Underwater Hollywood – Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas
Typical Types of Sharks Available
Our work with sharks is the one area that singles out Stuart Cove’s Underwater Productions from any other location production company. Our Shark work goes back to our very first production job in 1980. Since 1987 we have been diving with sharks on a daily basis.
Our recreational diving company offers dives which allow tourist to swim with sharks in the wild, experience a shark feeding demonstration, photograph sharks on their own, and to actually feed sharks. Our full time photo pros are out there everyday shooting stills and videotape of divers interacting with sharks.
As a result of our daily experiences with sharks, much of the production work we become involved with includes some type of shark work. If you can think of an idea involving sharks, we can most likely make it occur. Here is a partial list of our past successes:
- Natural History Footage:Natural shots of individual sharks and groups of sharks swimming in the wild. This type of footage can easily be framed against shallow reefs and dramatic vertical walls.
- Shark Feeding:A diver with a box of bait and a pole spear is placed in the middle of a group of 15-20 sharks. The resulting food orgy which occurs is nothing like you have ever thought possible.
- Tonic Immobility:This is a natural state of paralysis that occurs when a shark is captured by its tail and flipped onto it’s back. Once in this state the animal can be touched by other people and tagged for research studies.
- Product Placement:If you want a shark around your product we can do it. We have done everything from sharks biting toothbrushes to underwater offices with sharks swimming through.
- Shark Attacks:We have done everything from sharks attacking people to recreating a scene where a pre-historic shark attacks and eats giant sea snakes.
- Sharks around Wrecks:We have intentionally sunk ships at two of our shark locations. As such – footage of sharks swimming around a shipwreck is easily obtainable.
- Sharks around Planes:We have also intentionally sunk a Piper Aztec at one of our shark locations to ensure the availability of this type of footage as well.
Shark Feeder Adventure
If you want to do something really special with your talent, we have a two day program that actually teaches them to become a shark feeder, just like our staff do every day. During the first day the talent will learn about sharks, learn how to use underwater communications equipment, and will participate in a regular shark dive. On the second day they will learn how to feed sharks, operate the bait box, and operate a pole spear while wearing Neptune Stainless Steel Marine Protection gloves. The second day finishes with a private dive where they will feed the sharks themselves, under the supervision of one our staff. *The only prerequisite we have for this program, is that the talent be a certified diver, somewhat experienced, and confident in their diving skills.
Caribbean Reef Sharks
This is the predominant species of shark that we find in our waters. Currently there are two schools in our waters that we interact with on a daily basis. Each school is located at a different site which provides some unique image opportunities. Natural History, Shark Feeding and Shark Attack scenes are their primary use in films. They are grayish brown to olive gray above, and white to yellow below. They range in size from four feet to nine feet. Caribbean Reef Sharks can be found at these dive sites:
|Located 50 yards from our feeding site, Runway Wall takes divers over the edge of the Tongue-Of-The-Ocean trench into the blue waters where the sharks swim in their natural environment.
|Shark Feeding Site
|Inshore from the wall on a small, sand surrounded patch of reef, this site features both male and female Caribbean Reef Sharks. This is a different population than the females found at Shark Arena.
|Shark Feeding Site
|Located on the top of Shark Wall, this is our primary feeding site. As a result, this site typically attracts more sharks than any of our other locations.
|Wall Dive/Shark Dive
|On a beautiful coral wall out along the Tongue of the Ocean. The sharks have come to associate divers with food and remain in the vicinity throughout, adding an edge to what is already a beautiful dive.
The following two wrecks are nearby the shark sites. As such, we are able to bait the animals into the area of the wreck as well.
|Wreck Dive Near
|Sunk in January 1995, the Bahama Mama is a 95′ “party boat” sunk on a sand bottom. Nearby is a prolific reef with many eels and tropical’s.
|Wreck Near Shark
|This is the 2nd of 3, 71 foot cutters donated by the Bahamian Defense Force. This wreck is located out by Shark Wall.
|Ray of Hope
|Wreck Near Shark
|Sunk in 2003, The Ray of Hope is right next to the Bahama Mama. It is sitting upright on a sandy bottom, located right along the Tongue of the Ocean. The ‘Ray of Hope’ is a retired cargo ship that was donated by the Bahamian Government for use as an artificial reef. This 200 ft wreck rests on the sand in about 50ft of water with the wheelhouse at around 20ft. Stingrays can be seen in the sand around the wreck as well as resident Caribbean Reef sharks.
Silky sharks are a fast moving surface dwelling species who primarily inhabit the deep open waters. The US Navy has a sonar testing buoy tethered in 6,000 feet of blue water 15 miles off shore. The buoy creates a tropical marine environment just underneath it because of the algae and plankton growing on the buoy and tether line. As a result, the pelagic, Silky Shark visit to feed off the smaller fish. Silky sharks are very sleek and beautiful. Their skin is much smoother than a typical shark, thus the name “silky”. They range from three feet to five feet long and are brown or bronze above and lighter below. Tonic Immobility demonstrations, Hook removals, and scenes requiring the physical handling of a shark are their primary use in films. Dive sites for Silky Sharks:
|Dived when weather permits. The buoy is anchored in 6,000 feet of water and features a population of transient Silky Sharks. The sharks migrate in to feed on schools of Jacks and other fish attracted to the chain anchoring the buoy.
The Tiger Shark has the reputation as being one of the most fierce sharks in the waters and is known to eat just about anything. It’s striped body pattern, large teeth, and a small appendage over it’s mouth, give it a very ominous look. However it is one of the more popular species to work with on theatrical productions which require multiple takes of a scene which must involve the same animal.
The reason behind this is that the Tiger Shark is one of the few species that has the ability to slow down its metabolic process for survival. As such, a Tiger Shark can be captured. Once it’s metabolism drops, it becomes more docile and can be handled and moved around in the water by shark wranglers. You then set up your scene with a course for the animal to swim through, and release it. The shark will swim the course, then divers on the far end will capture the shark again to set up for the next take. By keeping the course short – the shark is usually not able to stimulate its metabolism fast enough to escape the set.
Upon wrapping for the day, the animal is released back into the wild, with no permanent damage being done. Feature film work with repetitive takes requiring the same animal is their primary use in films. Tiger Sharks are bluish to greenish gray to black above, and light gray to dirty yellow or white below. Juvenile’s have more prominent stripes than mature adults. They can range from 11-14 feet long, weighing from 850lb.s to 1,400lbs. This is one of the larger sharks found in the water.
“Feature work with Tiger Sharks”