Ocean wonders: Nature photographer Chris Burville and underwater videographer Choy Aming will discuss their work at a Citizen Science Lecture at BUEI on Monday. *Photo by Neil Burnie
Ocean wonders: Nature photographer Chris Burville and underwater videographer Choy Aming will discuss their work at a Citizen Science Lecture at BUEI on Monday. *Photo by Neil Burnie

Creating a pilot film for Animal Planet, chasing whales, dolphins and lightning storms, and documenting an invasive species at work, are just some of the topics to be discussed by three Bermudians at an upcoming Citizen Science Lecture. 

Underwater videographer Choy Aming, nature photographer Chris Burville and international documentary filmmaker Robert Zuill are all on the line-up for the Charting The Natural World lecture on Monday, Se[tember 9 at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. 

Choy Aming, an aquarist at the Aquarium and co-founder of the Bermuda Shark Project, is working on a pilot film with an independent company that has contributed shows to Animal Planet’s Rod and Rucksack series. Gass Productions have already produced two separate seasons for Animal Planet and Bermuda could be the next “big thing” to hit the screens. The team have been filming on the island for the past two weeks on the potential Ocean Vet show that would feature Aming and co-Bermuda Shark Project founder Neil Burnie. 

“We did six days on the Banks to shoot the episode and now the pilot gets pitched,” Aming told the Bermuda Sun. “If they like it then they say yes or no for a series. That would be 12 episodes on underwater Bermuda — there will be shows on sharks, whales turtles and other pelagics. 

Tourism boost

“I think it would offer huge exposure to Bermuda — it could be a big boost for tourism, a big boost for the island. Because it is a marine conservation-themed show it will showcase Bermuda in a really good light.” 

Aming will also talk about shooting the type of pelagic wildlife that not many people get to see.    

Nature photographer Chris Burville is full of stories about capturing wildlife on camera. Being surrounded by a pod of playful dolphins, chasing whales, crawling through caves or battling 12ft seas, are some of those he will share with regards to telling the story of Bermuda’s natural world.

He told us: “I’ve always had a passion for capturing the unique and often overlooked elements of Bermuda’s natural world. Knowledge and understanding are critical elements in my photography. I consider what I do to be part art, part science. 

“Science plays a pivotal role and researchers can be an invaluable resource. I want to show off Bermuda to those who might never get the chance to see this side of our magnificent island and marine ecosystem.

“You cultivate a love and respect for the natural world and especially the marine environment. That appreciation comes so quickly to those who spend time exploring and discovering the marine environment for themselves.”

Robert Zuill has worked as a documentary filmmaker for CNN and public broadcasting all over the world including Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mexico and Algeria. His short film about the threat of invasive lionfish on local fish populations — Appetite for Extinction — was accepted into the Short Documentary category for the 2013 Bermuda International Film Festival. He will discuss the making of the film as well as other projects he has worked on such as the underwater archaeological excavation of the wreck of the Warwick which sank in Bermuda in 1619. Zuill told us: “I was concerned about the problem of lionfish so I wanted to do a video with the Ocean Support Foundation. The lionfish video was shot over several months. The message is ‘get the lionfish before he gets you’. I went out on various different boats and got the video.

“The Warwick video was shot alongside the archaeologists over about three years. The underwater excavation, led by Piotr Bojakowski, revealed that the Warwick is not at all the ship described by history books. In fact her true mission was a secret and her purpose was aggression.”