Cameraman John Shaw of GinClearFilm has released some amazing humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) footage shot in Tonga earlier this year. It was shot whilst working on a new IMAX 3D film called Sea of Love, using RED cameras housed in a 3Deep housing. Pawel Achtel, manufacturer of the housing, is producing the film as a proof of concept about the system.
John describes a very successful trip during which his team made a connection with a female humpback and her calf. They were able to return to the pair several times, and the female seemed unconcerned about their presence close to her baby. During one of the sessions, John describes seeing the calf making a vertical ascent in order to breech. As it did so, he realised that it was going to be very close when he landed. If you watch his footage, you can see a small wobble as the calf leaves the water. This was caused by him lifting his head out of the water and, in his own words, “realising that he was going to die!” The calf landed one meter in front of his camera.
Pawel was also shooting at the time and apparently called over to find out if John was OK and then whether he got the shot! Opinions are actually divided as to in which order the questions were actually asked!
The footage that has been posted is 2D footage from the camera’s left eye. The footage was post processed by the same team that did Baz Luhrmann’s new film Gatsby. Sea of Love is to be about the relationships between marine animals.
There is also a teaser of the footage in 3D (requires glasses).