Friday, 11 July 2014

A Welcome Reminder of a Bygone Era

The greatest...

Last night just as I was settling into bed after finishing the grade of another section of "Of Shark and Man" (I say "night," it was 3am...) a link popped up on my Facebook timeline which genuinely excited me, it was a Youtube link for the full hour long, 1983 National Geographic special, "Sharks" or "The Sharks" as it was titled on its VHS release.

I can't tell you how many times I watched this as a kid, a hundred plus easy, but since the advent of DVD and Blu-Ray (and laser disc but the less said about that the better) and the phasing out of VHS players it must be around twenty years since I saw it last.

Coincidentally I had been speaking to my friend Jason earlier that evening, about how much of a drastic nosedive the genre of factual shark film has taken in the last fifteen years or so. Of course there is still some good stuff, "Sharkwater" for all its flaws is still a great film, I enjoyed "Extinction Soup," I love the "Sarah Shark" series and every year Shark Week seems to come up with the odd gem here and there ("Alien Sharks," "Great White Highway" from last year as two examples) but the good stuff is becoming increasingly more difficult to find in amongst the various vanity projects, hyperbolic exploitation pieces (Red Sea Jaws) and the downright cheap and nasty (feeding watermelons and hot dogs to sharks anyone?) so this was a really welcome reminder of a time when people actually respected the craft of film-making.

The heyday for shark documentaries is unquestionably the period from the greatest of the all, "Blue Water White Death," (1971) to the mid-nineties when the technology had advanced but not to the point where it was ultimately detrimental to the art of storytelling. If you watch "Sharks" you will not only notice the obvious amount of time spent making the film (something incredibly rare these days, after all, why bother going to the effort of shooting your own footage when you can just use stock footage on the cheap right?) but also the cinematography, the sound design, the raw, natural and unscripted aspects, the almost poetic narration and perhaps most of all, the sheer weight of content within the hour. This is honest, beautifully crafted and real documentary film-making and reminds those of us old enough to remember, an hour long TV slot used to mean an hour of content as opposed to 47 minutes of content wrapped around what the broadcaster really wants you to watch, the 13 minutes of commercials.

Look at those involved on screen as well, The Taylors, Eugenie Clark, John McCosker, Richard Ellis, all of whom are there because they have earned the right to be there, they have something of value to add, they're not there because they look cool, because they do as they're told or because they've bought their way in, they're there because they're awesome.

I make no bones about it, "Of Shark and Man" is a throwback to this golden age, I am purposefully constructing the film almost as an homage to the films that inspired me so much as a child and as I say in the film itself, "...nobody is making the films I want to see anymore so I figured I may as well just go and do it myself."

So all you shark lovers and documentary fans, take an hour, sit back and enjoy.





Big thanks to Scott Curaloto-Wagemann for linking it up in the first place

Monday, 7 July 2014

An Intelligent Shark Feeding Article!

Worth a read. Check it out!

Quite a long time ago now, 2008 to be precise, when I was a failed Rock Star stuck in an office working in Recruitment, frustrated my life wasn't going where I wanted it to, I decided to start working on my exit plan, an exit plan that would get me out of the office, out of the UK and finally in to working with sharks which is where I had always wanted to be and where my talents would finally not be going to waste like they were then.

I'd been writing articles for press and media about sharks already for years, since the age of 11 or 12, and at 15 had been invited into the now sadly defunct European Shark Research Bureau as an honorary member (the only "civvy" member as well I believe), so figured I'd dust off the computer and start doing that again. I had written primarily about shark attacks, shark behaviour and the sharks of the Mediterranean previously so wanted to choose something different, chose shark feeding and the rest as they say, is history.

That article, which appeared in DIVER Magazine was ultimately the catalyst for me being where I am now, it led to my friendships with Mike Neumann and Patric Douglas, two of the most influential people in the Shark Diving world, it opened doors for me in regards to discussing the issue to a wider audience and led to me getting full access to the Shark Reef story. Had I not written that article, it's conceivable I could still be stuck in that office today...

These days, a million Facebook threads abut the subject later, I lean towards offering my input only in a professional capacity, I just get too frustrated with people, (I shouldn't but I do) so when I was contacted by SCUBA Diver Australasia Magazine to contribute to their piece about Shark Feeding (ironically the same title as my own article eight years ago) I was more than happy to do so given Alice Grainger's very open and pragmatic approach.

Having now read the full piece I am not disappointed! I was told very honestly that Alice would indeed wield the editorial axe over all the submitted comments to aide the construction of a cohesive piece (fair do's!) and I was pleasantly surprised to see most of what I had put forward actually made it in which was nice.

The article features input from various experts with actual in-water experience with sharks over many decades and even the comments which are less favourable towards feeding are measured and well thought out, in short, this is essential, required reading for anyone with an interest in the issue. Mike's input did suffer somewhat from the editorial axe so he was kind enough to post it in full here. Read it!

Thanks again to Alice for the kind words and the opportunity to contribute to an intelligent piece about a subject desperately lacking in cerebral discussion.

Edit:

I found my full answer so here it is for you, unedited!

What is your opinion on baited shark dives and shark feeding dives, and why?
It’s a strange one, I am neither “pro-shark feeding” nor “anti-shark feeding,” it would be more accurate to say I wholeheartedly support projects which encourage conservation initiatives for sharks whilst involving local communities and tourism, all with a goal to create long term, sustainable and economically successful alternatives to the short term financial gain of commercial or sport fishing. In short, that generally means eco-tourism shark diving and if you want to ensure your business is sustainable, your clients need a guarantee of sharks and in most places, that means baiting or feeding.

People have been feeding sharks since the dawn of civilisation, as soon as we stepped aboard boats and into the water, sharks have benefitted from our being there, it’s not this new thing people seem to think it is. This idea that politicians or just the everyday man on the street is going to want to protect something simply because it’s the right thing to do is not only naive, it is grossly misguided. People need incentives to commit to things long term and that incentive has to be financial for it to work properly. 


Most of the best places in the world to see sharks are third world or developing nations, these nations are already being exploited by fishing fleets looking to empty their waters of fish before leaving them with nothing and heading on to the next location to destroy and for people with nothing, short term financial relief offered by destructive industries is going to be preferable to seeing your family starve. What shark dive operations in these areas can do is provide long term careers and financial stability to areas in desperate need, not just directly linked to the shark feed either but to all the other ancillary businesses which benefit from an influx of tourism capital.

