Even before there was a script for my last film, Noah, I was interested in the environmental message in scripture. Man and woman are kicked out of paradise; 10 generations later the land is so filled with violence that God destroys Creation in order to begin again. Stewardship vs. dominion became a big theme in the film. In representing the fallen prediluvian world that garners God’s ire, my team and I researched the parts of today’s modern world that are most violated by the hand of man.
We quickly narrowed in on the tar sands. Petroleum from up here is often called the dirtiest oil in the world. Some quick image searches made us realize we wanted to represent this destruction in our film. For every barrel of oil refined from Canada’s tar sands, four tons of dirt, rock, and bitumen must be dug up, enough to fill Yankee Stadium every two days. The scale is massive and the walls of our offices were quickly covered with images of the destruction. They made me want to go and see it with my own eyes.