So yesterday I saw an article linked from the Yahoo homepage about the Discovery Channel looking for a Chief Shark Officer, it’s fair to say that caught my attention… immediately! So what’s the deal? Basically the job requirements are as follows “Must enjoy exotic, waterfront locations, buff bodies in bathing suits and having the bejesus scared out of you. Looking delicious in a wet suit is a plus. Sense of humor required.” Not sure about that wearing a wetsuit part, but the rest of it is all me!

After reading up on things I sprang into action! I planned out a video and wrote a little script for it, started to compile a little Rob D. Fact Sheet, and worked on some other odds and ends in relation to the whole thing. It was already too late in the day to shoot any video in the ocean so I put it off until lunch today.

this ladder looks pretty legit right?

Around 11 my girlfriend swung by my office to pick me up and we made our way down to Avila Beach. I was packing 3 different cameras since I wasn’t totally sure what was going to work best for what I wanted. I know that the pier downtown has a stairwell with a platform underneath it. My original plan was to send Heidi down there with some cameras and I could do my thing from the water while she stayed dry just above the swells. This plan didn’t happen though… the stairway was locked and gated off, crap. In looking for an alternative we saw a fairly precarious ladder, she volunteered to at least give it a shot and shoot from up there.

I jogged back down the pier to the beach and threw on my suit and goggles, tucked one of my cameras and the script in my suit and swam down the pier to where the ladder is. The water was about 52 today! Yikes that’s cold!

While I waited for Heidi to figure out how she wanted to go about this whole ladder thing I pulled out my script and went workout kickboard style with it on a buoy! I pasted it right on there. It didn’t work as well as I wanted it to because the wind was blowing so hard, but it was good enough.

Heidi dangling precariously above the ocean preparing to play cinematographer

Heidi climbed half way down the ladder, which must be upwards of 25-30 feet above the water, and hung on tight with one hand while the other shot me from above with my Panasonic Lumix. We got through a little intro and then I totally lost my train of thought… remembering what I had written for myself while floating in 52 degree water was next to impossible!

going over my notes that I was too cold to memorize

Once we stopped rolling she decided that this was as much adventure as she was in for and climbed back up onto the pier. I shot the rest of the video at an arm’s length with my Pentax W90. I think I got some pretty decent footage but the wind really messed with the audio through the middle. If I was all fancy with a production crew I’m sure we wouldn’t have any of those kind of problems, but as one bald dude holding a point and shoot camera while adrift in the ocean… that’s what you’re gonna get. Maybe I should have put some subtitles on that part… hmmm…

Shooting at an arm's length

When I got everything out that I was going to I tucked my camera back in my suit along with the paper I brought out with me, and swam it back to shore. It was so cold putting my face back in today! My eyeballs hurt inside my goggles from it! I ended up having to arc out a little further than I wanted to from the pier to avoid some fishing lines, but then it was back onto the beach to dry off, change and get back to work!

packing up my gear after a successful shoot!

Tonight I cut up the video, converted some files from the Lumix from one format to another so I could edit them on the machine I was using, and then pasted it all back together to make my application video! I’ll be posting it shortly as well as forwarding it along to the Discovery Channel! (UPDATE: Video is now posted here!) Admittedly it’s a super longshot, but who would make for a better Chief Shark Officer than a salty adventure bearded marathon swimmer? I’m going to say no one, but I’m also horribly biased :)

photo op or wardrobe malfunction? I'll never tell :)

Comments are closed.