Filmmaker and Nat Geo photographer Louie Psihoyos's upcoming documentary, Racing Extinction is made with the intention of blowing the lid off of wildlife trade. Along with his team at the Oceanic Preservation Society, Oscar winning Psihoyos takes you into the markets and backrooms that sell everything from shark oil to whole endangered animals. His aim is to create a tipping point, to reach out to the world and make them understand that it is time to act. "Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness," is the aphorism he wants the world to embrace.
Last week on 1 August Psihoyos came closer to his mission, when along with San Francisco based Obscura Digital he managed to light up the Empire State Building with stunning digital light images of wildlife species. The event was meant to draw attention to the alarming rate at which species are dying. It is a part of a series of such events that have taken place over the last three years.
With 20,000-lumen projectors stacked atop a New York building, cascading images of animals were projected on the Empire State Building. Ending with a representation of Kali imploring people world over to fight the darkness. "We're using icons to help people talk about this virally," said Travis Threlkel of Obscura Digital.
The strong imagery and the powerful symbolism of the event leave an assertive message in the minds of the viewers. "The whole planet could be on the same page for once; anybody with a cellphone or computer would know about it," Psihoyos told the New York Times. "To create a tipping point, you probably need 10 percent of the population. With the film and this event, we are trying to reach that number. If you hit that number, then you have a chance of moving the needle."