Marvels takes on the Panama Canal expansion project
Have you noticed just how casually people throw around the word "epic" these days? For example, "That burrito I just ate was epic!" Or, "That concert I went to last night was epic." For the record, those things are not epic. What truly is epic? The new Panama Canal expansion project that has been documented via a Modern Marvels special on the History Channel.
The episode, which premieres on April 11, focuses on a 50-mile-long construction site, populated with thousands of workers and segmented into roughly 150 micro job sites. They even had to build an on-site concrete plant to meet the concrete demand for 10-story high, mile-long lock structures able to withstand a 7.1 earthquake. Forget the burrito, new canal locks that will move super post-Panamax cargo ships from one ocean to another… now that's epic.
Capturing the scale of this monumental $5.5 billion expansion project required directors-producers Dylan Robertson and Bill Ferehawk of Radiant Features to take a fresh approach to filmmaking. In order to accurately communicate the scale of the structures, they needed to establish a reference point: people. "If you don't have a frame of reference in terms of size then you have no bearing," says Robertson. "One of our fun challenges was how to turn that corner, where you're sitting right off of someone's shoulder and then the camera pans over and suddenly you're 10 stories down."
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