SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE
IN DEEP WATER
Producer Matt Brierley is an award-winning Natural History filmmaker who has worked on programmes including Emmy-winning The Serengeti Rules, Attenborough's Blue Planet II, Planet Earth II and Wild Isles, and Prince Williams' The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet. He's especially passionate about birds, elephants, dinosaurs and, of course, sharks.
Hello! Welcome to Sharks: In Deep Water. For too long we’ve pinned the shark extinction crisis on Eastern countries and overlooked how complicit the West is. It’s time to challenge that narrative.
The most frightening thing about making Sharks: In Deep Water was keeping up with how quickly the different sharks were accelerating through the IUCN Red List threat categories. Extinction seems very personal when you are watching it happening across months and years, not decades.
I hope you enjoy our journey - the sadness, the joy, the fear and the hope. When Lou from FinFighters invited me to document their expedition to Morocco, I thought that was where the journey - and film - would both begin and end. But having traced Moroccan exports to Europe, it would have been unfair and disingenuous not to tell the bigger story. I certainly never imagined I’d infiltrate ports in Spain wearing spy-glasses. Or dissect sharks for DNA in a hotel room in Essex. Or break a major front-page UK news story.
Sharks: In Deep Water was made on a shoestring crowdfunded budget of less than £5000. I’ll always be grateful to those who donated, to the wildlife filmmaking industry professionals who helped, the NGOs that supported us, the passionate celebrities that cheered us on and - above all - the scientists, activists and filmmakers who feature in the film, especially FinFighters.
They say knowledge is power but at times I felt like I knew too much. I think we all felt overwhelmed at points. Ocean anxiety was very real. In moments when I needed reminding of the film's purpose, I’d revisit Lou’s words, spoken after we'd documented threatened baby sharks for sale in Morocco:
“The moment you take responsibility... it’s a powerful thing, because it means you can do something positive… We’re in a mess, we are in a mess. But it’s not too late to do something about it… we still have the opportunity to protect these species; to help people protect these species, and help people understand the importance of sharks… More than anything, I genuinely believe we have an opportunity to make an impact. And I know that we will because of that… Because we will all of had the conviction of seeing it.”
I hope you'll join us on our journey of positive change. To see the film, we'll be hosting screenings online and on tour - details will appear on this site too.