“Great white lies is a brilliant look at our deep rooted fear of sharks, and how the media and politicians seek to exploit these misguided fears for their own gain. In turn it challenges you to take another look at this amazing animal, and it’s right to exist in the ocean it calls home’ - Blair Ranford, shark researcher and filmmaker
"Recently, I have been honored with an opportunity to view a film created by a friend of mine, Skyler Thomas. With a number of technical and temporal issues interfering with it, I finally broke down and forced myself to make the time. To sum it up succinctly, I became very angry at myself for not getting to it sooner regardless of the impediments. It is, in a word, magnificent.
Now this may seem all preachy and flowery, but I hardly know where to start with an honest review that encourages others to voluntarily climb down the rabbit hole, but I am going to try.
First and foremost, the cinematography is just elegant. Every shot was masterfully captured in high definition, from the diagrams to the sharks themselves. One shot that particularly sticks in my mind is that of a white shark swimming near the surface with bright,
crisp and lazy streaks of sunlight dancing over its form and then suddenly disappearing as the shark moved into shadow. This image spoke to me very much as it seems to encapsulate what this film is about; taking a these "splendid savages" of the deep (via J-Y Cousteau) and dulling them down to their most superficial attributes to fit the role only the ignorant can relegate them to. There is so much to this 3-4 second clip that one can imply and I was ecstatic that I got to revisit the footage several times during the runtime.
The people that Skyler spoke to are incredibly genuine, from the shark experts to the politicians, from the advocates to the fishermen, from the surfers to the bathers. You gain unique insights about these sharks from the myriad of perspectives shared on screen. As a marine biologist and shark conservationist myself, I can tell you that the individuals of reputation and name know this subject matter. The scientists are at the top of their game, the advocates know both sides of the debate and the public themselves are completely representative of the average layperson. You cannot imagine a better frame for the controversy. It is subtle, but effective in relaying the message to the viewer.
The pace and setting (including music) of this astounding work of non-fiction are pleasant and worthy of everyone’s attention. I find it hard to believe anyone could be anything other than completely engrossed for the duration.
Obviously, this topic is one very close to my heart and as such, I tend to grade such escapades very keenly, if not fastidiously…but I can find no flaw, no chink in the armor, no blemish or failing. When it comes to the topic of shark culling and mitigation programs, this is by far the most comprehensive and exhaustive composition of the matter.
To say I was moved by the film is obviously an understatement. This production was the antithesis of the scene I previously described, as it pulls the spectator out of obscurity and enlightens them.
Kudos to you, Skyler. “Great White Lies” is truly a rendering worth the highest accolades. I thank you greatly for its execution and for the opportunity to view the film. - Drew Scerbo, marine scientist