Sunday, November 25, 2012

SR71 Blackbird Spy Plane subject of a new film

SR71-Titanium Wing Spar Nut & Bolt
Stay tuned for more info on this one. We are currently in discussions with a major cable network on creating this documentary. For the curious here's a schematic and an actual wing spar nut and bolt that went into space and back to Earth. It was eventually replaced. It's made of Titanium and Beryllium...

NOGI Award goes to Mike deGruy

Sometimes in our lives we are lucky enough to meet some very incredible people and even more fortunate to be able to work with them and to call them friend. Mike deGruy was one of those special people in my life and since his passing I have made a concerted effort to follow in his footsteps by honoring his life with every opportunity presented to me. It's been almost 10 months of doing just that mixed in with work and I hope I've done him justice for who he was as an explorer, filmmaker, environmentalist and a great Father to his children Max and Frances and Husband to Mimi deGruy.

Mimi deGruy accepting the NOGI for Mike.
It was a fitting ceremony in Las Vegas at the annual Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences awards and an incredible re-union with some great college friends and those I had the privilege to work with in the realm of underwater film and photography. Why even Cathy Church was there whom I met way back in 1980 in the Cayman Islands and whose book on underwater photography inspired me to pursue a career in film...well, yep I had many career detours along the way but hey I've been back at it the last 10 years and it truly is the work I love to do most. Be it underwater or mostly on land these days it is truly the most expressive art form I know and love!

I guess I have something to work towards in the documentary side of my filmmaking career... Come on NOGI !

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our National Marine Sanctuaries celebrate 40 years!

Channel Islands a Treasure for Future Generations

Article published 10/30/2012
Click links below to read on their websites.
Santa Barbara Independent &

By Harry Rabin

Forty years ago last week, in 1972, Congress passed what is now known as the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and established the National Marine Sanctuaries System. Just eight years later, in 1980, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration designated our own Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, the third in what is currently a national system of 14 sites.

Encircling five of the offshore Channel Islands, our sanctuary is a local and national treasure, a Chumash homeland and very special place. Teeming with an incredible diversity of marine life, it’s a natural place for adventure where locals and visitors can enjoy world-class fishing, whale watching, kayaking, sailing, scuba diving and even a trip to the Channel Islands National Park. There’s also known and yet to be discovered historic shipwrecks, right here in our very own backyard, beckoning the adventurous to have a look.

The sanctuary’s eco-minded management provides us with clean waters and well-protected habitats that help serve up top-quality local seafood and support many important jobs in our coastal community.

Local sanctuary programs, such as the Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans (MERITO) program, have inspired and engaged our schools and students.

On campus at UC Santa Barbara, the Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science (OCTOS) is being built, and will offer many exciting programs along with hands-on interactive technology to inspire, stimulate and educate our children, students and adults about ocean science and conservation. Future OCTOS students will see firsthand some of the most advanced marine science tools available to further the cause and advancement of conservation efforts at an incredible pace.

Even more good news! Just a little south of Santa Barbara at the Channel Islands Harbor, the doors will soon open at a new boating center, aptly named the Channel Islands Boating Center. The center will highlight the wonders of the sanctuary and teach the importance of safe and environmentally responsible boating.

So, the outlook is promising. The sanctuary system and, in particular, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, will be an important part of our community’s future. We’re coming into exciting times. Our sanctuary is a national treasure to enjoy now and for future generations — 1,470 square miles of ocean will remain protected from further offshore oil development, always managed with a forward-thinking, ecosystem-based approach. The success here and at other sanctuaries has spurred requests to add even more needed national marine sanctuaries around the country.

Our sanctuary has proven to be a living example of how protected areas can thrive by supporting a healthy ecosystem, a healthy economy and a beautiful and stunning place to visit. The future looks very bright indeed, as long as we all remember that our national marine sanctuaries belong to everyone, and never lose sight of that.

Locally, I encourage you to get involved, whether through volunteering your time as a Channel Islands Naturalist Corps volunteer or with the Sanctuary Advisory Council. It’s easy to learn more about the sanctuary through a visit to local venues such as the Ty Warner Sea Center, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum or the Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitors Center. Better yet, head out to the gateway of our Channel Islands, your local beaches, to experience your very own sanctuary adventure.

There are many local companies to help you venture out to sea aboard a sailing or power boat to see up close the largest animal on the planet — the blue whale — along with many other cetaceans, such as orcas and dolphins. We even have sea otters. How about a glass-bottom boat, an amphibious tour vehicle, or grab a board, kayak, mask, snorkel and fins and jump on in!

