TOPICS: THE TOOLS FOR NOMADS SHOW
- VALERIE TAYLOR
Valerie Taylor has the kind of courage one needs to face off with a great white shark...literally. She and her late husband Ron were the first ever to film a great white shark underwater, out of a cage. In addition to her ability to film dangerous sharks underwater, she has a fortunate aspect. She doesn’t get afraid. When things go wrong, she gets angry. She wants to fight.
Valerie and Ron became pioneers of underwater photography and filmmaking. Previously, both had been spearfishing champions. When they witnessed the oceans becoming stressed and over fished, they put down their spears for underwater cameras. They filmed everything and anything beneath the surface. Valerie and her customary pink wetsuit became the on-camera subject interacting with the undersea life, whether with seals, moray eels, even a feeding frenzy of hungry sharks.
A 1971 documentary called Blue Water White Death, features the Taylors and two other divers entering the water with hundreds of white tip sharks feasting on a dead whale. This act of sheer madness had never been attempted, let alone considered. The diving crew entered the water unsure if they’d survive. However, they soon emerged unscathed with a new understanding about the behavior of sharks and of the species as a whole.
Valerie Taylor is now the subject of a film called Playing With Sharks, The Valerie Taylor Story, a National Geographic documentary on Disney+. The film chronicles the work of the Taylors and of Valerie, who in 1973 were hired by a young film director named Stephen Spielberg. He was working on a film that would soon become the box office blockbuster Jaws. Valerie and Ron were horrified that the success of the film was directly proportional to a worldwide misunderstanding of sharks. The senseless killing of millions of sharks turned the Taylors into dedicated conservationists for the protection of sharks and ocean sanctuaries.
In a captivating and revealing interview Valerie speaks passionately about her early experiences underwater and of her tireless conservation efforts to protect sharks.
You’ll be glad you listened…
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Amazon, PlayerFM, or on your favorite podcast platform.
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