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SDM JOURNAL FOR...

DECEMBER 27, 2007
The new year is almost here! I can't believe that another year has come and gone. 07 was good to us. This time of year work is the last thing anyone thinks about, but here at SDM- the work goes on. 2008 is going to be a great year for us, we have so many projects that we are working on, it is hard to stop. We begin putting together issue 17 in January for a February release. This issue is special, it will be back in the book stores, so I really want it to be amazing. We have not been on the book store shelves since issue #4.

I am also proud to anounce that our staff photographer Paul Spielvogel will get his first cover shot. He has been working on this goal for so very long, trip after trip, he has tried to accomplish this goal. Every trip he would return, sending me his photographs and I would break the news that he did not have a cover worthy image. Publishable images, but not cover worthy. So he went with me to Tiger Beach this year on a mission; to return with a cover shot. He was going out there for 2 weeks to make it happen. Time in the water is what it takes, and he was going to make sure he had the invested time. I did not have the heart to tell him that I did not want to publish a tiger shark image on the cover in 2008, but I figured maybe he would get a shot that has never been seen before, so I held my tongue.

By the end of week one, he had his shot. I proudly told him right then and there that he was getting his cover. Paul started out as a novice photographer, but has evolved into a world class shooter. He still has plenty of room to grow and improve his craft, but it is great to see what he has become. It was also fun for me to see the expression on his face when he found out he was getting his first cover shot. Now the goal is to see if he can get another cover worthy shot in the same year? The gauntlet has been thrown.

This coming year we also will be adding a bunch of different expeditions to our reader trip schedule. New shark species will be added as well as our favorite bad boys. July and August are the heart of the shark diving season around North America. Those months represent the migrations of many shark species; whale sharks, white sharks, porbeagle, makos, greenland sharks. Every year I find myself stuck somewhere, hearing about all the fantasic diving going on in different parts of the world. Well, not in 2008. I am hitting all the hot spots, I want to visit every sharky spot during the shark season. The countries we will visit will be; America, Bahamas, Canada, and Mexico. The sharks we are going after are; whale sharks, sandtiger sharks, greenland sharks, porbeagle sharks, mako and blue sharks, Oceanic whitetips, tigers, and possibly white sharks, and sixgill sharks. It is the whos-who of the shark world my friends.

I have not talked about our show lately, but we are stil working on it. The series is scheduled to be done in March of 08, finally! It has been a wild and hard ride, but well worth it. Our editors Rusty and Steve have done an amazing job with the show.Creating not only the show, but original music for it as well. I was at their office yesterday going over some stuff for the show, recording sound bites, and going over our production schedule for January.

A DVD will be released in 2008. I wanted to get it out to you in 2007 but we had to hold off on it for several reasons. Network negotiations were one of them, but I do not want to wait any longer, and it will be released in 2008 for sure. I do not have a date yet, but as soon as I do, you all will be notified about it ASAP.


DECEMBER 20, 2007
I am finally home! I spent the last 9 days, helping Gurney Productions on their Discovery Shark Week shoot in the Bahamas. I was hired as both a safety diver, and an underwater cameraman. I learned a lot about putting a big budget show together. It was cool. Les Stroud, Discovery's Survivor Man star was the host of the show.

Les reading the lines from the script. Hes a total pro when the cameras turned on.

I was a bit nervous about it, because I did not really know what to expect. I mean I have shot plenty of underwater footage, and some of my footage has been used for Shark Week shows in the past, so I wasn't worried about doing a good job, because I know I can shoot. But this was the first big production where I would be working as crew, and I was nervous about feeling out of place. But once I was out there in my element, everything clicked, and I felt at home. The film crew Gurney brought for the shoot were all amazingly cool people and so much fun to work with.


Playing poker, I tried to play, but I bore easily. I went outside to hear ABC play the guitar

The days were spent filming, and the nights were spent drinking beer, playing poker, trading stories and getting to know each other better. Both our host, Les Stroud, and one of the u/w shooters ABC, played guitar and could sing a tune, so several nights during the festivities, they busted out Les's guitar and sang some memorable songs for us.

The survivor man, Les Stroud, playing one of his original blues tunes.


ABC belting his great white shark song.

As far as the show is concerned, I am not allowed to talk about the shoots and what the show is about. But I can tell you all the crews story! And I can show you all the fun we had during the shoot. To me that is the real story anyway. The final product is what everyone gets to see. The crews stories are buried, and left to fading memories. Not this time - I am cutting an online video for this on the making of a Shark Week show. Well sort of, it is going to be more about the film crews story. The fun, the jam sessions, and the highs and lows of waiting for the sharks to show up.

Waiting for the sharks to show up. Sitting on a small Bahmian Island, dubbed jagged rock. - It rained all day.

We shot at two different locations; we filmed tiger sharks at Tiger Beach, and at an island we knicknamed Jagged Rock, seeking out bull sharks. The weather took a toll on the production. Churning up the ocean, and mucking up the visability, but we had sharks everyday.

The other two underwater cameramen who were hired for the shoot are verteran National Geographic shooters, Andy Mitchell, (our A-shooter) and Andy B. Casagrande (ABC). Both me and ABC were back up cameramen for Andy. I got to watch Andy work, he is a gnarly crazy shooter. While I was out at Tiger Beach on our reader trips, they were on a white shark dive. This was an outside the cage white shark shoot. That first night we got to know each other better, tearing through beer, talking shark, and itching to get in the water to see some tiger sharks. We bonded quickly, I love crazy shooters.

We ended up filming some amazing things for the show. The tiger shark sequences are going to be jaw dropping stuff. I know when it is all said and done, it will be one of the top rated shows for the week. The sequences I got to film will for sure be used for the show.


ABC, Eli and Andy. Our first project together - it won't be our last!

This experience was another milestone for me. It was so much fun, I loved hanging out with everyone from the film crew, and all I could think was, I want more! More sharks, more fun, and I want to meet more amazing people on more crazy adventures. A pirate's eternal lust for adventure is never quenched. There were a few times where I just sat there thinking damn, look where I am. The first big production I get hired for is as one of the u/w safety guys, and cameraman on a Discovery Shark Week shoot.

Not bad for a guy who started all this 5 short years ago; sitting in a pub, penciling out an idea for a shark magazine. Here I was, filming some amazing things, along side 2 National Geographic shooters, on a Discovery Shark Week... You gotta love that!

Livin' the Dream!


DECEMBER 10, 2007
I finally have the opportunity to update my blog. Sorry for the long wait, but I have had computer troubles. My Laptop has been giving me some grief. I just got finished up with our 2 tiger shark trips out to Tiger Beach, Bahamas. Both trips were amazing! I have written 2 trip report journals with pictures from the trips. More will come later. But these reports will give you an idea of what it was like for us out there. I will post some topside photos of our guests later on. I just need to catch up on some work. I have been away from home for too long... Enjoy!

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