Deepwater Horizon oil spill gets film?
It looks like the recent oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is about to get made into a film. The story of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig will be told on film and at first glance this looks to be about the rig during its final hours, the people aboard who fought to stop the events from occurring, and how they dealt with the immediate aftermath.
What it doesn't look like it will do is delve into the weeks and months afterwards, the ongoing ecological damage, the massive cleanup operations and the government-corporate witch hunt that ensued through the media.
I think that's perhaps a good thing that the film won't be tackling that area of the story, although there's certainly a lot to be explored there, it isn't something that's finished playing out as yet and it would be much better to let that finish in real life then tell the story in film.
Looking through the Variety article it looks as though this film is about the rig and the immediacy of the accident on April 20th, and the overriding message coming out of the article is that the film will look to the courage of those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon rig and the events that built up to the disaster.
The question will be is if the film tries to find anyone to blame and if it will try to focus blame on BP.
Matthew Sand is adapting the story from an article in The New York Times called Deepwater Horizon's Final Hour, written by David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul.
Various producers and company quotes tell us what the film is going to be:
"This film will portray the great heroism that took place last year on the Deepwater Horizon rig and how colleagues so courageously came to each other's aide..."
Erik Feig from Summit was clear in his words and talked about the emotional core of the article which the film will carry forward. Ricky Strauss of Participant echoed that feeling:
"...a suspenseful and inspiring real-life account of everyday people whose values are tested in the face of an impending environmental disaster"
However Michael Gari of Imagenation said something a little different:
"This powerful account truly represents the ideal aims of storytelling, where the search for the truth uncovers everyday heroism in the face of adversity..."
He says that this is set to be an important film for audiences worldwide, but it does suggest more than the rig disaster itself. Personally I think there are two stories to be told here, and trying to deliver them in one film is going to make it overly complex.
There's the story of the individuals on board the rig and the build up to, and the immediate after effects of the disaster itself, this could even stretch into the valiant efforts to try and stop the oil leak.
Then there's the film about the after effects, the companies involved, the government involvement, and the whole political situation behind the scenes. Mixing these two films would really muddy the waters and try to deliver far too much and therefore not allow enough time to tell a complete and unbiased story.
Let's hope that this film stays focused on the rig and the battle of the men onboard for the well and themselves, a political and corporate film is not what this story needs to be.