As the UK’s number one children’s natural history show Naomi’s Nightmares of Nature plays an important part in wildlife education and awareness across the British Isles. In spring 2015 the NNON crew visited Sabah to shoot for the third season of this well-established series. Scubazoo were appointed as local fixers and underwater camera operators for the shoot which visited various wildlife hotspots around the state.
Scubazoo’s tried-and-tested working relationships with the Sabah Wildlife Department, Borneo Sunbear Conservation Centre, Danau Girang Field Centre and Sabah Parks authority ensured presenter Naomi Wilkinson was able to get up close and personal with a spectacular array of weird and wonderful wildlife, much of it endemic to Borneo. Scubazoo senior cameraman Simon Enderby was on hand to make sure everything ran smoothly and also filmed presenter Naomi Wilkinson on the underwater part of her adventure. The Malaysia episodes are airing this coming October 2015. We’ll update the post with more details when we have them.
Over the past 15 years Scubazoo has worked closely with and established strong relationships with several Bajau Laut, or Sama Dilaut (sea gypsies), families and communities along Sabah’s East coast. This has allowed us us to film and fix for landmark series such as BBC’s Human Planet and also continue to raise the global awareness of their fragile existence by location managing and filming for well respected primetime documentaries such as France’s leading Sept a Huit TV series.
In March of 2015 Scubazoo Senior Cameraman Simon Enderby guided one of France’s top cameraman/directors, Aurelien Chapalain, around Sabah’s East coast islands introducing him to several Sama Dilaut families and fishermen. By documenting their modern-day life Aurelien aims to dispel some of the overly romanticised views the western world may have of their seemingly exotic lives and show how this stateless community narrowly survives on the edge of existence.
Please contact us if you are interested in filming with the Bajau Laut (Sea Gypsy) tribes in Sabah
Scubazoo acted as fixers in Malaysia for Discovery Channels new series Lost Worlds presented by Explorer Monty Halls and survival expert and climber Leo Houlding. Visiting Sarawak, Borneo for episodes 3 and 4 of the series Leo and Monty encounter huge cliffs and deep caves on their mission to survey wildlife in remote locations. Visit the series website or read the full series description from Discovery below:
Using the latest modern technology and extreme climbing techniques, our crack daredevil team are embarking on a mission to unlock some of the Earth’s last secrets. In Lost Worlds, natural historian and adventurer Monty Halls teams up with explorer, survival expert and pioneering climber Leo Houlding. Leo’s extreme climbing experience coupled with Monty’s incredible adventurer skills and scientific knowledge make them the perfect team to reach these dramatic areas and document these natural wonders.
Ex-royal marine-turned-biologist Monty Halls and world-class climber Leo Houlding embark on daredevil adventures in lost landscapes, documenting these natural wonders.
Contact us for location management services in Borneo
Scubazoo have produced four videos for PADI, the worlds leading diver certification organisation with over 23 million divers qualified in the past 40 years. The remit was to produce some short films which would inspire Chinese and mandarin speaking people to get in the water and explore the underwater world. Working out of Four Seasons hotels in the Maldives ,and featuring professional surfers Monica Qie and Darcy Liu, our team delivered some beautiful, fun and inspiring videos for PADI’s online campaign. Contact us for corporate video production.
Camera – Roger Munns, Chris Tan
Assistant Producer – Ollie Deppert
Director – Mark Strickson
Editor – Damian Antochewitz
In March-April 2014 Scubazoo welcomed Sir David Attenborough and Atlantic Productions to Sabah, Borneo to film their latest SKY 3D show – Conquest of the Skies. As fixers Scubazoo were responsible for permits, permissions, bookings and logistics for the complex and intensive shoot which included three film units and over 50 international and local crew. Conquest of the skies was released on New Years day 2015 on Sky 3D and Sky 1 HD and is being repeated regularly on both channels. We’d like to thank Sabah Tourism, Sabah Forestry, Glenn Reynolds, Eric Thien, Cede Prudente, Ch’ien Lee, Simon Amos and everyone involved for helping to make this shoot such a success.
