‘Journey to the South Pacific’ highlights world’s most diverse marine ecosystem | St. Louis Public Radio

‘Journey to the South Pacific’ highlights world’s most diverse marine ecosystem

Feb 6, 2018

Writer, producer and director Mark Krenzien’s 40-year-film career has led him on a long list of adventures. He’s worked on the “Making Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’” documentary, swam alongside humpback whales and often filmed in far-flung locations, including war-torn Iraq, earthquake ravaged Haiti and a giant NASA clean room.

He produced the IMAX film, “Journey to the South Pacific,” now showing at the St. Louis Science Center through May. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, producer Lara Hamdan talked with Krenzien about the film that takes place on a tropical island in West Papua.

Listen for more about Krenzien’s career and worldwide adventures:


Krenzein filmed “Journey to the South Pacific” in the remote Raja Ampat islands in West Papua, Indonesia. According to marine biologists, the area hosts the most diverse coral reefs in the world.

“In thinking back, ['Journey to the South Pacific'] is probably the most demanding, the most interesting, the most logistically complicated of all the films I’ve made,” Krenzien said.

The film, which takes place under and over water, took months to shoot. For three weeks, Krenzein and the film crew traveled with a marine conservation vessel, the Kalabia, a floating classroom that teaches kids how to preserve their local coral reefs.

He said his favorite part of putting the film together was seeing the local population’s natural connection to the water.

“These kids are so connected to the water, it gives you some hope that because they know the ocean so well that maybe they will save it,” he said.

Krenzien said he is a nature enthusiast and activist that particularly enjoys working on environmental projects.

“Whether you love the wilderness or not, we need the wilderness for our life, whether we’re city dwellers or not,” he said. “In saving the wilderness, we’re really saving ourselves.”

Now showing:

What:IMAX film “Journey to the South Pacific”

When: Now through May 31, 2018

Where: Saint Louis Science Center,5050 Oakland Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.