Get ready for jaw-dropping moments as SCUBAJET partners with Discovery Channel’s US Shark Week
Collaborating with the leading figures in the film industry is always an honor. The recent collaboration between SCUBAJET and Hazmat Production for the documentary, “The Belly of the Beast: Feeding Frenzy,” is no exception. This riveting documentary spotlights marine biologist and Beneath the Waves CEO Austin Gallagher and his team of researchers journeying to South Africa. The goal was to study the behavior of the Great Whites in this area and also to find a way to tag at least one shark for further research.
The research team was inspired by the preparations of videos in which great white sharks were lured to feed on a whale carcass. Based on this, they constructed a life-sized whale dummy named EARL (Elasmobranch Aquatic Research Lure). A transparent dome was fitted beneath the decoy, allowing Gallagher to guide EARL and watch the sharks. The objective was to attract as many and as large sharks as possible.
From the idea to implementation in less than two weeks
When SCUBAJET was approached by the film team in April 2023, we had a rough idea of how our SCUBAJET Portable Series water jets could assist. The plan was to attach SCUBAJETs to the whale dummy to navigate it through the water using the jet propulsion. Additionally, one of the jets was to be mounted in the mouth to mimic a blood explosion effect with the jet stream and thereby attract more sharks.
In only ten days, our team engineered a bespoke solution which was promptly sent to the film crew. The SCUBAJET R&D team suggested a custom-made solution, based on the use of five SCUBAJET PRO units, fitted with finbox adapters and positioned for maneuvering, propulsion, and to facilitate a blood system and explosion effect.
Additionally, a specially crafted control unit was positioned inside the whale dummy with cables. Gallagher, who positioned himself with full diving gear inside the belly of the dummy, was able to navigate EARL using the SCUBAJET control unit and trigger the blood/explosion effect. It was the first time such an experiment has taken place to study the behavior of great whites.
Spoiler alert: In an interview with Triblive.com Gallagher said:” We didn’t have to manufacture any action or thrills here. It was so incredibly intense, particularly that final act with that large white shark.”
SCUBAJET CEO, Armin Kundigraber, expressed his excitement about the opportunity to contribute to this incredible documentary, aired on one of the world’s most respected TV channels: “Being a part of this adrenaline-charged event with our high-quality products is an extreme honor for us and makes me very proud of the entire SCUBAJET team. Our technology played a crucial role in capturing unique footage of the sharks. At the same time, it motivates us to indirectly make a significant contribution to the protection of Great Whites.”
This collaboration is another significant achievement for SCUBAJET in the film industry, following previous partnerships with James Cameron’s Avatar sequel “Avatar: The way of water,” the 2019 Michael Bay production “Six Underground”, and “Our Universe” by Mauricio Handler for Netflix in 2022. “The Belly and The Beast: Feeding Frenzy,” premiered on July 23, 8 pm on Discovery Channel US.