Friday, 14 October 2011

Sarah Shark Episode 2

You may remember a couple of months ago, I stumbled across Sarah Richmond, or "Sarah Shark" as she is better known who had made a half hour documentary about Wobbegongs which was really, pretty good! I had never heard of Sarah before but what I thought was great about what she was doing was that she is obviously a passionate shark lover and was out there doing something positive, creative and something which was of a very high standard, higher than I was expecting if I'm being honest.

Well, Sarah's back and this time she's tackling the far sexier and much better known, Great White Shark.

I'm a bit of a fan actually, there's something incredibly likable about Sarah as a host and she's clearly very passionate. What she does extremely well is that she doesn't allow this to manifest itself into some chest beating pious war cry blinding by inaccuracies and anti-human propaganda, in fact, quite the opposite. She sticks to the facts , involves the general public and allows the viewer to make his or her own mind up.
This episode, like the first is clearly aimed at an already sympathetic audience and has an almost innocent quality to it, it's not trying to be arty, controversial or sensationalist, it just is what it is, a small group of talented and passionate people doing something they all clearly enjoy doing and that's one of its major strengths.

In this episode, Sarah and the team look at the issue of shark nets, film some very big and beautiful cuttlefish and go cage diving with the White Sharks off Port Lincoln.

The shark nets issue could have been a bit more in-depth maybe but then again, the episodes last less than half an hour and they more than cram enough in without anything seeming like it's been brushed over so this section in particular more than gets its point across.

It's filmed well, the sound is good and once again, the graphics used to illustrate certain points are top notch, a real professional edge to everything. The basics are done well also, Sarah's narrative and pieces to camera are delivered articulately and at a suitable pace which although sounding obvious, gets the points she's making across well. Pieces to camera aren't easy, a lot less easy than you probably think and it's something she does very well.

The White Shark footage is good too. It can be restrictive filming from a cage with angles and shots being somewhat limited, add to that the time constraints of what I imagine was only a couple of days at sea to get the shots but they did a really good job.

I said in the previous review that what Sarah and her team is doing isn't groundbreakingly original or completely new, but it doesn't need to be. It doesn't hide behind a glossy veneer of "art" to make up for lack of substance. It is what it is, it gets a message across and it's put together and promoted very well and people are certainly seeming to take an interest. The highlight of this episode, well, both episodes put together for me, is a simple reaction, a three second scene where, when passed by a very large shark, Sarah jumps up in the water squealing with delight, it's those honest, unscripted moments of enthusiasm, enjoyment and positivity, which often do far more to help sharks and the image of sharks, than constant images of death and slaughter.
Well done again Sarah and the Sarah Shark team, looking forward to part three!

As for me, well, coming soon will be some info on "Behind Blue Glass" which I am hoping will finally be released very soon and also some progress reports on post production for "Of Shark and Man" which after having spent the last six weeks reviewing, cataloguing and filing a month's worth of footage, I can tell you, is looking like it's gonna be pretty damn special! Keep your eyes peeled and join the mailing list!!!! The feedback from the private teaser promo which you will only have seen if you are on the mailing list, attended the BiteBack fundraiser or are one of the select few I sent the link to directly, has been nothing short of phenomenal.

have a top weekend!

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1 comment:

Ryan Pearson said...

Nice review. I thought the same thing about the 'squealing jumping shot near the end. A real magic moment to be caught on camera and my favourite scene in the episode as well.