People who say that these feeds condition sharks to view humans as food or as a source of food simply do not understand sharks, sharks are not mindless killers, to imply that seeing a diver behind a cage will condition that shark to equate a diver outside a cage, in a different location, as food is just complete nonsense, akin to claiming a dog can learn to drive a car because he sits in the back seat when you take him to the park. The people who continue to make these claims are implying, whether they realise it or not, that all cognitive development in sharks is in someway ultimately geared towards aggression towards people which is obviously untrue, but also reduces sharks to nothing more than the big dumb animals portrayed in the movies.

Not all feeds are safe, not all feeds are well intentioned and some are downright irresponsible, but we cannot condense an industry which on the whole does some incredible things for shark conservation, into one which is creating man-eating sharks prowling the coasts looking for people to eat because the facts don’t lie, shark feeds have not increased the number of shark attacks or the risk of shark attack, anywhere on the planet, the link just does not exist. Those with moral or ethical concerns about the practice need to consider what is better, shutting the feeds down and letting the fishermen in to wipe out the sharks, or choosing not to partake personally in these dives but appreciating the conservation benefit they can provide.

A protected site under  the stewardship of local employees which serves as a site to take tourists out to see what magnificent animals sharks are is the best available scenario we have and shark eco-tourism, is possibly the last remaining realistic way we can halt and then hopefully reverse the alarming decline in global shark numbers. 

Or even, how do you feel about the controversy surrounding baited dives?
It’s a controversial issue surrounded by myths and untruths perpetuated by people who really don’t understand the issue of shark behaviour. The primary concern has always been the increase in the perceived risk of attack but it just simply isn’t true, there is zero evidence that a shark feed operation increases the risk of attacks on bathers, divers and surfers, in fact, if you look at the statistics, you are less likely to be bitten by a shark in a location where feeding occurs, than you are in a location where it does not. I recently saw a claim that the cage diving operations at The Neptune Islands, South Australia, could be directly linked to the attacks in Western Australia which is of course ridiculous, but indicative of the kind of opinions some people will believe are credible.

It must also be said however, that if you start a shark feed 100 yards off shore from a popular beach, you will likely encounter problems, not because of the implausible notion that feeding sharks conditions them to humans as food (something which has been largely disproven) but because you will be aggregating sharks, at least periodically, in areas of high human recreational water use. More people, more sharks, more risk of a bite, it’s that simple.

 

If you are going to open a shark feeding site, you must use common sense, pick a site not used by recreational water users, protect the site so you don’t aggregate sharks for the fishermen and put in place protocols from which you never ever deviate. The basic logistics of a shark feed should be exactly the same every single day, the sharks need to learn what is expected of them and also, your clients must also be aware of what is expected of them, too many shark feeding sites these days are letting clients dictate what they want from a dive as opposed to the operator having full control over their input to the dive. If multiple operators use the same site and the same sharks, but their protocols are wildly different, that could confuse the sharks and could lead to issues later down the line and nobody wants that.
It’s all about common sense, a long term initiative which has the sharks best interests at heart and also, involving local communities. Shark feeds run purely for commercial gain, with no thought for the wellbeing of the sharks, are no good for anybody other than those looking to make a fast buck.




Thursday, 12 June 2014

Of Shark and Man Update!



A very good bit of editing trickery

Its been a while since the last blog, I had three weeks in Mallorca then came back to a mountain of things needing to be put in place so I could crack on again with Of Shark and Man and as I am now at that point, I felt an update was long overdue but first...

That video all over Facebook of the dude jumping into the harbour in Manly, it's a fake, a very clever and creative one but a fake nonetheless. The big cut is not the one at 59secs, it's the one at 38secs, it's been uploaded at 480p almost certainly to hide the cuts, the water in which we see the shark is clearly open ocean, not least because the shark is accompanied by pelagic fish species which would not be found in a harbour environment and also, the main source of the video initially was SourceFeed, which is a "Discovery Channel Digital Network" and what do we have just around the corner? Yep it wouldn't surprise me if this was another (admittedly brilliant) viral by Discovery who are quickly becoming the masters of this type of advertising. Shout out as well to the editor, a very skillful piece of cutting!

Okay, on to more pressing and very real matters!

Where is progress with "Of Shark and Man" at the moment? 

The other night, the final section of the voice over went into the edit which is a major step towards completion of the first cut. Basically, the whole thing was cut together to a "rhythm" I had in mind which I felt would work best, the script for the voice over was then finalised and slight changes made to the edit so it all fit together as closely as possible. A couple of weeks ago I went to the Banter Media studios to record the voice over with Adam Steel who was brilliant, the whole thing was done in about five hours and sounds absolutely superb and that's without any eq'ing being done yet.

Bad sound will kill your film, it doesn't matter how great it looks, sucky sound screams out "I'm an amateur" and you lose your audience so the voice over for this film has to sound good and I'm very confident it does. I won't lie though, I'm not a fan of recording them, I certainly don't speak "Queen's English" (I detest that term) and I swear a lot so ensuring people like Americans can actually understand what I'm saying whilst also sounding like me is easier said than done. It's accurate to say the end result sounds like I'm meeting a new girlfriend's mum for the first time and I can live with that.
Recording the Voiceover
Putting the voice over into the edit has really helped as it has streamlined everything and also highlighted where any changes needed to be made, all of which have been done so as of tonight, the process of sending everything off to David Lawrie will begin so he can complete the sound design.

Sound Design has already started and sounds amazing, David and I have been in regular contact where I have been explaining exactly what I want. It is very complex and ridiculously ambitious but then, hasn't this project always been this way? As I said to David the other day, everything these days is so safe and derivative, let's do something completely different, we're not just making "another shark film."

The intro title sequence is currently under construction as well and I am really excited to see what Dave Whittle has done with it, the guy is one of the best graphics guys out there in the UK right now and I am beyond stoked to have him be a part of this film!

The process of sound tracking the film is in it's early stages but will pick up momentum likely next week so currently, we have the final sound design to be completed, the title sequence to finish, the music and next week the colour correction and grading will begin. In short, we are very very close to a finished first cut!

As I have enlisted the help of external experts, I obviously have to wait until they have done what they need to do and at no point will I be rushing them but I would like to say a first cut will be finished and ready for industry screenings by the end of August, start of September and that is allowing plenty of time for the soundtrack to be completed.

So, when each section has gone to David Lawrie and every single clip of audio split into its own track (the most mind numbingly tedious thing ever) the grade will start, whilst at the same time music is being composed and recorded and the title sequence finished... We're almost there folks!

Sorry for the radio silence once again, I'll try to find time for more regular updates in the coming weeks!




