As you all may know, Mike deGruy, who was a Cinematographer, had died recently in a helicopter accident. This article is dedicated to him and who he was and what he had achieved.
Mike deGruy was born December 29, 1951 in Alabama. Mike’s love for the ocean began when he was a little kid. He always loved the water. Mike would always go swimming, and then he started diving from a spring board, where he received many medals and even a college scholarship. He then started scuba diving in the Gulf Coast.
Mike had obtained his BS in Marine Zoology at North Carolina State University. After this, he moved to Hawaii and entered a PhD program at the University of Hawaii for Marine Biology. As a graduate student, he worked at the Waikiki Aquarium. After three years being in Hawaii, Mike was given the opportunity to work as the manager of the Mid-Pacific Marine Lab Marshall Islands. While there for the three years, he spent hours underwater exploring and learning the ocean and its creatures.
An inventor from Nautilus Exercise equipment gave Mike and some students a camera to film an expedition in the South Pacific. Mike and his crew didn’t know anything about cameras but didn’t tell anyone that. They had read the manuals about the 16mm Arriflex camera on the plane to the South Pacific. The film that he had shot there, he said it was one of the worst films but it was a lot of fun experimenting with the camera so he decided to quit graduate school and educate millions on TV.
For over 10 years, Mike had travelled all over, shooting and filming different sea creatures. He had filmed for many TV channels such as BBC, PBS, the Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. He then started hosting and producing films of his own. He had also been given an Emmy and a BAFTA. Mike had also been diver of the year and had won the TED prize award. In addition to filmmaking, Mike also became a world renowned speaker for the oceans.
I had the honor of meeting and working with Mike at the Beneath the Sea Marine Careers Program. He was such an inspiration to me and he will be deeply missed.