About the movie
Experience a daring world record scuba dive to a lost, sunken wreck, at the bottom of the mysterious South Pacific. In this patriotic documentary, men travel to dangerous depths, pushing the edge – in Patriotic honor for the 191 casualties of the USS Cooper which sank on December 3, 1944 during World War II.
Nominated for Best Documentary at the 2007 Asian Festival of First Films.
CGI and animation were crucial design elements in USS Cooper: Return to Ormoc Bay. Both were used to fill in story gaps and augment various memories by simulating the USS Cooperand creating movement within charts and old photographs. The night of December 3, 1944, springs to life in the documentary, replete with its inherent terror, chaos and suspense.
Battle scenes feature a recreation of the USS Cooper as it dodges torpedoes, fires off salvos and careens through the moonlit night. The animators extensively researched how the ship sailed, sounded and turned. A model of the ship was created using Maya software, and was given motion, lighting and texture to bring it to life. Other key elements in these scenes involve accurate portrayal of waves, torpedo trajectories and munitions fire. In the documentary USS Cooper: Return to Ormoc Bay, the USS Cooper sails once again.
The animators brought subtle movement to 1940s photographs and documents donated by survivors and their families into which they breathed on new life, such as cigarette smoke wafts from a cigarette, sailors’ hats soar in the air and champagne bursts from a bottle during the USS Cooper dedication ceremonies.
Since the documentary involves the complicated sport of technical diving, the CGI team also animated dive charts and decompression and gas mixing schedules to convey the intricacy of the dive, as well as the danger involved.
Producer: Bigfoot Entertainment
Release Date: 2007
Bebe Pham (Amy Sanchez)
Jaymee Ong (Jess Sanchez)
Michael Gleissner (Benny Simpson)
Laury Prudent (Lulu)