Wednesday, 16 April 2014

"Of Shark and Man" Pogress, Something New and Something Very Cool!

 Going back to the sun for a bit!

Sorry for the silence lately, it's unusual for me to neglect the blog for so long but there is a very good reason for it. In the last couple of months I have been absolutely swamped with work, both for "Of Shark and Man" and for the day job, although Scarlet View Media isn't something I'd consider a day job, more a passion which allows me to survive through doing something I genuinely love to do. Since starting the company I have always focused on doing commercial work of the highest quality to earn a living and grow the brand's reputation and the last twelve months has seen more interest in what we do, more work and a growth I'm really happy with, plus the feedback from our clients is nothing short of exceptional.

Wanting to build the company is twofold, firstly, I have to eat and have bills to pay and even more importantly, so does the little sharkboy Lucas and secondly, when I come to release Of Shark and Man it will be through Scarlet View Media as our first feature length film and I want the platform to be as strong as possible.

As well as completing a hugely time consuming commercial project, a music video and pitching for some very exciting and big jobs, the Of Shark and Man juggernaut continues to roll. We have started the "Making Of" featurette and I did my first interview a couple of weeks ago along with getting some of the footage together.

Sound Design is coming along very nicely, it's amazing the difference a proper layering of sound can make to the footage, it's not merely background sound however, every single element is carefully thought out, constructed and mixed to really bring everything to life and aid the storytelling in the film. I am approaching this in the same way big budget features are put together, it is of course way more time consuming but will provide a far more satisfactory experience for you the viewer, essentially, absolutely everything you see must come alive and put you in a position where you feel a part of the action.

The system for doing this is that I am cutting the whole film into sections, the sound design I created as a guide has been separated into dozens of different tracks, some of those tracks featuring only maybe two seconds of a particular sound. If you can imagine doing that for a two hour first cut, you might be able to imagine just how mind numbingly tedious a job this is, definitely worth it, but tedious nonetheless. These sections are then sent over to David Lawrie in the States and he works his magic and sends them back over to place back into the edit.

Work has also started on the title sequence, this is something I am really excited about. In a weird sense of serendipity, one of my best mates from school, just so happened to become one of the UK's leading graphic animation artists for film and TV, doing a lot of work for the BBC alongside the band Gorrillaz. Just before Xmas, he got in touch to say he'd seen the trailers and wanted to offer his services, I was absolutely over the moon to say the least! I can't say too much about what we have planned but as with everything else in the film, it will stand apart from everything else going on at the moment and given his stupendous talent, I am sure it's going to be incredible.

As it stands, until I get the go ahead from the studio on recording the voice over, I am now in a position of farming out the work I can't do, to the talented people who can.

The timing is pretty handy as well as I fly out on the 22nd to do a short commercial job in the Med but not only that, I am using the time over there to finally get around to shooting a project I have been working on for the last two years, if you are a regular reader, you watch my stuff and you've been following the journey, you don't need to be a genius to figure out what it might be and to say I'm excited is an understatement! I am away from the 22nd of April for two and a half weeks and to be quite frank, for reasons I won't be going into here, I need a break and some time away, it's not a holiday, it's work, but if I had two weeks doing nothing but spending time in my own mind, I would most likely end up in the puzzle factory, as such, it's a much needed break with close friends, an awesome project to get my teeth into and some sun on my back and salt in my gills.

I've spent the last month burning the candle at both ends to get all the pieces in place so I can go away and have work being done on Of Shark and Man whilst I'm out of the UK and when I come back, come back to completed Sound Design sections, a closer idea of the title sequence and a date to record the voice over. I really need this but not only that it's also another project out there in the smaller and more niche festivals whilst the main event takes on the gauntlet of screenings, big festival submissions and yes, distribution (hopefully).

So that's where we are with everything at the moment, completion of Of Shark and Man is now something which is going to happen in the short term future for the first time and it's a pretty incredible feeling to have made it here!

As I leave you here until the next blog which won't be as long coming as this one, I promised you something cool. You may well have seen the promo video for "Gimme Chocolate" on social media, but I wanted to share this as this just blew me away when I heard it for the first time. Regular readers know I love my music, especially Metal and *bold statement alert* BabyMetal are the only band I can think of other than Gojira who have made me sit up and say "wow!!" (in a good way) in quite some time, years in fact, yes it's manufactured, yes it's probably highly cynical, yes it's really, really weird, but who gives a shit, I think it's really fucking cool.

Yes seriously, I think this is one of the coolest things I've heard in a long time.

Enjoy.

 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Public Likes Of Shark And Man

Talking to ClubSub about Of Shark and Man

On Monday, I went to Leek, having been invited by the guy behind ClubSub, to give a bit of a talk about "Of Shark and Man," for an audience of about thirty or so people of all ages and during which I showed each of the three teaser trailers.

I hadn't actually thought about it prior to speaking but I realised just before I was due on, that this would be the first time I would ever screen the trailers to an audience where I was actually present. I know I'm not too great at self-promotion and certainly not as keen on it as some others out there, but I really do not enjoy watching myself on the telly, even worse is watching myself on the telly when other people are present, also watching. It makes me very uncomfortable but I am fully aware that I just need to suck it up and get used to it, in fact, I need to embrace the whole "self-promotion" thing, maybe even come up with a snazzy catchphrase or something, I don't know but either way, I digress...

I was originally planning to speak for around ten minutes max but ended up going over the half hour mark, the reason being that the response was really, overwhelmingly positive and there was a genuine interest and enthusiasm about not just the film, but my own back story, the story of Shark Reef and shark conservation in general so, in super-efficient presentation style, are a few bullet points of the stand out things I took from this really quite pleasant evening;

  • Not one of the people there, all of whom were divers, knew anything about the story of Shark Reef. This was very encouraging to me as it makes the film more interesting!
  • People responded extremely well to the notion that it's just an ordinary bloke with a dream fronting the film and not just another "TV person" or someone making a vanity project.
  • The idea of shooting and producing everything using the kind of gear they themselves can realistically go out and buy was also a huge plus point for them.
  • The assumption prior to the first trailer however, seemed to be that the quality of the film would not be very high, the kind of "shaky GoPro footage where everything is a slightly different shade of blue" kind of thing.
  • After seeing the trailers, everybody seemed not only hugely surprised but also really energised by the quality of everything.
  • Delivering a story in a way which resonates with the "everyman" is definitely a winning idea, questions started before I had even got to the "has anybody got any questions" bit.
  • Everyone seemed to love the story and the idea of weaving the "everyman" story in with it seemed to help everything stick so to speak.
  • The people I spoke to afterwards are very, very interested in shark films and stories relating to sharks but not really at all interested in what they are seeing either on TV or online from Independents currently and all of whom mentioned they thought that this would finally give them what they actually want to see.
  • I spoke with two very nice gentlemen, one a 59 year old diver with an interest and passion for sharks going back half a century and another, probably in his late sixties who has dived all over the world chasing the big stuff and both of whom were very excited by the 70's and 80's influence on the film, the former immediately mentioning the "Blue Water White Death" influence. This pleased me enormously.
  • After screening the trailers, answering the questions and chatting to everybody afterwards, it seemed that everyone would definitely make an effort to see the film.
It was a really enjoyable evening and everyone was so nice, thanks to Dave for having me and also to Ed and Anna from EDNA who filmed everything for the Making Of featurettes. They've also done a little blog themselves about the evening which you can read here.

