Latest Entry: Capturing the dynamics of Ben Proud in action with Gates Deep Weapon

Scubazoo Operations Director and Senior DOP Simon Enderby with British Olympic and Commonwealth Games Butterfly and Freestyle Swim Champion filing for the Airasia Athletes program as a part of the AirAsia’s #DARETODREAM campaign.

Gates Deep Weapon in action allowing Simon the complete access, to his Red Epic Weapon, for a variety of off speed shots to capture the dynamics of Ben Proud in action.

Manta Madness in The Maldives

Where It Begins

Scubazoo’s Senior Cameraman, Simon Enderby first visited the Maldives in 2002, starting a long and successful relationship with the Four Seasons and their award winning hotel and spa based on the Island of Kuda Huraa and newly launched 6 Star Live-aboard the Four Seasons Explorer. A short boat ride away from Kuda Huraa, in the North Male Atol, is now the famous dive site called Manta Point. Here in shallow waters divers find one of the busiest Manta cleaning stations around, up to 20 manta can be seen queuing up on and around the cleaning station waiting for their turn to be inspected and pecked over by cleaner wrasse.

 

Manta Point was the first dive spot where Simon witnessed Manta courtship rituals which involves a mature female being chased by a “train” of up to 10 ardent male suitors in and out of the blue as well as up and down the reef itself. An incredible site to see. Moving on from diving from the resort at Kuda Huraa and jumping on board the Four Seasons Explorer, Simon sailed up to the Baa Atol which over the years has become famous worldwide for its own Manta aggregations only this time it is not just about cleaning but feeding. Hanivaru Bay is positioned perfectly to form a plankton rich cul-de-sac as wind and tide enhanced by the new full moon concentrates a thick soup of microscopic marine larvae, creatures and plants that can attract hundreds upon hundreds of manta rays from all around as well as up to 10 whale sharks at a time.

Four Seasons soon realised the beauty and opportunities of the Baa Atol and built their second resort based on the island of Landaa Giraavaru just 30 mins boat ride away from Hanifaru. Four Seasons commitment to marine conservation and education has always been a pillar of their marine activities and began by employing a young Englishman by the name of Guy Stevens as their resident marine biologist. It was not long before Guy became particularly interested in manta rays realised that little was known about then. In 2011 Guy founded the Manta Trust to co-ordinate global research and conservation efforts for these incredible creatures. UNESCO then declared that the entirety of the Baa Atol as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve where conservation, research and development successfully interconnect. Hanifaru is now world famous and visited by hundreds of tourists every week from all over the world.

The Journey Continues

Roll on 15 years since Simon first stepped onboard the Four Seasons Explorer, and his first encounter with Manta Rays within Hanifaru Bay, to October 2017 and Simon was once again embarking on an another Four Seasons Explorer voyage but leaving the Baa Atol behind they headed down to the popular dive sites of the Raa and Ari Atols in the south.  At the request of a couple of onboard guests they set out in search of a particular snorkeling site a few hours off of the regular FS Explorer route and diving schedule in the North Ari Atol and came across what can only be described as a second “Hanifaru Bay” for just as there is in the Baa Atol here was a naturally and perfectly formed coral reef cul-de-sac which at full new moon trapped and concentrated a rich plankton soup much to the Manta rays delight.

Simon, as well as the Explorers guests and staff, soon found themselves surrounded by an estimated 50-60 Manta Rays barrel rolling from top to bottom, surface feeding as well as forming long manta chains, an incredible cyclone feeding event of gaping hungry mouths. For over an hour they were treated to one of the most spectacular of marine shows and we are proud to share a little of that experience with you here.

Click here to watch these incredible animals in action.

 

Big Pacific

In late 2015, SZ cameramen Simon Enderby and Chris Tan joined local cave diving expert Jerry Reichart, from Sipadan Scuba, to film and document Sipadan’s notorious Turtle Tomb to film, on behalf of New Zealand Natural History, for the new PBS series Big Pacific. Notorious for the fact that Sipadan’s green and hawksbill turtles sometimes venture into the cave to rest only to become disorientated and stranded within and subsequently drown.

With over 60+ recorded turtle skeletons littering the cave floor and rocky shelves with every sweep of the filming lights the crew documented the macabre and mysterious scenes. If you are in the USA please tune in and watch and for those without access to PBS then check out the the Big Pacific webpage above.

