Humbolt Squid High-Def Documentary Screening

Discussion in 'The Octopus' Den' started by tonmo, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Another press release submitted by Christopher Buttner -- thanks!

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    For Immediate Press Release and Event Calendar Listing
    For more info, contact Christopher Buttner
    at email: Chris@prthatrocks.com
    tel: 415-381-8647

    Giant Squid Ecotourism Trips Draw Daredevil SCUBA Divers to Mexico's Sea of Cortez.

    Never-Before-Seen Public Screening of First-Ever High-Definition Documentary Scheduled for 8:00 p.m., July 25, 2006, Pacific Theater, Hollywood, California

    This press release is online at http://www.prthatrocks.com/pressrel/seawolvesscreeningpr.htm

    July 7, 2006, Hollywood, California - Seawolves Unlimited is proud to present a very special public screening of the never-before-seen, high-resolution documentary "Sea of Demons: Demonio Rojo," (Red Demon), executive produced by Jason Perr of Gone to Baja Productions, and Scott Cassell, with cinematography by Dale Pearson and Scott Cassell of San Diego's Seawolves Unlimited. Seawolves Unlimited is the first-ever and only ecotourism company in world to offer scuba trips to dive with the most dangerous and unpredictable sea creature on Earth, the Giant Humboldt Squid of Mexico's Sea of Cortez.

    With a legendary ferocity, the Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas), which grow to over six feet in length and weigh over 180-pounds, are armed with huge sucker disks lined with over 60,000 teeth that can shred a wetsuit, and their knife-edged beak can gouge out a softball-sized chunk of flesh every 3 seconds. Combined with their extraordinary intelligence and wolf pack-like hunting abilities, keeping an upper hand while scuba diving with these animals is a challenge. These magnificent cephalopods feed on nearly every animal they encounter, including sharks, pelagic fish, krill, mammals, other squid (they are fierce cannibals), and even man.

    "Sea of Demons: Demonio Rojo" chronicles the history and biology of Giant Humboldt Squid and the lives of the pioneering divers, Scott Cassell and Dale Pearson, who developed the highly-specialized diving technologies and techniques, including diver protection platforms, chain maille-covered and/or custom-made armored wet suits, and other systems to safely peer into the lair of one of Earth's most legendary sea creatures.

    The "Sea of Demons: Demonio Rojo" screening will take place on Wednesday, July 25, 2006, at 8:00 p.m. at the Hollywood Pacific Theater, 6433 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA, 90028. Scott Cassell, Dale Pearson and Jason Perr will be on hand to answer questions. Admission is only $5.00 and a $2.00 discount coupon can be printed from www.seaofdemons.com

    For more info about Seawolves Unlimited, visit: www.sea-wolves.com - this press release is online at http://www.prthatrocks.com/pressrel/seawolvesscreeningpr.htm
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  2. gonetobaja

    gonetobaja O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I have some new info that all tickets are FREE!!!! Lets fill up the 1000 seat theater with ceph lovers!!!
     
  3. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Anyone got plans for this event? I'm trying to plan my life enough to go, work permitting... I know Erich was going to point this out to his Hollyweird squid-fancier crowd, any word on whether anyone I met at your shows (Howard? Dave?) is planning to go? It'd be fun to meet any TONMOers who are there, and easier to meet if I know who to look for!
     
  4. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    There are still a few hours left for you left-coasters to go see this event. Here's an email I got from the producer of the program. He also provided the flyer. Go check it out and report back here!

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    Hi, This is Jason Perr. I am a diver and the independent Producer of "Sea of Demons: Demonio Rojo, the Truth behind the Humboldt Squid." The first documentary in the Sea of Demons Series of extreme diving documentaries. I would really like to invite everyone from Tonmo.com and your subscribers to come out and join us for our world premier at one of the greatest classic theaters in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Pacific Theater, on July 25th at 8pm.

    This will be a free screening and is open to everyone. The theater has 1000 seats and we are looking to fill them all with people who love diving and want to see something new. I have attached our press release, flyer, and website info to this email. Any help in spreading the word would be greatly appreciated.

    -- Thank you

    -- Jason
     
  5. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm heading out the door in a couple of mins; I'll be there in a TONMOCON t-shirt!

