Helping a friend became a passion to heal the oceans.

In 2005, the Christmas Tsunami almost destroyed my friend Thomas Sarkasian's life. In an effort to make sense of it all, he began working with Biorock reef restoration teams, led by Dr. Tom Goreau, who were trying to repair reefs damaged by the cataclysmic wave.

Thomas contacted me rigorously; he insisted there was a story that needed to be told, and he wanted me to tell it. According to Thomas, coral reefs were dying out worldwide; and with them, the oceans. It was a mystery that he said could be traced to climate change.

I believed in Thomas, and wanted to help. I set off to Gili Trawangan with camera, expecting to log 20-30 hours of footage and create a half-hour documentary. But in those two weeks, I learned that the specter of global hard coral extinction is not only critical to humanity, but is happening right now.

My brief visit barely scratched the surface. When I began diving in 1999, I was told the reefs suffered since the mid 1980's, and the grand spectacle of Jaques Cousteau's films had all but been destroyed. And now I understood why. And I knew that one visit with the Biorock team wouldn't begin to tell the whole story.

Without any outside funding or support, I made it my mission to document this ever-increasing threat to our oceans as a whole.  My searching took me to Florida where I learned about NOAA's effort to unlock the mass bleaching mystery, and to follow Ken Nedimyer's Coral Restoration Foundation bringing back staghorn coral to the now-barren Keys. A trip to Kosrae, Micronesia, held visual wonder with one of the last remaining ancient reefs, some corals tens of thousands of years old. Australia's Great Barrier Reef showed both the damage from mass bleaching, but also some promising comeback - for now.

Four and a half years later, Putting the Pieces Together is finally nearing post-production. Although the journey to tell the story was challenging, it has already yielded a number of smaller documentaries: "Corals of Trawangan" about Biorock in Indonesia, "Seeding the Keys" about the Coral Restoration Foundation in Florida, and a series of web blogs for Ocean Earth's efforts in Kosrae.

Currently, the goal is for a late winter/early spring 2014 completion, with a festival tour to follow. To stay up-to-date on all production news, including relase information, subscribe to the blog at www.puttingthepieces.com.

Putting the Pieces Together

scheduled release: 2015

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This is the first trailer for Putting the Pieces Together.