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 What & where Dave has been filming recently…



We get some pretty interesting assignments around New Zealand and the rest of the world, so scroll down and see what we've been filming lately !!

     [one day soon we'll get around to posting a proper gallery page!]





4K International documentary shoot

July 2015

Dave was away for 12- days on this 4K, UHD underwater shoot, filming a rare and seldom seen marine species at a remote tropical pacific location (confidential) for a blue-chip underwater documentary series.  Filming on a 4K Sony F5 this was a fascinating assignment with some incredible marine life encounters and interesting human characters involved too!








Aerial drone shoots, coastal/ offshore

Throughout 2015

Dave has had quite a number of assignments over the past year in one of our more recent specialty areas, aerial drone filming.  Dave has been shooting some stunning sequences of both coastal and inland scenic locations for a variety of clients and assignments, and has now got it all covered;- underwater, on land, and from the air!








COAST documentary series, NZ

May - July 2015

Dave has spent the past 2-months doing a number of underwater shoots for the iconic, international BBC documentary series ‘Coast’, - this particular series being co-produced in New Zealand and featuring NZ stories across a range of spectacular coastal locations from Northland to Fiordland.  From shipwrecks to marine reserves and stories on our marine environment this was an awesome project working with a great production team!








Rena documentary shoots

Throughout 2015

An interesting assignment to document the state of the 170M container ship the Rena, which ran aground and sank on Astrolabe Reef in 2011.  Dave did a number of dives over several trips this year filming the wreck to gather material for a documentary about the Rena, as well as assessing and documenting its suitability as a recreational dive wreck. 








ISUZU D-MAX Ad Campaign

April 2015

An awesome 5-days shooting some kick-ass 4WDing action around the top of the South island, - charging through mud holes, bush bashing, hill-climbing, river crossings and down-hilling through some spectacular scenery then back to the edit suite to cut and produce five 4WD segments for Isuzu’s DMAX campaign, - lots of cool POV camera placements!








New York Film Festival Nomination!

March 2015

The 8 part adventure documentary series Untamed which Dave filmed singlehanded, was nominated for ‘Best on TV’ at the New York Film Festival this month!  Pretty pleasing to get that level of recognition for this epic project which took Dave and show host Davey Hughes from Africa to the Arctic, Alaska to the Outback!








Norfolk Tourism Campaign

November 2014

A great assignment shooting topside and underwater footage of this beautiful island to showcase its outstanding tourism potential.  From filming some of the island’s awesome dive sites to heading offshore fishing for tuna and Kingfish; - documenting the raw beauty of Phillip Island and its birdlife to filming Norfolk’s rich culture, historic stone buildings and old whaling boats, this was a shoot with lots of variety!








Manta documentary shoot

September 2014

Off to Indonesia for 10-days to film Manta rays and Mola mola (Sunfish)!  During this assignment Dave shot some awesome underwater close-up sequences of Manta rays feeding in the nutrient-rich island waters, as well as footage of Sunfish being cleaned on the deeper reefs, and a wide variety of other Indonesian marine life.








Dune Lakes documentary

March - July 2014

An interesting commissioned project shooting and producing a short documentary about this rare and unique habitat and its aquatic life; - filming from the air [helicopter], on land around the lake shores, and also underwater… filming eels, crayfish, and endangered fish and plant life.  A full production from scripting and shooting through to editing and production.







Campbell Live Marine Reserves story TV3

May 2014

Another shoot where Dave both filmed and featured in the story, - this time about the benefits of marine reserves.  Mostly focussing on the Poor Knights Islands reserve in Northland, Dave’s locale, the story on the Campbell Live current affairs show featured Dave taking the reporter for a dive at the islands and talking about the marine life of the reserve.  Beautiful footage and an important environmental story.







Discovery Channel Daily Planet' science feature

April 2014

Dave was not only shooting but also featuring in this story on ‘innovations in diving and underwater filming’ for Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet series.  ‘Stealth Suit’ summarised the experience of filming for the first time anywhere in the world with the combination of a  HECS prototype wetsuit and a Poseidon closed circuit rebreather -  to provide the ultimate in stealth technology for filming underwater.







Discovery Channel 'Shark Week' White shark shoot


April 2014

Back to the same location Dave has been filming and working for the past  7 seasons, working with a US crew on a 10-day white shark shoot for Discovery Shark Week 2014.  Great experience as usual with some interactive sharks and the added interest of working out of a bottom cage!







Norfolk Island shoot

April 2014

Back to this beautiful island again to shoot another fishing show – this time for Matt Watson’s  ITM Fishing show, - chasing giant Snapper and Dogtooth tuna.  From rock fishing for Kingfish on small islands and  encountering massive Tiger sharks to targeting giant Snapper  on offshore reefs, this was a fun shoot!






Chatham Island shoot

December 2013

A cool shoot at an awesome location, the remote Chatham Islands.  Filming for an outdoor show exploring the culture of this ruggedly individualistic island, filming divers harvesting paua underwater, meeting the colourful locals, and exploring its wild and beautiful coastline. A fascinating timeless place.







Beach & Boat Fishing Show

February 2014

Covering one of NZs biggest annual fishing and boating events for a NZ TV Fishing show, from the water and the air. Filming all aspects of the event over the 2-days, from a Coastguard rescue offshore to quad biking the beach to film shore based fishermen and getting out on the water with the boat fishermen and up in a chopper to shoot some aerials!







HECS Promo video shoot

March 2014

Dave and the team were asked to field test the new HECS stealthscreen prototype wetsuits over the summer months and document the application of this technology for underwater filming work.  This also involved shooting and producing a promo’ feature highlighting the results of field testing for the international website and DEMA show.







White Shark shoot, Discovery Channel


An epic 10-day shoot with a US Discovery crew shooting a White shark doco’ for Shark Week 2013.    Filming was from two cages, including a clear Lexan fronted one-man cage; - and with Red EPIC and Phantom high speed camera’s both underwater & topside the resulting footage was outstanding, and the doco’ the highest rating Shark week doco’ ever !  All in all a very successful shoot despite having some rough weather to contend with;  - some incredible shark action at point blank range, all safely managed thanks to the expertise Dave and Pete have gained over 6-years of diving and filming these sharks.






'First Crossings'shoot

April 2013

Providing underwater safety and support for the Kelly Tarlton diving episode of ‘First Crossings’, a high quality NZ doco’ series recreating icon pioneering explorations.  This 3-day shoot involved recreating some historic dives on a famous NZ wreck, complete with deep and night dives and some great historical props!  A really good team effort, and a chance for Dave to get out from behind the camera for a change. 








Poor Knights episode [BBBY]

January to July 2013

Another assignment involving a heap of underwater filming in Dave’s backyard at the iconic Poor Knights marine reserve.  With such a rich diversity of marine life to choose from - and some of the most stunning marinescapes in the country, Dave and the team have been busy trying to capture some great critter stories in order to be able to share the beauty of these iconic offshore islands in the TV series. This one involved numerous filming dives over a 5-month period. 








