A Dutch movie company has begun filming the events taking place at the site of the sunken Italian liner, the Costa Concordia. The goal is to produce a time-lapse movie of the refloating and towing-away of the ill-fated cruise ship.
Bo de Visser of Prorama Films, has told Digital Journal in an email interview that he has twice gone to the ship, which went down off the shore of the island of Giglio on Jan. 13. The time-lapse filmmaker said the "main challenge lies within being able to contact the right people in Italy" while 1600km (1100 miles) away in the Netherlands. His first visit was to get permits and take care of electricity needs and other technical requirements, his second saw him begin the filming.
Costa Concordia time-lapse film
De Visser, who said he does not speak Italian - "I can order two beer and a pizza and that's about as far as it goes" - got by with English and any method he could dream up to communicate with officials, many who spoke only Italian. He's had his camera in place and filming since May 12.
"Out of respect to the victims of the disaster filming has not started until the first phase of the salvage operations were finished," de Visser told Digital Journal. "During this first phase victims were still being recovered from the sunken vessel."
The filmmaker says that when the ship has been refloated and towed away he will produce more than one time-lapse movie. "There will be various versions, from 5 minutes till 1 hour," he said. "And during the project there will be several episodes of the key stages of the salvage." He has already created a short time-lapse movie called 'Clouds over the Costa Concordia.'
The shots Prorama's camera are now taking will be part of the accumulated moments that make up the movie and there is a live feed to view between 05:00-21:00 CET on a website called The Last Salute. The removal of the ship is expected to take up to a year and the camera will remain for the duration.
Costa Concordia: The Last Salute
Work to remove the ship began in earnest June 1 and is being done by the American salvage company, Titan Salvage, along with the Italian company, Micoperi. Thirty-two people died in the tragedy, with 30 bodies recovered to date. The similarities to arguably the greatest maritime disaster in history, the sinking of the Titanic, is partly what drew de Visser to the Costa Concordia.
"Immediately my thoughts drifted to the Titanic, which sank almost 100 years ago," he said when describing how he felt upon hearing of the disaster. "The comparison was easily made: the Costa Concordia is a modern day Titanic."
The project to refloat the boat is to de Visser "the greatest salvage operation of all times" and he wanted he and his company to be there. "This movie will document an event that will be history in the making," he said. "And I would like to be a part of that."