Lifeguards run down the beach and dive into the ocean to save swimmers from drowning. These dramatic rescues are captured by a hyperactive, spinning camera that becomes one with the elements and challenges how subjective a documentary may be.
Lifeguards run down the beach and dive into the ocean to save swimmers from drowning. Once back on land, they hear more calls for help and must head right back into the water. These dramatic rescues, accompanied by shouts, whistles, splashing waves and gurgling water, are captured by a hyperactive, spinning camera that becomes one with the elements and challenges how subjective a documentary may be.
Misframing and instability are key components of Noémie Payant-Hébert’s short film. No matter where the camera is, underwater sounds bubble up to create an odd mix of unease and peacefulness. The camera is everywhere, looking down on the lifeguards from above and diving beneath the water to capture swimmers in need of help. Who exactly is watching from the beach, the sky and the water seems to be the real question this sly filmmaker is asking.
Help! is an amazing sensory experience that attempts to blur the line between documentary and narrative film. But whether these rescues are real or staged, what matters most is film’s ability to change what is true. The camera thwarts expectations and turns into a nervous but benevolent creature that, much like nature with its calm exterior, can still swallow us whole.
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
BANDE SONIMAGE PRODUCER
WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF
THE NARVAL LIFEGUARD TEAM IN SAGUENAY–LAC-ST-JEAN
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
BANDE SONIMAGE TEAM
TECHNICAL COORDINATOR – SHOOTING EQUIPMENT
TECHNICAL SUPPORT – EDITING
DANIEL BISSON (MELS)
CAMERA PROVIDED BY