Northern Harbour episode [BBBY]

January to June 2013

Dave and the northern team have been busy diving and filming various northern locations over the summer for this episode, searching out stingrays and stargazers, seahorses and snapper, and all the other varied marine life that make our northern harbours such interesting places. 







South Island shoot

March 2013

A 12-day shoot in one of Dave’s favourite southern filming locations, - filming sequences of the diverse marine life found in the kelp forests and rocky reefs of this island location. From Octopus and weird multi-armed sea cucumbers to Seven gill sharks and Hookers sealions this was an exciting shoot with its own set of challenges!







Our Big Blue Backyard

December 2012 - - July 2013

An extensive and ongoing shoot from December 2012 through to the middle of 2013 for a 6-part TV series on NZ’s underwater environment.  Dave is underwater cameraman on four of the six episodes, shooting on our new 50Mbp full HD Canon XF300.   



Norfolk Island shoot

November 2012

A one week shoot filming a fishing adventure around beautiful and isolated Norfolk Island, an unspoilt part of the world with a rich marine environment and an interesting history going right back to the mutineers off the ‘Bounty’.  Dave shot some great topside and underwater sequences of Norfolk’s fish life and fishing action for the episode, as well as a  fascinating overview of the islands colourful history.







Colorado mountains shoot

October 2012

Part II of a month-long North American shoot; flying from the first shoot location in Yukon, Canada, southward to the mountains of Colorado to film an elk hunting adventure.  Staying in tents and riding/ hiking each day from dawn to dusk at altitudes up to 12,500ft, it was another challenging assignment keeping camera equipment working in the snow and cold!  Stunning mountain landscapes, interesting characters and some exciting moments!







Yukon Canada wilderness shoot

September 2012

Less than a week after arriving home from filming in Samoa  in 30C sunshine, Dave was back on a plane to North America to film in the wilderness of the Yukon territory in the far north of Canada; - from beaches and coconuts to mountains and moose!  The shoot began with a bush plane flight from Whitehorse to a remote wilderness camp in the mountains, then 2 long days on horseback to an even more remote camp.  From there Dave and Davey spent 10 days on horseback and on foot exploring and filming the Yukon pioneering way of life, - stunning wild country, wild weather and wild life!






Samoa Fishing/ Travel show

September 2012

From the middle of post-production on the Isuzu D-Max job to a last minute, ‘1-hr before leaving’ packing session for an on-water/ underwater shoot in Samoa; - its been a busy couple of months!  A little weird to be packing shorts and jandals instead of polar fleece and Gore-Tex, ..but also nice to be diving in a 3mm shorty wetsuit instead of a 6mm drysuit!  A great 6-days filming a variety of fishing and diving action in Samoa’s warm blue waters; from Marlin  Mahimahi and Wahoo to whales and dolphins, as well as some beautiful Pacific island landscapes and history.






Isuzu D-MAX ad campaign

August 2012

An interesting brief to film and produce a five part web video campaign to promote the release of Isuzu’s new D-Max  4WD utes.  The concept was to hide one 4WD D-Max truck in both the North and South Island’s, then release a new video each week for 5 weeks giving progressively more clues to their locations until two lucky individuals were able to find the hidden utes.   Dave shot the five video clips over 2 separate film shoots, - each a ‘hunting scenario’ 3-4 min long, featuring Davey Hughes as the hunter/ presenter.  Lots of fun filming hunting, helicopters, 4WDs, bush huts and wild NZ back country.







'UNTAMED' series: Turkey episode

March 2012

A 2-week filming assignment to Turkey for the ‘Untamed’ series, pursuing Russian wild boar in the northern hemisphere winter.  Part of the filming was at night using infrared light and night vision, and it being the ‘worse winter for 30-years’ meant lots of snow!  The second part of the assignment involved filming in Istanbul, a magnificent city steeped in 1500 years of colourful history.






White shark Documentary


Another rough trip filming for our White shark documentary,-  the 50 knots winds and stormy conditions making it a challenging, but successful trip all the same.  As well as shooting some great sequences Dave and Pete identified several new sharks and re-sighted a few familiar individuals...the pay-off for being into the 5th year of filming these sharks!






Bay of Islands topside & underwater shoot

January 2012

A shoot for a well known NZ fishing show with a mix of topside and underwater filming required.  Dave was working in the beautiful Bay of Islands on this shoot, and as well as filming dive sequences and underwater life, also filming the anglers above water fishing for snapper and kingfish.






Post Production:  UNTAMED TV Series

November 2011- March 2012

There’s no doubt we get some incredible filming assignments and underwater adventures around the world, but the other side of filming and production is editing!  For the past couple of months Dave has been head down, ass’ up editing the first sample episode of UNTAMED, an adventure series spanning the globe. This is the first of 11 episodes we have in the can, - so watch this space.







South Island Outdoor show assignment

October 2011

A 2-week assignment travelling and filming around the South Island for an outdoor show, starting in the Marlborough sounds and taking in the Kaikoura coast, Akaroa harbour, Moeraki, the Dunedin seafood festival, the Clutha River region and Central Otago.  On this shoot Dave filmed a variety of ‘marine’ stories, from the production of Paua pearls to mussel and salmon farming, from clam harvesting to whitebaiting, cod fishing and Paua diving!  As well as filming in, on, and underwater Dave also filmed a piece about NZ’s gold mining history, trout fishing and deer hunting sequences, and plenty of the South Island’s spectacular scenery!







OCEANZ Symposium 2011

November 2011

This month Dave was asked to give a talk and video presentation on Great White sharks at the 2011 Oceanz Conference in Tauranga.  Dave’s talk went down so well he was asked to repeat the presentation a second time for a second audience!






Rarest fish footage in the world?

October 2011

Earlier this year when coming up from a filming dive at the Poor Knights Islands, Dave filmed an unusual fish with large shimmering fins in blue water a few metres below the surface, - not having seen anything like it before we were keen to have it identified!  Turns out it was a juvenile tripodfish, a species that lives on the sea bottom at 6000M, and this is very likely the only video footage of a juvenile ever taken.







Alaska's Wrangell Mountains: Adventure series shoot

August/ September 2011

Dave’s 4th trip up to Alaska - filming another episode for ‘Adventures in Wild Places’ this time in the Wrangell Mountains. Being Alaska the shoot involved spectacular wilderness scenery, colourful characters and loads of wildlife encounters; from Moose, Caribou and Wolverine to Grizzly bears!  This was a tough assignment with Dave packing all his camera equipment on his back as usual, getting up at 3am every morning, riding on horseback for a couple of hours then walking/climbing around 10 hrs a day in the mountains before heading back to the tent camp.  Should make another great episode!







