September 2019 Video Contest Winner and Review

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WINNER CHOSEN AND REVIEW BY SCUBAVERSE.COM’S EDITOR-AT-LARGE AND RESIDENT UNDERWATER VIDEOGRAPHY EXPERT JEFF GOODMAN

Winner: Discovering the white nurse shark in Manihi by Elsa Collet

Winning Video:

Good films this month and well done to all who entered. Quite a variety of treatments and subjects which were great to see.

Discovering the white nurse shark in Manihi by Elsa Collet

Watch Elsa’s video here.

Very nice. The Grouper were a real treat and very well filmed with good clear images, well exposed and framed. Good music choice too. Then, the white Nurse Shark. Never seen such a thing. How extraordinary. A few of the shots with the shark and grouper together were magical. Well done. You were in just the right place to get the shark moving off, especially when it stopped to look at you.

Maldive Thulusdhoo Island Male Nord by Maurizio Agliani

Watch Maurizio’s video here.

First of all well done for all your hard work in making this high quality film. I have been slightly critical about some of the post production in both your films and hope my comments will help you progress to the next stage of film making.

Not sure about the intro music stings. Bit harsh for me but the visuals were very good.  The film itself started with some great wildlife images and I personally liked the physical contact with the Moray. I know many say ‘look, do not touch’ but if you are of the right frame of mind and know what you are doing then I think that basic inter-species communication through gentle handling can be beneficial to both animal and man. The Moray was completely relaxed and the diver was experienced. Good to see a break in the film for surface and location images which created a welcome change of pace. Just as I was settling into the reef wildlife you changed the pace again with the sharks and what I thought was slightly jarring music which seemed to try and create a menacing mood that wasn’t really there. Then back to the serene reef and peaceful island life. The remainder of the film had excellent wildlife images and were a treat to watch.

Red Sea 2019 Daedalus Elphinstone and Brother Island by Maurizio Agliani

Watch Maurizio’s video here.

Nice opening with a feel good factor to following images and music. All well shot and lit. A timely break for the surface sequence of Daedalus before heading back underwater. A good amount of sharks So nice to see them starting to return. You obviously have a good eye for filming. Can I suggest that you have a think about story telling especially if your films are going to be so long. I felt the images and locations needed to develop into some sort of conclusion rather than simply be a catalogue of things you saw. A simple narrative could do this very well. Seven minutes is a long time to keep an audience engaged without any sort of information.

Seal Island by David Gwyer

Watch David’s video here.

Hi David. That was nice. What a great trip. Well filmed and edited topside intro which gave a good feel to the coming day. The seals really performed for you and gave some excellent opportunities for video which you took full advantage of. Well done. Music fitted well.

The Neville Coleman Nudibranch Event by Dean Spraakman

Watch Dean’s video here.

I always like a drone opening. Makes everything so dramatic. I did like the way you cut from aerial to macro and back again. Real cinema. The music created a good pace and you edited images to fit perfectly. The macro was excellent and very well lit as well as completed steady. Just one or two shots had focus issues which I personally would have cut out.


After much deliberation I finally went with ‘Discovering the white nurse shark in Manihi’ by Elsa Collet. Elsa took good advantage of the unexpected shark along with the grouper and made a very watchable short video with good camera work, editing and music. The other films were also excellent. It is always hard to single out a winner which is often unfair as all entries deserve full acknowledgement. But, it was Elsa’s film that stuck in my thoughts.

And the Winner is….

Discovering the white nurse shark in Manihi by Elsa Collet

See you all next month.


Scubaverse.com’s October 2019 Underwater Video Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater videos here.

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is the Conservation editor and also the Underwater Videography Editor for Scubaverse.com. Jeff is an award winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

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