Lucas Handley the Ocean Guardian

Fascination and love for the ocean are what invigorated Lucas Handley to be in touch with it as much as possible. When the model, actor and diving instructor heard talk about the documentary film ‘Blue’ surrounding issues facing the ocean, Handley jumped at the opportunity to have an input and wanted to contribute in the film.
 Two years in the making and the result is outstanding. Beautifully crafted, powerful and deeply moving, Blue has been called one of the most significant environmental films of our time. The documentary film has a clear message; our ocean has reached crisis point, but we humans have to act now to protect our most precious resource.

Handley dedicated much of his life to drifting currents of our open oceans, and living off the sea. Blue was an open door for Handley to contribute to make people aware of the confronting side to our beautiful ocean, how we are destroying it year by year, and educating us on how we can change this.

The film was invited by the President of the United Nations General Assembly to screen at the UN Oceans Conference in New York in June 2018. The film had its official premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in June and will release in cinemas through Transmission films on October 12.

Where did your love of the ocean begin?

As a young boy, I always had a fascination for the ocean, but I think that changed into a much deeper connection when I moved right onto the beach at around 13. I was surfing every day I could, and learned to spearfish around the headlands. I think the day I saw my first big shark, it cemented things in my mind that I wanted to experience more.

Your film, Blue will premier worldwide October 12th, 2017. Can you tell us more about it?

I think this story has been on the tips of many people’s tongues for quite a few years, however it wasn’t until the production company Northern Pictures, and more-so, our director Karina Holden gave it life that it began to evolve. I talked with the team during the early stages, about the stories and the key people we could get involved and was lucky enough to become one of the characters in the film itself, and contribute to the filming.

How did this movie come to fruition? Have you been involved since its beginning? 

Blue is a visual narrative, that explores a number of the major issues facing our world’s oceans. The characters in the film, all passionate ocean related people, take the viewers on a journey to see what they see and what they do. We look at the regulation or lack thereof of international fish stocks, issues surrounding industrial fishing and its wastage. We look at human consumption in other ways too, like the amount of plastics now entering our seas and our effects on climate. Scientists, activists, ocean veterans come together in this beautifully shot and cinematic investigation, collectively raising a call for action.

Your project is all about conserving marine life: what can we as individuals do to help?

One of the most powerful messages in the film is that “one person can make a difference.” Individually, a consciousness about our consumption creates a small difference on the individual level; but it is the message you create in your actions that can have the largest effect overall. We have a whole list of things we can do to help at you don’t need to do everything, but just start with one small change.

You’re passionate about free diving. What’s the most intense/terrifying encounter you’ve had whilst underwater?

Coral, hands-down. Diving over reefs of dying coral, bleaching at every reef we went to, from right out in the coral sea, 30m deep, to the inner ribbons. More recently our most southern corals. It’s terrifying to imagine that in such a short period of time, we could lose something so incredible. Forget sharks, forget giant whirlpools, it’s the idea that we’re losing our reefs, or changing them completely and that we might not be able to save them which is most terrifying.

According to your site bio, you’ve fed sharks over an active volcano, escaped whirlpools, and free-dived impressive depths, just to name a few. Is there anything you’d be too afraid to try?

Ha, yeah I guess it sounds pretty crazy on paper but in reality these things are calculated and done with a wealth of experience guiding the actions; they were fairly manageable situations in their own way. There are probably quite a few things that would make think twice, though. Leopard seals have always had a certain intrigue for me, and I think I would be more than cautious getting in the water with them.

Of all of your adventures, what has been your most life changing experience?

I think that I learn something and grow, or add just a little to my life nearly every time I get in the water. Whether its learning a new technique to dive deeper, discovering a new shipwreck or meeting a new and unique community in the islands, they are all special to me in their own way. I guess if I was to choose something though, going to live in a remote village in the Solomon Islands would be the most life changing. It totally flips your ideals around where we should be taking our earth.

And because I know you’re full of stories: what has been the most entertaining/funny event to take place on your travels?

Jeeez that’s a hard one. To be honest, I love teaching my free diving courses, but I always find some of the things people do highly entertaining. I sometimes take students to go catch crayfish after a course, and watching them try to grab those things with their hands is fantastic. They are so excited, nervous about doing something new, freaked out about what is about to happen, but determined to catch the crayfish when we find them. There’s usually arms and legs going everywhere, bubbles and almost no-composure. Above all there’s excitement and a lot of laughs. I love seeing that.

Where does modelling fit within all of your worldly endeavours?

I’ve been so fortunate growing up, to have the opportunity to work as a model for work; as I can honestly say my life, the direction I’m heading in may have been very different without it. It taught me some valuable lessons; firstly not to take yourself too seriously, and secondly that among the hundreds of other people out there who could do your job, it’s the one’s who are helpful, courteous, and fun to work with that continue getting booked. Life is the same; if you genuinely put more effort into helping others than trying to better yourself, it comes back to you, over and over again.

Visit Lucas Handley’s website for more amazing content about Blue and his personal endeavours with saving our ocean.
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