BBC Earth

Andy Casagrande, cameraman

A lifelong fascination

Shark

Since I can remember I've had a lifelong fascination with great white sharks. I can't recall exactly when it all started, but one of the most vivid memories from my childhood was the moment I first laid eyes upon a great white. I was seven years old and I saw one on television. It was unlike anything I had ever seen and I was completely and utterly mesmerised by this mysterious and magical creature.

My parents often told me "don't believe everything you see on TV" and thus I distinctly remember thinking at first that this surreal creature could simply not be real and was something make-believe! However, I soon discovered that it wasn't made-up at all and in fact it was 100% real and 100% the single most amazing thing I had ever encountered!

From that day forward I was forever changed and I knew from that moment onward, my lifelong dream would be to learn more about these misunderstood and majestic animals.

Being selected as one of the underwater cinematographers tasked with filming great white sharks for the BBC series has truly been an incredible honour. It is truly one of the highlights of my wildlife film-making career. Through this incredible true-to-life natural history series, I can only hope that children and adults worldwide will become completely mesmerised and genuinely inspired by the sharks.

The great white shark is the quintessential shark and a keystone species. If the fascination with this animal outweighs the fear of it, hopefully the world will fall in love with it and this love will spread out to all species of shark. I really hope the world can empathise with the plight of sharks and help bring much-needed support to the conservation and protection of all shark species.