Production Notes

The Tsunami of New Dreams was filmed between 2011-2014 in Banda Aceh, Aceh Besar and surrounding areas. The initial vision behind the film was to document the scientific research of a team from the Earth Observatory of Singapore film in Banda Aceh. We started in 2011 and we planned to complete the film in two years. The research was focused on developing a timeline of regional tsunamis based on data from historical tsunami deposits. We were also interested in hearing from survivors about what they had learned and how they adapted to life after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

BA-KerryCharlie-1EOS scientists Kerry Sieh and Charlie Rubin researching historical tsunamis
along the coast of Aceh.

The Singapore National Research Foundation featured the scientific team’s early research in the online story A treasure trove of ancient tsunamis. By 2013 we had a fair amount of audiovisual material but the scientific research was still in progress, so we discussed the possibility of splitting the project into two separate movies: one with a humanistic focus, another with a scientific one. We decided to put the later on a temporary hold due to the small size of our team.

A Tale of Two Tsunamis is a short film that provides a preview of the scientific movie and documents the EOS team’s early paleo-tsunami research in Aceh.

We decided to first focus on The Tsunami of New Dreams, a movie that deals with the human perspective of living through a devastating natural hazard and recovering from it. We developed a fair number of animated sequences for explaining to a mainstream audience some of the basic principles of tectonics and tsunami behavior.

BA-Web-Mosque-1Praying at the Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh. Religion plays a dominant
and dual role in Acehnese daily life, providing spiritual relief to
the community along with a deterministic view of life.