REVIEW: Coral Sea Dreaming: Awaken (Blu-ray)

image: Plankton Productions

Whether you are just creating a reef aquarium or looking to develop an existing one, inspiration can be found in many different places. Photographs in books, magazines or the internet, diving experiences, or even pure imagination are just a few that can all play a part. If you are seeking such inspiration, the unbridled splendor of pristine wild reefs presented in Coral Sea Dreaming: Awaken is not just visually stunning, it is also an invaluable resource for reefkeepers.

As a sequel to the original Coral Sea Dreaming DVD (released in 1992), the capture of this all-new footage has clearly been a labour of love, painstakingly recorded and edited with the latest HD equipment. The multilayered Blu-ray also now runs with an upgraded menu system which offers a range of options and extras including music only or music with narration, creature identification and loop playback. In our opinion, all elements are beautfully crafted, from footage, to script, to music score (the music is similar to the first version). Image quality is excellent, rising to’ jaw-dropping’ in places. The high definition is particularly stunning on wide shots and the surround sound is also a delight even on our own modest system. It’s no surprise that this was an award-winner at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival. The extra features are extensive too, indeed we particularly liked the ‘visual decor’ section and think this would be great as an ambient display in a nightclub-type environment. Interviews with David Hannan and Tania Rose are also very interesting.

With a main feature running time of nearly an hour and a half, all the extras included, and the pure level of detail on display, this package should provide hours of entertainment. Perhaps our only slight disappontment was that there was no ‘pure fluorescence’ night-dive footage included, which we felt could have provided for some stunning imagery given the diversity of the locations (we emphasize this is a not a complaint).

If you are as serious about reefkeeping and conservation as we are, you’ll want to have this in your collection!

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