    - M
     
  6. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Well, I just got back from Hollyweird. The movie and some of the followup Q&A with Scott, Dale, and Jason were both pretty fun. I didn't get a chance to hang out afterwards, unfortunately (there was a plan to go to a bar...) but I certainly enjoyed the movie. It's very much dominated by Scott as a strong personality, which I liked, but it definitely was a mix of narrative and editorializing along with the factual elements. Scott pretty much explicitly said he didn't like the spin that a lot of documentaries like "killer squid" put on these animals, and he sees ecotourism as a way to protect them from overfishing.

    In any case, the squid footage was pretty amazing. It had a lot more long shots of the animals than the short "dancing with demons" movie, and didn't go for the "adrenaline rush edit style" the way that does, but it's beautiful footage. They said it'll be available on DVD fairly soon (although it can use a bit of edit and title cleanup...) I give it a thumbs up, and I still want to go on one of their dive trips sometime when I have some spare time and money...

    It seemed like the crowd was largely divers. I was a bit asocial and shy today, so I didn't talk to many people to see if I could dig up any other TONMO folks... I didn't see anyone I recognized, but that doesn't mean much...
     
  7. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Awesome. Thanks for bringing it home to us! I'll buy that DVD.
     
  8. KatiE~DolphiN

    KatiE~DolphiN Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Wow that's going to be amazing to watch! Finally a documentary that shows the other side of Humboldts.
     
  9. erich orser

    erich orser Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    I envy you, Monty! If only I could have been back home... sigh. Of course, CA is just as hot as we are right now, and here we all seem to have central AC... I would have loved to stick around for the Q & A. Isn't Scott an ex-special ops guy?
     
  10. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Yeah, he's some sort of secret underwater agent guy. He's also apparently the world record holder for "longest distance travelled on SCUBA" or something like that. It was just down the street from you Bat Show venue, actually. And yeah, it's been pretty friggin hot lately-- 119F in Woodland Hills last week, I believe; a friend down the street had her in-the-sun thermometer top out @125... yesterday was a bit better, at least.
     
  11. erich orser

    erich orser Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Wow. That beats us for the year. I think we've topped-out (fingers crossed) at 113 F.

    So, squid-diver Scott is the real-life Brock Samson! Awesome.
     
  12. erich orser

    erich orser Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Incidentally, Howard was on his honeymoon in Europe, and the others I tried to reach couldn't free themselves or were likewise out of town.
     
  13. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    oh yeah, and as long as you're being envious of Los Angeles events, I should point out that the LA Tofu Fest in Little Tokyo features Iron Chef Morimoto! I'm impressed, anyway...
     
  14. capsfan6

    capsfan6 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Humboldts -- dangerous?

    I haven't seen this film, but I'd like to.

    I have one question though, about this press release. They discuss the ferocity of the Humboldt, in a "ratcheting up the danger" way. However, I've seen two shows about the Humboldt squid, one on discovery and one no PBS (Nova, perhaps).

    Both discussed the (apparent?) aggressive nature of the squid. However, both went on to cover divers moving out from the fishing grounds in the Sea of Cortez (I think) to get better looks at them. And in both cases, the squids didn't display an aggressive nature. They were more curious. I wonder if this film deals with that.

    Wendy
     
  15. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Yup, the main diver in this movie, Scott, was interviewed in the "Killer Squid" documentary on Discovery (I haven't seen the PBS one). Scott's position was that the message of "Killer Squid" that these animals are ever not dangerous was a foolish exaggeration-- he's found that although there are times when they are not actively agressive, they are voracious pack hunters, and that the only safe way to dive with them is to be aware that they may decide to attack at any moment. They are, though, also curious and opportunistic, so they sometimes will decide a diver is more interesting than edible, but they can change their minds on that, and when there are krill around a diver's lights, he has seen them go after the krill instead of the diver. At the screening, he expressed a lot of concern that the documentaries that portray them as "gentle giants" will lead people to dive with them without taking reasonable precautions, and he believes it's likely that could cause someone to be hurt or killed. On the other hand, he does run a company that does "dive with squids" ecotourism...

    He also seems to be frustrated with William Gilly's contributions to the "Killer Squid" movie. Since I met Dr. Gilly at TONMOcon last year, I tend to think Scott is overly critical, since I know Gilly's a smart, friendly, reasonable guy who knows a whole lot about Humboldts. I suspect that the producers of "Killer Squid" used some selective editing to make a documentary that some of the participants might not feel is representative of everything they said; I'm sure that applies to Scott based on what he said at the screening.

    I'm hoping to do one of Scott's dive trips (with the chainmail armor) and develop my own opinion at some point... certainly, he has some anecdotal (and video) evidence that the claim that "they get frantic around the fishing boats, but they're really very peaceful when there aren't nasty fishing jigs and blood in the water" is completely wrong. Which makes sense, because these are active predators with a huge growth rate, so they need to be very agressive about eating anything they can catch, including any of their siblings that show weakness...
     
  16. capsfan6

    capsfan6 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thanks

    Monty,

    Thanks for the information. I really enjoyed the two specials. The PBS special was not about "killer" anything, but concentrated mostly on octopuses but also had footage of cuttlefish and some humboldt squids at the end. Great octopus footage, though.

    Wendy
     
  17. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Oh, yeah, if you want to see some of the footage from the longer movie, the short "Dancing With Demons" can be found here:
    http://209.242.151.5/seawolves/dancingwithdemons.wmv

    This is pretty representative of the underwater footage in the longer movie, although there's a lot more narration, stuff about how Scott and crew built armor and such, and narration about the dive experience and the footage.
     
  18. gonetobaja

    gonetobaja O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Monty, its me, Dale. :smile:

    I looked over the thread for the screening and it looks like you answered the questions just like I would. There are alot of people that have been watching the documentaries and thought that the Humboldts were just a big gentle animal. We were in the process of making our documetaries when some "More funded" people thought we had a good idea and beat us to the punch. They often ask to have people appear in the videos for content. After they interviewed Scott on the "Killer Squid" video and we saw it on TV we realized that those companies that had produced the video had put a spin on it. For some reason its not fashionable to show a dangerous animal as dangerous. Im not sure why but I see alot of people free swimming with white sharks, and even grabbing hold of the dorsal for a ride. Although the person doing this is a highly experienced guide and has been diving with the sharks for years it offers the viewer to think that there might be a possibility that they could do the same thing.

    I have dove with the squid without armor only a few times. One time I got bit on the finger. I pulled my hand away real fast but it happend too fast and he got me anyway. The Humboldt went rght through my un-armored glove like soft cheese. Still have a small scar on my finger because of it. Only did it because of the situation of the dive. We had a customer that wanted to handle the Squid. I gave that person my armor gloves because I was worried they would get bit. :shock:

    Now we do not often let the customers handle the animals. It must be a special cirumstance and have the help of the divemaster guide.

    As far as Mr. Gilly is concerned, everyone know he is a very knowlegable person on Humboldt squid, I have never met him and I am sure he is a stand up nice person. However he has no problem getting on international TV (killer squid) and publications (outside magazine) and telling people that we are just trying to sensationalize the whole thing. In other words he is the Scientest who knows better and we are just some diver cowboys that are trying to hype up some BS for the attention. If a Stanford Professor claims that Humboldt Squid are not dangerous, and some psycho divers from baja claim they are and offer tours with armor and steel cables who are you gonna believe. Of course if you are smart you are gonna believe the Professor. We just started to offer the dive trips this year. The previous 10 years of diving with the animals were done for personal interest and not for tours.


    I have been a professional underwater adventure guide for a number of years now and have spent my whole life in the ocean. I am constantly reading reports, findings, thesises, etc. about the ocean. I have found that a great number of the people who are putting out these reports have spent very little time in the ocean with the animals they are claiming to know so much about. It seems to be that a person will do a study on lets say the "Humboldt Squid" They study in School all of the other studies that came out and they they begin to form an opinion. Then they get all of the research they have done and form a plan and get funded to go and do "research" with the animals. They go and dive for a couple of weeks and then leave the sea for years again. Then they publish their report about how the Humboldt squid behaves.....:lol:

    I have had people tell me that 90% of the big fish in the ocean are gone.....:lol:

    My opinion is that before a person is able to publish a report on an animal in the sea they should be required to spend a certain number of years in the water with that animal before they start giving their opinion. Then they wont jump to conclusions because they only spent a few weeks in the water.


