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IMAX Documentary Shows 'Extreme Weather' Caused By Climate Change

A tornado is pictured in this still from "Extreme Weather," a new IMAX film playing at the Fleet Science Center.
Fleet Science Center
A tornado is pictured in this still from "Extreme Weather," a new IMAX film playing at the Fleet Science Center.
Extreme Weather at the Fleet Science Center
IMAX Documentary Shows 'Extreme Weather' Climate Change Is Causing
IMAX Documentary Shows 'Extreme Weather' Climate Change Is Causing GUEST: Sean Casey, director, "Extreme Weather"

From super stand dust storm Sunday we become aware of new extremes and are weather patterns. Fuel plus have experienced those extremes up close and personal. And the new documentary extreme weather viewers are taking as close as possible to some of the most dramatic and dangerous weather phenomenon. The film goes inside a drop field wild fire and shows the impact of melting glaciers crashing into the sea. Joining me is Sean Casey and you may remember him from Discovery Channel storm chasers. Thank you for having me. How did you want the audience to experience the weather events shown in your film? We were filming in the IMAX format. That's a very immersive experience with the size of the screen and the audio system they have there. I wanted to make a film that we got visuals that do justice to what is happening with our weather. So we picked the highly visible elements of our changing weather tornadoes, wildfires, glaciers. So we wanted to capture powerful imagery so that when people see the film, they have a visual of what's happening with our environment. For instance, I think a lot of people have seen images and video of the glaciers and the huge amounts of them coming off. How was it different to experience it in your film quick We go extremely close. We are not filming with the lance. We are building specialized platforms like a tank for tornadoes or armored boat and taking that camera and that crew. That is the audience right to the very end. That sounds dangerous. Did you have any close calls quick [ Laughter ] yes, we did. There were times where you did not want to be for hundred feet from the face of a tall glacier. You did not want to be inside the wild fire that you were totally caught in. There's moments where you wanted to leave and you really started to feel that fear of wanting to escape. That is when things were visually incredible and as a filmmaker you have an obligation to stay and capture. Did you have any special vehicles to get you safely out of these situations? Just we have a tank for tornadoes. So we could film a true dust tornado coming directly at you. So we built these 16,000 pound armored vehicle that we were chasing tornadoes with. This film was supposed to cover hurricanes but we did not have any hurricanes during the filming in the United States. So we built this boat this flat bottom twin engine Jarboe to actually film in the storm surge that water pushed in by the hurricane. You are going to film in that environment, but we did not have a hurricane so we had to find a new subject matter. And we wanted to utilize this tool that we had built. We were there filming the opening scene of the film, which is the sequence of the skyscraper size pieces of ice falling. It was such an amazing environment that when we got back from Alaska and we knew we were not going to get a hurricane, it was can we develop that storyline? Can we find some glaciologist and get the equipment and fill a crew in a matter of weeks to cover for the fact that we weren't going to get a working quick I am speaking with Sean Casey . He is the director of extreme weather. While your film shows the effects many climate scientists have linked to man-made climate change never addresses the issue. Why is that quick Everybody is familiar with talk of our climate is changing. What we wanted to do is add the visuals to that discussion. That's what IMAX films can do so effectively. What we wanted to do was supply these incredible images. They are incredible of what the discussion is about. That is our climate is changing and is affecting wildfires to glaciers to hurricanes to tornadoes. We wanted to supply that visual so when people went to see the film and then they have conversations afterwards about climate change or they had a visual and hopefully it came from our phone. The scientist in the film are working to find links between the various weather events. Besides climate change arising carbon levels what kind of links are they finding quick Part of this film was showing this interconnection that is one thing to experience a hot new weather event say a trial in California but the interconnection on how that drought affects wildfires and you have more wildfires when you have a lot of dry dead fuel. Then we have a lot more wildfires than we have a lot more cash that in the atmosphere. This is what wanted to show the interconnection. I have to ask you as I said in the beginning many people may remember you from your storm chaser days. What is it that draws you to experiencing these extreme events. Basically in a sense although you take precautions putting your life at risk to do it quick I want to be excited when I film. I want to -- if you are going to do a project like this, and you are going to put the time and effort into the field we want you to feel a passion for what you are doing and for me my threshold is that I need to feel endangered or there has to be a way in which you are filming a glacier that feels endangering to me and feel like I'm really part of that experience. You can film any of these events from a safe distance but does that capture that proximity and that danger and that power. The film will open this Friday at the Fleet science Center and Balboa Park. I've been speaking with Sean Casey. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Drought-fueled wildfires, melting glaciers and tornadoes are the focus of a new IMAX documentary opening at the Fleet Science Center Friday.

The documentary "Extreme Weather," produced by National Geographic and directed by Sean Casey, intends to connect the dots between climate change and extreme weather events.

Casey is also the star of the Discovery Channel series "Storm Chasers" and director of the IMAX film "Tornado Alley." He is a graduate of La Jolla High School.

Casey joins Midday Edition Thursday to talk about extreme weather.

For showtimes visit the Fleet's website.

A firefighter is fighting a wildfire in this still from "Extreme Weather," a new IMAX film playing at the Fleet Science Center.
Fleet Science Center
A firefighter is fighting a wildfire in this still from "Extreme Weather," a new IMAX film playing at the Fleet Science Center.