Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Filmmaker's Journal: fun and straight talk about filming sharks

Back in June I recounted having come back from an interesting film shoot in the Bahamas where the normally prolific number of sharks the crew was accustomed to had decided to play a frustrating game of hide and seek. While we finally got the footage needed, it was a concern to everyone as to what possibly kept all of the sharks away.

As director of photography, I was working with Los Angeles-based Digital Kitchen on a series of segments promoting Shark Week for AT&T U-verse digital TV customers. We certainly had no control over the content of Discovery's Shark Week programs, but Digital Kitchen was, to their credit, very interested in getting it right with their production.

With Luke Tipple as the host and underwater shark guide, the AT&T segments looked at the challenges in filming sharks, including interviews with me and my camera operator Scott Cassell. The Blue Iguana was our aquatic home away from home and we had fun staging some interesting and fun/odd underwater scenes as the segments show.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, the segments revealed that sharks aren't always hungry. We had some very disinterested Caribbean reef sharks who ignored freshly cut up fish strewn all about. At one point, Luke was standing, waving two filleted fish over his head like an airport ground crewman flagging down a 747. And the sharks couldn't have cared less.

The segments in full HD are currently available only for those with AT&T U-verse service. But they are also available on the AT&T U-verse web site:
Segment 1: click here.
Segment 2: click here.
Segment 3: click here.
Segment 4: click here.

Again, Digital Kitchen did a great job in producing a well-balanced piece of information and entertainment. I hope Discovery Networks appreciates the effort.

No comments: