Up Close and Personal with a Great White Shark

Up Close and Personal with a Great White Shark

Last Updated: 20 Dec 2016
Nicole Schreck

Imagine being inches away from what is considered to be one of the most deadly creatures on the planet. Surely you wouldn't be doing this deliberately. Or would you?

Ashley Gibb, owner and filmmaker at Side Tracked TV Multimedia Productions, had the rather different idea of driving five hours down the coast to find and film a great white shark. Much to his surprise and, his delight, he got exactly what he asked for, and more.

We had a chat with Ashley about his passion for filim making and for these much maligned giants of the sea.

Growing up in Coffs Harbour, NSW, Ashley's life revolved around the ocean. In addition, he had always been interested in film making and giving voice to things he was passionate about. It seemed natural to meld the two.

"I came to realise that I should follow my passion of filmmaking and of telling stories about the things I love and care for and the stories that need to be told," he said.

"As a proud Koori man, Indigenous stories are close to my heart and i love working on those.

"I've always had an appreciation for marine life. I became more and more passionate about free diving and hoped to see a shark underwater, although this had never happened until recently.

"With the understanding of the vital role that the largest eco-system in the world plays and my concern about the lack of understanding of the impact the sustainability of this would have on not only marine life, but on humans, a film which challenges people's ideologies was next on the agenda," he said.

Ashley decided to to gather as much footage of the ocean as he could, focusing mainly on Great White Sharks.

"With Sharks playing a key role in keeping a healthy balance in the ocean, it was obvious to me that sharks would be the stars of my film as i hoped to show what beautiful creatures they really are."

He jumped into the shallows with a GoPro in hand, and hit the jackpot. Within minutes, he was swimming with this huge creature, gaining footage he had only dreamed about.

"The experience in itself can only be described as overwhelming, insane, unique and very testing as this was the first shark I had ever seen underwater," he said.

"Being so close for so long was incredible and definitely unforgettable. I am now obsessed!"

"I intend to launch a crowd funding campaign as this work is self-funded. However, whatever the outcome of that,I will continue to stand up for what I believe in through filmmaking."

Check out Side Tracked Multimedia Productions here.

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