Take a look at some of Jason Isley’s production photos on Sky’s First Look page.
Read the press release from Sky below:
David Attenborough’s Conquest Of The Skies, the latest landmark series from David Attenborough will arrive on Sky 1 HD and Sky 3D this New Years Day, telling the story of nature’s greatest aeronauts and the intricate engineering that has allowed them to conquer the skies.
From the double BAFTA® award-winning team behind Natural History Museum Alive and Flying Monsters, Conquest Of The Skies will reveal the dazzling world of flight as never before. David analyses gliding reptiles, parachuting mammals, acrobatic insects and the exquisite and intricate aerial world of birds on location at a number of locations all over the world including China, Rome, Scotland, Ecuador and Borneo.
Britain’s best-loved broadcaster will explore this dazzling world, combining new macroscopic and high-speed filming techniques to tell the evolutionary story of flight from the very first insects to the incredible array of creatures which rule the skies today.
Four years in the making, the BBC’s new natural history blockbuster ‘Life Story’ is being aired this Autumn on BBC1. Shot in UltraHD (4K) the six part series tells amazing stories of animals’ quest to continue their bloodlines often against huge odds. The first episode goes out on Thursday 23rd October at 2100 on BBC1 with the final episode airing on Thursday 27th November. Scubazoo underwater cameraman Roger Munns filmed a mating turtle sequence for episode five – Courtship. UK viewers can watch that episode on iPlayer here. Watch the series trailer below.
Scubazoo are proud to announce the official launch of our coffee table book The Green Heart of Sabah. The launch took place at Padang Merdeka in Kota Kinabalu on Sunday 9th November as part of the Sabah Foresty Department’s ‘Centennial Celebration’ – commemorating their 100 year anniversary.
On the night, Datuk Sam Mannan, Director of Sabah Foresty Department, treated all guests to a very warm welcome, including VIPs Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia, and Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman, Chief Minister of Sabah. Following a welcome speech by Datuk Sam Mannan, and a ‘Centennial Celebration’ launching speech by Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman, VIPs, invited guests, and members of the public were then entertained with a centennial special video presentation, and the dazzling ‘Centennial Parade’ by the Sabah Foresty Department, featuring marches, music, and dances. This was then followed by the official launching of The Green Heart of Sabah, as Jason Isley presented our new publication on stage to Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, Datuk Sam Mannan, and Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.
The Green Heart of Sabah is a journey into the richest terrestrial habitats on our planet – the tropical rainforests that cloak Sabah’s interior. Covering the conservation areas that form the core of Sabah’s ‘Green Heart’ – Danum Valley, Maliau Basin, Imbak Canyon and Gunung Silam, the book explores the different types of forest found within these remarkable landscapes, the many plant and animal species that call them home and the complex ecosystems that have evolved here over millions of years. Today, these conservation areas are vital refuges for rare and endangered species such as Bornean Orangutans, Sumatran Rhinos and Bornean Pygmy Elephants, and provide vital ecosystem-related services to the people of Sabah.
“The Green Heart of Sabah took Scubazoo’s photographers away from their usual environment of the underwater world deep into the beautiful, but harsh, rainforest. A total of 127 days of shooting were needed to capture the stunning images, however the really hard work was accomplished back in our office as we only had a total of four months to complete the book in time for Sabah Forestry Department’s ‘Centennial Celebration’. Even with the limited time available I truly believe this is the best book our team have published so far.”
– Jason Isley (Scubazoo Managing Director & Head of Publications)
Green Heart of Sabah was written by Matt Oldfield. Photographs by Jason Isley, Ch’ien Lee, Christian Loader, Matt Oldfield, Gil Woolley, with additional photography by Bob Hartley, Simon Enderby and Roger Munns. A big thanks to the rangers, field guides and support staff at each of the locations without whose hard work and field knowledge, making this book would have been impossible.