White shark doco' shoot


Back on the shark documentary again, this time battling cold stormy weather with 50 knot winds, rough seas and hail!  Despite the difficult conditions Dave managed to capture some great shark sequences for the doco’ and returned with his White shark addiction undiminished! 






Eel habitat documentary


A quirky and pleasant shoot for the eel documentary, this time filming semi-tame eels in a small north island creek.  These particular eels had been fed for years, and were all over Dave when he got in…even bumping the camera and nipping at his hands and face!





White shark doco' shoot and TV3 story


Another week of filming Great white sharks for our upcoming documentary, as well as shooting a short story with TV3’s ‘Campbell Live’ on shark conservation and regulation of the shark tourism industry.  Dave has now spent well over 200 hours underwater observing and filming great whites at close range! 






Poor Knights doco'


Shooting further sequences for our Poor Knights marine reserves documentary, - covering all the ‘seasons’ and changing assemblages of marine life around the islands over the course of a year.  Dave captured some fascinating sequences of species only rarely seen at the Poor Knights on this particular shoot.






Taupo Ironman 2011


Dave headed down to Taupo for this assignment to film the Swim leg of the 2011 Ironman.  Weather conditions were atrocious on the day for both the 1500 competitors and the film crew, and it was a very early start for Dave!  This was our first time filming with a Canon DSLR but it was ideal for the very low light of a dawn start and the resulting sequences were great!






White shark documentary


Another shoot for Liquid Action Films own White shark documentary, with Dave spending yet more time filming these awesome and fascinating predators.  Now into our 4th year of observing these sharks we are regularly re-sighting individuals and getting to know their ‘personalities’ … as well as capturing some spectacular sequences!






NZ Fishing show episode

February 2011

A 2-day shoot in Northland’s Hokianga region, filming blue water gamefishing off the West Coast for NZ’s longest running fishing show.  Dave captured some great sequences of colourful Northland characters for this episode, both out on the water and back onshore!






Tourism NZ RWC Poor Knights promo

January 2011

A Tourism NZ shoot in Dave’s home diving territory, the Poor Knights Islands; -gathering footage from this iconic location to lure overseas visitors to NZ for the Rugby World Cup. On the day we had clear blue water, sunshine, plenty of fish and an attractive model - so all in all a successful day!






Eel documentary

January 2011

A shoot in the Waikato region for an environmental documentary on freshwater eels and habitat loss.  This project involved filming sequences in all three mediums; - from the air, underwater and on land.  During the underwater shoot Dave filmed rare sequences of Australian Spotted Longfin eels, as well as some very large NZ Longfin.






Norwegian arctic shoot

November 2010

More filming above the Arctic Circle, this time in a remote and beautiful area of northern Norway. Our main focus here was filming a dog sledding adventure for another episode of ‘Adventures in Wild Places’ and Dave shot some stunning footage of the dog teams travelling through beautiful snow covered landscape.

A special encounter with Sami reindeer herders during a roundup, and a night of incredible Northern Lights made this another stand-out assignment…despite temperatures down to –30C!






Svalbard high Arctic shoot

November 2010

A fantastic filming trip up into the Arctic to a white wilderness about as far from NZ as it is possible to get.  So far north is Svalbard that there is no daylight at this time of year – just a bit of twilight around midday, and by the end of our time here the polar night had arrived bringing complete darkness until February.

On this adventure Dave was directing and filming a snowmobile expedition into the vast white polar landscape of Svalbard, as well as a bit of dogsledding, the incredible Northern lights and a rare look into the Global Seed Vault or ‘Doomsday Vault’.  The low light and extreme cold made filming challenging though, as at - 25C batteries die like flies and even the cameras LCD screen start to freeze! 






Kodiak Island shoot, Alaska

Sept/October 2010

Another trip up to Alaska filming for the ‘Adventures in Wild Places’ series, - this time though we were focussing on Kodiak Island, home to the ‘Deadliest Catch’ crab fishing boats and the biggest Brown bears in the world!  Flying into a remote area by floatplane then hiking up into the mountains to camp above the snowline, filming Mountain goats, Brown bear, Silver salmon, Fin whales and seals, this was a real adventure!  We talked to some great Alaskan characters and got a real insight into this incredible country and its people.






West Coast Bluefin tuna shoot

August 2010

A fairly tough assignment thanks to rough weather - filming an ‘Adventures in Wild Places’  episode about Bluefin tuna.  Leaving from the West Coast’s  notorious Greymouth Bar to and steaming out to the ‘Trench’ we followed Hoki trawlers working in the area and intercepted the Bluefin tuna following their nets.  Despite the rough conditions an exciting trip, with two massive tuna brought in to the boat ..one around 300kg!   Unfortunately it was too dangerous to get Dave in filming underwater this time, but we will try again !  Still to come on this story is a series of interviews with scientists, conservationists, fishermen and NGO’s, - and a visit to the Tokyo fish market!






White shark Documentary shoot

Yet another White shark shoot – this time back working on our own Liquid Action Films HD shark documentary - which really is going to be an outstanding production, [in fact Dave has spent more time underwater with this particular Great white population than anyone in the world!]. In addition to filming for this documentary over the past 4-years, Dave has become so engrossed with the sharks that together with ‘shark partner’ Pete, he is also setting up a long-term behavioural research project on the sharks... which of course will be documented in HD!






3D IMAX Great White shoot

April 2010

3-D Imax is currently the ‘pinnacle’ of film-making, and Liquid Action Films recently had the rewarding experience of hosting a UK/USA co-production featuring the White sharks we have been working with for the past several years. Dave and the team worked on this one for a month, taking care of pre-production visa/ permitting arrangements etc, customised shark-cage design, marine logistics …and then in-water safety and support during the shoot.

The team really put in the hard yards and battled some ferocious weather conditions during the shoot, but thorough preparation and the experience we have gained over the past 4-years working with these sharks really paid off with stunning sequences and a happy client!  







'Shark Girl' for TVNZ Close Up

March 2010

During filming for our White shark documentary Dave had an opportunity to help Southland teenager Lydia Ward ‘get back in the water’ after having recently fought off an attack by a 7-Gill shark.  Dave took her into the cage to face a great White shark in a controlled encounter that left Lydia with a real appreciation for sharks,

and filmed her experience for a story that featured on TVNZ’s ‘Close Up’.






White shark documentary shoot

March 2010

Back filming white shark footage again for our documentary on these supreme predators.  Dave spent 2-weeks in the cage almost every day filming white sharks, even getting to know individual sharks…sometimes at point blank range!  A fantastic shoot resulting in some spectacular close up sequences of great whites and some exciting moments!    






