Open Water: The Offering

Open Water: The Offering
Erin Coates and Anna Nazzari, 2017
HD video with stereo sound
duration 4:45 minutes
Composer: Stuart James

Taking a true event as a starting point, Open Water: The Offering is based on an incident that occurred in 1965 in the coastal town of Albany when a well-known whaler and gunner on The Cheynes III (a whale chaser) lost his leg after it became entangled in a rope attached to a harpoon fired at a whale. The film charts the imagined journey of a detached human leg, gifted to the Southern ocean and its inhabitants by an otherworldly cetacean. The bloated, grotesque leg is gradually colonised by endemic marine species of fauna and flora, transformed into a dark, phantasmagorical island.

Shot entirely in the coastal waters off Perth, Open Water: The Offering merges nature documentary with Cronenbergesque body-horror. It offers a darkly magic realist version of maritime history in regional Australia, considered from the perspective of the ocean and its inhabitants.

Colourist: Dominic Pearce
Editor: Erin Coates
Underwater camera operator: Jasper Silver
Prosthetics and effects: Erin Coates and Anna Nazzari
Cello: Tristen Parr
Electric Guitar: Eduardo Cossio
Crane assistant: Gareth Wood
Stills photographer: Yvonne Doherty
Underwater prop operators: Michelle Becker, Delphine Chabanne, Breanna Cramer, Yvonne Doherty, Bec Johnson, Joni Lariat, Steve Pratt, Mark Strickland

Shot on location in Perth, Western Australia. No animals were used in the production of this film.