THE EVOLUTION OF TIDAL WITH FILMMAKER LEILA KIDSON PT. 1
THE ACCIDENTAL CONSERVATIONIST
If you’ve come along to the Gutsy Girls Adventure Film Tour you would’ve seen (and no doubt been impressed by) the film, Tidal. Tidal follows the story of Lisa Beasley, an adventurous soul whose life-threatening accident reignited her interest in the ocean. While healing her body, she was set on a path towards rehabilitating the tidal pool spaces.
We recently sat down with Tidal filmmaker Leila Kidson, to talk about working with Lisa, the tidal pools and the surprising way the film came about.
Adventure Reels: Leila, we have had such a positive response to the film from our audience here in Australia and New Zealand. You’re an incredibly talented storyteller! I’m wondering how the idea for the film came about?
Leila Kidson: Thank you so much for those kind words, I really appreciate it. We are all really proud of the film, and grateful that it is making its way around the world. I have so enjoyed everyone’s feedback!
The film was actually a university project, a thesis of sorts, and it started off without us having a firm story, but we all knew that we wanted it to be in connection with the ocean and conservation efforts in False Bay, Cape Town. Faine Loubser, our underwater cinematographer, was friends with Lisa and set up a chat with her. We sat for a good hour or two and she told us her story, and her journey back to the ocean through BASE jumping and there was no doubt in my mind after hearing her story, that that is what we would end up making the film about.
AR: That’s really interesting! What an amazing result you’ve produced for a university project! What was that first meeting with Lisa like, where you were introduced to her story?
LK: The first meeting with Lisa was nothing like I had expected it to be, our full team was there, Trygve Heide (director), Michael Carter (cinematographer and editor), Faine Loubser (underwater cinematographer) and me (producer and sound recording) – and I have to admit that we didn’t ask too many questions, we pretty much just listened whilst Lisa explained the details of how she got to where she is today and enthused about the protection of the tidal pools in the False Bay area and about the nudibranchs and I was in awe. None of us knew about the BASE jumping accident before this, and just knew that she was doing some conservation around the tidal pools, so it was a big surprise to us that there was so much more to the story than just a caring citizen!
AR: How long did it take you to put the film together?
LK: The film took approximately 6 months to make.
L – R: Leila Kidson – Producer; Trygve Heide – Director; Lisa Beasley;
Faine Loubser – Underwater Cinematographer; Michael Carter – Cinematographer and Editor.
AR: The film touches on some really special and pivotal parts of Lisa’s life. Why was it important to you, to tell Lisa’s story?
LK: It was important for us to tell Lisa’s story because there was a connection she had to the ocean that had such value in being relayed to others. I think we thought that being able to show how much the ocean has helped Lisa in her life, and how she then worked to preserve it, would motivate and inspire others to do the same.
AR: What was the most challenging part of Lisa’s story to tell?
LK: The most challenging part of the story to tell was definitely the base jumping accident – although we had footage of the accident, we couldn’t use most of that and so finding a way to tastefully tell that part of the story is something that took a lot of thinking. We settled on returning to the place of Lisa’s accident, which she hadn’t been back to since the accident and spent around 13 hours hiking in and out, and weren’t even able to get to the spot. It was gruelling on Lisa, both physically and mentally (fortunately she was equally invested in doing it!), and so there was a lot of need for sensitivity needed in how we approached that whole situation.
AR: I can imagine that would’ve been difficult and quite the experience for you all. Considering the subject matter, it’s been done really tastefully and doesn’t brush over the life-changing severity of that experience for Lisa.