Speights 'Coast to Coast'

February 2010

Another great assignment filming for the ‘Adventures in Wild Places’ series, - this time New Zealand’s classic premiere multisports race, the Speights Coast to Coast. As Dave has previously competed in the Coast to Coast Longest Day,- filming the race side by side with Davey as a competitor was a blast from the past.  Rugged landscape, all the thrills and spills of a multi-day adventure race and a mid-race ‘weather bomb’, this will be another great episode!






Getaway' - New Zealand episode

January 2010

We recently supplied underwater sequences to this popular Australian travel show for an episode featuring the Poor Knights Islands and due to screen later this year.  Over the past 10-years filming for various documentary programs and features Dave has shot footage of almost all the marine life found around the Poor Knights Islands, and we now hold probably the most comprehensive library of Poor Knights footage in the country.   






High Country muster

December 2009

Five days filming a classic New Zealand High country cattle muster in a remote part of the South Island; - snow covered mountains, wide river valleys, rugged stockman, horses, dogs, jet-boats and of course cattle! With all the ingredients for another fascinating episode of ‘Adventures in Wild Places’ this was a great assignment to end a busy year…although thanks to a high river Dave nearly didn’t make his flight home for Christmas!






'Underwater volcano' shoot for Brazilian TV

December 2009

Another underwater shoot out at White Island, this time for Brazilian TV.  For this assignment Dave had to film well-known Brazilian presenter ‘Chico’ diving amongst bubbling volcanic vents and large fish schools in the waters around this still active volcano for a documentary on New Zealand ‘hot spots’.  A fun shoot with an all-Brazilian crew …bar Dave the Kiwi!






Meet the Locals ‘Seaweek special’ TVNZ

December 2009

Filming for a special episode of ‘Meet the Locals’, a TV series centred around New Zealand wildlife.  On this assignment Dave was shooting both topside and underwater for a story on Northland marine reserves, shooting some beautiful sequences of fish life and underwater scenes as well as some entertaining segments and interviews with local school children, EMR guides, DoC and MinFish staff. Airing during Seaweek 2010.






Bull-riding shoot - 'Adventures from Hell!'

December 2009

A pumping couple of days filming AFH presenter Davey Hughes teaming up with a group of country boys at ‘Bull-riding school’.  Five times Australasian Bull-riding champion Brad Scott took them through their paces, showing them what it takes to stay on a bad-tempered bull for 8 seconds.  In his own words ..“there’s no ‘Off’ switch, you’re a 70kg man on a 1000kg bull and sooner or later you’re gonna get hurt..” –Dave wasn’t in a hurry to put a helmet camera on for this shoot!






Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior shoot

October 2009

Filming underwater sequences of a Greenpeace initiative for the ‘International Day of Climate Action’ for broadcast by the BBC in the UK, and TV3 here in NZ.  Dave filmed Greenpeace divers unfurling a banner on the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior as the NZ component of the ‘biggest coordinated day of Action against Climate change’ in history: …one of 5,200 actions taking place in 181 countries around the world.  Fittingly the water was also very  'green' on the day thanks to the spring plankton bloom!




Alaska shoot II, Central Alaska

September 2009

Part two of the Alaska adventure, this time filming in a remote area of the Western Range, accessible only by bush plane ...and in sharp contrast to the rainforests of Southeast Alaska, this was a landscape of wide glacial valleys, snow-capped mountains and open tundra. Here we filmed Caribou, Moose and Dall sheep as well as the beautiful colours of ‘Fall’ and the sudden arrival of winter's blanketing snow. An insight into the independent character of those Alaskans still living like pioneers, -hunting, trapping and living in log cabins.




Alaska shoot I, Southeast Alaska

September 2009

An awesome assignment to one of Dave’s favourite locations, Alaska, - filming amid the stunning rainforests, fjords and salmon rivers of South-east Alaska.  This was for a further episode in the ‘Adventures from Hell’ series, and included filming sequences of sea otters, Black bears [-some very close up!] and other wildlife, as well as the spectacle of salmon spawning in their thousands up creeks flanked by huge and ancient trees. We also shot interviews with some of the fascinating characters who live in this part of the world.




Australian Outback shoot

July 2009

A great 10-day filming assignment deep in the Outback of Australia’s Northern Territory, shooting another episode for the ‘Adventures from Hell’ series.  From a wild cattle muster to bull-catching in ‘Mad Max’ style 4WD’s, hunting wild buffalo and filming all that is involved with running a big station in the Outback this was a fantastic shoot -if somewhat hard on our camera equipment!  With heat, dust and rough terrain to contend with, filming in the Australian bush posed a few challenges but was extremely rewarding…and we even managed to squeeze in a cage-dive with a 5m Saltwater crocodile to top it off!




Underwater sequences for feature film

June 2009

New Zealand filmmaker Florian Habicht called on us recently to supply the underwater sequences for his latest film ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ airing at the 2009 Film Festival; -a quirky look at NZ’s fishing culture and iconic Far North lifestyle.


Big-Wave surfing doco'!

May 2009

Shooting the first sequences and interviews for a documentary on big wave surfing, a truly ‘extreme’ sport where the surfer takes on huge and potentially deadly waves by being ‘towed into it at speed behind a jetski!



Ben Abbott !!

[born 19th April 2009]

The culmination of a ‘9-month assignment’; - to produce the next generation ‘Aquaman’ and start training him up to be the worlds greatest cameraman!   I've got a feeling this is going to be a long and tough assignment...but he's showing a lot of promise already!



French-German Travel documentary

April 2009

Shooting further sequences for a French-German travel documentary about New Zealand -this time aerial footage from a Hughes 500of the Overlander train passing through the spectacular scenery and viaducts of central North islands National Park.




Shark Documentary shoot

April 2009

A further shoot for our shark documentary, this time focussing on the supreme marine predator, the great white shark.   A mind-blowing shoot resulting in some awesome underwater sequences and great wildlife encounters above water as well! Remote location, rugged scenery, interesting character interviews, - just what we like!



Screentime ‘cold–case’ doco: 'Missing - Kapua’

April 2009

Filming the underwater segments for a Screentime television documentary on an unsolved missing persons case in Rotorua, over 20 years ago.  Dave filmed the Police dive team undertaking a search of the lake and river looking for bones or any sign of the missing person in the story, -an interesting insight into this difficult job. 

[no images available prior to broadcast]


Nelson Lakes Doco' shoot

Mar 2009

Filming and producing a short documentary about the Nelson Lakes National Park and its wild inhabitants -both above and below water.  During the course of this shoot Dave filmed scientists electric-fishing in small creeks, large freshwater eels, native bird life and some stunning landscapes, - from the Buller River and the Nelson lakes themselves to the mountains around them. 




Shark Documentary shoot

Mar 2009

Another shoot for our Liquid Action’ shark documentary, this time focussing on Blue and Mako sharks, stunningly beautiful pelagic predators that are unfortunately declining rapidly due to huge fishing pressure worldwide.