Survival Suit Drill aboard RV Atlantis
As a member of your community, ocean enthusiast and supporter for more than 38 years, I’m very proud to be helping our local Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary in my new role with the Channel Islands Sanctuary Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to advancing the understanding and protection of the sanctuary. Let’s all do our part to experience, contribute to and benefit from the good fortune of having a national marine sanctuary in our own backyard.

— Harry Rabin is the board liaison for the Channel Islands and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Founding Board Member UCSB OCTOS and CEO of On the Wave Productions and Flying B Studios.

UPCOMING TEDx TALK-Destiny & the Unthinkable

A new journey began for me when the unthinkable occurred on Feb 3rd 2012 the day my friend , mentor and partner in film Mike deGruy was suddenly out of the clear blue taken from us…

So today I’m going to talk a little bit about Destiny and something called a “Light Path” and how the UNTHINKABLE can inspire all of us at any time in our life but especially our children !

We may choose our fate but we don't get to choose our destiny in life, it seems that it often chooses us. Rest assured that the universe does indeed send us messages but we need an open mind not only to listen but to absorb the information and we’ll need the courage to act upon it ! That was something Mike deGruy excelled in, courage and an open mind and heart…and that is why he inspired me…

Now some of those messages come from those whom we surround ourselves with as well as when we seek anothers knowledge but most of the time it comes when we ‘re not looking at all.

One such person fitting that latter category I came across in college, let's just say a few decades back for the sake of argument, and was just recently re-acquainted with him as he spoke to an entire middle school assembly. Remarkably he described how his destiny was shaped by what he phrased as "following one's light path." He went on to say that he picked someone who inspired him.That inspiration for him came from Ansel Adams. And that wise courageous soul was none other than Ernie Brooks, the voice of oceanic exploration and preservation of our marine environment!

Wow an epiphany! Ernie became one of 3 light paths to follow in my life. The photographs along with his philosophy of the environment and conservation became my ticket into the universe of underwater photography! And here we were together just a week ago as he spoke to over 150 students, inspiring them and renewing me. He said to me that being with these kids who are our future was so rewarding. If he could inspire them as he did me so be it!
Now my other light path was with my Uncle Max a relentless inventor who proclaimed to me "seek out originality, do something no one else has ever attempted, create, innovate and I did!  

 Ok so here I am at 58 years old and my 3rd mentor of the last decade was none other than Mike deGruy! To quote James Cameron on Mike’s TED Talk in the Galapagos “Mike gave  a nineteen minute speed rap on the environment that only Mike could deliver in that Mike way! He ended by saying he left a legacy for all of us to carry on. 

So looking back I can say I was lucky to spend months with Mike and crew as his DP preparing and then heading to the Gulf of Mexico. Sharing a tiny bunk bed quarters aboard the Research Vessel Atlantis, working with a great crew until we pushed so hard they were on the verge of a MUTINY,  squeezing into a 6ft Titanium ball known as the ALVIN Deep Submersible Vehicle, Driving over 6000 miles all over the Gulf Coast in all kinds of weather and more stories and adventures then I can fit into a brief presentation today but could definitely write a few book!

Now I'm the last person to put anyone on a pedestal and I won't begin here and now. What I will do is to attempt the UNTHINKABLE...HMMM that word always seems to proceed something horrible, disastrous, negative but not for me. That word instead inspires and let me show you how the unthinkable is a positive word indeed and I believe one that Mike used well to get the message through…
Roll the video.

Mike deGruy in the Gulf of Mexico
Mike deGruy didn't choose his destiny especially in those final moments of his incredible life. What he did do and accomplish in his 61 years on the planet has left us with a mission, perhaps for some of you the message that we can accomplish the unthinkable! We can look in our own backyards, all of us and begin there as Mike so aptly phrased it! We can save our planet by altering the course it has been on, by looking at different energy sources that give back to the planet. By exploring our Oceans especially the Deep and by reversing the damage we have done to our environment. Together and through Mike's inspiration we can do the UNTHINKABLE! We all together can turn the tide! We all can be warriors for the sake of our environment and our children's future. Their destiny awaits them... Let's give them a world to experience it! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I have returned !

Thanks for the many eMails regarding the blog and those of you who urged me to getting back in the groove. Losing a friend and partner and mentor all in one blow quite truthfully ripped the ground right from under me! Mike deGruy was a one of a kind, a magnificent human being and a tremendous loss to the planet, his family and his friends...

A very wise person just said to me the other day that we should follow the light path of that special person who has a profound impact on our lives. That person whom I was lucky enough to be re-acquainted with was none other than Ernie Brooks as he spoke to the kids at Santa Barbara Middle School where my son Drake happens to be enrolled. I have to say that there are only a few whose light path I have followed and as of late Mike has become one of them for me! The last 6 months have been consumed by trying to continue in the spirit of the planet, our Oceans and our future, our children's future.

I have made several tribute films to honor what Mike deGruy has done for all of us. On the web, in theaters, in conference halls, Film Festivals, Discovery Channel, TEDx Talks, and coming up the AUAS/NOGI Awards. As for active participation I have become an official liaison for NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries. A founding Board Member for an ambitious project at UCSB called OCTOS, Outreach Center for the Teaching of Ocean Science. I still wear the wrist band for Mike that his son Max so insightfully created. It has 4 letters on it, W.W.M.D... What Would Mike Do! So it is a reminder of Mike and his involvement in making this world a better place for our future generations!

Sometimes what is most important is to follow the path that is set down before us. To turn unthinkable events in our lives into productive ones. My light path is doing just that and maybe some of you out there can join me or steer towards the same situation that confronts you and jump on for another ride of a lifetime!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


OK so there I was waiting and waiting and waiting for my new RED Scarlet to arrive, and waiting...I had new projects on the horizon that were now banging on my back door. Uh I can wait after all the Scarlet will work with my massive collection of Canon L glass, Telephotos, Wide Zooms, Primes, I can wait ! #@!$%&!!*$...$30,000.00 in gear ordered and still no sign of it,no date given and almost 3 months of waiting.

Well I no longer had the luxury or option to continue the RED waiting game so off I went to my favorite camera store, SAMY's and asked if they could possibly get me the new CANON C300? Yeah I called my amigos at Canon too and voila 2 days later it was in my hands for $16,000.00 ! This article does not go into detail on all the many fantastic features and the quality level of this camera. I assure you the C300 is an incredible new breed of camera and CANON deserves the kudos it has received. Yeah ok I know so I focused on the dark side but what I did find that was , well, annoying...and you want to know, right??

So some real world testing was in order. Hey my bretheren Vincent LaForet, Jeff Cronenworth,  and Philip Bloom we're off making movies for Canon so what could possibly go wrong. Well what indeed...the tests I ran looked great until I discovered loss of focus or OOF issues with all CANON L Glass zooms such as the 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200. I was shooting a scene and as I slowly push in on the actors face we see the focus changing from sharp to SOFT! What the BLEEP#@#$!

OOF issue
There are 2 types of lenses VARIFOCAL and PARFOCAL. Canon glass is varifocal,  requires refocusing when changing focal length. This is more obvious in video vs still photography where your always re focusing while zooming into the next photo!
Canon's response, well I'm still waiting but I'll guess they will state while L Glass is indeed the finest photographic glass on the planet that still does not make it CINE GLASS. Which is why they now make CINE LENSES...excerpt from WIKIpedia:
Whereas lenses used in cinematography and video applications are required to maintain focus while the focal length is changed, there is no such requirement for still photography, or if a zoom lens is used as a projection lens. Since it is harder to construct a lens that does not change focus with the same image quality as one that does, the latter applications often have lenses that require refocusing once the focal length has changed (and thus strictly speaking are varifocal lenses, not zoom lenses). As most modern still cameras are autofocus, this is not a problem.
Designers of zoom lenses with large zoom ratios often trade one or more aberrations for higher image sharpness. For example, a greater degree of barrel and pincushion distortion is tolerated in lenses that span the focal length range from wide angle to telephoto with a focal ratio of 10x or more than would be acceptable in a fixed focal length lens or a zoom lens with a lower ratio. Although modern design methods have been continually reducing this problem, barrel distortion of greater than one percent is common in these large-ratio lenses. Another price paid is that at the extreme telephoto setting of the lens the effective focal length changes significantly while the lens is focused on closer objects. The apparent focal length can more than halve while the lens is focused from infinity to medium close-up. To a lesser degree, this effect is also seen in fixed focal length lenses that move internal lens elements, rather than the entire lens, to effect changes in magnification.

Varifocal lens

Many so-called "zoom" lenses, particularly in the case of fixed lens cameras, are actually varifocal lenses, which gives lens designers more flexibility in optical design trade-offs (focal length range, maximum aperture, size, weight, cost) than true parfocal zoom, and which is practical because of autofocus, and because the camera processor can move the lens to compensate for the change in the position of the focal plane while changing magnification ("zooming"), making operation essentially the same as a true parfocal zoom.[3]

Inexpensive cures:
1. Use a CANON 17-55mm F2.8 IS
2.Use primes and Dolly the shot. I know ouch! ok so back to choice #1 ! :>)

S-Glass lens. Maybe someone at CANON can explain why this less expensive glass works better than L Glass on the C300.

Expensive cures: CINE LENSES like the ZEISS LWZ2, RED CINE ZOOM 17-50 T2.9

Do your 2-3% push in in Post, the image holds up...

More later, on some breathing issues and yep a spec of aliasing/moire still exists but no where near the DSLR levels! Remember NO CAMERA IS THE HOLY GRAIL! They are tools in our hands as artists and sculptors ! The more we know about them the more we know what situations they work best in and to avoid the ones that get us in trouble!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

BERNIE's gone nationwide !!

This is a must see movie and I'm not saying this simply because we worked on it but because it's a great TRUE story! Richard Linklater and Ginger Sledge really did a fantastic job with this film and it is a unique comedy noir that is a must see! So get out there to your local theater and support the arts!

Here's the website for the film for more details and to see if it's playing near you. CLICK ME

Jack Black, Shirley Maclaine and Matthew McConnaughey put on wonderful performances in this clever black comedy and you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Here's our new logo seen on the film's poster which incorporates all main elements of the film. Everyone who contributed will be receiving Shirts, Hats, and other related spiff with this new logo for the film... There's still time to contribute on indiegogo so come on and join in on the production of 45 Seconds in May!! Click here!

Ok here's a quick glimpse of some storyboard, post, cgi and film that we have been working on prior to the start of principle photography in August 2012. So just click the play button to the Left!

Link to 45SIM

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"45 Seconds in May" film seeks your participation !

Click on the picture to see to all the information on participating.
OK here is a fantastic opportunity in which you can participate in the process of filmmaking! As some of you may or may not know OTW has embarked upon a first time venture. We are producing our own feature film "45 Seconds in May" and are actively seeking funding for the short film version which will be distributed via film festivals nationwide. The goal will be to promote a full feature film from our sizzle reel/short film. Please click on the widget below to get full details to see how YOU can take part in this production and benefit in the experience as well as receiving perks from film merchandise to actually taking part in the film which will begin principle photography in mid-July 2012!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mike deGruy Adventurer, filmmaker, friend & mentor, lover of life!

Feb 4th, 2012, 3:55pm Saturday NZW Australia the world lost a hero, an optimist a true warrior for the planet and re-known and respected filmmaker Mike deGruy. February 4th 21012 was the saddest day I can remember as I got word that my friend and co-conspirator in the art of film was tragically killed in a helicopter accident. I can honestly think of only 1 or 2 people in my life who had a profound influence on me as a person as well as my passion for film making. Whether it was working with Mike in the Gulf or other projects, here and there, I always knew another fantastic adventure was about to take place. Mike's passion, his drive and that incredible smiling face and greeting to all he would meet, friend, foe and stranger we're admirable! Sure we would get into it every now and then but you just couldn't help but like the guy, love the guy!

Aboard the Alvin DSV during our Gulf trip
 He wasn't out there just to make a buck in film, he captured what he loved and believed in and most importantly to convey a beneficial message to the world. He would never sensationalize anything about a living creature but instead spoke from his heart and soul with overflowing optimism, enthusiasm and excitement all because of his respect for all the planets creatures ! I've never met a person more excited about life. It that was contagious!

When I greet anyone now I give it the deGruy greeting, complimentary, loud and clear and with overwhelming enthusiasm. The Mike deGruy delivery that would make the lowest critter with the lowest self-esteem feel 10 ft. tall!

 Mike your causes were many and unselfishly focused on the health of the world and all of it's creatures! A part of me feels void and empty because I can't just pop over and hang, or look over your shoulder or have those deep conversations about what we do and what we should be doing to make this world a better place. I know you can hear me and I can still hear and see you!

Mike deGruy loving father of Max and Frances, loving husband of Mimi, my friend, electric personality, mentor, lover of life!
News Article

Truth is I could write on and on about you but all anyone has to do is google your name to see your mark on the world, the people you have met and worked with and your influence on making planet Earth a better place!

Peace as you walk or rather soar upon and swim under a new adventure on another plane of life! You are missed and never forgotten!

Oh yeah 2 words that Mike always always used be it the end of a meeting, the end of the work day, the end of play, the best farewell the deGruy way, the familiar "SEE YA !" Always an open end welcome back to meet again soon! That's right Mike! SEE YA!

The news article can be seen here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

OTW Feature Film "45 Seconds in May."

On the Wave Productions new feature film in pre-production.

"Three life long High school friends will come to terms with untold truths only to face and confront an unimaginable force that will change their lives forever."

Principle photography will begin July 15, 2012. The film is a work of fiction based on actual events that took place during May of 2011 in Joplin, Missouri which is where the majority of the film will be shot.