Ocean News

One Legged Pirate And His Two Legged Sister Visit Schools

6th February 2009
Laura and Robert Sams, with some young Dubai pirates.  

Why has a one-legged pirate from the United States been recently seen making appearances around several Dubai primary schools?  It might have something to do with the fact that SOSF is sponsoring a week of educational assemblies produced by Laura and Rob Sams, the sister and brother team behind Sisbro Studios, who use sea turtles, fish and yes, pirates, to teach children about life underwater and marine conservation.

Laura and Rob are visiting Repton Dubai Primary, Jess Arabian Ranches and Jess Jumeirah, where they perform a program called ‘Oceans, Writing and Pirates, Ahoy!  “We are so excited to be visiting Dubai for the first time!” Laura said.  “Hopefully our programs will inspire students to learn more about the ocean and ultimately write their own stories.  We think it is critical for ocean conservation to help young people learn how to share their passion for the ocean and ultimately teach their own families and friends through stories, songs and art.”

Robert performs a song from Riddle in a Bottle.  

One of the program highlights is when Rob sings a pirate song taken from Sisbro Studios most recent production, The Riddle in a Bottle. The song is about trying to find his peg leg by following the moving water around the world.

“Our programs are very interactive and focus on the positive ways we can help the ocean,” Robert said. “We need to give kids a chance to love the ocean before we ask them to save it.”

“The children have seen the video and are excited and enthusiastic to see the pirate in real life,” said our Executive Director Chris Clarke.  “The music is contagious and it will inspire all the children to create their own tales of the sea which is great.  Our organisation is dedicated to helping people not only learn about the ocean but take action to help it.”  SOSF is giving ocean-based books to every child at the three schools visited by the Sisbro team. 

Watch the trailer for Riddle in a Bottle.  

Laura and Rob originally founded Sisbro
Studios as an outlet for their unique brand of children’s books and
wildlife films, and have recently completed a new book entitled A Pirate’s Quest
and the film The Riddle in a Bottle, both of which aim to help children
learn how life here on Earth is connected through moving water.

The book uses beautiful oil paintings of nature to show a one-legged pirate’s search for a lost peg leg from the lakes to the rivers to the sea, while the film which was partly funded by SOSF, is about solving a mysterious riddle concerning the ocean. The Riddle in a Bottle was recently named as one of three Finalists for the Children’s Choice category at one of the world’s most prestigious natural history film awards, the 2008 Wildscreen Film Festival in Bristol, England. 

Q[&]A with Laura and Rob Sams, creators of The Riddle in a Bottle

This is your first time to Dubai.  What has surprised you the most?

We were surprised by how diverse the population is here, as well as how fast the city is growing.

Do you visit many schools in the United States to share your work?

We do visit lots of schools in the United States during the school year.  We have a great job.  Not only do we get to create unique stories and films, but we get to share them with the audience we made them for.

What is unique about your projects?

Our movies and books use nature, art and humor to get children excited about animals.  Our style is unique because adults usually enjoy our movies as much as the children, so families can enjoy watching our programs together.  We also write original music for our movies, like the pirate song we shared with students this week.

You are a sister and brother who own a business together.  How long have you been working together?  Do you get along?

We have owned our business (Sisbro Studios) since 2001.  We usually get along.  Honestly we never really argued when we were growing up.

How long did it take to make the movie?

We spent two years filming animals underwater.  We returned to Florida three different time to get enough footage to tell a story about loggerhead sea turtles, from babies to adults.

Have you enjoyed working with The Save Our Seas Foundation?

We are truly honored to be working with them.  They believed in us from the beginning, when we first had the idea to make something about the ocean.  They fund an amazing number of programs around the world, from shark research to children’s education, all with the aim to protect our oceans.

Have you always been interested in the ocean?

Oh yes.  Ever since Robert was little, he would read books about fish and sharks.  He even dressed like a great white shark for Halloween one year.

What message would you most like to give to students in Dubai?

Explore the ocean and you will be amazed by all the amazing creatures you will meet.  Here are three ways to help the ocean: 
1) Learn about the ocean.
2) Share what you learn with friends and family through stories, art, music . . . whatever you like to do.
3) Recycle and keep rubbish in the rubbish bins, not in the water.