Gabriel Ponniah, Editor In Chief
ATX Screen Scene
“There’s blood in the water.”
It’s not for nothing that this adage is so universally understood to indicate danger ahead. Because if there’s blood in the water, sharks are soon to follow—hungry sharks. A popular nugget of wisdom suggests a shark’s thirst for blood is so powerful that they can smell even a drop from a mile away, but this claim has been largely overblown. And as evidence to that rebuttal, Todd Kortte’s risky diving snafu in his short “Bleeding In A School Of Hammerhead Sharks” demonstrates that these ravenous creatures are perhaps more gentle than their reputation would suggest.
When Kortte and company embarked on this diving expedition in the Galapagos, they hoped to strikingly photograph masses upon masses of hammerhead sharks who frequent the current by Elephant Rock. What they did not account for was the eel bite which suddenly turned the clandestine video shoot into a life-or-death affair. After grabbing a bit of reef that encroached on the eel’s territory, Kortte was suddenly putting blood in the water, and it would surely spell his demise, right?
Aside from the professional vlog style, as this segment would fit comfortably in any contemporary broadcast nature programming, the strength of the short is in its serendipitous message about the misconceptions surrounding sharks. Kortte’s technical competence is well-documented, and his storytelling sensibilities (possibly honed through his acting career or archival experience) help elevate this piece beyond a basic photography project. It’s as solid as they come, and while I’m glad to have seen this film, I’m happier still that in spite of the alluring dangerous twist, Kortte is still with us, able to make more movies.