Having had the opportunity to work with Shelton Dupreez a few years ago, I recently caught up with him as he’s changed his route from ‘regular’ yacht crew work, at least for a time, to something SUPER interesting and to where he’s likely going to create a niche in the marketplace with his new company, Luxury Yacht Films! All I can say is it was a pleasure working with Shelton - he's easy-going, a long-term contributor to his past yacht and crew and he has some incredible talent! Here is a quick interview we did together, recently. PS - links to his incredible super yacht movies are at the end of the interview.
With the combined increase of expedition-style yachts, cruising previously unexplored waters such as the Arctic and remote far-away tropical islands and with the rise of social media coverage of these superyachts’ incredible journeys, it was only a matter of time before the niche industry of freelance videography came into high demand. I have had the pleasure of catching up with Shelton Du Preez, 10-year yacht crew veteran, to talk about his newest venture, Luxury Yacht Films. LYF covers the superyachts’ every media need by filming and creating personalized videos to document and preserve the owner and guests once-in-a-life-time experiences. Such a service will prove invaluable to every ‘action and adventure’ superyacht out there and is sure to earn the crew some major brownie points!
Hi Shelton, it’s been a long time! What have you been up to the last few years?
Hi Karen, Thanks for having me. I look forward to sharing this new, exciting and dynamic service to add to superyacht owner’s on-board experiences! Since I last saw you in Fort Lauderdale, on M/Y Latitude, we set off for the far North and never looked back! That summer we completed the Northwest Passage, above Canada through the newly opened ice-passages, for the first time from East to West. After many amazing adventures in the NWP and Greenland, the wildlife and scenery was so incredible, the owner said, “let’s do it again!”. The crew were thrilled and after wintering over in San Francisco we completed the NWP again, this time from West to East, an accomplished feat for any yacht. We continued on to Iceland, the UK and the Netherlands. The following summer we cruised the Baltic, through Sweden, Denmark, and the fjords of Norway. We traveled all the way up to and then circumnavigated Svalbard, reaching the highest latitude any non-icebreaking yacht has reached, a record of almost 82 degrees north!
Wow, that’s a wild itinerary! How did you first get into film?
Ever since I was a kid I was always playing with video and editing. But I didn’t really start taking it seriously until when the crew found out we were doing the NWP again. I thought, “ok, I need to make a movie about this incredible experience”. After some practice in California and Alaska, the owner showed interest in my hobby, bought some new gear, and I went on to film and make, “The Northwest Passage”. That year M/Y Latitude went on to win Boat International’s, “Voyager Award”! A very proud moment for all involved in her journeys.
Well done! There is another movie you made that builds on your experience – tell us about that too.
Thanks, that’s what it’s all about, bringing smiles to people’s faces! Yes, after the positive feedback I got from the NWP movie, I focused all of my attention on film for the following year, circumnavigating Svalbard high in the Arctic. We had some serious gear upgrades including 2 DJI Inspire Pro drones; it was awesome! It was an amazing summer and after completing my Master < 3000gt license in November, I buckled down and put together, “The Highest Latitude: An Arctic Svalbard Expedition”.
I’m stoked with how the movie came out, and it was just recently given a special award for, “Outstanding Video”, at the 2017 Boat International Super Yacht Awards.
Congratulations! Is this when the idea came about for Luxury Yacht Films?
Cheers! Yes, kind of, it had been developing in my mind for the last 6 months or so. After I left Latitude this March, I was faced with 2 choices: Take the normal route and pursue a captain’s position, or roll the dice and start something new while I had momentum…I think you know which I chose! Haha!
It’s fantastic to hear when people pursue their dreams! What are you offering and what are your goals with the brand?
It’s a freelance videography service for the yachting industry, where I would join your vessel to film your journey however you wish, and create a custom-tailored movie for you to do with what you wish! It could be for memories among friends and family, part of a research project, entering into film festivals, or just something fun for the boat and crew! The long term goals is to create a brand that people know and trust, where, if the owner of a yacht says to the captain, “we should film this next trip to Antarctica”, the captain immediately thinks, “OK I’ll call Luxury Yacht Films”. It’s just me for now, but I would like to find other like-minded, experienced yacht crew to create a team environment.
Ambitious, I like that! I wish you all the best with your new endeavor and hope to see more of LYF in the future! How can we see more and where can we check out your movies??
Thanks Karen, same to you! Our new website, www.luxuryyachtfilms.com is up and live with direct play of my finished projects, along with some more info, contact and photography. Follow IG @luxuryyachtfilms and my Facebook page - Luxury Yacht Films - and keep an eye out in the near future. Thanks again!
Shelton’s work can be viewed from these links:
The Northwest Passage: YouTube - a 20-minute movie presentation
The Highest Latitude: An Arctic Svalbard Yacht Expedition: YouTube - a 25-minute movie presentation.