CHATHAM, Mass. -- September 4, 2012 -- Garth Donovan, a house painter based in Needham, loves to make movies and has seven independent feature-length films and one short to his credit, many as director.
Bradley Lowe, an offshore lobsterman, wants to have a successful business showcasing one of the Cape's newest natural wonders, the great white shark.
Those two desires may seem an unlikely pairing, but Donovan is shooting a movie about a man confronting his fears and Lowe wanted to try out his almost-new $10,000 shark cage.
For the sake of his film, Donovan has already searched for sharks off the Cape by dropping chum — a brew of fish parts — and then jumping in the water, paddleboarding at the mouth of Chatham Harbor and swimming from a research vessel to a seal haul-out to photograph one freshly killed by a great white attack. He was willing to finance a day at sea filming great whites from Lowe's shark cage on the Chatham scalloper Three Graces.
"I think today went awesome. No one got hurt, we got the sharks, we got footage," said Lowe, 23, after spending five hours off Chatham in which he said the team saw four great whites ranging from 14 to 17 feet long.
Cameras, of course, were everywhere, with a cameraman circling above in a plane, two filming from the deck of the scalloper and another on a chase boat. There also were several underwater cameras strapped to the cage.
Soon after the crew departed from the Chatham municipal fish pier in the early morning hours, the pilot of the spotter plane hired by Donovan saw sharks before cameras or crew were even ready.
Lowe said he was most scared when he jumped into the cage by himself to secure some buoys, knowing that a big shark was seen circling close to the cage by the spotter pilot. Although he's originally from South Africa where shark cage tourism is a full-blown industry, Lowe had never been in one before Monday morning.
He bought the cage — a big box of marine-grade aluminum bars that looks like portable jail cell — from a man in Montauk, N.Y., who also had a dream of diving on great whites.
Read the full story at the New Bedford Standard Times.