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The Blind Cavefish
Did you know that blind cavefish live in total darkness?
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Meet the Team
Learn more about the talented team behind the scenes of Jonathan Bird’s Blue World!
Jonathan fell in love with the ocean in the 1980s when he learned to dive in college. Already an avid photographer, he combined scuba diving and photography to create what would eventually become not only his passion, but his profession. Although Jonathan has had a few close calls with dangerous animals like sharks, his worst underwater injuries have come from pointy sea urchins and crown-of-thorn sea stars. He was once head-butted by an angry dolphin. None of these things have dampened his enthusiasm for the excitement of underwater exploration.
Jonathan is an Emmy Award-winning underwater cinematographer and producer, president of the non-profit organization Oceanic Research Group as well as a widely published author, award-winning assignment cinematographer, photographer and speaker. He is the author of 7 books, director of over 20 films and a member of the Wyland Ocean Artist Society.
Christine credits friends from medical school for the path towards becoming a part of the Jonathan Bird’s Blue World team. Over dinner one night they convinced her to learn to scuba dive. So, at the end of her first year of medical school, she not only passed her classes but got certified to scuba dive. She soon joined a local dive club and learned a great deal from the members about the underwater world. There she also met Jonathan and began her next adventure in diving and an apprenticeship in underwater photography and filmmaking. One of her favorite dives is the Airplane Graveyard in Kwajalein Atoll which she first visited on a film project with Jonathan in 2001.
Christine, a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, is a family medicine physician by training, working at a community health center in Massachusetts. She has filled many roles with Oceanic Research Group and Jonathan Bird Productions, working as Production Assistant, Production Manager and Researcher on several films. She was the Production Manager for Sharks: Deep Trouble for National Geographic Channel. As the Executive Producer of Jonathan Bird’s Blue World, Christine is in charge of funding.
The big pond out in back of Tim's boyhood home was the beginning of his love of watery animals. Much to his mother's dismay, he collected dozens of bullfrogs, tadpoles, crayfish (tiny freshwater lobsters) and water bugs, and stored them in homemade tanks in his basement. He'd even grab big jellied gobs of frog eggs and watch them hatch into tadpoles and grow legs. Now, "Cameraman Tim" has traded in the tadpoles for the sharks, whales and stingrays he sees during his adventures shooting Jonathan Bird's Blue World.
Tim is an Emmy Award-winning cinematographer/field producer and a news videographer for WCVB-TV in Boston (the ABC affiliate). An avid diver and underwater cameraman, Tim brings his exceptional attention to detail to the television screen for Jonathan Bird's Blue World as both a cameraman and director. You will frequently hear him telling Jonathan "You can do better. One more time with feeling!"
For as long as he can remember, Pierre was a "collector." As a kid, he collected everything from rocks to insects to birds, fish and reptiles. His room was filled with jars, cages and aquariums of all sizes. Dozens of insect boxes filled the remaining space in his room. Today, there are no more jars and cages, as he traded his nets and traps for cameras to collect, capture and show to everyone all the wonders and beauty of nature. To take his cameras underwater was the next step. He met Jonathan on a dive trip to Cayman in 2003 and they have been great friends ever since.
Pierre is an Emmy Award-winning underwater cinematographer who graduated from the University of Montreal as a biologist and zoologist. His credits include Discovery Channel, PBS, 2nd unit cinematographer for Secrets of the Reef and director of photography for Passion-Plongée ("The Passion of Diving") a dive travel series for Canadian TV. He is also our resident French speaker!
"Editor Tim" joined the team as an intern while attending the New England Institute of Art. We referred to him as "Intern Tim" back then. His video editing skills far exceeded Jonathan's expectations for an intern. On his first day he edited the Underwater B-roll extra, and did such a great job that on his second day he found himself working on the rough cut to the Muyal-Ha Sinkhole segment. After graduation, Tim made the plunge into his position as one of the editors of JBBW during post production of season 3 and even started working as an above-water cameraman on the first season 4 segments. Tim's enthusiastic editing style is bringing a fresh look to the next season of Jonathan Bird's Blue World!
Julia started diving in 1998 and was instantly hooked. For her there's nothing quite as relaxing as being underwater. "When you're diving what you hear most is your own breathing, and your body can feel almost weightless. It's an incredible feeling." Julia loves to dive in her local New England waters, but also enjoys travels to tropical climates for Blue World. Some of her most memorable diving experiences have been petting a Tiger Shark, having a Harbor Seal lie on her lap, and swimming with Whale Sharks.
Professionally, Julia's career is in information technology and she has worked in Financial Services for over 20 years. Her planning and leadership skills have come in very handy as a Line Producer for Blue World. Julia organizes every aspect of a production from budgeting and expedition planning all the way through to assisting with the shots underwater. She makes sure we come home with all the shots we need to edit a segment.
