Two summers ago I left on a road trip with Eli (the Editor of Shark Diver Magazine), Rafa Flores (rancher, shark diving fan, driver and part time videographer) and Rusty Armstrong (Film Editor, topside Camera wielder and eventually Director). The plan was to document a typical summer season for us on the road chasing sharks. It began with a three week road trip in Rafa's RV followed by a series of flights that took us to both coasts of the US with side trips to Mexico and the Caribbean. The trip was a great adventure for all of us. Rusty (fresh out of film school) got his first chance to put a full length feature together, Eli got to fulfill his dream of producing the first movie about shark diving and I got to spend almost a whole summer photographing sharks.
Rusty documented almost every aspect of our lives as the story unfolded and originally it looked as though the footage was destined to become a TV series. In fact the first few episodes of 'Chasing Sharks' actually made it into the can but for a bunch of reasons the show finally morphed into a full length movie.
I got my hands on a copy a few weeks ago and chose to watch it while Eli was showing it for the first time on the big screen in Texas to a few hundred friends and acquaintances. I was nervous because it was the first time that any of us except Rusty had been involved in the movie industry and I was expecting to wince at the quality of the footage. I was thrilled with the result. It was obviously shot on a budget but the footage was awesome and more importantly it summed up the whole shark diving lifestyle that we have immersed ourselves in.
I guess it is hard to be unbiased about a movie that I am so much a part of but I think it is a landmark movie in the diving world. A little rough around the edges but it stands as the quintessential movie about shark divers. It has plenty of action, a strong conservation message and... its funny!
Eli and Rusty have submitted it to many upcoming film festivals. Hopefully it will be well received and stand up to the scathing cynicism of the professional critics.
Ultimately the movie is destined for DVD release sometime in 2009 so I hope that many of you will pick up a copy. If you're crazy enough about sharks to be reading this shark blog then you'll probably enjoy it.
For press releases and further info about 'Summer of the Sharks' follow this link: http://summerofthesharks.com
Today I loaded some more images of Porbeagles onto the shark pictures database on Elasmodiver. Some of the images are of a dead and bloody carcass of a Porbeagle Shark. They are quite gory and I am expecting some negative feedback. The dead shark was presented to the researchers that I was working with by a fisherman that found it wrapped up in a line. The images while provocative show the stark reality of life in the ocean especially when sharks come in contact with humanity.
There are still plenty of images that need to be cleaned up and loaded onto the site but I have been very low on time lately with the refit of the ship that I am working on. Next month we sail for Baja and then I will hopefully have a little more time to dedicate to shark photography. There are many species of sharks and rays in Baja that I have yet to shoot so I am looking forward to a very sharky year or two.
For the sharks,