Screening schedule:

Mysterious Episode – June 21st at 8pm
Violent Episode – June 28th at 8pm
Voracious Episode – July 5th at 8pm
Passionate Episode 8pm
Behind the scenes Episode – July 19th at 8pm

 

 

 

ZDF/National Geographic Production – Amazon of the East

Over the last year, and more than 160 filming days, Scubazoo has been working with their coproduction partners, Wild Bear Entertainment, to produce two 3 part series on Sabah’s mighty Kinabatangan river. One series, for ZDF, is based around the indigenous tribes that live there and the people that are striving to protect it. The other, a blue-chip series for National Geographic, beautifully captures the wildlife that makes it’s home along its banks, from source to sea. The people based series ‘Amazon of the East’ will be out this summer in Europe, followed later in the year by the natural history version on National Geographic. Watch this space for screening times over the course of the next few months.

 

 

 

 

Radio Television Malaysia – Underwater Filming and Presenting

Scubazoo’s Senior homegrown Malaysian cameraman Chris Tan is fresh back from Sabah’s beautiful Islands of Sipadan, Mabul and Tun Sakaran Marine Park. Chris was not only in charge of all the underwater filming but was also lead presenter for this shoot. Chris teamed up with Sabah Parks Marine Biologist Elvin Micheal Bavoh to explore endangered species such as sharks, giant claims, rays and Napoleon wrasse.  Incidently Chris and the same RTM crew previously won the best Malaysian documentary award last year and so we are expecting even greater things from this next show. This new documentary will be aired soon so watch this space for updates on screening times.

 

 

 

 

ITV FIERCE – Komodo Underwater filming

Once again senior SZ cameraman Simon Enderby teamed up with one of the UK’s top wildlife presenters Steve Backshall on his latest TV series – Fierce. A new 6 part series began screening last night on ITV at 8pm with Steve and Simon exploring the waters around Komodo. Simon introduces Steve to one of his personal underwater favourites the Flamboyant cuttlefish.

Click here for more info.

Underwater filming & Local Fixer Services- Off The Fence – Wildest Island

Scubazoo wrapped up 2015 fixing and filming for the fantastic crew from Off the Fence who were capturing the final shots for their Wildest Island project. From flying frogs to Borneo Gibbons, sunbears to forest crabs, sea snakes to monitor lizards ,to name a few, the crew got it all. With SZ’s experienced and professional ground handlers and guides the film crew were able to quickly and efficiently work through their target list. SZ senior underwater cameraman Simon Enderby joined them at their final location to film complimentary underwater sequences of swimming and hunting seas snakes and monitor lizards under perfect conditions.

Underwater Filming – Netflix – Marco Polo Series 2

October saw Scubazoo senior cameraman Simon Enderby and filming assistant Gil Woolley filming “dead bodies” in the Pinewood Malaysia’s deep water tank for a gruesome series 2 sequence for Netflix’s blockbuster TV series – Marco Polo

Over a day of filming the SZ team worked tirelessly with the Marco Polo film crew, cast stunt coordinators and arts department to ensure the final underwater images matched the Directors vision.

Production – Borneo From Below online series

Borneo From Below is a series devoted entirely to Borneo’s beautiful marine environment. Each weekly online episode will showcase the region’s incredible underwater inhabitants. Presented by Aaron Gekoski, Borneo From Below will also investigate environmental issues such as shark finning, fish bombing and the trade in endangered wildlife. Each short, fun, inspiring and informative episode will also feature photographic tips and techniques. For more videos, photos and articles please visit the Borneo From Below homepage, connect on Facebook, or watch on YouTube

Watch the playlist below for all the episodes and discover the rumble beneath the jungle!

Filming – BBC Big Blue Live

In July 2015 Scubazoo senior cameraman Simon Enderby had the pleasure of working with TV presenter Steve Backshall once again. A veteran of several shoots on Steve’s wildly successful shows Deadly 60 and Pole to Pole this expedition saw Simon diving with Steve off the wild coast of Monterey Bay, California. This immensely productive bay  came up with some amazing encounters, including; baitballs of krill, mackerel held under-siege by Californian sealions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dalls porpoise, common dolphins, hunting harbour seals, immense schools of market squid  as well as flocks of shearwaters, pelicans and albatross. Even basking Mola mola, humpback, minke, and blue whales turned up to get on camera meaning Steve and Simon were kept very busy indeed. An incredible introduction to Monterey’s underwater world which will be fully unveiled in August’s Big Blue Live.