So it would seem then that even at this early stage, people really want to see this film and there is a genuine excitement growing that people might actually be getting something different, creative and innovative.

Which was nice...



"Of Shark and Man" Teaser Trailer 3 (Letterboxed Version) from Scarlet View Media on Vimeo.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Of Shark and Man Update


So here we are, three years and seven months into the making of "Of Shark and Man..." three years and seven months!!

I am of course including the first year which centred entirely around making a hair-brained, absurdly impossible dream become a reality but even at two years and seven months, it's still a hell of a long time. "Is the film finished yet?!" is something I get asked a lot and yes, it does annoy me a bit on one hand but on the other, it makes me feel good because the interest is still there and not only has that interest been ever present but it keeps on growing and growing and I need that, it helps me keep going.

When I started filming in Fiji, I never once thought I'd be here, almost three years later still working on the post-production but there is a very good reason for that. The film is so huge, so ambitious and so complex that to do everything on my own and try and balance it with everyday life and the outside expectations that come with that, is such a monumental task that it could easily send someone over the edge, it almost has in fact, numerous times. I am in the single most difficult period of my life ever whilst doing the single most important professional undertaking of my life ever and I'm doing all the lifting and carrying, the admin, the technical parts and everything which keeps a film moving, alone.

The film will be all the better for the time it has taken to produce however because it's been given time to breathe and to almost take on a life of its own, as I have become more skilled over time, the film has benefited enormously and the biggest help in everything has come from Tourism Fiji. It was Jane West and her associate at the time, Martin Harlow, who pulled the trigger on funding for the film, it is they who believed in the project and most importantly me and it is they who have not once put pressure on its completion. They want to see it as much as anyone and their patience and understanding has been nothing short of astounding and because of that, they will see that patience and belief rewarded ten times over. This could not have been achieved without them and I am eternally grateful.

This seems like a life time ago

Whereas this has very much been a one man job, from the idea, to getting funding and getting out to Fiji, to handling all the media, editing and constructing a feature length film, I always knew (and was enormously excited) that there would come a point where others would be drafted in to help the film go to the next level and I am pleased to say that we are now at that stage and I have not felt this optimistic about the film since I first secured the funding.

So, where are we?

The first cut is done and has, last night, been split into far more manageable segments. When I first saw the almost two hour long timeline, I'll be honest, it intimidated the hell out of me because I need to grade the whole thing, add vfx where needed, I need to construct a soundtrack and do all the things which make it come alive. I also finished the voiceover script this weekend. Narrative for the film comes primarily from conversational, organic interviews but there is an element of scripted content and that has been a big job, ensuring the mood is just right, it sounds natural and engaging and ties everything together as it should.

In splitting the timeline into chunks I am able to concentrate on smaller parts and refine them, grade them separately and it helps enormously in deciding upon the music, all of which streamlines efficiency.

As I said above, I am also enlisting the help of some ridiculously talented and passionate people who will help elevate this film above what I could achieve doing it all myself so here's a little rundown of who is involved and in what:

Music:
Musically the film will sound like no other shark film. I don't have the BBC Philharmonic so trying to compete with them is a waste of time, plus, it's not really the mood I want, there will be no percussion heavy techno and no "Arabic wailing music," not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not where I want to go. Currently I have Hip-Hop producers, Rock Musicians, Electro Producers, Ambient Producers, Avant Garde Composers, Pianists and of course myself, all of whom are contributing to the soundtrack. It's varied, evocative and will be of an immensely high quality coming from both UK and US based talent. At this exact moment in time, as I type this, I am going through a huge list of tracks and am receiving more on a daily basis. expect a Soundtrack to be available as a crowdfund perk or to be available to buy when the film is released.

Sound Design:
A huge job being handled by a talent as equally huge in US based Producer and Sound Design Artist, David Lawrie. I have been very exacting in what I want and suggested a ton of things I want to incorporate and his creativity, talent and total understanding of what I want is very impressive. David is working on Sound Design as we speak.

Colour Correction, Grade and Look Build:
I am doing this myself and it will start in the coming weeks, as soon as I have settled on any refinements to the edit. The look will be stylistic, cinematic and specifically designed to augment the footage. The last Teaser Trailer is a good reference point to how the film will look when it's finished.



Branding &Marketing:
This is a major part of any film as it creates the identity and mood of a film for an audience yet to see it. It also ensures that you the audience, get the most out of your experience before, during and after you actually see the film.

I have enlisted the excellent EDNA who will handle everything from branding, logo design, poster and cover art, merch design, a centralised movie specific website which will feature everything OSAM related, the focused marketing campaigns and it is they who will also be producing the warts and all full "Making Of" story of the film.I still need to raise the funds for this so if you are part of a company or organisation which you feel could benefit from advertising gained through a staggered sponsorship scheme on the site where absolutely everything film related will be hosted, please do get in touch. It's a small amount of money with a potentially huge audience and a great deal of goodwill for you to reach! david@scarletviewmedia.com

Graphics and Title Sequence:
This is something I have been sweating about for ages, I really wanted a jaw droppingly good intro title sequence and it was something I knew I wanted external help with so to say I am over the moon about getting the person I have to help, is a massive understatement. No names yet but he is an industry leading graphic designer and motion effects artist who has worked for some enormous clients including the BBC and Gorillaz and we are on completely the same page as to what we want. I wanted the film to come in with a bang and with this guy involved, that's pretty much guaranteed! The work on this will start in the coming weeks.

