From trainee animator to Spielberg, from JAWS to BLUE LAGOON, to falling in love with the ocean and with her husband, Ron, this is the exceptional and unique life story of pioneering marine conservationist, photographer and shark expert Valerie Taylor.
At 83 years old, Valerie Taylor has lived a big, bold adventurous life.
Born in Australia, Valerie spent a great deal of her childhood in New Zealand. A talented artist, she dropped out of school when she contracted polio and was saved by Sister Elizabeth Kenny's treatment plan; it was two years before she could walk unaided. When Valerie was fifteen, she found work as an animator and moved back to Australia with her family. All the while she thrived on being close to the ocean, and was a keen spear fisher.
In the 1950s, she met Ron Taylor and then her real adventures started. Together they sailed all over the world, photographing and filming their travels for magazines, TV and movies, and making many documentaries. Valerie and Ron became interested in conservation, and focused on sharks in particular. They did all the shark work on Jaws, and James Cameron decided he wanted to become a filmmaker because of Valerie and her husband.
Valerie is working with the brilliant Ben Mckelvey to share her story of falling in love with the ocean and with her husband, Ron. From trainee animator to Spielberg, from JAWS to BLUE LAGOON, this is the remarkable story of an incredible woman.
Ben Mckelvey is a freelance writer and editor from Sydney who has filed for Good Weekend, GQ, Voyeur, Rolling Stone, The Bulletin, Cosmo, Cleo and the Age and West Australian newspapers. Ben's previous gigs have included editing Sports&Style and Juice magazines, and working at the Sydney Morning Herald as a Senior Feature Writer. He has been embedded with the ADF in East Timor and Iraq, and has worked independently in Iran and Afghanistan.