I stumbled upon a very new documentary “Playing with sharks: The Valerie Taylor story” about the (very remarkable) life of Valerie Taylor.
Until then I haven’t heard about her…but that knowledge gap could be closed 😉
That documentary is well worth a watch, I highly wanna recommend it!
But this post is actually (mostly) about another documentary….a documentary that is mentioned several times in “Playing with sharks”.
A documentary from 1971, with sharks…and Valerie Taylor in black rubber for most time underwater!
The film crew is on the hunt for a great white shark as they wanna film him underwater as he is feeding….something that was never done before (before 1971)!
For you folks I made a highlight cut with my favorite scenes 😉
(click to enlarge)
Here is the video:
Watch the video before you continue!
There are a lot more scenes of her in that rubber suit, but then the video would get way too long 😉
Some years earlier she might also have used a double hose regulator, but those were already on the retreat since the mid-’60s. 🙁
But I really love her suit…for me, it can’t get much better than such a black rubber wetsuit!
And did you realize that fish did bite in her air hose at around 2:38???!
That fish was just curious…luckily for her, that bite wasn’t strong enough to puncture her only air hose.
Of course, even that wouldn’t have been a problem for her as she is a very skilled diver and help would have been nearby.
But still, I really like that scene! I wonder what would have happened if she had had a corrugated air hose…. as these are way easier to damage/puncture.
The documentary itself….is very problematic….from today’s point of view.
The research on sharks was only at the beginning and it shows big time. This documentary was watched all around the world and I think it’s safe to say that it played an important role in the development of Spielberg’s blockbuster “Jaws”.
Taylor did actually film some shots for it some years later with her husband.
I still really love that movie, even I know it’s fantasy and that sharks don’t behave like that.
For the sharks that movie was surely catastrophic in many ways.
In the new documentary “Playing with sharks” that I mentioned earlier….Valerie Taylor reflects a lot on how her attitude towards sharks and sea life in general has changed over the years.
So, I can recommend to watch both documentaries as you then get the whole “picture”, even you should have a strong stomach for watching the old documentary as there is a lot of cruelty vs aninmals….especially whales….in it.
Here is a picture of the new documentary:
Also….a lot of interesting scuba gear from the ’50s onwards…in this one.
Wanna know the title of this documentary?