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What’s blue, wet, and made with the help of Media Shuttle?

By Katie Staveley | Jun 11, 2013

It’s “Jonathan Bird’s Blue World,” an educational family-oriented underwater adventure series airing on PBS stations nationwide and hosted by naturalist and underwater photographer Jonathan Bird. Congratulations to Jonathan and his team for the Series 4-opening episode “Aquarius Reef Base” being nominated for a national Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Special Class Short Format Daytime Program category.

With an amazing combination of science and undersea adventure, “Jonathan Bird’s Blue World” uses lush underwater shots of fish, flora and scuba divers as a backdrop for Jonathan to explain scientific concepts such as pressurization so that classroom learning comes alive. In the Emmy-nominated episode Jonathan visits Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of Florida—the world’s only undersea lab where scientists live in saturation for days or weeks at a time, studying the ocean. If dive tanks and singing hosts aren’t enough to excite the imagination and sense of wonder in viewers, the episode also features an angelfish attack on the cameraman, lessons about “the bends” and even an underwater toilet.

Aquarius Reef Base - Jonathan Bird's Blue World

The production realities, however, aren’t as swimmingly easy. Shooting underwater means more than just managing cameras and trying to capture a story – it means running life support equipment in a harsh environment where a misstep can be fatal – at the same time the camera is rolling. Cinematographer act as roving reporters keeping the camera rolling as much as possible, then rely on Media Shuttle to send uncut footage back home after the shoot where multiple cuts, edits, added graphics and refinements make the show shine, and making sure stations in over 33 markets serving over 160 million viewers get the episode on time.

“Media Shuttle is extremely important to both our editing workflow and delivery,” said Jonathan Bird, Emmy Award-winning underwater cinematographer, producer and president of the non-profit organization Oceanic Research Group. “We share large files between editors using Media Shuttle, and even deliver full-length finished programs to public television stations as an alternative to satellite distribution at a fraction of the cost. It’s a really fast, easy and reliable way to deliver large video files to and from anywhere in the world.”

“Jonathan Bird’s Blue World” already has won four Emmy Awards, the CINE Golden Eagle, nominations from numerous film festivals and more. We’ll have the popcorn ready as we root for the show to win on Sunday, June 16 at 7 pm ET when the 40th Daytime Emmys are telecast live from at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Turner Broadcast Networks’ HLN.