Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shark Films - The Problem With Industry Footage

We got the following email this week and naturally, passed on this project.

We have also harped on this industry subject ad nausem. Suffice to say as long as industry members provide the media with the negative shark images and video that sell advertising, there remains little incentive to produce better shark programming.

It's not that the desire for better shark programming does not exist or that Discovery Networks are essentially evil. They are not. Discovery buys some fantastic shows from truly visionary production companies. It would seem though that no one has shown Discovery how to do shark productions better, cheaper, and more cohesively. Until that day comes expect more of this:

Hello,

We are producing a new show for the Discovery Channel called “XXX.”

The show is an adrenaline-packed series that highlights extraordinary incidents caught on tape! I am interested in possible footage you may have of incidents where the sharks got “too close”. For example, we are doing another story of two cage divers off the coast of Mexico that had a Great White shark get its head stuck in the cage and they had to escape out the top. Can you think of any incidents like this, or similar, that was caught on tape?

We would love to license this footage from you, and of course you would be compensated for the use of the material. We sometimes also like to couple the video with on-camera interviews with the people involved. Also, keep in mind that this is a Discovery Channel show, and will in no way be sensationalized. We want to educate our viewers on the beauty and power of the Great White!

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. Please let me know if you have any questions, as I would be happy to answer them for you.

Best,

XXX XXX

4 comments:

James said...

Nobody ever does a ninty minute documentary focusing on birth, reproduction, and death of sharks, do they?

Well, maybe they do, but it sure doesn't make it onto sweeps week.

Shark Diver said...

Then it's time for a change. I think your point is not to be underestimated. Sweeps is huge.

We'll be blogging solutions in the coming days. Stay tuned.

Sharky said...

I would think that the Shark Finning industry is bloody and savage enough for some good Discovery Channel programming. Don't they have a show about a private military going after pirates in Africa. A show going in depth into the Shark-trade has to be better than that.

Shark Diver said...

Hey Sharky,

Great point. It's the culture at Discovery right now and frankly with the entire wildlife production industry. It comes down to dollars, Blue Planet programming is expensive.

Ripped moments from You Tube, inexpensive but dull, repetitive, and damaging to the perception of sharks.

Our point is simple. 99% of the shark programming you see is factory built in a production office by non shark people.

The only time our industry really gets involved is when they call asking for help getting to the critters they need to shoot-with a pre sold shark script in hand.

If Discovery put together a regional industry panel of shark operators and researchers they could game change an entire genera.

It's an interesting thought.

"Vision" is the only thing stopping positive change from happening.

Programming does not need to be expensive...if you know what you are doing.