Tiger Shark Jaws
To illustrate the gnashing, sawing action of tiger shark jaws, the film crew used an old set of tiger shark jaws scientist Mike Heithaus had in his lab. Prior to the shoot Mike soaked the dried-out jaws in water to make them flexible again.
It was the Crittercam technologyproducer Greg Marshalls animal-mounted camerasthat really got this film started, said Greg. Mikes professor saw a presentation I gave on Crittercam at a conference and urged Mike to contact me about the availability of the tool for his research, Greg said. (Visit The Crittercam Chronicles for more on Marshalls innovative technology.)
RealPlayer video: See Crittercam in action on a tiger shark.
Filming Platform (With Emergency Motorboat)
From old construction scaffolding, the crew built a platform to maintain a 24-7 presence in Shark Bay. Roughly a kilometer (0.6 mile) from shore, it sat in about four meters (13 feet) of water. Pairs of research videographers worked the platform in two-day shifts. As sharks approached the bait (usually mullet from a local fish-processing plant) hung from the platform, the videographers would use special goggles (see below) to control an underwater camera attached to the platform.
Virtual Reality Videography Goggles
Wearing National Geographic-designed goggles with a liquid crystal display, videographers atop the platform could direct the submerged camera to pan, tilt, or zoom inwithout risking attack or injury.
Two boats were used for research and topside filming: Blowfish for scientist Mike Heithaus and his crew, Bangudja (Tiger Shark in an aboriginal Australian language) for the film crew.
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