What was it like, filming shipwrecks on a remote set of reefs?
The northwestern Hawaiian islands are an amazing ecosystem- waters full of fish, sharks, corals, algae, plankton, and things we haven’t even named yet. Shipwrecks up there are often in precarious pockets of the reef, so maritime archaeology dives require considerable water skills. Surge pulls you back and forth; waves crash on your head. My challenge was to film without being tossed into the research divers, the wreck, or the reef- all of this while holding a camera with two hands, looking through a viewfinder, and swimming backwards. The environmental challenges combined with the stunning beauty of the reef made this a great project.
Key Lessons? Why was the project a success?
The film shoot involved 30-days at sea, most of it spent filming underwater. Post-production was an intense process with that much footage, but slowly the film emerged. We worked with the producer, her supervisor, and colleagues at NOAA to refine the piece. Since then, the film has been seen by several hundred thousand people and won several awards, so I think it was a success for everyone involved.