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  • Writer's pictureSophy Crane

Baby Sharks - Disney+

Witness the vulnerable side to these top predators as they learn to navigate a dangerous world.

Credit: Camera; Assistant Producer

A baby bull shark held by Dr. Amy Smoothey after careful insertion of an acoustic tag.

Back in June 2021 I had a very exciting call from SeaLight pictures asking if I could come on board their small team and help produce a one hour documentary about the cutest creatures of all - baby sharks! Of course I said yes.. and was thrilled to work alongside some great friends to put together a film featuring five fascinating shark species and their journeys to adulthood.

'You are an important apex predator and I hope I see you one day in Sydney Harbour' Dr. Amy Smoothey.

As many people know, Australia does not have the best reputation when it comes to shark conservation, remarkably the government still culls sharks, and has hundreds of lines of lethal shark nets dotted around the country. That's why I was attracted to working on this documentary, it shines an entirely new light to these apex predators, and hopefully, shows the Disney viewers that they are more than just mindless killers.

After my first two weeks in the office the Sydney Covid-19 lockdowns began again, and that marked the start of a truly remote production, on reflection I think this was a really good thing for production in general, forcing companies to crew remotely, inevitably saving on carbon emissions and developing and training local talent - something I strongly believe we need to do more of.

Me filming on the A7s iii at dawn.

We had about six months to film all five species, a difficult task when each one has an entirely different breeding cycle, but we made it work with the help of some amazing scientists and researchers. One shoot did however prove particularly challenging... our remote Queensland crew set out on their long journey to the Great Barrier Reef, where they encountered broken down ferries, covid restrictions and gale force winds. Oh! And our shoot with Dr. Amy Smoothey in NSW was postponed three times due to intense La Nina flooding...

I was very fortunate enough to receive my first 'camera' credit for a wildlife documentary on Baby Sharks, and alongside the wonderful Chris Miller, I filmed the bull shark sequence in northern NSW on the Sony A7s iii and Ronin RS2 Gimbal - a great combination.

Baby Sharks was produced by SeaLight Pictures for the National Geographic and Disney+ networks.

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