The Sister and Brother Behind Splash and Bubbles: Get Your Feet Wet
Laura and Robert Sams are a sister-brother wildlife filmmaking duo responsible for the interstitials called Get Your Feet Wet for Splash and Bubbles. The team filmed stories about marine life and incredible children and also composed music with the goal of inspiring kids to get their feet wet and explore the ocean.
The sister-brother pair, who call themselves Sisbro, have worked together professionally for over 15 years. They grew up in an Air Force family and moved around a lot, from California to Alabama to Nebraska to Indiana to Virginia, to name just a few. “No matter where we lived, our parents always encouraged us to explore, and to be curious,” Robert said. “When we were little, my mom would create nature scavenger hunts in the backyard. She would do things like give us paper cups, and tell us to go see how many snails we could find.” Both Laura and Robert studied Zoology, as well as Education and Communication at Michigan State University.
Now, Laura and Robert have blended their love of nature, music and comedy with filmmaking. “For Get Your Feet Wet, Robert did the underwater cinematography, while I acted as the producer and dive buddy, often looking for things to film,” Laura said. Together, they tracked down lots of wildlife for the series -- sea turtles, manta rays, octopus, mantis shrimp, horseshoe crabs, a wide variety of fish and more.
“Sometimes funny things happen underwater. Once while we were filming a loggerhead sea turtle on a reef, I felt Laura tug on my shoulder,” Robert said. “I turned around to see her wide-eyed and frazzled, pointing to her head. Then she wrote down the words ‘fish eating hair’ on her dive slate. I realized a couple of remora fish were yanking on her pony tail and actually trying to eat her hair.”
Laura and Robert collaborated with fellow producer Dave Cain to create the stories, which they hope inspire a generation of ocean explorers. “We focused on helping young children build empathy and excitement for the great blue sea. We know that the ocean is facing a lot of intense environmental pressures, but for our audience, we want them to fall in love with the ocean first.” Laura said. “I believe that we do a great injustice to the next generation when we make them fear all the things ‘wrong’ with the world before they get to experience what is ‘right.’ We want them to delight in amazing things, like the fact that an octopus has zero bones and can squeeze into a tiny bottle! We want kids to smile, and laugh, and sing, and most of all, think of all the wonderful possibilities the ocean holds for them.”
“It is a dream to work with The Jim Henson Company on a show that can have such a positive impact.” Laura added. “I love this quote from Jim Henson, in the book It’s Not Easy Being Green. ‘I believe that we can use television and film to be an influence for good; that we can help to shape the thoughts of children and adults in a positive way. As it turned out, I am very proud of some of the work we’ve done, and I think we can do many more good things.’”