Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Island of the Great White Shark: telling the story of a premier shark haven

Twice each year I make a crass capitalistic plug for my documentary on white sharks: Island of the Great White Shark. These indulgences in the free enterprise system occur once in August, around the time of Discovery Channel's Shark Week, and during the holiday shopping season. Not one to break from tradition, here I go again.

When I first began filming in 2005 at Isla Guadalupe, Baja, sites like YouTube and Vimeo were in their infancy. And while there had already been a few crews at the island to film the great white sharks that migrate there in the fall months, no one had attempted to do a complete documentary about the island, the shark diving operations that came there, or the working relationships they had at the time with researchers who were trying to learn more about these sharks, to better understand their behaviors so that appropriate measures could be taken to protect them. That was the story that impressed me from the very first trip I took there until I finished filming three seasons later.

Today, video sharing sites are awash with exciting home movies of Isla Guadalupe white sharks taken by some of the fortunate divers who have made the journey. But Island of the Great White Shark still finds an audience and continues to resonate. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be in the water with a great white shark or if you've been there and want to show your family and friends why you're not completely crazy, Island of the Great White Shark is for you. This documentary brings together divers, world renown shark experts and, of course, magnificent sharks and tells it like it is, without exaggerated hyperbole - these incredible animals don't need any - while also being informative and laying out the challenges that these and all sharks are facing today.

I have been gratified to have Island of the Great White Shark screened at major aquariums, film festivals, and museums across the nation. It has given me a chance to make a case, on film and in person, for the conservation and protection of these critically important ocean predators.

Island of the Great White Shark is available in DVD through Amazon.com.

No comments: