When a 12-year-old girl discovered the first dinosaur fossils in cliffs along the English Channel, no-one believed her. Two centuries later, Mary Anning is celebrated as a pioneering palaeontologist. "This was groundbreaking and changed the way we saw the world," says German director of photography Clemens Majunke, who brought this story to the screen, choosing Canon's Sumire Prime lenses to create the vintage look it required.
Sea Dragon is a short film set in 1812, following the budding palaeontologist as she excavates the skeleton of an Ichthyosaurus, which scientists originally dismissed as the remains of a crocodile. The film focuses on Mary and her brother Joseph, as they break into a manor house to reclaim her mysterious find from a nefarious local auctioneer.
Clemens – whose portfolio spans documentaries, TV dramas and series for Warner Bros, Bavaria Film and ITV, as well as commercials for brands including Nike, Porsche and Mercedes Benz – was asked to join the project by the film's director, James Morgan. "As soon as I heard about the story, I was drawn into it," Clemens says. "Initially nobody paid much attention to Mary's discovery, as she was a young girl from a poor background. She wasn't respected until after her death."
Funded by an educational charity, Sea Dragon is to be screened in schools around the UK, to inspire primary school children, especially girls, to pursue a career in science. For his shoot along Britain's coastline and in a candlelit manor house, Clemens chose Canon's Sumire Prime lenses for their cinematic aesthetic.