French-German travel documentary

Feb 2009

Back down to the Bay of Plenty again to shoot material for a travel documentary on New Zealand for French German television.  The goal this time was to film underwater sequences of dolphins and seals, …with the seals cooperating far more than the dolphins!




Little Barrier Island production

Feb 2009

Filming and producing a short documentary about Little Barrier Island and the novel solutions DoC staff have come up with to protect this beautiful island and its rare wildlife from pest plant invasions.  The shoot involved Dave filming from one helicopter to the other as one man dangled below the chopper spraying the otherwise inaccessible cliffs; …a spectacular day!




Shark documentary shoot

Feb 2009

Filming for a Liquid Action Films documentary production currently in the making; -this segment for part of a story on shark research and tagging programs in New Zealand waters following a researcher searching for White sharks in the far north of the country.




'Turtle release' for TV3's 'Close up'

Feb 2009

Documenting the release of a rare Loggerhead turtle out at the Pinnacles off the Poor Knights Islands marine reserve.  This particular turtle had had a satellite tag affixed to its shell by Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium staff so that they are able to track its movements over time.




White Island documentary, Hong Kong TV

Jan 2009

Shooting for Hong Kong television, Dave’s role in this assignment was to film underwater sequences of the ‘Seafire’ wreck lying in 30M of water off Whale Island, then to dive and film bubbling volcanic vents around still-active White Island.





'Gone Fishin' shoot

Jan 2009

Filming both underwater and topside for an episode of ‘Gone Fishing’ in the Bay of Islands; -from fast and furious Kingfish action on the boat to underwater sequences of divers hunting for crayfish and exploring fascinating caverns off Cape Brett.





Great White Shark autopsy

Jan 2009

Filming shark expert Clinton Duffy examining and dissecting a 3metre, 300kg white shark in front of the public and international media at the Auckland Museum. A fascinating close-up look at one of these amazing predators, from teeth, jaws and fins to their internal parts.  Around 4000 people came to see this shark firsthand and gain a real appreciation for one of the oceans best adapted and iconic creatures.



Underwater shoot with Robson Green for 'Extreme Fishing!'

December 2008

Filming well known British actor Robson Green free-diving for crayfish on the New Zealand episode of his 'round the world fishing adventure show  'Extreme Fishing!'  for Channel 5, UK.  Dave did the in-water camera work for this NZ episode, shooting sequences of Robson free-diving for Crayfish and Kina in the Bay of Plenty, ....Robson did amazingly well and was a really nice bloke to boot!



Fiordland Adventure doco'

November 2008

Another great filming assignment to a wild and beautiful part of New Zealand, -again filming an 'outdoor adventure'.   This one involved a 50km kayak to start with, [filming all the way] then 6 days of hiking, hunting and filming in remote wilderness, then a paddle back UP the river to get out!  A bit more demanding than your average filming assignment, -both on the equipment AND the cameraman ...lucky Dave has a background in Adventure racing and doesnt mind getting wet!



Foot safari in Africa

August 2008

A once in a lifetime filming assignment to Tanzania in Africa with SWAZI's Davey Hughes, documenting a hunting safari in the tradition of the early white hunters who opened up the continent...all on foot.  No 4wd's here, just 30 African porters and 10 hours walking per day in incredibly hot dry conditions!  Cooking on fires, camping in sand rivers with the sound of elephants, hyenas and lions filling the night, digging for our water in dry river beds, and with only a small solar charger to keep the cameras going, this was a challenging and rewarding assignment documenting the fascinating wildlife, people, and scenery of one of the worlds wild places.



Greenpeace Climate change protest

September 2008

Filming Greenpeace activists on an early morning/ covert action to protest the conversion of forest to large scale dairy farming.  A 3am start [shooting in the dark!] as activists ploughed messages into the ground using cultivators, then put up banners and chained themselves to logging machinery. Dave narrowly escaped being arrested himself while filming the action!

[for images see Greenpeace site]


Tonga's Reefs and whales

August 2008

A 10-day shoot in Tonga preparing background for a spec' documentary on Humpback whale research.  Working off a yacht between the Ha apai island group and Va'vau, and diving on offshore reefs with pristine corals -as well as free-diving with Humpback whales and their calves, - a fantastic trip with a great crew! 




West Coast Bluefin tuna Assignment

June & September 2008

Two exciting trips down to the wild West coast filming Bluefin tuna fishing!  These massive fish can weigh hundreds of kilos and are found well offshore during the winter months; .. weather conditions are often cold and rough at this time of year, so every trip out is an adventure!  Most of the action happened at night and Dave filmed three tuna being taken, all around the 250kg mark. An awesome, if 'sleep-deprived' assignment!



MinFish DVD

June 2008

Two shoots collecting material for a Ministry of Fisheries production on the role of habitat in Snapper recruitment.  Filming underwater sequences of Sea grass beds, mussel beds and harbour habitats in the far north, then an aerial shoot over Kaipara Harbour.  Liquid Action Films was also able to supply stock footage of various fish species for this production direct from our library.




'The Rotorua Lakes' environmental production

April 2008

Shooting and producing an environmental feature on the freshwater life of the Rotorua Lakes and the threats these habitats face from invasive weed species.  Dave spent several days shooting underwater in the regions lakes and waterways, -filming everything fom trout, freshwater crayfish and native galaaxids to introduced fish species like Carp and Cattfish, as well as topside interviews with researchers and scientists.  




'Giant eel' Documentary

March 2008

A week shooting underwater for a Japanese ‘High-def’ documentary on giant eels.  This assignment had Dave  filming in underwater cave systems, fast flowing rivers, and cold, deep lakes to get shots of big eels…a fascinating assignment with a great crew! 




'Tasmania' Documentary Shoot

Feb 2008

Giant crabs and lobsters, deadly Tiger snakes, quirky Tasmanian characters and wildlife, and plenty of exercise  lugging camera equipment through thick bush and along rivers …a 10 day shoot for a Liquid Action Films documentary on this wild and beautiful island.



TVNZ 'Meet the Locals'

Jan 2008

An underwater shoot, filming in HD for TVNZ's 'Meet the Locals' series at the Poor Knights Islands. Dave spent the day filming the presenter and school children snorkelling the waters of New Zealand's 'flagship' marine reserve as well as shooting marine life sequences for the show.



Te Papa 'Whales Tohora' exhibition

Liquid Action Films has supplied footage for this international exhibition on whales opening at Te Papa then touring the USA. A stunning and innovative multimedia exhibition featuring large-screens audio-visual displays, clever animations graphics and 3-D models; - a must see!



Sinking of the HMNZ Canterbury

Covering the sinking of the HMNZ Canterbury in Deep Water Cove Northland; - the third navy frigate to be sunk around the NZ coast. Dave captured the 105m long decommissioned frigate going to its final resting place in HD, .a sequence made even more spectacular by a pyrotechnic display of flames and smoke as it sank beneath the surface. We will shortly be following this with an underwater segment as a team of divers explore the wreck.