Crowdfunding Campaign:
This will start as soon as all the branding is in place and will have some pretty awesome perks involved. The sole reason for the campaign is to raise the funds needed to give the film a proper release and to ultimately achieve international distribution. The money raised will go towards covering Festival costs, screenings, prints of the film, paying for the very small amount of footage I have had to get from outside sources (i.e. footage we couldn't shoot in Fiji), promotional events, legal costs, documentation and everything needed to get a film out in to the wild.

There will be one more trailer coming, an official, full trailer which will be the official advertising to the world that the film is done and ready to go, so full look, sound, music, everything.


This time in my life is as equally difficult as it is exciting and having put every fibre of my being into it, will either make or break me, the very message carried by the film, one of positivity, belief and love has been permeated by heart breaking difficulties and upheavals throughout the last three years. The highs and lows have been ingested by a project which has pushed me to the absolute brink, all because I want to do something different and primarily, because I believe in the pro-shark message the film carries so much and to know I am reaching the point where all this work will be put out to you, is both exhilarating and terrifying. To now have a clear idea of how the finished film will look, feel and sound makes me immensely proud but then, it's out of my control and over to you. With your support this film and its heavily pro-shark message will be a success, so please, if you dig the idea, the concept or just sharks in general, let me know how you can support this film.









Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Sharon Burden Speaks Out - Has The Anti-Cull Movement Finally Found Its Spokesperson?



 

I've been a little concerned of late that the anti-cull movement in Western Australia was in danger of turning into a bit of a circus, too many people seeing it as an opportunity to create or further careers, too many hangers on looking for a bit of the media spotlight and then the all too predictable and equally repulsive news that Chris Boyd's girlfriend had received threats from the rabid and oh so terribly brave keyboard commandos who worship at the alter of the PETA's and self appointed sharktivist Svengalis of this world. It looked like it was in real jeopardy of unravelling completely.

Then I saw this, Sharon Burden's address at an anti-cull rally which is everything you wish for in a rallying call for sense and reason. Ms Burden is erudite, articulate, passionate, intelligent and honest and her fifteen minute speech is both moving and inspiring.

I have for a while now, thought that the anti-cull movement needed that one spokesperson, the focal point of the issue to whom the wider public could look to and with whom they could relate and engage and although I am sure Sharon Burden may not want that level of attention, she would, hearing her speak, be the obvious choice. If she were to decide, understandably that this were a role she would not want, then this video of her address would serve as an ideal alternative.

Also to counterbalance my opening paragraph, whilst I and many others have some concerns over the anti-cull protests, for  the most part, in fact, the overwhelming majority of the protest, has been really quite inspiring and well handled, especially those beach rallies. It's also worth noting the efforts in South Africa to organise a protest there to coincide with Barnett's visit. Well done Sharon!

I and all other lovers of sharks and the ocean will continue to stand with those protesting this archaic and pointless throwback to the 1970's. Keep up the good work.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Of Shark and Man Update - Sound Design Has Begun!

 The almighty task begins...David Lawrie hard at work

Today was a bit of a milestone in the production for Of Shark and Man, in fact, so was Tuesday because on Tuesday, the final clips went into the timeline of the first edit, in simple terms, for the first time ever, I can watch the film start to finish without any gaps! Pick up shots were filmed last week (thanks for your help Olli!) and I received the small handful of stock clips I need to accompany a small part of the film we simply couldn't shoot in Fiji (thanks Duncan and Jillian!) All this means that "editing" now makes way for the part of post production I really enjoy the most, making that edit come alive!

So, back to today, well, today saw the first day of active work on the sound design of the film.

What is Sound Design I hear you ask? "Sound Design" is the process of creating what the film sounds like, from ambient, environmental sounds, to recreating incidental sounds which can't be recorded in the moment, mixing the films audio, cleaning everything up so it hits that "broadcast" standard and as I said above, ensuring what you see is augmented and brought to life by what you hear.

The Sound Design is enormously important in a film but is something which in modern times has been largely ignored, or at least treated as an afterthought by factual "documentary" based film-makers, of course there are sounds and sound effects but the artistry in creating an audio landscape which tells a story in itself seems to be a rare commodity in factual film, outside of the BBC and the theatrical IMAX releases of course. It's not a criticism that it's not there, it's just not really seen as a necessity outside of the fictional realm which is fine but from the outset, I always wanted Of Shark and Man to have a ridiculously ambitious and detailed audio identity, it would be another aspect of ensuring this entire project is as good as it deserves to be and if your film looks great, sounds great and has a great story, then you stand a much better chance of it being a success but primarily, the motivation has been to approach the crafting of the film in the traditional sense in that it should be treated lovingly, respected and allowed to grow, almost organically into the film it deserves to be. I appreciate how pretentious and wanky that sounds but it is what it is, the art of film-making, like music, fine art, architecture, cuisine etc is a craft which deserves to be respected.



I recommend you take ten minutes to watch this brilliant little look at the sound design on "Monsters University" as it gives an insight into the kind of sound design I am talking about, layer upon layer of sound that fills the areas around the viewer to create the world in which I am asking you to join me, the idea being a truly immersive experience that is not just a visual feast but one which envelops all your senses.

The idea is create the kind of sound design that the big budget productions have, there's no point setting your sights low after all and given my almost OCD level of obsession for every single tiny little detail, that is a huge task and not a task I can do to the level I want so, enter the incredibly talented David Lawrie. David is a professional musician, artist and producer with a serious level of ability in this field and I am absolutely delighted to have him on board.

We spent most of today going through the concepts for the sound design I have in my head, some of which are very specific and quite avant garde and what really gave me a buzz was that he is on exactly the same page, even making some sounds on the spot for me which I had tried my best to articulate, but far exceeded what I had in mind. I am of the belief that every texture of each sound has to have a reason for being what it is, it must be descriptive and emotive but mustn't become overbearing. The art of sound design is complex and distinct in that it relies on the obsessive attention to every detail in each shot and the themes of the film, not only that, but also the underlying sub-text and depth that creates the subconscious bind between film-maker and audience.

I'm starting to sound like a bit of a chin stroker I'm aware of that but I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's really important to me that all of you who watch the film get the absolute maximum bang for your buck and to feel like you are right there with me on this journey every step of the way. The single thing which lets low budget films down more than anything, is bad sound. Muffled voice overs, badly edited audio tracks and no environmental ambiance. The sound on the cut as is, is already pretty good but with David on board, I know it's going to go through the roof quality-wise.

I'm not going to give away any secrets or any conceptual elements but the sound design will be featured in detail in the "making of" documentary so you will get a really in-depth and detailed look at the process. What I heard today though makes me confident it is going to be pretty incredible. You will get your first glimpse into the completed sound design and look of the film when the official trailer is released sometime in the next couple of months.

