Saturday, February 19, 2005

Sting rays and making movies sans actors

19 February 2005 (6 a.m.)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The movie 'Whales of Banderas Bay' is edited and put into the archives after a lot of cutting and pasting of scenes. After making a half-dozen of these short videos, I'm finally learning some of the techniques to make them more visually interesting (as well as how to add sound beyond the rock music I have soooo much fun putting in).

But these films need actors, characters anyway, which is very difficult when most of the people I end up filming are so camera shy they practically dive under the covers when the camera gets sent their way. Or in this case, dive off the boat.

Not-so-shy are the creatures of the natural world, such as this ray (a STING ray, I believe) which was swimming in the channel at Paradise Village Marina the day we motored out to do the shooting for Whales of Banderas Bay aboard the motor vessel Mi Amor with Captain George and First Mate Winnie.

Sting rays can be nasty things in the shallow water when they are mating, I'm told. The only other place I've ever seen a sting ray in Mexico was Tenacatita Bay when Captain Sanders Lamont and I were there last season. We wandered into a small school of them when we were launching the dinghy and did the Sanibel Shuffle to warn them of our approach.

This ray was about two feet across and posed nicely for the video camera, though his bit part in Whales of Banderas Bay was cut out in the final version.

Maybe Disney will make a video about rays, though they don't have the same sex appeal as little colorful fish.

The loose thought running around in my head is about making a real documentary - with a script and everything. But that's for later in the morning when I've had at least another two cups of tea.


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