On a summer family trip, senior Tomas Koeck sat on a jetty overlooking the ocean. A casual conversation about recent shark spottings in the area created a vision for Koeck. “Why don’t just I do a film on sharks?” he said.
Koeck’s documentary, “Keepers of the Blue” will dive into the facts on all things ocean life, especially the effects of human interactions with it.
“The main purpose is to help educate people on the importance of conservation, ecological relationships between different species, as well as our impact and how we can better help the world we live in,” said Koeck.
The documentary premiers on YouTube, in the Sacred Heart University Community Theatre, and the Sacred Heart University Discovery Science Center and Planetarium on Earth Day, April 22 at 7 p.m. There will be speakers and presentations following the film’s live debut at the Discovery Museum.
“Keepers of the Blue is a film for nature lovers and curious minds in general. The ocean has something for everyone,” said Eric Torrens, Digital Production Coordinator.
According to Koeck’s website, “As an avid environmentalist, Koeck puts the subject first, this allowed him to be endorsed by the Connecticut Audubon Society as an ethical nature photographer.”
“Sentinels of the Boreal,” another film by Koeck was released on Earth Day in 2021. Though he has completed multiple projects heavily based around nature, he said that “Keepers of the Blue” was unlike any other.
Traveling to different oceans bordering the United States is what made the documentary possible. Koeck and his team spent six days in the Guadalupe Island area.
“In those six days, we just spent a lot of time in the water in cages filming these amazing great white sharks,” said Koeck.
Filming also took place in Block Island, Rhode Island and the Florida Keys.
Not only did creating the documentary require intensive filming, but content was also created with interviews from experts from the National Audubon Society and the Atlantic Shark Institute.
Koeck’s website lists the several collaborators involved in the project. He said that Tamron Optics and Canon USA specifically provided equipment, such as cameras and innovative lenses.
“It was a great project because we got to meet so many amazing people,” Koeck said.
The School of Communication, Media and the Arts (SCMA) also contributed to “Keepers of the Blue”.
“SCMA helped facilitate the trip through funding and access to camera equipment,” said Torrens.
While he has yet to receive his bachelor’s degree in digital media, Koeck has established his role in the world of communications with his past work. He was awarded for “Excellence in Journalism” by the Society of Professional Journalists, in 2020 in addition to other recognitions.
“I’m not this special person. Anyone else can do stuff that I’m doing, they just have to find something they’re passionate about,” said Koeck.