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Nat Geo WILD: Admiration for ‘Shark Attack’ Crew

I don’t usually give my blogs names but this one deserves a title, “Admiration.” I am feeling a huge amount of admiration for everyone involved in “Shark Attack Experiment Live” and want to share.

First, I have a huge amount of admiration for any Network with the courage to undertake such a difficult and risky live program. Here’s to you National Geographic.

I have already expressed admiration for the shark divers both behind and in front of the camera. Now that I have met these people and they are not just bio’s on paper – that admiration has actually grown. They are everything that was in those biographies and more. Having met them in person I can now say for a fact that their love of the Ocean, the animals, the Planet and this cause are the real deal. Today I heard it in their own words and saw it in their eyes.

There is also an amazing shark team here in South Africa who has handled the on the ground & on the water planning for this job. I met them today and they are Supermen & Women. To a person they are smart, brave, experienced, dedicated and inspire confidence by all.

The crew on the Catamaran is beyond words. They have the near impossible task of transforming a luxury catamaran into a live television studio & control room in a few short days. To make it even more difficult, space is extremely limited and the elements have not cooperated. The seas are rough  & the rain and winds come and go making it difficult to walk much less cable an entire boat, hang lights, set up a microwave dish, etc.

The crew as a whole is also incredible. When you think about it, a show like this has the luxury of handpicking a group of people from all over the globe who are the best in the business at their trades. I have admiration for every teammember on this project – the Producers & Directors, the Engineers, Camera & Audio, Editors, and the Production Team. They have built and are operating a live control room, live studio and edit facility all in less than ideal conditions.

As you can gather from all of the above, it takes an Army to pull off Guerilla Television like this and somebody has to do all of the planning for that army. This all falls on the final group I admire – the Production Management team. From travel logistics, to hotels, to shipping massive amounts of equipment from around South Africa and the World, to schedules and meals and so much more. This is a massive job and the group here has handled it with skill, organization, and grace.

I don’t mean to sound too self-congratulatory on the production as a whole, but am hoping to explain how much hard work and skill went into everything you are seeing on the web and on the air. I am humbled by this group of people and proud to be a part of this wonderful project.

Bob Sitrick is a 30-year TV production and operations veteran who’s produced countless live television and online events. Bob will be our eyes and ears in the field all week long, reporting in real-time from South Africa on Shark Attack Experiment: LIVE – a two-hour special event on Nat Geo WILD airing live this Friday, November 25 at 9pm ET/6pm PT.