Magazine article American Cinematographer


Magazine article American Cinematographer


Article excerpt

Of the Great Whales

From your story, National Geographic Specials, Part I, Oct. 1985, the stated implication is that Mr. Jim Hudnall was the first to swim with "any" of the "Great Whales."

I do not know who was the first. I do know that my close personal friend, Dr. Hans Mass and his wife Lotte, swam with and filmed sperm whale for one of their television series in the early 1950s. Cousteau had filmed sperm whale in the 1960s. And what surprises me very much in an article about the National Geographic is that in 1971-72 William Curtsmger of the National Geographic took pictures of and Andres Pruna filmed the Southern Right whale.

In fact, in 1972/73 my wife Ann, Andres Pruna and myself made a film about the Southern Right whales which came out first on BBC, then subsequently on PBS in America.

I make no claims; however, the BBC Natural History Unit states that our film, "Valdes Bay of Whales" seen in America as "A Prospect of Whales" was the world's first "whale" film. By that they mean the first film ever made where the filming of whales underwater was its goal and where humans and great whales interact. My wife and I have subsequently filmed grey whale, humpback whale, killer whale, sperm whale. And the only "first" I can personally claim is that I was the first to film blue whale underwater.

-Krov M Menuhin, FRGS

St. Remy de Provence,


Mr. Hudnall made no claim to be the "first" in any of your mentioned categories. However, American Cinematograher has documented evidence that Mr. …

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