Saturday, February 4, 2012

S.B. Filmmaker Mike DeGruy Killed in Helicopter Crash

Mike with his million watt smile
When an industry original goes by the wayside it's time for us all to gather round and remember.

This week we remember filmmaker Mike DeGruy's passing with much sadness.

 Mike deGruy was a graduate student in marine biology when he first picked up a 16mm film camera. Thirty-plus years on, his company, the Film Crew Inc., travels the oceans making underwater films for the BBC, PBS, National Geographic and Discovery Channel. He dived beneath both poles and visited the hydrothermal vents in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. And as you can imagine, he collected many stories along the way.

An accomplished diver and underwater cinematographer, deGruy also became a go-to host and expedition member on shows like the recent Mysteries of the Shark Coast with CĂ©line Cousteau and Richard Fitzpatrick. (He was a regular on Shark Week -- and a shark attack survivor himelf.) But his first passion was cephalopods, and in fact deGruy and his team were the first to film two rarely seen cephalopods, the nautilus and the vampire squid, in their home ocean.

The Sad News

Mike DeGruy, the internationally respected and unanimously liked documentarian of underwater nature films who called Santa Barbara home, died today in a helicopter crash in Australia just before 4 p.m. local time. He had just turned 60 years old at the end of December, and leaves behind his wife and two children.