Tomorrow I head off from Bristol to Nice, France, to begin directing the deep water Mediterranean sequences for the Plastic Oceans film, "Away". Thursday and Friday we will be filming free diving world record holder, Tanya Streeter, diving to around 40 metres on one breath. Tanya is a truly remarkable talent. She was the first woman to break a men's sporting record when she free dived to 160metres several years ago before retiring in 2009. Today, she is a presenter for natural history documentaries and tv series and is great fun to work with and will be one of the 4 explorers featured on the Away film who is travelling the globe to investigate the extent and effects of plastic pollution in our marine environment.
At the weekend our team will begin rigging a deep sea Comex two man submersible for three days of filming on a massive research boat in the Mediterranean. We've also got a helicopter to film aerials on the third day. Unfortunately, we have hit a bad patch of weather. Despite a month of near perfect weather, it's now turned and we've had to postpone the shoot to this weekend. This has upset months of careful planning and negotiation with crews, equipment contractors, the submersible owners and presenters. Getting everyone here at the same date has been a tough task and now we are scrambling to make it happen with those who are available. But, the show must go on and as the shoot has been financially committed to, we can only pray for good weather. If it gets worse, we will not be able to launch the subs. Fingers crossed. Another guest on the trip whom I'll be directing is Dr Sylvia Earle. Dr Earle was chief scientist for the US National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration and is a National Geographic explorer-in-residence. She's known in the trade as "the goddess of the sea" for good reason as there's very little she has not studied or experienced in the marine world. To work with her will be an absolute pleasure. Dr Earle will be filmed using the submarine to investigate the congregation of plastic in the deep trenches of the Med and to collect samples for scientific analysis.
We'll also have with us scientist Francois Galgarni, who specialises in studying plastic in the Mediterranean and U.S. cameraman/presenter Mike de Gruy. Plus, we've been blessed with a team of blue chip producers and cinematographers with some of the world's greatest documentaries under their belts. So, fingers crossed for the next week of filming. Here's to the weather gods.
World record holder and former freediving champion, Tanya Streeter.Minibex research vessel with the 2-man Comex submersible on the stern.