Once again I am reminded how lucky I am to have so many talented friends and people who believe in this project. When I started out all that time ago, I could never have imagined where this film would take me on my own creative journey and right now, I have never been more excited.



Western Australian Shark Cull Protests - Round 2!


Something I've not had the time to really go over much is the protests in Australia regarding the proposed Shark Cull in Western Australia so I wanted to give a quick heads up for the second round of protests which are taking place around Australia on February 1st. As usual, check through Facebook to find the one nearest you and go down to lend your support.

Seeing the numbers that attended the first lot of protests, I was actually blown away, it was incredible to see so many people turning out to support the sharks and the motion to try and get the government to halt its plans to waste $20million on a knee jerk reaction purely to be seen to be doing something.

From what I can gather, the protests were well organised, friendly, positive and welcoming, seeing people of all ages getting together to make a statement against killing sharks is absolutely wonderful so, to all the attendees and organisers, well done, you did a sterling job and best of luck in Round 2!

With that in mind, to anyone who attended or helped organise, please, please, please pay absolutely no mind to this, I actually find it quite appalling that it's being shared on Facebook by anybody other than the author, because no, you didn't "drop the ball" with your "crappy signs," you did something brilliant and it made world news so do what everybody else does and ignore what the author has to say, not just about this, but about anything, instead, feel positive about what you are doing and keep up the great work!

If the link won't work for you, here is the transcript, like I said though, please be warned, it's a load of bollocks...

"Western Australian shark cull protestors, why are you guys dropping the ball?

January 4, 2014 at 9:38pm
Hello everyone. I am VERY concerned about local efforts to slow or stop the white shark cull. Let me share with you why this is. Thanks. (BTW this message may upset some of my readers since many are working at stopping the cull. Please read ALL of it before you get annoyed. Also realize that this is not to diminish efforts being made. But it is to give you the tools to swiftly win this battle once and for all.)

I keep seeing images shared with me by friends and colleagues in Western Australia. And every time I see protests and demonstrations it's a huge mixed roller-coaster ride for me. Mixed because I am torn between the pride I feel in seeing these folks taking the time to gather and protest and draw media attention to the issue. But also a mix of disbelief, frustration, and anger at the fact that everyone keeps dropping the ball and missing the biggest opportunity that anyone could hope for to get the cull immediately shut down and repealed.

Now if you ask me why I would feel this way and what is this massive weapon that will instantly kill the cull, it's the legal high ground in a battle that should not even be taking place.

I can point the finger at Colin Barnett and decry his stupidity and idiocy at having tried this in the first place. But I am ABSOLUTELY mind blown at all of the heads of the counter movement who are not killing this cull with the most powerful tool possibly imaginable! What the heck is the matter with you folks???? Are you not comprehending the power you have?

From an outside perspective and a logic perspective it's such an easy fix. And from an inside perspective even more so! So why are you guys failing to do the simplest thing possible, which also happens to be the most effective thing possible, to shut the cull down?

Let me spell this out for everyone very clearly. If there is ANY part of this that does not sink in please let me know?


THE CULL ORDER IS ILLEGAL!


Now I want ever shark defender and especially Jeff Hansen and Ross Weir to really pay close attention. I am going to make this as simple as possible. I should not have to but apparently the message just seems to elude everyone. So here it is.

Colin Barnett has no legal ability to cull White sharks in Western Australia or in any other state in the nation. He cannot do this legally because there are 14 White shark conservation laws and conventions and treaties that are both National and International Laws and outweigh any jurisdiction that he has as a state leader to overrule these accords and laws!

Next thing; Colin Barnett plans to use drumlines. These draw sharks closer to bathers and beach goers, set sharks into a feeding/hunting/foraging mindset and INCREASE the danger of a bite incident. This violates the Public Safety laws of Western Australia and Mr. Barnett does not need to fully grasp that he is endangering the public. He needs only attempt something which can put the public in harm and he can be prosecuted under these statutes! Western Australia is one of 4 states in Australia that do not need knowledge of endangerment in order to prosecute for this criminal act.

And then there is the Bycatch issue. Drumlines do not just catch sharks. They also catch Sea turtles (all 7 species worldwide are endangered or critically endangered and protected). This includes the 6 species found in Australian waters! Seals and Sea Lions, also afforded protection, Dolphins and Porpoises, again these animals have protection, Pilot whales, Rays, Dugongs, Non-target shark species, several of which have VERY strong protection. All told there are about 60 conservation laws violated by drumline use!


Signs that every image and picture of every event I have seen in which demonstrators and activists are holding for the News Media all implore the public to oppose the cull, or stop the cull, or support white sharks. But the problem with asking people to help fight the cull is that this presumes that the cull is a legitimate venture that Barnett can legally pull off, but is perhaps an unpopular idea.

None of it says to the public or (and more importantly) the News Media, that this cull is being done in violation of long standing and powerful Laws. No signs that explain to cameras, reporters, and the public that this is a CRIME and that if Barnett pushes it through he is looking at Prison time. Where are those signs??????

Why are you guys not just shutting the whole circus down?

With just that tiny bit of information this would all be over swiftly. I have said it nicely, I've shared the information with Politicians and Reporters, I've shared it with shark advocates, animal rights activists, and supporters, I've written about it, shared it in groups and NGOs. So let me ask everyone, why is this concept so darn difficult for everybody?

You want to stop the cull? Really?

Here's how you do it.

1. STOP holding signs that beg, ask, or attempt to garner sympathy. 

2. START holding up signs that expose this for what it is, ILLEGAL/CRIMINAL activity.

3. Familiarize yourself with Media and Politicians and SHARE THIS INFORMATION with them.

4. Publicly DEMAND that Barnett is investigated, arrested, and tried for these crimes!


Take the focus off of just the sharks and the morality/ethics of this situation, and shift it to where you have an open and shut case, the legality and Barnett's imminent imprisonment!!!!

THAT is how you win this pure and simple. It's so easy a child could do it. Which is why I am so annoyed that so many adults are not doing it. If I seem a bit harsh or critical in my little diatribe here, I am sorry, but it's intended to wake everyone up. If that means upsetting a few friends to get White sharks protected, and other species including beach goers protected, then that's the price of making sure that you guys start doing this correctly and stop half-assing it.

