What do you get when you combine a tough, veteran breaking news photographer, who has filmed every major air and traffic accident in central Florida in the last 15 years with a seasoned man of the sea, once a diver for famed treasure hunter Mel Fisher, today a charter fisherman and colorful character in his own right? Well when its junior high school classmates and life long friends, Robert Kilroy and Roy Blanchard, you get a great looking fishing series with a natural born star.
It all began when Kilroy went out on the docks in his hometown of St. Augustine, seeking a charter fishing trip to take a break from his long work hours. While on the dock he ran into childhood friend Roy Blanchard, otherwise known as Capt. Sharkey. Once a freelance Master diver, Blanchard worked for Mel Fisher, diving the priceless treasure cargo of the fabled lost Spanish galleon Atocha. Diving from the lead boat, the Endeavor. Blanchard found numerous artifacts and treasures including jewelry, emeralds, fine china and antiquities. An injury forced an early retirement and a move above water into the charter fishing business.
Capt Sharkey offered to take his old buddy out on a fishing trip and Robert was immediately enthralled. “The minute Capt. Sharkey started showing me what I was doing wrong I had the idea to turn this into a show,” shared Kilroy. “I went out fishing and discovered a star.” “Robert is a really good photographer” adds Capt Sharkey,” he sets up these natural backgrounds, just a perfect combination of worn driftwood and old buoys along the river, his equipment works beautifully and the footage looks magnificent.”
Kilroy and Blanchard have since filmed several instructional clips as well as fishing reports. The segments can be found on the St. Augustine Record’s website at http://staugustine.com/captsharky. Fox 30 in Jacksonville has also expressed an interest in airing the quirky fishing clips. The duo has been working together for eight months and have received a positive response from both the newspaper and viewers. The plan is to continue to grow the show and promote it more by taking on sponsors such as local bait shops and restaurants.
When it came time for Robert to upgrade his equipment, he reached out to Midtown Video, purchasing an HRZ5 Sony camera with an SD card reader as well as a laptop. “I went with Midtown because in the end it is about getting people to talk to you. Jesse Miller is really qualified, shares Kilroy. “He knows what he is talking about and takes the time to go over things with you. After work, after hours, this guy will talk to you.”
Kilroy continued, “On a recent documentary project Hallmark asked for a specific kind of look. Jesse explained how to adjust the settings on the camera to achieve more of a film look that they were looking for. He likes to talk about cameras and he takes the time for a little guy like me.” On a scale of one to ten I would give Jesse and Midtown Video a fifteen or twenty, just off the charts.”
The fishing show is actually a far cry from Robert’s usual vocation. On a typical workday, Robert receives notice by radio of an accident right after it occurs and the location, which could be anywhere in central Florida. Robert is first on the scene in his fully equipped mobile unit and films the accident for the Florida Highway Patrol giving him exclusive rights to the footage. In addition, Kilroy is able to upload the footage via mobile satellite to local area news stations and CNN.
While Kilroy continues his work as a freelance news photographer, future plans call for the two to continue producing the weekly or biweekly fishing reports as well as additional instructional videos and on locations shoots. The trailer for the Hallmark documentary can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOYvVr6TGUE.