It’s a fascinating and heartwarming story of what is known to scientists as the world’s loneliest whale and two determined filmmakers, Adrian Grenier (Entourage) and Joshua Zeman (The Station Agent), are trying to help the mammal which has captivated world attention. Through a documentary entitled 52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale, the filmmakers have taken to Kickstarer after the prior financial commitment from legally mired Worldview Entertainment went belly up. They are now 67% there and only five days away from reaching their goal of $300,000.
The film would document the quest to find the whale known only as 52, named as such because it has been swimming around in the ocean for years calling out on a frequency of 52 hertz which no other whale can understand. It was first identified in 1989 when the U.S. Navy heard an unusual sound picked up on a network of underwater microphones and figured out it was coming from a single whale. That whale, it is believed, has lived its entire life in solitude yet relentlessly calls out for communication. Sadly, according to marine experts, this whale’s calls will never be heard by others of its species.
How did they find out about this whale? Zeman was at a writing retreat and met an author named Vint Virga who was penning a book called The Soul of All Living Creatures. “I heard about it from this animal psychologist and it had an effect on me personally and when I shared the story with other people, I realized it affected them, too,” said Zeman.
The two filmmakers had at first gotten the commitment of Worldview Entertainment to finance the project and it was actually announced at Cannes. But Worldview has been mired in litigation and funding around town has virtually come to a standstill. “We were put on hold for about six to eight months before we found out that they weren’t going to finance the film, so we had to figure out what to do. We took to Kickstarter,” said Grenier. “We’re asking people to give $52 or $7 ($5 plus $2) to reach our goal. We’re hoping others will see the magic in this story and come to the rescue.”