Playing with Sharks

95 Minute Documentary


Director: Sally Aitken
Producer: Bettina Dalton
Production Co: WildBear Entertainment
DOP: Nathan Barlow, Michael Latham, Judd Overton, Toby Ralph, Ron Taylor
Post Production: Edge CT

This award-winning feature documentary, produced by Bettina Dalton for WildBear Entertainment and directed by Sally Aitken, follows the renowned marine maverick Valerie Taylor’s life over six decades.

Valerie Taylor is a living legend and icon in the underwater world whose life’s work has become the basis for much of what we know about sharks today. Through remarkable underwater archival footage, along with interviews with Valerie herself, “Playing with Sharks,” follows this daring ocean explorer’s trajectory from champion spearfisher to passionate shark protector.  Taylor is a true pioneer in both underwater filmmaking and shark research.

Angela Cerasi colour graded the film remotely from her home studio in Brisbane, using the DaVinci Resolve Remote Grading functionality to display the grade live to clients watching from a Sydney theatre.

Angela was quoted by Cinematography World: “This film is a beautifully crafted mosaic of film sources and it was both an honor and great fun to colour grade. Visually the director and I decided to make the film look confident and bold, to epitomise the trailblazer Valerie Taylor herself. In the scene where Valerie explains the first time she saw underwater, we pushed the saturation and color of the archive so it looked like a vibrant and magical alien world. Each era was given its own vintage look, for example the late 1950’s was a warm black and white. We gave the modern day interviews a bold but cinematic feel, with the interviewees sitting in front of a block colored background which I twisted to give each a strong and unusual color.”

To see another award-winning feature documentary colour graded by Angela Cerasi, check out the trailer for Martha: A Picture Story, about the life and career of photographer Martha Cooper.