Andy Brandy Casagrande IV is a two-time Emmy Award winning wildlife cinematographer, producer & television host specializing in apex predators (top of the food chain). He has over 100 film credits to his name and has worked on 27 different Shark Week specials for Discovery Channel over the past decade. In this year's Shark Week, he did a night dive with a swarm of sharks in "Lair of the Mega Shark" and filmed a fellow diver and shark expert attempting to put sharks in a state of tonic immobility (essentially unconscious) in "Zombie Sharks," among other appearances. In this Q&A, he talks about why he loves sharks, plus his favorite — and scariest — moments from this year's Shark Week.
Are you a full-time shark photographer or do you shoot other things?
Sharks are my greatest passion, but I also film killer whales, lions, polar bears, king cobras, crocodiles and essentially any — and all — dangerous predators.
What is it about sharks that makes you want to keep learning about them, going diving with them and filming them?
Sharks have captured my fascination since I was a little kid and even today I simply can't stop thinking about them! They are such majestic and incredible creatures, yet they get such a bad wrap and are greatly misunderstood by humans. I just want to continue to do my best to glorify them and give them a voice for their survival by inspiring people through my images.
What is the biggest misperception about sharks?
Although sharks are dangerous predators, they are not evil malicious creatures looking to eat people.
What was your scariest moment from this year's Shark Week?
The scariest moment for me during Shark Week this year was night diving with Great White Sharks in New Zealand while filming "Lair of the Mega Shark!" The sharks were extremely amped up and truly seemed to be displaying a pack-hunting behavior!
What was your favorite moment from this year's Shark Week?
My favorite moment from Shark Week this year was when I successfully deployed my GoPro "SharkFinCam" onto the dorsal fin of a Great White Shark while filming "Lair of the Mega Shark" in New Zealand! (Watch a video clip.)
You looked so calm when you were night diving with sharks or watching a fellow diver go out of the cage around New Zealand great whites. How do you stay so calm? What's your secret?
The most critical thing about diving with sharks is to remain calm and zen and never panic. If you act like prey, sharks will treat you like prey. They are not evil and always out to get us, but they are professional predators and should always be respected.