The Green Heart of Sabah (ISBN 97896710528-3-9) is available to purchase here for RM195 (US$60).
Scubazoo’s Roger Munns was awarded an Emmy for Cinematography as part of the camera team which worked on the National Geographic Wild show One Life. Using over four years of filming on every continent, this film gives audiences a delicate view of animals in the most critical moments of their lives. Whether it’s a mother protecting her newborn baby seal pup, the tongue of a chameleon capturing its prey or grebes dancing across a lake, One Life shows how life has answered the challenges faced by each of these living things.
Narrated by Daniel Craig, One Life was awarded the 2014 Emmy for ‘Outstanding Cinematography – Documentary and Long Form’. The award was accepted on behalf of the team by Executive Producer Michael Gunton. Congratulations to everyone involved with the shooting and production of the show. For a full list of winners please click here. Watch the award presentation below:
Scubazoo cameraman Roger Munns, assisted by Christian Loader, was the principal underwater cameraman on Wild Sri Lanka – Ocean of Giants. Produced by Mike Birkhead Associates for Terra Mater and National Geographic, Wild Sri Lanka is a three part natural history series showcasing Sri Lanka’s wealth of natural wonders. Roger was tasked with filming a variety of subjects including the inhabitants of Sri Lanka’s many wrecks off Colombo, Green Turtles feeding, a megapod of over 100 sperm whales and the highlight – the mighty blue whale. Roger shot the sequences using the Red Epic camera in a Gates housing.
Here is the official press release:
As the sun rises over the blue waters off Sri Lanka’s southern coast, the largest mammal on earth breaks the surface. Beneath these waves lives a unique population of pygmy blue whales which feed, mate and play closer to shore in greater numbers than any other blue whale population on the planet. But the key to their existence lies hundreds of miles inland, at the top of Sri Lanka’s highest mountains. As the monsoon rains pour onto land, over a hundred rivers flow from the mountains, carrying with them nutrients which flood into the seas.
From tangled mangrove forests to pristine white-sand beaches, Sri Lanka’s coastal waters present a show of nature’s most magnificent marine mammals. As turtles lay their eggs on palm-fringed shores, Sri Lanka’s iconic stilt fishermen wait for the shoals of herring and mackerel which the changing seasons bring. And out at sea, thriving coral reefs hide ancient wrecks filled with fish, while hundreds of dolphin race among the waves. This is an oceanic island where water, above all things, rules.
Director: Joe Loncraine
AP: Beth Jones
Equipment: Red Epic in Gates housing
In May of 2014, the Scubazoo team went to Hong Kong, to shoot a short documentary called The Clean Cross Swim: Hong Kong to Macau. The film follows Simon Holliday as he attempts an open ocean swim from Hong Kong to Macau through the Pearl River Delta. The swim was to raise awareness for the ocean, and raise funds for Ocean Recovery Alliance’s Grate Art Project, which will put ‘street art for awareness’ on city streets near storm drains. These small ceramic artistic plaques will have a reminder message of not to dump into the drains, as they drain to the ocean.
Scubazoo’s film crew joined Simon, Shu Pu, Doug Woodring, and the rest of the team for 3 days to film the before, during and after of Simon making this challenging swim. The team faced many obstacles, such as boat breakdowns, ripping currents and filming in the shadow of huge cargo ships. Amongst the challenges were bright spots though. The entire Clean Cross team was blessed with having up to 30 Chinese white dolphins join Simon’s swim for over an hour. After all the hard work from both Simon and the crew, they not only made it to Macau but set a new record of 10hrs 20 minutes and 30seconds, smashing the previous record by over 20 minutes. Congratulations from Scubazoo to the entire team for a massive effort and a fantastic result. Watch the teaser above and stay tuned to find out when the full film will be released.
Thanks to Lifeproof for their great support in this event!