Descending now airing in Canada


The Low Down On An Upcoming Scuba Show
(May issue of Diver Magazine)
By Stephen Weir 

A brand new Canadian based underwater TV series is descending to new heights thanks in part to its use of cutting edge video cameras. The Outdoor Life Network (OLN) has begun airing  Descending,  a scuba adventure TV series that uses the new Red One digital video camera to get hyper-real footage from the bottom of Lake Ontario to the wild waters of New Zealand.
The Red One, built by the Red Digital Cinema Camera Company (founded by Oakley owner Jim Jannard) is in the vanguard of the next generation of digital broadcast cameras.  Relatively small, pretty cheap ($25,000, not counting the  70 lb Gates waterproof housing) the Red has the ability to shoot highly detailed video images in very low light, far outstripping the capability of high def TV sets to show such amazing quality.  Underwater the Red One sees and records images more accurately than the human eye.
This year’s Underworld Awakening horror movie was made using the Red.  The TV series Justified is filmed with the same camera.  The makers of the new series Descending, believe they are the first dive show on television in North America to use the Red.
"Our cinematographer Andre Dupuis bought two  ... One is a back-up, and so far we haven't had a (catastrophic flooding of the housing) " said Descending on-air host Scott Wilson.  " 70% of the planet is underwater.  We are taking viewers to see what most of us have been missing, so it is important that the footage is spectacular."
According to the Brantford, Ontario resident, his new weekly one-hour show explores some of the planet's "most remote locations." 
The Outdoor Life Network (OLN TV) has already begun airing Wilson’s underwater TV series. Over the course of the 13-week series viewers will be seeing high definition video images shot offshore of the Sudan, Vancouver Island, South Africa and the Sea Of Cortez among many other dive destinations.
Wilson is no stranger to adventure television.  Descending is an offshoot of Departure, his successful above-water OLN TV adventure show.
“ I am not the world’s best diver. I only learned to dive just before Descending became a reality,” explained the show’s co-host. “ I took my PADI lessons from dive instructors in Toronto and did my open water in places like Cambodia and New Guinea!”
I want people to be inspired, educated and enlightened, with hopefully a laugh or two along the way,” said New Zealand diver, author and adventurer, Ellis Emmett. The author of five adventure books and the owner of a New Zealand river rafting company is the co-host of Descending.
With two rugged buff hosts, Descending is very much a man’s view on diving.  (The only female diver seen in the opening show is camera assistant Anna Brenzinger, a former Vancouver fashion model.) Emmett and Wilson dive deep (their sport dive limit is 130 to 140 ft), dive in tough conditions (everything from heavy current to cold arctic water) and with Great White sharks.
In Episode One they hunt for New Zealand lobsters in rough seas.  The big lobsters are caught by hand, brought back to shore, cooked over a roaring driftwood beach fire and served with Kiwi beer!
This year the hosts do all their exploring on scuba, wearing full-face masks and wearing Bare dry suits.  For Year Two they plan to switch to rebreathers and when needed, mixed gases.
 With government backing and the support of the Outdoor Life Network, Descending joins a long list of Canadian made underwater TV series that have found strong audience support.  Although only available in Canada, Wilson is very optimistic that other networks, in other countries will pick up his underwater series soon.

CUTLINE: The two hosts gave media interviews at the downtown studios of City TV in downtown Toronto, Canada in February. Pictured are: left - Ontario TV producer and host of Descending Scott Wilson right: New Zealand adventurer, Descending TV host Ellis Emmet.

Photograph - Stephen Weir


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