I love you folks in WA. I truly do. But I also love marine life. Those species are counting on you to do the obvious. So please put the crappy signs away, and pick up the big guns! Follow the 4 suggestions and I promise you, Barnett will quickly try to repeal the cull, or back off and escape this. EXPOSE HIM! Stop hiding him and his crime behind your silence!


You guys have voices! Please use them for the sharks. Think with your heads, not just your hearts!

Thanks everyone!

- Erik"

Like I said, nonsense...

This is really good, well said Christopher Neff!


I've been critical of Christopher Neff on this very blog in the past, indeed, I still hate the Erich Ritter invented "shark accident" nonsense which was the thing which brought him to my attention a couple of years back however, that aside, his paper at the time, regarding the politics of shark bites had some great stuff in it, he seems a nice fella and on top of all that, he's still the only person in the history of this blog to have the balls to discuss points raised herein, using his own name, in a public arena and I respect him for that, if only more people shared his candour.

Last week I saw a short piece written by Neff relating to the supposed increase in shark attacks/bites (not accidents, it's never an "accident") and it's really very good, especially this bit;

"Shark bites fall into a special statistical category known as “random, independent events”. This means that the likelihood that a shark bite will happen at a given time and place does not depend on when or where the last one happened. Just like a like a coin toss, if you get heads on the first time, you still only have a 50-50 chance of heads on the next flip.

Yet shark bites often do not look independent or random. Their nature makes them look like intent-based incidents. Any increase in frequency can also look like part of a new pattern, despite these events being independent, random and rare. As a result, the public understandably wants these vivid and frightening incidents stopped, and the government wants to diagnose a problem so it can come up with a solution."

You can read the full piece here.

Bravo!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Has The Shark/Human Relationship Reached Its Nadir?


Yesterday, I had a meeting with the Marketing team I am entrusting with the launch of "Of Shark and Man," that's a lot of trust for me to put in someone, they are essentially, the people who design the branding and control the campaign to get this film out to as many people as possible and also the right people who can help me get distribution. They are the ones who make things happen, if the campaign is wrong, then the launch could resemble a wet fart in outer space. Not good.

The thing with these guys and girls though is that they're talented, intelligent, young and hungry and have also worked on shark related campaigns before...and they're intelligent. Did I mention they're intelligent?

By intelligent I don't mean they can solve complex quantum physics theory, I mean that they get it, you know those people who can look at something, analyse it, deconstruct it then give a considered, informed and articulate opinion on it. Some people have it, unfortunately, a lot don't.

The big problem we face in the 21st century, is that those who don't have that gift of at least basic analytical intelligence, are the ones with the loudest voices, they SHOUT IN CAPS LOCK because that means they win, their opinions ultimately mean nothing, but because they're loud and absolutely everywhere, somehow, these opinions become fact and as such, when the population shows such disregard for itself and what it considers acceptable, the media starts giving them what they want.

When did mainstream music become little more than advertising space, leaving us with a single in which Pit Bull rhymes "Kodak" with...erm..."Kodak" in the very first seven seconds of his awful "smarmy R&B for drunk teenage girls" single "Give Me Everything Tonight?" When did TV act as a political bandstand for the conservative right wing with its "poverty porn" and shows designed to make idiots hate people in a worse situation than them? When did movies become less about the art of storytelling and escapism, and more about beautiful people driving exploding cars into explosions? How is it that Michael Bay needs a teleprompter to tell him why he is so passionate about making movies?

Read this from the Daily Mash, it tells you all you need to know.

 The truly great Ron Taylor

In the late 50's, when Ron Taylor built a watertight housing for his friend's 16mm film camera, so he could film the underwater world, charging people to watch the screenings in his garage, he would start something truly remarkable, a pioneer of shark film-making, the best of which still stands up today as, in my opinion, the best of all time. Those weren't days of RED cameras, 1000 frames per second or "Crittercams," no, those were the days of storytelling, adventure and respecting the craft of film-making. Along with Stan Waterman and latterly Howard Hall, Ron Taylor created a genre in which humans ventured into the world of sharks.

Now, in 2013, we have this...




Yep, a hooked Tiger Shark and a fully grown man with a birdcage on his head, acting like a complete moron to advertise a clothing brand which, judging by the coverage it's getting, is working (check out the comments on the Youtube video too)

How on earth did we get to this barrel scraping, insidious, stupid, dumbed down and pathetic level? 

Easy!

We got there via here...


...here...


...here


...here...


...here...


...here...


...here...


...here...


...here...


...and of course, here.



Please bear all this in mind, these people and their enablers, are treating you, yes you like a moron. Are you a moron? No, I would say almost certainly not but thanks to all the people with lower expectations than you and almost certainly lower IQs than you, this is the shit you're getting from the self proclaimed shark whisperers/girls/men/huggers/advocates/mermaids/conservationists etc and it is rotting our brains!

It's only a matter of time until the next douchebag copies these douchebags in the videos above, and gets hurt or killed and then what happens? The sharks get fucked, that's what. The people in the clips above deserve to be openly criticised for making what was once a truly awesome art form, something that is now nothing more than a quick snack for people who only want celebrities, bright colours, celebrities, commercials, celebrities and bright colours.

As well as "Of Shark and Man," there are two more films coming out this year or next, from credible, intelligent sources, which have something to say and behind which the motivation is genuine, with a long term positive goal attached. They are "Extinction Soup," and "Findonesia," along with the wonderful "Sarah Shark" (which has just been broadcast in full on Aussie TV...Amazing!) so please, please, please, get behind them and support them. The bar has been dragged all the way down by the usual suspects, please can we get behind those who want to try and lift it back up again?

Without your support and backing, the good stuff gets buried under all the shit and you're stuck watching idiotic TV, made by idiots, for idiots and you are not an idiot!

If you are an idiot, if you're in some of the clips above or you're considering in becoming an idiot and doing something stupid with sharks, now is the time for your redemption. Stop, get your crayons, take off your helmet and write out "I won't be an idiot anymore," on a full A4 size piece of paper and stick it to the space above your bed so you see it every morning, because less people filming themselves being idiots, means there are less idiots out there watching you, thinking it's a good idea to be an idiot.

By supporting the good stuff, we can do our bit to stop, or at least slow down the rot.




Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Calling UK Film-Makers - I have an opportunity for you!!

I WANT YOU! (That's not me in the pic though, sorry)

Recently I mentioned planning something pretty cool to preempt the release of "Of Shark and Man," for a very good reason. When the film is out, that doesn't mean you will be able to see it immediately, the first call for the film will be a premiere screening then the festival circuit, at which time I will also be looking to organise screenings around the UK whilst trying to secure the holy grail that is global distribution.

