Arguably the most photogenic species, and absolutely the most spectacular to film, is the Great White Shark. Each year, millions of people around the world are glued to their screens to be frightened and awe struck by the world of sharks. What these viewers do not realize, is just how difficult a star the White Shark is to work with. They are large, robust and potentially very dangerous animals, and they live in an unforgiving environment where margins for error can be a sliver of a moment.
The last major film we worked on was with Michael Phelps and in this production, we were asked to accomplish sequences that had never been attempted before. This is the norm. Production companies constantly invent weird and wonderful ideas in their boardrooms between producers, directors and commissioning executives who have only seen Great White sharks swim across their television screens. And the question is always the same. ‘Can we do this?’
Well, I’m proud to say that our team have never said, no. With our sum total of experience, we are always certain that we can accomplish those seemingly impossible sequences and as a result, we have been involved with producing a list of excellent shark films.
Personally, I work both behind the scenes as an advisor, technical director and shark wrangler, and in front of the camera as a presenter. I have also written, co-written and co-produced a number of shark films, which is an area of the industry I love, as it is creative. Some of the larger productions are Sharks – A Family Affair, In Search of The Giants, Great Whites in The Med, Adrenaline Science and Shark Warriors. I have featured in National Geographic, BBC, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Pro-Seven, ZDF and numerous other productions, ranging from two minute segments to two hour specials.
I am also enlisted as an expedition or team leader for Great White Shark shows requiring very specific skills, such as attaching cameras to animals, manipulating into action complex behaviours, or live capturing them and free diving to obtain open water beauty sequences.
Our company, White Shark Africa, in Mossel Bay, South Africa, allows film crews to work with the most accessible Great White Sharks on the planet, in a region, which boasts the most stable weather in the country. Thus, sea days and working conditions are fantastic. From the dock to the sharks is a twelve minute boat cruise.
If you require me to present for your show, discuss complex behaviour, advise, manipulate specific behaviours or sequences, or assist you to develop new shows, then please contact me.