UK Television.The Leo Holdings Project

A British reality show starring a well known UK outdoor celebrity leading a group of couch potatoes on an adventure around the world to experience different 'Rites of passage'. Dave did the in-water camera work for the NZ episode in HD, shooting sequences of the contestants diving with local Maori in the Bay of Islands as they tried to catch their own kaimoana [seafood]. A large production involving a number of vessels, helicopter, specialist crew and safety divers.



TV3's Campbell Live

Dave has filmed for a couple of Northland stories recently for the TV3 current affairs show, 'Campbell Live'; - one story on a pair of big-hearted South African brothers running a scrap metal yard and helping out a woman with a problem, and another about Growers Markets and the core values and conflicting issues behind setting up a 'community market'.



DPV promotional shoot

Shooting underwater footage of a radical new kiwi invention; a sleek, futuristic, back-mounted DPV [Diver Propulsion Vehicle], -the brainchild of two talented and innovative 'Kiwi blokes'. Very cool, .in fact so much so that we want one at Liquid Action Films!



Giant Squid! with Steve O’Shea

One of the most fascinating ‘mysteries of the deep’, giant squid and the even more chilling Colossus squid are the subject of a segment Liquid Action is putting together on cephalopods.  Dave has spent a fascinating couple of days filming and interviewing scientist and giant squid expert Steve O’Shea measuring and preserving a massive 12m long giant squid as he explains to the camera the workings of these bizarre ‘aliens of inner space’.



Orca documentary,  German television

Filming sequences of Orca researcher Ingrid Visser both underwater and on her research boat off the Northland coast for a German documentary on Orca research.   Dave was on standby to shoot footage of Orca encounters with Ingrid,  but hampered by bad weather and deadlines ended up supplying some of the necessary Orca footage from the Liquid Action stock library.



‘Top five eaten Alive!’

A change of roles and a break from shooting for Dave, arranging locations, boats, vehicles and props for a Discovery Channel documentary on five horrific shark attack survival stories.  Four of these recreations were shot on the Northland coast using local actors, a life-sized White shark model and litres and litres of artificial blood!



Saving the Kiwi

An interesting commission to shoot, edit and produce a documentary resource on Kiwi conservation.  This assignment has taken Dave out of the water and into Northland forests, onto Kapiti Island, and to locations in Coromandel, Rotorua and the South Island in search of our national bird and the dedicated people who are looking after them.  Covering their biology, predators, habitats and protection efforts this has been a fascinating filming experience and is currently in post production.



Greenpeace Climate Protest

Shooting from a helicopter as Greenpeace activists rappelled down the150m chimney of the Huntly Power station to unfurl a 45m  high banner protesting coal fired power production.  Heart-stopping sequences of activists being swung out and away from the chimney as wind caught the huge banner…these guys are really committed to their cause!



Japanese TV Variety show

A complete change from our usual underwater/outdoor assignments, a flying visit to cover a couple of quirky Australian stories in Sydney and Melbourne for a Japanese variety show; -how a schoolboy got a date with a super model and how an incompetent first-time traveller ended up in Sidney USA instead of Sydney Australia!


Tasmanian Wildlife shoot

Away again on 4-day shoot with a Japanese TV crew to film some of Tasmania’s unique wildlife, including underwater sequences of rare Giant lobster.  From trekking into the bush loaded with 40kg of camera/dive equipment and filming beneath the surface of dark tannin-stained creeks to shooting Tasmanian Devils, Echidna and snakes, this was a rewarding assignment in a beautiful part of Australia.



Greenpeace ‘Defending our Oceans’ campaign;  Hawaii to San Diego

A 3-week filming assignment onboard the 76m Greenpeace vessel ‘Esperanza’ documenting the effects of plastics on our oceans.  From the beaches of Hawaii’s North Shore to a 2 ½ week, 2000-mile ocean crossing between Hawaii and San Diego filming in, on, and under the water.  This assignment involved true Bluewater-diving in mid-ocean, over 1000 miles from land and in water 5000M deep!  Dave shot and edited sequences onboard the ship which were then uploaded via satellite to Ocean Defenders TV and the international media…including the BBC & MTV. In Hawaii the team also investigated and filmed at a local Fish market, discouraged by the volume of commercially caught pelagic species like tuna, marlin and moonfish.



Marine Reserve Opening, Whangarei

An aerial shoot of New Zealand’s newest marine reserve located in Northland’s Whangarei Harbour,…  a stunning day filming from the air culminating in a spectacular fly-over of the volcanic offshore islands of the Poor Knights Islands marine reserve!



Fiordland Expedition

A stunning assignment to one of New Zealand’s true wilderness areas; Fiordland.  A week at sea in the fiords filming the spectacular scenery and wildlife of this region along with its world-class fishing, hunting, trekking and diving.  From shooting underwater sequences of Black coral forests and marine life to topside footage of mountains, mist and forest, to aerial footage of the fiords from a chopper this was an unforgettable assignment!



Diving New Caledonia

A busy assignment combining filming and still-photography both underwater and topside!   A beautiful country and great shoot location with superb diving and idyllic tropical scenery…lots of white sand beaches, clear blue water and prolific coral reefs.  As well as sharks, turtles and sea snakes Dave also filmed a very rare encounter with a Chambered Nautilus …a creature rarely seen by divers and usually living at depths of 2-300m!



Greenpeace ‘Ban bottom trawling’ protest

An interesting assignment for Greenpeace; ..up before dawn and into the IRB’s [rubber boats] under cover of darkness to put protesters onboard a Korean Bottom trawler, -then film the action from the waterline as campaigners chained themselves to the vessel and hung banners across the stern.  Final sequence was of the protesters being arrested…great to grab media attention and hence a successful result!



‘Marine Reserves; ‘Protecting our Seas’

Production of a 33 minute feature on Marine Reserves for the NZ Department of Conservation covering the marine life found in reserves around the entire country, from the Kermadec Islands in the far north to Stewart Island and Fiordland in the deep south.   Largely assembled from our comprehensive footage library gathered during 10 years of filming around NZ, with a few extra days filming the creatures and habitats of the Kapiti Island and Marlborough Sounds reserves…octopus, conger eels, blue cod, crayfish and paua etc.  The finished Liquid Action Films production encompasses the best of New Zealand’s marine reserves from the far north to the deep south and is a prequel to a doco’ series on the same topic.



Trout DVD

A change from all the saltwater filming!  Shooting footage of trout both underwater and topside as well as sequences of eggs, fingerlings and adult trout being ‘milked’ for eggs.  For a DVD on trout fishing and management in New Zealand.



