Next up on the Behind the Lens series we sat down with Lucy Kreutz to discuss her new film, Kio Kio. Lucy is no stranger to truly epic fly fishing films. In addition to Kio Kio, her most recent project, Lucy directed Jungle Fish. Kio Kio brings viewers into the local community of Anaa, an Atoll in French Polynesia. The goal of Kio Kio was to convince the community that through new conservation and science-driven approach towards the Atoll’s cherished bonefish, Anaa could become a world-class fly fishing destination and provide many additional economic benefits. With help and guidance from Indifly, The Island Initiative, and Costa, Lucy was able to produce an awesome film and share Indifly’s Anaa campaign. Follow along for our interview with Lucy!
FlyLords: So Lucy, you’re no stranger to directing fly fishing films. What other films have you worked on?
Lucy: I’ve worked on quite a few fly fishing films, starting with a film for Costa called ‘Currents of Belize’ back in 2008. Since then I worked on five separate short documentaries about fly fishing, including ‘Jungle Fish’, which brought me to the rainforests of Guyana to capture the quest to catch a 200 pound Arapaima on a fly rod.
FlyLords: What does “Kio Kio” mean? Why did you choose that for the film’s title?
Lucy: Kio Kio is the local word for Bonefish in the atoll of Anaa. We went through a bunch of ideas for titles (I was rooting for ‘Fish from the South Pacific’, but I was told that sounded too much like a musical, which is probably why I liked it). Ultimately I think we all just liked the way it sounded, and, of course, the whole film is about bonefish.
FlyLords: What was the goal of this film?
Lucy: I think that the goal of the film is to get people thinking about the choices they make in how, where, and why they fly fish because the sport has the potential to positively impact both fish populations and people living in coastal communities.
FlyLords: A lot of the film has strong tones of conserving bonefish. Generally speaking, how receptive were the locals to conserving their resources for new economic opportunities?
Lucy: The people of Anaa are very loving towards their children, and as they came to see the fly fishing project as a way to bring jobs to their kids, they became more excited about the idea.
FlyLords: Kio Kio was filmed over several years—what impact did that have on you?
Lucy: My first trip to Anaa was in 2015, and it was one of the best work experiences of my life–then I got to go back twice more! Because we filmed over three years, I was able to document some real changes on the island- the shifting perception of the project and the idea of fly fishing. It was such a luxury that Costa gave me the opportunity to make the film over this long span of time and the film is stronger because of it.
FlyLords: You guys were on location on Anaa for several months at a time, how was the overall experience, any memorable stories?
Lucy: I have so many great memories from being on Anaa! Cookouts on the beach of freshly caught fish, sing-alongs every night around cold beers, walking through the bright blue flats with a camera in my hands. It was all amazing. Actually it made editing the film a treat because it meant that I could look back at that amazing time all day every day.
FlyLords: Tell us a little bit about the fishing, did the anglers have any unforeseen difficulties? Did Anaa’s bonefish act differently than Florida Keys’ bonefish, for example?
Lucy: I don’t think so, as Alex (the scientist featured in the film) says, “this is bonefish paradise!”
FlyLords: What camera equipment did you use?
Lucy: I used a Canon C100. Not the fanciest camera, but it was a workhorse and something that I felt comfortable bringing out into the water with me day after day. We also used a drone to give us some amazing overhead shots.
FlyLords: Were there any unexpected challenges from filming on such a remote island for a long period of time?
Lucy: I had access to power to charge batteries and to import footage, so really I can’t complain about anything! At one point I dropped our only wireless microphone in the water, so I got worried I’d be stranded without a microphone for the rest of the shoot. But our amazing local producer (Moana Kautai) spent several hours cleaning it of saltwater and it was back in order for the next day. That was my only near miss!
FlyLords: You have never been fly fishing, right? How did you get into directing fly fishing films?
Lucy: I’ve never really been fly fishing. In fact, the only kind of fishing I’ve ever done is Noodling, which is when you catch a catfish with your bare hands. I pulled a 10 pounder out of a muddy under-water hole in a river in Oklahoma, and I’ve never been prouder. This was when I was working on a movie with my long time working partner, Bradley Beesley- the movie was ‘Okie Noodling 2’. Shortly after that, he was hired to direct ‘Currents of Belize’, and he brought me along. Since then, I have continually worked on fly fishing films. (Though I also direct other films, on topics ranging from senior citizens riding tricycles to the prison industrial complex…)
Flylords: Follow up question–when you are filming these epic shots, do you ever get the urge to give fly fishing a shot?
Lucy: Alex and Robert (the two scientists featured in the film) were very kind to teach me how to cast. They would give me lessons and I (maybe) got better as time went on. But I never tried to actually catch a fish- if a fish appeared I’d be too eager to grab the camera to film Alex and Robert catching it! Maybe on my next film…
FlyLords: When will fly fishermen be able to fish on Anaa?
Lucy: There are already some trips in the works!
FlyLords: Do you have any other projects in the works?
Lucy: I am currently working on a television series for National Geographic. But I’m always hoping that Costa calls me up for more exciting opportunities to make fly fishing films!
Also, follow along with the film tour @flyfishingfilmtour to see where they will be next!
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This interview was conducted by Flylords team member, Will Poston.
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