Summer Rayne Oakes Takes Us On a Journey Through Life, Loss & Hope

Using personal storytelling and stirring imagery, eXtinction is an environmental short film that highlights ten of our most pressing environmental issues. These things are happening now, within our lifetime. To highlight this fact, the issues are presented in relation to the timeline of one young woman’s life, from birth to death.

Director Clayton Haskell takes viewers on a beautiful journey through space and time, while the subject — eco-model and entrepreneur Summer Rayne Oakes, who also produced and wrote the film — makes it easy for us to relate to the message by allowing us to come along on an emotional journey through her own personal story and life.

Summer Rayne Oakes in the 2013 Pirelli Calendar, shot by Steve McCurry.

Summer Rayne Oakes in the 2013 Pirelli Calendar, shot by Steve McCurry.

“It was a tremendously special film to shoot, borne out of a deeply personal experience of losing a mentor who taught me to seek new ways to share how fast our world is changing before our eyes,” says Summer Rayne Oakes, who is also one of the humanitarians featured in the most current release of the Pirelli calendar. “The film is in no small way a cinematic glimpse into my soul. It helps us humanize loss and gives us a way to contextualize the speed of ecosystem degradation by giving us a chilling reminder of our own mortality”

Biologist, Harvard Professor and renowned expert on biodiversity, E.O. Wilson, called the film “a beautiful production, yet shocking in the short term changes projected for the Earth’s living Environment.”

Summer Rayne Oakes and Clayton Haskell, Director of eXtinction. Photo by Emma Grady

Summer Rayne Oakes and Clayton Haskell, Director of eXtinction. Photo by Emma Grady

Hollywood titan Harvey Weinsten called eXtinction “an important film that everyone should see” and goes on to say that “Clayton Haskell artfully captures the beauty of planet earth, while Summer Rayne Oakes reminds us of the vital role we all have in keeping it that way.”

“My hope for the film is that it will quite simply move people, to wrest us from our slumber, spur us to some form of thought or better yet, an action,” says Oakes. “In a way, it’s a way to remind us truly of what we love and why. It gives us a reason to really reconnect to the world. To rethink our potential. And to recognize the limitations of our species. However, if it does no more then make you think, to ponder, to reflect… then I will consider it a success.”

The film, which was recently released online, is an inspiring ode to beauty and our planet — a nature lover’s lament. It requires us to take off our rose-colored glasses and consider what it will actually mean for our own lives if we stand by and do nothing about the issues presented. Summer Rayne Oakes uses her beauty and persona to cast light

Watch the 5-minute film above and, if you are inspired to do something afterward, visit the film’s website to find out how you can help steer us all on a different, more uplifting path.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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