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Valerie Taylor Talks Sharks, Jaws, and Her Life in NatGeo’s Playing With Sharks Doc [Exclusive Interview]

Playing with Sharks with Valerie Taylor

Valerie Taylor is one of the most iconic ocean conservationist filmmakers of the past century. With her husband, Ron Taylor, they made documentaries about sharks and even filmed sequences for films such as Jaws. Now in National Geographic’s Playing With Sharks documentary, the film highlights her rise to fame from starting as a spear fisher to being one of the most world renowned experts on sharks.

Here’s the official synopsis for Playing With Sharks:

A true pioneer in both underwater filmmaking and shark research, 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 from two-time Emmy-nominated director Sally Aitken, follows this daring ocean explorer’s trajectory from champion spear fisher to passionate shark protector. From the birth of cage diving to Jaws hysteria to the dawn of cageless shark diving, Valerie became a trailblazing advocate for the ocean’s most maligned and misunderstood creatures.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Melissa Kelly On Cooking With Gordon Ramsay in NatGeo’s Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted [Exclusive Interview]

LRM Online’s Gig Patta talked with conservationist Valerie Taylor about her life to becoming the shark protectionist she is today.

Valerie and Ron Taylor began filming shark documentaries in 1967, which they later be known as the first people to film great white sharks without the protection of a cage. In their documentary, Blue Water, White Death, they swam cageless with a school white tip sharks feeding on a whale carcass. Their documentary success led to Steven Spielberg’s recruitment to shoot real great white shark sequences for Jaws. They labored for marine sanctuary zones in South Australia with success and won many conservation awards and recognition. Also, Valerie Taylor is an underwater photographer whose work appeared in National Geographic.

Playing With Sharks is part of National Geographic’s Sharkfest slate, which premieres on Disney+ on Friday, July 23.

Watch the exclusive interview with Valerie Taylor below. Let us know what you think.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, National Geographic

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