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Andrew Wight
Documentary Film Maker

In Memory: Andrew Wight was killed in a helicopter crash on February 4, 2012.

Andrew Wight is a underwater explorer and film maker with an unusual background. He began his career in agricultural science and has worked in scientific research. He is a prominent and respected scuba and cave diving instructor, commercial helicopter pilot and part time farmer turned adventure film maker.

Click For EnlargementTell a little about yourself and your background
I have lead expeditions to dive and explore some of the most remote and bizarre regions of the world including, Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Florida, Cuba, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caladonia, Fiji, New Zealand, Gaudaloupe Is, Bahamas, Dominiocan Republic, Belize, Dry Tortugas, Navassa Is, Costa Rica, Coccos Island, Galapagos Islands, Lord Howe Is, Titanic, Bismarck and Australia.

Click For EnlargementI have produced 36 documentary films since 1988. My company Great Wight Productions has gained an international reputation for making award winning adventure television programs, screened in over 60 countries around the world and have featured on National television in the USA on NBC Dateline, Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel.

I was the producer for a 3D IMAX film "Ghosts of the Abyss" directed by James Cameron. To be released early 2003 by Disney. Currently, I am the executive producer for a 2 hour television special directed by James Cameron for the Discovery channel about the battleship Bismarck: Expedition Bismarck.

What got you interested in Pacific aircraft wrecks?
The story of the RAAF 75th Squadron Kitty hawks, struggle to stop the advance of the Japanese in taking over the airfield in Port Moresby inspired the story. Also a general interest and thirst for knowledge about the war Australians fought in the Pacific.

Tell a little more about Winged Ghosts of the Pacific
The area of WWII and the rich history in PNG was intriguing and with many of the veteran flyers still alive and accessible to interview it seemed like a great project. It came from more personal interest than anything else and fitted into an over all plan of adventure for the TV series I was making. The show has aired in over 60 countries world wide, US, UK Europe and South America

Tell a little about the process of shooting the documentary
The answer to this question is a very long one! Shooting a film in remote locations with a small team is difficult and challenging. You have to be totally self sufficient and be able to perform every task of the film making process. On these expeditions we had a team of 5 people. Which by most documentary standards for a program that required a lot of diving as well is extremely small. WE did everything, the diving, script writing, filming, sound recording and even the research. It was fortunate that we went to Rabaul when we did as the volcano exploded soon after we had been there. Many of the images we have in our film document what Rabaul was like before the eruption.

What was it meeting Allan Whetters, RAAF 75th Sqn Pilot?
It was a very emotional experience working with the pilots, and especially Allan Whetters pilot of P-40E Kittyhawk A29-110 who couldn't believe that he was able to relive and tactually touch a piece of his past. It would be great if Australian took more interest in their history and that local networks like 9, 10 and 7 would get behind well mad films instead of crappy reality shows but I think that says a lot about many urban Australians who have quickly forgotten how lucky we are and the sacrifices that were made by many young men during the dark days of the war to protect what we have now.

What other types of work have you been doing today?
I am currently making Expedition Bismarck about the battle ship Bismarck with Titanic movie director James Cameron. The show is due to air on December 8th in the US. We have a project which may involve deep dive exploration to find some lost American War ships in the Pacific. Thanks for the opportunity to share something of my experiences, I wish I had a little more time to respond but we are extremely busy the next two weeks finishing the film.

Thank you for the interview Mr. Wight

References
Ecology "Deep Sea Brothers: Mike deGruy and Andrew Wight" by Susan Colby, February 12, 2012
The Syney Morning Herald "Filmmakers died in crash after chopper pilot's door opened: ATSB report" May 3, 2013

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