    "Well I went to africa and I walked the plains. I saw a pride of lions under a tree. I just walked by them and they stood up to look at me....they didnt attack though....I therefore surmise that lions only are dangerous to their normal food items like gazelle, they dont attack people."

    Just for a disclaimer.....I have no formal education whatsoever. everything I know about the ocean was learned in the ocean. Im sure there are many scientests that have spent lots of time in the water but IMHO they are the expeption to the rule. I take alot of "experts" diving with animals in the sea and they all seem to have less than 100 dives.

    It is our goal at SEA WOLVES UNLIMITED http://www.sea-wolves.com to provide this "in water" research to institutions free of charge. We are beginning to work with several very well know places to do real studies on the squid and find out more about them. Reading books is great, but I think there needs to be some new books written.

    Hence the reason that "Demonio Rojo" was produced. Its not made to scare people, just to make them see the Humboldt Squid from our perspective.....In video not opinion.

    Thanks for comming to the Show Monty! We are going to be having another show at the Natural History Museum with the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Scociety in Nov. if anyone wants to check it out again.

    If anyone has questions please feel free to post them.


    GTB (Dale Pearson)
    www.sea-wolves.com
     
  19. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Hi, Dale, thanks for the detailed reply... I hope when I can scrounge the time and money to sign up for one of your dive trips that I can get the "special circumstances," because I would like to have the experience of feeling how the muscles of the squids interact with me one-on-one... I'm definitely convinced I'd want the chainmail, though!

    With respect to Dr. Gilly, maybe I'm butting in too much, but I'd consider it a safe bet that if you guys and he were sitting around talking, you'd forget your differences (if there are any real ones in the first place) and find that you would end up with learning a lot from your shared fascination with these animals... in fact, I bet you would spend hours comparing what he's seen in non-interactive research with your direct experience.... I looked up the Outside Magazine article (starts here
    and Gilly's quotes are on page 2) and looked at "Killer Squid" again on our TiVo, and I bet that Gilly's sections are biased deliberately because both of these authors seem to want to have two sides to show at opposition. Although the writers seem to love jumping on his "ET experience" story, there really aren't many (any?) quotes about Gilly saying "those guys are full of it," just sort of obtuse things like

    I'm pretty sure that Dr. Gilly as as aware of any of us that a dog is pretty much the same animal as a wolf, and is probably coming from the perspective that wolves have been hunted to near-extinction because of the perception that because they can and sometimes do kill people, that it's a good idea to "kill them before they kill us," and he (I'm guessing) wants to avoid that reaction from people. It seems to me, though, that anyone interacting with a pack of wolves or a pack of Dosidicus gigas should be aware that even though they may not attack a human, there's nothing stopping them from doing it.

    And, to be fair, it's not really inaccurate to see Scott as sort of a "cowboy character," not that there's anything wrong with that, and in fact it's part of his charm, but maybe when these people are interviewing Dr. Gilly they tend to portray him as sort of an "African big game hunter guide" character, and then goad him into reacting to that portrayal... considering how displeased Scott was at how he was portrayed in "Killer Squid," I'd think he'd be willing to give Dr. Gilly the benefit of the doubt... I'd encourage you to check out his web pages:

    http://www.seaofcortez.org/
    http://gilly.stanford.edu/

    (aside: when I was looking for his web site, I also came across this
    LA times article which again looks like the reporter "knew Gilly was the guy to call when you want the view that they're not that bad" or something)

    Part of me is thinking I should :silenced: let sleeping dogs lie, but it seems unfortunate to have people who are passionately interested in study and conservation of these amazing animals (and who I have a great deal of respect for) be stuck in a state of frustration with one another.

    Anyway, I encourage you to drop in and post more often-- I really enjoy seeing the pictures and videos, and hearing your stories about real-world experience with these wonderful squids!

    It seems like there should be a diver's equivalent to "happy landings," but I can't think of one...
     
  20. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Quote:
    "It seems like there should be a diver's equivalent to "happy landings," but I can't think of one..."

    Happy surfacing???:wink:
     

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