There will be a very small number of extremely limited edition DVDs and Blu-Rays available as a perk with the crowd-funding campaign for which I am toying with doing something pretty cool making them a bit of a collector's item and ultra personalised but as far as seeing the film as soon as it's out, you're gonna be looking at a screening or a perk from the crowd-funding campaign. 

However...

I have been toying around with an idea to announce the film's arrival in an interesting way and to also involve you in the release and came up with this, I want a talented film-maker to put together a "Behind the Scenes," pre-release, featurette which will not only be released and heavily promoted online before the film gets its official release, you will also be invited to attend the premiere screening and not only that, your film will be on the DVD/Blu-Ray release as the main bonus feature.


The idea with this is to give a talented film-maker the platform to get their talent out to an established and rapidly growing audience and to also give them access to the warts and all story behind the making, and release, of this film. Not only will you have a retrospective look at how this all came together, taken from an interview with me and footage from the film provided, you will also be expected to follow elements of the story of the release and film them as they happen, test-screenings, promotional interviews (if we get them) etc. The idea is not for me to tell you what to do, but give you the basic idea of what I think would be cool and let you run with it, with full access to pretty much anything you want.

If you have a production company, this will be a *insert name* production in conjunction with Scarlet View Media. This would be ideal for a film-maker or group of film-makers looking for a project to help them get off the ground and get their work out to a large audience. This blog has attracted well over 150,000 unique hits since 2010, averaging now, about 5,500 per month, each trailer has done about 3000 views each in the first week of their release with new views from around the world every single day and of course, with this short film being the main driver of the promotion of the film's release, it will be seen by and hopefully shared, by various news and media outlets.


So who would be the ideal candidate?

Ideally you need an interest in this film and the story behind it, you'll have an inquisitive mind and want to know all the details and have a passion for storytelling. You'll have some experience ideally of both filming and editing and own your own camera (minimum DSLR,) sound recording equipment and Editing software and computer. You need to be self reliant and at least of the capability where I can simply hand filming and production over to you, at all points, I would be more than happy to help with advice if you need it but I also want you to feel ownership of what you are doing. A full driving license and transport is also a must.

The perfect candidate would already be producing their own videos and short films and have examples of work to hand, a positive attitude, friendly and enthusiastic nature and generally be a cool person to be around with a solid idea of what they want to achieve.

I'll make sure any travelling is kept to a minimum and make things as easy for you as possible, you'll get access to the footage you need from the film and of course, be able to use your film for your own portfolio. Outside of this, I also always look to work with talented, positive people with a good attitude on a repeat basis so with Scarlet View Media, it could mean future paid work as well.

As with everything I do, I don't want to make fluff, a sanitised yawn-fest designed to serve no other purpose than to be a vanity piece so if we shoot a test screening, we record the reactions regardless of whether people think it sucks or not, you might be interested to know the gory details of all the stuff which wasn't so fun and capture the ups and downs, basically what interests you about this whole journey, that's what I want you to capture.

Hopefully by now, the right kind of people have read this and thought, "yes, that sounds like a cool, fun project to get my teeth into," so you'll be wanting to get in touch and talk to me about it. You can do so by emailing me at david@officetoocean.com or by visiting the Scarlet View Media website and using the contact sheet there.

Please put "Behind The Scenes Film" as the title of your correspondence, I can't stress this enough, I get an awful lot of junk email and I don't want to delete yours by mistake because of an ambiguous title.

So, what are you waiting for? :)

Monday, 2 December 2013

One Week On From Teaser Trailer 3 - Success!

 
Photo by the mighty Michael Patrick O'Neill

So, it's been just over a week since Teaser Trailer 3 was released in the usual low key manner, a blog, some sharing on Facebook and Twitter and a few special emails to special people, the Street Team, and the Mailing List.

The viewing figures are very healthy, the measurable stats showing around the 3000 mark in its first week so it's more than likely in the 4-5K mark thus far. It's being shared in some places I wouldn't automatically expect and not being shared in places where you would automatically think it would be, such are the complexities of life in the modern social media age! The top five viewing countries up to now, in order, are The US, UK, Russia (!!), Spain and Australia and once again, the most positive feedback has come from the shark world pros, the people working with sharks on a daily basis and also, those with no connection to sharks, the "man on the street" if you will. The fact these are the two audiences who really seem to have captured the spirit of the film is hugely satisfying, on one hand you have those whose professional opinions really matter to me and on the other, you have the primary audience this film is being targeted towards, so that is pretty cool.

If you have a group or page on Facebook, a blog or a website dedicated to sharks and shark conservation, please feel free to share this trailer and also trailers 1 & 2 it's an important story that your followers will surely appreciate, there's no gory shark finning footage or end of the world type scenarios, this is a success story, the sharks win, they're the good guys. This is the type of shark media we need more of.


Another cool thing is that opinion on the "letterboxing" of the trailer is overwhelmingly in favour of keeping this look for the film, the non-letterboxed version is here. What do you think? I have also checked the master version of the trailer on various screens, my studio 23" Samsung, 24" Iiyama, an LG 32" HD TV and the 46" LG Smart TV we have in the living room and it looks stunning, the grade really, really works incredibly well and the bigger the screen, the better it looks and that is usually where a bad grade falls apart so this is all very promising.

Mike has had his say and if he likes it, then needless to say, we are on the right track. I would say this third teaser is marginally the most popular, slightly beating out the first one which took me a bit by surprise at how popular that was!

Mike has also beat me to it in thanking the people who took the time to be interviewed during production. The voices you hear in the trailer are Ratu Leone, Michael Patrick O'Neill, Helen Sykes, Manasa Bulivou, Rusi, Alfie Cristoffersen, Jonah from Galoa, Nanise Ledua and of course, Mike Neumann and myself. One of the things I'm proudest of about "Of Shark and Man" is the sheer quality of people involved telling this story and providing input, anything relative to Fiji, is told by Fijians, anything relative to sharks is told by people with the capability and credibility to do so, ditto conservation, photography, history and religion, it's a hell of a line up of people with expertise and passion, unrivalled by most.

So, without further ado, get out there and share it.

"Of Shark and Man" will be released early next year and I'm pretty sure it will be worth the wait. The next thing you'll get is an official theatrical trailer, followed by something pre-empting the release which will be really, really cool and if you are a talented, self starting film-maker, I want to hear from you as this could be a big chance for you to let your talent shine so keep an eye out for the next blog and if you can't wait that long, get in touch at david@scarletviewmedia.com