2006 Freediving Nationals; Part II

Filming the second competition of the Freediving Nationals; the Open Men’s ‘constant weight’ record attempts out at the Poor Knights Islands.  Day 1 saw Ants Williams set a new NZ record of 78M…an awesome effort! Dave filmed this one from a depth of 50m, getting Ants on the way down and up for the record-setting dive.



Turtle research shoot

Are there resident turtles in New Zealand?  We are currently filming for this ongoing research project in the far north and will keep you posted! …Dave has shot great underwater sequences of turtles in northern NZ waters so they are certainly present here, …whether permanently or not!



2006 Freediving Nationals; Part I

Filming some of New Zealand’s top freediver’s attempting to set some new NZ records.  Despite battling bad weather/ 25 knot winds and 2m swells, once out at the Knights we encountered beautiful clear blue water for filming this event.  Three new Freediving records were set on the day including ‘No fins’, ‘Free immersion’ and ‘Constant weight’.    



Poor Knights Islands shoot

Yet another few filming dives to add to the 1000+ Dave has done at the Poor Knights Islands, this time filming Bronze whaler sharks for a segment in a Liquid Action Films documentary on the Poor Knights Islands.  Currently in post production. 



White sharks Tagging for shark doco’ and ‘20/20’ segment

8-days out on the water with two of New Zealand’s leading shark researchers during January and February filming a project to satellite-tag a mainland New Zealand White shark.  Mostly filming on the Manakau and Kaipara Harbours plus a couple of days in Taranaki searching for a large [6m!] White shark that had been hanging around the area.   During the project Dave filmed School sharks, Bronze whalers and Blue sharks…with a couple even biting our pole-cam!  The team did tag the White shark they were looking for in the end while we filmed the whole capture/ tagging and release process…what an impressive creature to see close up!



2006 Surf Nationals

On assignment shooting ‘in-water’ footage at the 2006 Surf Nationals at Northland’s 90-Mile Beach.  What an incredible location…a beach that goes on for ever, big blue sky, sunshine and a glassy wave breaking at ‘The Bluff’ on competition day.  A great line-up of top NZ surfers doing their thing.



Orca Research with Ingrid Visser for ’60-Minutes’

Several days out on the water with NZ Orca researcher Ingrid Visser, documenting these spectacular and charismatic animals as they pass through some of Northlands harbours and coastline.  Day 1 up to the beautiful Hokianga Harbour with its awesome sand dunes and rugged scenery to film a 6-hour encounter with a pod of Orca travelling back down the harbour to the open sea.  A real privilege to experience being so close to these awesome marine mammals and film them against such a wild and beautiful backdrop.  Day 2 in the Bay of Islands filming Ingrid interacting with a small pod of Orca, including a juvenile male coming up to the inflatable to be stroked!  Some of this footage was used for a story on Ingrid’s research aired on TV3’s ’60-Minutes’.  


Stewart Island, Fiordland & the Deep South

Documenting a research expedition surveying the marine habitats and inhabitants of southern New Zealand.  A stunning region of wild scenery and incredible marine life; - diverse, prolific and fascinating!  The water was a little colder down there but Dave shot some stunning underwater footage, from Hookers sealions to Southern Pigfish, trumpeter, Spiny dogfish, huge Kelp forests and wild coastlines.   In the dark and remote waters of Preservation Inlet in Fiordland Dave filmed Black coral, Seapen’s, hagfish and Carpet sharks as well as many other fascinating species.  Liquid Action Films edited the resulting footage into an educational and advocacy resource for the NZ Department of Conservation.



‘The Ultimate Challenge’ TV show

A quick ‘in-water assignment filming for the TV series ‘The Ultimate Challenge’, a reality show following a group of young New Zealanders learning how to work as a team while sailing a maxi yacht.  Dave filmed the group running through ‘abandon ship drills’ and simulated emergencies; turned into an action packed day filming the crew being airlifted from liferafts by Navy personnel in Iroquois choppers… thumping rotors, blasting spray and lots of noise!  Series to be aired on TV2.



Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior Commemoration

Topside and underwater filming assignment documenting the 25th anniversary of the Rainbow Warrior bombing.  A beautiful misty morning clearing to a spectacular day, Dave first filming the new Rainbow Warrior motoring out to the wreck site then underwater to film Greenpeace divers placing a wreath and plaque on the wreck, now thickly encrusted in anemones, seaweed and teeming with fishlife.



‘Shark Survivor’ DVD, Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium

An interesting project producing an ‘educational/promotional DVD for Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, involving filming in the shark tank at the aquarium while divers fed the sharks and rays then combining this with footage from Liquid Action’s own library of ‘wild shark’ sequences to tell the story.  Recorded some fascinating ‘behind the scenes’ footage of aquarium activities, from food preparation and the high-tech filtration systems used, to animal health for turtles and sea snakes!



Greenpeace Marsden B Campaign

An underwater assignment to document a Greenpeace protest against the ‘Marsden B’ coal-fired power station opening; Greenpeace diver holding protest banners next to the underwater outflow of the power station in Bream Bay, a popular marine recreational area.



Whaleshark Research assignment

A film charter onboard our vessel the ‘Norseman’ with shark researchers Clinton Duffy and Ramón Bonafil from the US on a ‘needle in a haystack’ search for a whaleshark to tag with a pop-up satellite tag.  Surprisingly we had a Whaleshark appear right alongside the boat very briefly…unfortunately too briefly to tag or film! We will be trying again next season!


Extreme 4WD action!

A 1-day shoot filming for a pilot on 4WDing; -a jaw-dropping look at just what the experts can do in their ‘Open class’ 4WD vehicles’…putting them through their paces over seemingly impossible terrain…guts, grunt and skills!



Deep water Nurse shark capture Expedition

Filming assignment for Wild TV ‘Ocean Zoo’ series.  Accompanying the Kelly Tarlton’s team on a mission to capture Deep-water nurse sharks for the Kelly Tarlton’s shark exhibit.  A stunning offshore location and charismatic subjects; three sharks were captured and health-checked, then an epic journey followed back to the aquarium with the sharks safe in high-tech, aerated transport ‘coffins’.  Dave completed the assignment in the shark tank at Kelly Tarlton’s, filming the sharks being introduced and acclimatised by staff.


Kermadec Islands Expedition

An incredible assignment filming a science & research expedition to the remote Kermadec Island group 500 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand.  Three days at sea each way and a week doing some of the most stunning diving and filming Dave has done in NZ waters; - stroppy Galapagos sharks, huge Black-spotted grouper, a very special Humpback whale encounter and all sorts of tropical and subtropical life.   Later edited by LAF into a advocacy resource for the NZ Dept of Conservation.


National Geographic Cave diving tragedy re-creation at Lake Taupo

Acting as safety diver/back-up cameraman and stand-in ‘talent’ for a National Geographic shoot re-creating the cave diving tragedy that occurred in the Rewaka resurgence in 1995.  An underwater night-shoot with the actual divers who survived the event playing themselves, - a very good re-creation that was surprisingly eerie even during the shoot…especially the ‘body recovery’ sequence.



