If you read this blog regularly, hell, if you have only ever read it once, you'll know I love my shark films, the (all too rare) brilliant, the good, the mediocre, the bad and the just plain awful, I always watch them and I regularly feel compelled to comment on them on this blog, passing my super dooper expert judgement on them like a kind of shark world Simon Cowell and more often than not, echoing his withering tones as yet another painted drone with a sense of entitlement, tramples over the legacy of the truly great originals.
If you are a regular reader, you'll know that I'm a big fan of the "Sarah Shark" project, a tiny independent group of film-makers in Australia, making their own short form, TV style documentaries about some of the sharks found in the waters that surround their very sharky country.
Why am I such a fan? Loads of reasons!
Firstly, Sarah is the real deal, an actual biologist and whereas that doesn't necessarily always equate to great TV, it gives her a sense of credibility that you can't get by simply repeating what you've read on the Sea Shepherd website, Facebook or the back of a cereal box. She knows what she's talking about and she gives a shit, as in she really genuinely cares.
She also manages to completely ignore the narcissistic, self styled shark messiah approach so beloved by many these days, preferring a grounded, approachable and engagingly natural style which makes her infinitely more likable, when she speaks, you listen because you want to listen to her. It's a simple, yet all too rare approach in the modern era.
Aside from Sarah herself, the content is always good, not too heavy, ideal for that core audience of young teenagers to those in their mid-twenties (in my opinion), it's serious and factual, but not overbearing and shouty, the conservation message is there, but it's not an over earnest, Americanised, finger jabbing guilt trip and I love the way they make it a central feature, without allowing it to strangle the fun and enjoyment out of each episode.
Primarily though, I just love their attitude, they're doers, they go out on a tiny budget and they get stuff done and when they do it, it's professional, really well made and most importantly of all, it has a heart and soul, each film is borne out of a desire to go out and do something cool the best they can and that is something which should be celebrated far more than it already is.
Before I give you my thoughts, I have already mentioned we are friends so does that make me biased? No, it doesn't, if I thought they were really bad, I obviously wouldn't come on here and say "this really sucks, these losers need to get proper jobs" but I would make constructive criticisms of the areas I personally think could and should be improved but again, it's only my opinion. If I say something is good and give it praise on here, it's because it is good and deserves it, full stop.
The cinematography has got more ambitious and locations play a bigger part, you can tell they've gone to the effort to set up shots in specific locations because they look good aesthetically, that wasn't so present in the first two I thought but in the latter episodes, it's an obvious progression.
Sarah seems more relaxed on camera and is very good at delivering what is a scripted narrative, both to camera and on voice over, she's clear, articulate, warm and the scripts are actually very good.
Please check them out on Facebook and give them your support!