Paul Mockler, One of the Great Guys

Paul Mockler with Imax Underwater Camera

One of the things that makes life on the edge (that may be an exaggeration) interesting is that you get to meet some people who have made truly remarkable choices in their lives – who have escaped the ordinary and found a different path.

Consider Paul Mockler. First of all let’s look at the humble side. The guy lives in a little “cabin” (as he calls it) in Smith’s Point, our little town in Grand Bahama. Check it out. Here’s a pic.

Now … it looks humble but please imagine — directly across from it is the most gorgeous seafront you will ever see, anywhere. So he didn’t just stumble into this house..he had his eye on something. That door, by the way — he found it on the beach.. It’s about half as wide as a normal door.

But there’s more about Paul.

First of all, take another look at the guy. The thumbnail is Paul at work as the world’s number one IMAX underwater cinematographer.

Now… how does a guy who lives in this little “cabin” in Smith’s Point end up being IMAX’s number one cinematographer?

Let’s look at it.

First of all — one more time, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is picture of Paul hanging out at Smith’s Point during the fish fry.

So — and I realize I’m kind of backing into this, but bear with me — here is Paul’s story.

He’s Canadian. Grew up in Ontario, around Hamlton but in a small town. He saw photos of scuba diving…..decided hewanted to dive at the age of 14…saved enough money to buy SCUBA gear. There was no certification possible (didn’t exist where he lived), but he figured it out on his own and, started diving in Canadian lakes and quarries. To make a wetsuit he ordered rubber and cut/constructed his own wetsuits. That first year he and a friend went diving in the lakes until the freeze was too severe. Then they waited until spring and continued. Again – no certification, they just did it.

Paul eventually went to work for CBC…then later broadened to work for international companies. He filmed — and continues to film — all over the world. At one point he figured out that he didn’t have to live in Canada, and it was at this point that he thought about Smith’s Point, Grand Bahama — an idyllic little town he’d shot in, but one with good air access in and out. That was 30 years ago … he talked to Mama Flo Edden about renting him “the cabin” — her beachfront cabin which at that point was rundown and unoccupied. Mama Flo said okay — he moved in…has never left..yet continues to travel the world for IMAX, BBC, and others.

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