The funny thing about Art is that he works on all these underwater films, but doesn’t dive. But he loves making stories about the ocean and working with Jonathan. Art has three Emmy awards, two that he shares with Jonathan. Art has made programs for PBS, National Geographic, WGBH, A&E, The Family Channel, USA Network, and WCVB-TV, Boston. He also works on the radio part-time as a news anchor on all-news radio station WBZ in Boston. As he explains, “I have a face for radio.” Art is also the announcer for Jonathan Bird’s Blue World; he’s the guy who tells you what’s coming up next. And one more thing. He teaches in the film program at the New England Institute of Art in Brookline, Massachusetts. Guess he likes to be busy.
Art started by working in radio back in 1967, and gradually worked his way into television and documentary production. At WGBY-TV in Springfield, Massachusetts, he produced a series on the environment in 1973. In 1976 he went to work for WGBH-TV in Boston as a reporter for its news program and later produced a series of local documentaries and public affairs specials. He produced for the PBS medical series Bodywatch and was senior producer for The Western Tradition, a 52-part instructional series on the history of western civilization funded by CPB/Annenberg. He also produced dozens of segments and programs for the daily magazine show Chronicle on WCVB-TV in Boston. He has worked with Jonathan since making underwater films since 1994.
Mia has been diving for almost ten years. She has always loved the water and learned to dive so she could stay underwater longer than one breath would allow. Mia loves the feeling of being in a different world when she is diving. She enjoys diving both locally in her native New England, and around the world. One of her favorite spots to dive is Eastport, Maine.
She met Jonathan through a mutual friend a started to assist the JBBW team. "It is a joy working on Jonathan Bird’s Blue World! I see how passionate Jonathan and the crew are about getting the show done. It is a lot of work (and a lot of fun) to put together the segments for each show, but the end result is worth it."
Kerry has been diving for over 10 years. It may sound odd, but he learned to dive because of an interest in astronomy. He was on a trip to Aruba to see a total solar eclipse, but decided to try scuba diving while he was there. His wife Linda signed them up for classes. He's been diving ever since. He has enjoyed many great dive locations all over the world but his favorite is still Nubble Light in Maine because of the diversity of things to see so close to home.
When working for Blue World, Kerry edits segments, helps write some of the segments, and shoots both above and below water when needed.
Linda is a certified diver but no longer dives due to problems with her ears and sinus because of allergies. She doesn't let that stop her from doing something she loves. Between seeing what Jonathan and her husband Kerry shoot for the show, she still gets to see all the interesting life under the surface of the water. Linda's favorite sea creatures are sea squirts because they come in so many colors and shapes. One of her favorite experiences was snorkeling with sharks in the Bahamas.
We often refer to Linda as our "den mother" because she helps out in many important ways, including shooting topside and behind-the-scenes shots, making arrangements for segments, and carrying equipment. She tries to make sure everyone is safe when the diving starts. She also keeps Jonathan set up and on track when we are at functions—no easy feat.
Bruce plays guitar, piano and drums, and loves his job because he gets to write and play music all day long. When he was 11 years old, his best friend started taking drum lessons. Bruce decided to take guitar lessons, so they could form a rock band. Bruce eventually went to music school because he wanted to become a music teacher. But fate had other plans and he now writes music for films and video. Bruce's wife probably fell in love with him because he wooed her with some James Taylor songs on their 3rd date.
Bruce is the Emmy Award-winning owner of Sound Productions, a film scoring studio located in Hartford, CT. He has scored over 500 programs for clients such as AT&T, IBM, PBS, FOX Network, The Learning Channel, National Geographic Television and many more. He is a member of ASCAP and the International Documentary Association (IDA).
Todd fell in love with the water at an early age. His first scuba experience was in 1979 in a lake in Pelham, New Hampshire. A few years later he received his open water certification. He was twelve at the time and has been diving ever since. “I have always found the water calming and peaceful, but it was not until I began diving with sharks, that I learned to be totally relaxed in the open ocean.” Todd is an attorney in Massachusetts. He spent many years in the film and video industry writing software for use in special effects. He has worked with many Academy Award winning special effects houses and contributed software tools used in popular films. He is an avid photographer and painter. He is a cameraman both above and below water for Blue World.
Mike's interest in oceanography and marine zoology started when he was young, watching Jacques Cousteau. He had the opportunity, while in college to study marine zoology, which allowed him to work as a volunteer Educational Associate at the New England Aquarium. Mike took a SCUBA class and became certified while still in college. He has been diving since 1980.
Mike worked as the Design Director at WBZ-TV4 and Broadcast Designer at Studio 5 Productions, creating broadcast design and animation for local television. His broadcast design work has been seen on the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel and Arts & Entertainment. He is an award winning designer working in the fields of broadcast, web, interactive media, animation and educational interactive museum design. His work has been seen in museums across the country, including the Plymouth Plantation Museum and the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum.
Currently, Mike is the Assistant Academic Chair and Associate Professor of Graphic Design at The New England Institute of Art, where he has the pleasure of working with Art Cohen and Tim Geers.