Dolphin shoot

Out on the water again  in the Bay of Plenty filming dolphins for a promotional production; a topside and underwater shoot over a brilliant couple of days with calm conditions blue water and plenty of dolphins!



Drifting DVD, ‘Final Drive’

An assignment away from the water involving a full on, high-octane shoot at the Manfield race track filming New Zealand’s top drifting exponents; incredibly skilled drivers such as Justin Rood controlling their cars while 4-wheel drifting from corner to corner at speed.  Filming at track level inches away from spinning tyres and using pencil cams to capture the driver action inside the cars…a wicked shoot!



Spearfishing adventure in NZ Part I: Northland to White Island with Terry Maas

On assignment to shoot and produce a DVD documentary about US spearfishing legend Terry Maas’s visit to New Zealand in search of a record Kingfish. Eight days travelling to selected dive locations around the north eastern part of NZ by chopper and boats to film Terry in the water hunting Kingfish.  Dave filmed the entire project topside and underwater…shooting underwater segments as a freediver rather than on SCUBA to be compatible with Terry and the other spearfishermen.  
From jumping in on baitballs and being buzzed by aggressive Bronze whaler sharks to filming one of the world’s most renowned Bluewater hunters in action and flying over NZ’s offshore islands and volcanoes this was a full-on assignment!



Spearfishing adventure in NZ:  Part 2: The Three Kings with Len Jones

Part 2 of the project; filming South African spearfishing icon Len Jones on his spearfishing sojourn in NZ; this time up to the wild and rugged Three Kings Islands.
Again Dave filmed all the topside and underwater footage for this production and shot some stunning sequences of huge Kingfish being speared in clear blue water by Len and the team.  Produced in DVD format by Liquid Action films for NZDE.



Osprey Reef Coral Sea shoot

A mind-blowing filming trip out to remote and pristine Osprey Reef off the northern Queensland coast onboard the ‘Undersea Explorer’.  Shooting underwater footage for a segment on Grey reef shark and nautilus research, but also filming other marine life as diverse as Giant clams and grouper, Hammerheads, Whitetips and sea snakes.



Mercury Islands ‘Marine Studies’

Ten days filming a reality pilot about young students studying to be marine biologists; -following their ups and downs living and working together in close quarters as they deal with the stress of diving several times a day for nearly 2-weeks.  A combination of topside and underwater coverage; from marine surveying and marine life sequences to fascinating and sometimes hilarious footage of a group of young people in the outdoors.



Great Barrier Island shoot

On assignment documenting marine life and habitats of Great Barrier Island for the NZ dept of Conservation; -a 10-day exploratory trip diving and filming sites and marine life around the island to help determine suitable locations for the  proposed marine reserve.



Aquanaut Commercial

Shooting and assembling some stunning marine life/diver footage for a television commercial promoting the sport of scuba diving in New Zealand.  Colourful and evocative footage for 15”, 30” and 2 min commercials and promo.



National Aquarium shoot

Filming at New Zealand’s new National Aquarium in Napier, including a filming dive in the main tank during a shark feed and various behind the scenes sequences of other marine life and aquarium support systems.


Southern Traverse Adventure race

Documenting this tough multisport endurance race [which Dave did as a competitor in 1992] from a competitors perspective.  A gruelling, sleep deprived three day shoot following the lead teams as they raced day and night on mountain bikes, foot and kayaks through spectacular but rugged terrain in the deep south. Dave was shooting for Picture-X for a documentary on the event produced for TVNZ.



White Island Volkner Rocks Marine Reserve DVD

Filming and producing a DVD for the Dept of Conservation to help advocate for establishment of a marine reserve around these offshore pinnacles.  A topside and underwater shoot resulting in some stunning footage of the unique marine life of this awesome offshore location; from Kingfish to massive schools of Blue Maomao and deep water black corals.



The Sinking of the HMNZ Waikato

Topside coverage of this 102M de-commissioned warship being purpose-sunk as a diver attraction off the Tutukaka coast, followed by underwater sequences of the ship being explored by divers. 



Inaugural NZ Freedive Record shoot

An underwater filming assignment to document the first official NZ Freediving records being set.  Held out at the Poor Knights Islands in deep clear water Dave filmed the Men’s and Women’s ‘constant weight’ record setting dives for TVNZ news.



Disabled diving documentary

Shooting a short documentary  on three brave individuals learning to dive despite serious disabilities; one a double amputee, one with spina bifida and another a tetraplegic.  Dave films their journey from theory work in the classroom through to pool sessions and then out to the open sea for their final qualifying dives. Produced for ‘Inside Out’ and aired on TVNZ.


‘South Australia underwater’ doco’

Shooting for an LAF documentary on South Australia’s incredibly diverse marine environment, ..here Dave spent 2-weeks drysuit diving in the cold waters of southern Australia filming a fascinating array of weird and beautiful marine creatures, from Leafy Seadragons to deadly Blue-ringed octopus, Chequerboard sharks to Blue Devilfish, Pyjama squid to the awesome spectacle of Giant Cuttlefish mating.


Fiji shark feed shoot

A trip to these warm friendly islands to film the famous Beqa lagoon shark feed; a heart-thumping whirlwind of Giant Trevally, Grouper, Grey reef sharks, Whitetips, Nurse sharks and huge hungry Bull sharks!   Also filming dives on other reefs renowned for their soft coral and fish life; shooting for an LAF production.



The Starship Millennium Voyage

THE assignment!!  A ‘once in a lifetime’ epic filming adventure along the lines of Jacque Cousteau’s Calypso expeditions. Six months onboard a private expedition ship filming diverse, spectacular and mind-blowing marine life in remote and exotic locations throughout the Indopacific; from Papua New Guinea to the Philippines; Sulawesi, Flores and Komodo in Indonesia and the blue waters of Palau and Yap.  Day after day of incredible diving…Manta rays, sharks, Tuna, Barracuda, cuttlefish, Pygmy seahorses, Harlequin ghost pipefish, spinner dolphins etc…Dave’s dream assignment!  Footage was used in a series of short documentaries about the voyage.



Whale Rider in-water support

Dave worked as in-water support on the underwater segment of this iconic NZ big-screen movie, acting as safety diver and wrangling cables for camera and lights, manoeuvring props underwater etc. This part of the production involved a life-sized [partial] model of a whale and various sequences starring Keisha Castle-Hughes being shot in the clear waters of the Poor Knights Islands and Northland coast.



lets get Inventin’  

A fun shoot for a cool children’s series where kids from around NZ get to have their inventions built for them by a panel of experts.  …the invention for this episode was a clever craypot designed to baffle poachers, and Dave’s job was to film underwater sequences of the pot being deployed underwater and retrieved complete with crayfish, …which we ate for lunch!




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