Underwater Filming – David Attenborough’s Life Story

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.

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Publications – ‘The Green Heart of Sabah’ book launch

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).

Awards – Scubazoo win Emmy for Best Cinematography

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:

 

Filming – Wild Sri Lanka

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

Productions – The Clean Cross Swim

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.

Find out more or Donate to the project  

Thanks to Lifeproof for their great support in this event!

Stock Footage Sales – Footage licensed for Malaysia Tourism Campaign

Scubazoo’s underwater stock footage has been licensed for Tourism Malaysia’s new ‘Visit Malaysia 2014′ campaign. The two shots were both taken at the world famous pulau Sipadan and feature a green turtle swimming in a school of big-eye trevally and a diver taking photos. Scubazoo are always proud to be involved in spreading the word about the amazing diving in our home here in Sabah, Malaysia. To license footage from scubazoo please contact Cara@scubazoo.com.

Publications – ‘Sensational Seas of Sabah’ book launch

Scubazoo are excited to announce the official launch of our latest publication Sensational Seas of Sabah – written and photographed by Jason Isley, Gil Woolley, and Christian Loader. This breathtaking coffee table book takes you on a voyage across the Sulu, Celebes, and South China seas to the region’s top scuba diving locations, showcasing the incredibly diverse marine ecosystems that Sabah has to offer with stunning underwater images.
Scubazoo’s photographers have been shooting extensively around the entire coast of Sabah over the last 18 months, taking in the well-known dive sites of Layang Layang, Pulau Mabul, and Pulau Sipadan, but also exploring underwater in exciting new areas such as the Ligitan Reef, Semporna Straits, or the vast Tun Mustapha Marine Park. The team were delighted with an abundance of rich, biodiverse reefs and sightings of rare critters in places where few have ever dived before.

The book was officially launched on Monday 20th January at The Star Marina in the luxurious Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa here in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Guests were treated to welcome refreshments, while many leafed through the copies of Sensational Seas of Sabah on display. Among the guests were many of the book’s sponsors, local dive centre and resort owners, and special guest YB Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board. After a welcome speech by emcee Andrew Lee Scubazoo’s Managing Director Jason Isley spoke of the highlights of Sabah’s marine life and dive locations visited while shooting for this book. He also gave thanks to the book’s many sponsors, and praised the hard work of all of the Scubazoo team involved in the project. SPeeches were brought to a close by the special guest of honour YB Datuk Masidi Manjun, Sabah’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Environment, who congratulated Scubazoo’s efforts over many years in bringing Sabah’s wonderful marine biodiversity to the attention of the world, and spoke emotionally about the necessity of protecting and conserving Malaysia’s marine ecosystems.

Guests enjoying refreshments at The Star Marina,
Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa.
Guests gather for speeches by YB Datuk Masidi Manjun and
Jason Isley, and the official book launch.

 

After the speeches, guest of honour YB Datuk Masidi Manjun and Jason Isley cut the ribbon, and Sensational Seas of Sabah was officially launched. Datuk Masidi Manjun was then presented with a framed print by Christian Loader of a stunning split-level image of the beautiful Tun Sakaran Marine Park, and the authors signed copies of the book for guests while they enjoyed drinks and refreshments.

All of us at Scubazoo are very proud to see Sensational Seas of Sabah finally published, and the launch was a wonderful ending to this remarkable project. Special thanks goes to Craig Powell, General Manager of Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, and all of his staff.

Sensational Seas of Sabah (ISBN: 978-967-10528-2-2) is distributed by APD Singapore, and retails at MYR195/USD60. For a preview of the book, and more information on how to purchase a copy online, please click here.

Scroll down for more photos:

Awards – Malaysia From Below wins at the 2013 Asian Television Awards

 

Malaysia From Below, produced by National Geographic Channel Asia in association with Scubazoo, won ‘Best Natural History or Wildlife Programme’ at the 2013 Asian Television Awards. The winners were announced at a Gala Dinner at Sentosa Resort in Singapore on Thursday 5th December.

Filmed in stunning locations around Malaysia including the islands of Tioman, Layang Layang, Lankayan, Mabul and Sipadan, Malaysia from Below showcases the best diving Malaysia has to offer. Presented by naturalist Nick Baker the show also includes an appearance from Jacques Cousteau’s Granddaughter Alexandra Cousteau. The programme also picked up a ‘highly commended’ in the ‘Best Cinematography’ category for cameramen Roger Munns and Hitesh Makan. Scubazoo would like to thank everyone involved in helping to make this programme such a success. A full list of nominations can be seen here.

‘Natural Wonders – Mountain Rainforest and Reef’ book launch

Scubazoo are very pleased to announce the official launch of our latest publication Natural Wonders – Mountain, Rainforest and Reef - photographed by Scubazoo’s Jason Isley, Gil Woolley, and Christian Loader. This wonderful coffee table book, written by renowned author Wendy Hutton, showcases nature’s splendour at eight luxury YTL resorts in stunning locations throughout Southeast Asia, from mountain peaks and lush rainforests, to tropical islands and pristine coral reefs. While best known for our underwater imagery, Scubazoo’s topside photography reached new heights while shooting this book over the last 12 months.

The book was officially launched on Saturday 26th October at Tavajun Bay in YTL Hotels beautiful Gaya Island Resort here in Sabah, Malaysia, and coincided with the opening of the resort’s new Marine Centre. The event was emceed by YTL Hotel’s Director of Public Relations, Tracy Khee – who coordinated all of our trips for this book. After a warm welcome to all of the guests, speeches were given by Dato’ Mark Yeoh, Executive Director of YTL Hotels, followed by guest of honour Datuk Masidi Manjun, Sabah’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Environment. After a closing speech by Jason Isley, Managing Director of Scubazoo, the ribbon was cut and Natural Wonders was officially launched. Guests were then treated to a sumptuous feast of delicious Sabahan dishes, on the beach under moonlit palm trees, while being entertained with traditional local dances. A wonderful evening was enjoyed by all, and we would like to give special thanks to YTL Hotels, and the staff of Gaya Island Resort for their hospitality. Natural Wonders – Mountain, Rainforest and Reef (ISBN 978-967-10528-1-5) is distributed by APD Singapore, retails at MYR145/SGD56 and is available to buy at YTL’s hotels and resorts and bookshops throughout Southeast Asia. For a preview and more information on where to buy the book click here. For more photos from the launch please scroll down….

Commercial shoot for Tribord in Bali on Red Epic wins awards

Commercial shoot ‘Back to Water’ shot for international surf brand Tribord has claimed two prizes during the summer awards season. Directed by Chris Hewitt and featuring the camera work of Scubazoo’s Simon Enderby the short film, shot on location in Bali, won a Bronze Lion in the ‘Film Craft’ category at Cannes and a Silver for cinematography at the Clio awards.

Scubazoo’s Simon Enderby shot with the RED Epic camera using a Gates Deep Red housing.

The Gates Deep Red housing was set up using ultra prime lenses with very shallow depth-of-field.  High speed shooting was the order of the day and the Red Epic was put through its paces in the Lombok strait filming models surfing, paddling and jumping off cliffs at frame rates up to 300fps both underwater and at the surface.

Take a look at our RED Epic underwater housing equipment hire page for more details on our RED hire packages.