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!