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Jan 31, 2006

Local diver releases DVD of underwater wonders

Story PictureThere is no question that Belize possesses an underwater treasure chest unrivalled in other parts of the world. And while a number of international film-makers have documented the wonder and awe that is life along the Belize Barrier Reef, tonight we feature the work of a local diver who took his love for the sea and put it on a DVD. The video “Undersea Belize” was shot and edited by Chris Taylor and includes some remarkable footage compiled over the six years he worked on a live aboard dive boat in Belizean waters. Today Taylor stopped by our studios to say he simply wanted to share the beauty of our natural heritage with everyone. While there is no narration, the video does come with an eclectic soundtrack handpicked by the producer.

Chris Taylor, Belize Diver Productions
?Underwater, a lot of people don?t realise how amazing it is. People in Belize, even though we are so near the sea, a lot of us are not exposed to underwater. And it?s such a beautiful place; it?s also another part of us.?

?Actually I first made it for my baby sister. A lot of people started to say they like it and they wanted a copy and I started making more copies and decided maybe I should produce it.?

?Really all I?m doing is showing people what?s there. I?m not really doing anything else other than taking video and letting people see it. But people do enjoy just looking at fish. They seem to have a tranquil effect on them I guess, and they just sit there and stare at it and they are curious at the different types of fish. Most people are familiar with dolphins, turtles, snappers, barracuda, and sharks, but there are so many different varieties of marine life underwater.?

Janelle Chanona
?When you were shooting that one shot with the sharks, did one of them come and hit you??

Chris Taylor
?No, it didn?t actually hit me; it was just coming to see what I was doing. The scene is a barracuda eating a triggerfish and the activity, the blood in the water and all the splashing around brought around three reef sharks that were seeing if they could get a free meal. They don?t really attack stuff that is about their size, so I was videoing one that was below me?I was diving at about ninety feet?and I happen to see something out of the corner of my eye, so I glanced up and I saw a shark coming down and I just put the camera and it turned away. It didn?t actually bump me or hit me, it was just coming to see what I was doing, I guess, I don?t know.?

?I?m still fascinated by sharks, rays, turtles, all of that. But the animals that hide, that camouflage themselves that take some challenge to find are the ones I like. There is a particular shot of a little black founder that?s about the size of a five cent, my fingernail and I?ve not been able to get and answer about what type of flounder that is yet, but I do have good footage of it, so hopefully?that?s one of the things that I am proud of, because it?s not something that anybody seems to have found yet. Also, there?s one with a frog fish, which is another animal that camouflages very well and that one, it does not move often and just by being in the right place at the right time I caught it moving and it looked like I was waving at the camera, so that obviously has to be one of my favourite shots as well.?

The next Belize Diver Production is called “Our Backyard” and is scheduled for release later this year. According to Taylor, he is also planning to produce educational DVD’s of marine life for local schools. Undersea Belize is available at gift shops in Belize City and San Pedro or you can email Taylor at belizediver@hotmail.com. The price for the DVD is forty dollars each.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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