Monday, September 06, 2010

Ron and Valerie on CNN!



Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore and Taipei

Wednesday, September 8 at 1930
Thursday, September 9 at 1130
Saturday, September 11 at 1900
Sunday, September 12 at 0330 & 1630
Monday, September 13 at 0230

Bangkok and Jakarta
Wednesday, September 8 at 1830
Thursday, September 9 at 1030
Saturday, September 11 at 1800
Sunday, September 12 at 0230 & 1530
Monday, September 13 at 0130

This week's TALK ASIA travels to Sydney as host Anna Coren dives into the underwater world of renowned shark conservationists Ron and Valerie Taylor, a couple who have spent a lifetime working to show the public the real creature that they say is often misunderstood . They explain their fascination with the ancient predators, discuss their role in the hit film ‘Jaws' and analyse the increasing number of shark attacks in Australia.

For the past five decades, this pair of conservationists has tried to demystify the terrifying perception of sharks by documenting their real behaviour. As filmmakers they have won multiple awards for their work, notably as the first people to film great white sharks outside of the safety of a dive cage. Ron says that he is fully aware of the risks involved: "There's always an element of danger because you are never ever 100% certain of what they are going to do, even the harmless ones. It's possible for them to make a mistake and have a little nibble or bite. But we know that they're not interested in eating us. If they do make a bite, it's accidental."

Ron and Valerie were once spearfishing champions but traded their spears for cameras. "I now do my shooting with my camera and it was a great sense of achievement to capture a beautiful sequence of sharks or fish or manta rays with my camera, so I'm fulfilling my hunting instinct with a camera," Ron says.

Valerie explains the distinctive features that continue to draw her to sharks: "I love the excitement of working with them. The shark is a species. I respect them and admire them. I wouldn't say that I actually love them although I have met a few that are very loving. Real sweethearts. The big tiger sharks that come up to you all friendly and nice. And you've got to like them. You really do."

Their expertise bought Steven Spielberg calling when he needed help with his blockbuster ‘Jaws', but the couple were dismayed when the movie stoked public fear of sharks. "We thought it was just going to be a B-grade Hollywood movie that wouldn't get much exposure," Ron says. Valerie adds: "It was a big surprise to all of us the way that people reacted after seeing the film. After Alfred Hitchcock's ‘The Birds', they didn't get terrified of birds and nobody expected to see a gorilla on the Empire State Building but they expected to see the big shark."

The Taylors, now both in their seventies, still put on their diving suits and carry their own cameras. Valerie tells Anna why she feels more comfortable in the water: "It's actually easier to dive at my age than it is to walk. I get into the water and I'm 25. Up here I'm 75."

The Taylors' interview with TALK ASIA will be available online at after the first airing.

1 comment:

The Sharkman said...

Tried to see it in Europe but no luck