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Shifting Baselines
Releases Comic PSA to Save the Oceans

Starring Jack Black, Madeline Stowe, Tom Arnold, Josh Lucas,
Sharon Lawrence and many more

LOS ANGELES (October 1, 2003) – In early October, television viewers will begin to see the first public service announcement (PSA) from the Shifting Baselines Media Campaign, designed to call attention to the severe state of ocean decline around the world. Conceived of, directed and written by filmmaker/ marine biologist Randy Olson, the spot takes an entirely different approach from other environmental PSAs and uses humor to make its point. Starring popular comic actor Jack Black (Shallow Hal, Orange County), seen next in the upcoming feature film School of Rock opening on October 3, the “Ocean Symphony” PSA also features such well known actors as Madeleine Stowe, Tom Arnold, Sharon Lawrence, Dave Foley, Josh Lucas, Henry Winkler, Paul Michael Glaser, Mindy Sterling, Ingo Rademacher and more.

“The bad symphony is a metaphor for our stinky oceans,” says Jack Black who served as the conductor for the PSA.

“2003 is proving to be ‘The Year of Ocean Decline,’” says Randy Olson, Executive Director of the Shifting Baselines project. “From depleted fisheries to dying coral reefs, the bad news about the oceans is coming out week after week. It’s time for everyone to realize we are at a crisis stage and we hope this PSA will, at the very least, make people aware of the problem.”

The PSA, distributed by Banyan Communications, is set to begin airing October 1, 2003 in English and Spanish. In the 60 second version, the comparison is made between a symphony of actors butchering “The 1812 Overture” and our declining oceans. The question is asked, “We would never accept this level of quality for music, so why are we willing to accept this quality for our oceans?”

In addition to Jack Black’s frantic conducting, the symphony features Henry Winkler on harp, Madeleine Stowe on violin, Tom Arnold on kettle drums, Josh Lucas on cello, Mindy Sterling (Frau Farbissina of the Austin Powers movies) on cymbals, and a dozen other actors on instruments for which they have no skill or training. The spot also features a computer animation shot donated by famed Hollywood special effects company Industrial Light and Magic (the Star Wars movies) in which a kelp forest is shown in its current state, devoid of large fish, and then shown again as it was in 1960 using digitally animated large fish such as black sea bass and sheephead.

In a separate 30 second spot, Ted Danson and wife Mary Steenburgen, give equally discordant performances on violins.

-2- Shifting Baseline PSA Launch

The overall purpose of the PSA is to call attention to the severity of ocean decline and help recruit new support to the major ocean conservation groups, all of whom are participants in the project. These include The Ocean Conservancy, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Surfrider Foundation, and twelve other major ocean conservation groups.

Shifting Baselines is a partnership of the ocean conservation and the Hollywood communities directed by Dr. Randy Olson with support from Dr. Jeremy Jackson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Gale Anne Hurd of Valhalla Motion Pictures

For more information visit www.shiftingbaselines.org

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For media inquiries contact:
Kate DiRanna or Alan Amman
mPRm Public Relations
(323) 933-3399
kdiranna@mprm.com / aamman@mprm.com