is 'I'm not going to kill you every time; I'm going to make you want to do it,'" Jackman told Winfrey, during an inteview that was broadcast on 28 July.

“We used traditional lifting techniques, standard pressing and squatting movements, which are very effective. We also did a lot of heavy lifting. They engage core activity," Ryan told Zoo magazine.


Hugh Jackman, actor

Hugh Jackman was put on a high protein diet
Gordon Ramsay, chef

“It's an amazing space and we're really excited about opening”

Gordon Ramsay's new restaurant has opened this month (September) in south London.

Union Street Café is described as an 'urban warehouse destination offering quality Mediterranean food with a daily changing menu, prepared in an open theatre style kitchen.' It is on the corner of Union Street and Great Suffolk Street in London.

“It's no secret that Borough Market is one of my favourite places in London. It’s an area where people are really passionate about food and we've invested time in finding the right venue,” said Ramsay. “It is an amazing space and we're really excited about opening. There will be a real focus on amazing produce, cooked in a simple Mediterranean style." 

The restaurant was originally meant to be a joint venture with ex-footballer David Beckham, but Beckham reportedly pulled out of the project just weeks before it opened. According to the Mirror, Beckham decided not to go ahead with the venture after long discussions with Ramsay, when they decided they "wanted different things."

The restaurant has been designed by Russell Sage Studio, responsible for interiors including Petrus for Gordon Ramsay and Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen, as well as The Savoy Grill and The Zetter Townhouse.

More than 2,500 bookings were reportedly taken within just four hours of the website going live.


Gordon Ramsay, chef

The restaurant serves seasonal produce from local suppliers, including from Borough Market
Hugo Urgell, General Manager, Pacha

“It's the biggest project of my life”

Hugo Urgell and the Pacha family launched the Destino Pacha Ibiza Resort this summer.

The 50,000sq m resort features 163 rooms, a restaurant, an outdoor pool and jacuzzi, a gym, juice bar and yoga studio.

Rooms start from E300 per night, with the most lavish suites featuring views of the Mediterranean, their own private garden and infinity pool, an outdoor lounge and dining area and the use of a chaffeur and boat services.
The resort is the brainchild of Hugo Urgell, the son of Pacha founder Ricardo Urgell. When the resort was announced, he described it as “the biggest project of my life”.

The first Pacha nightclub opened in Sitges, near Barcelona, in 1966, followed by Pacha Ibiza in 1973. Today there are 15 Pacha nightclubs around the world – with three more planned for Dubai, Poland and Croatia – as well as a Pacha hotel in Ibiza, a sailboat and several restaurants. This is the first resort for the group.


Hugo Urgell, General Manager

The pool area features sun beds, day beds and a king size jacuzzi to watch the sunset from

Originally published in Leisure Management 2013 issue 4

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