I, you know, my grandfather always said those, those people who have the, the opportunity to lead amazing lives and have amazing experiences have a responsibility to inspire others and share with the world. Um, you know, he was big on that and, and so it’s not something we can keep to ourselves, but, um, I, I never wanted to and being able to be a storyteller and, and share that with the world is, you know, was, was quickly, quickly became my passion as well.
My father and my grandfather, as storytellers, they always look for, you know, what are the different types of mediums that we can create, uh, or leverage, I should say, to, to create content that, that can reach lots of different people. And so they did books, and they did radio, and they did TV, and, you know, the internet wasn’t a thing back then but, uh, they would have been doing that as well. And so, you know, from documentaries, and BBC, and Discovery, and CNN, all the different shows I’ve done, um, to two, two books, um, to virtual reality, to radio things, to podcasts that we’re working on, to the animated projects, um, it’s been really looking at how we leverage lots of different tools to reach different audiences. And when you know, when my grandfather was, was making the, you know, television programs, there was half a dozen channels on television. And so, if you had a, a show on Sunday nights, you had 10s of millions of people that would be watching your show.
So, so, you know, for me, I always like to share a story about my, my grandfather that I think sums up my inspiration when my grandfather was a young man, he dreamed actually of flying – of going up, not going down. And he joined the Navy at the time, the French Navy, because he, because he wanted to fly, and at the time there was no separate air forces, right before World War II in the late 1930s. And the, the, the, any aviation programs were, were operated through the Navy.
And so I think it’s very, very fortunate that car accidents for a very personal reason, because it was before my father was born
So he joined the Navy and sailed around the world and then enrolled in the Naval aviation program. And this is towards the end of the 1930s World War II started to heat up and tragically, in some ways – I like to think fortuitously in others, he was driving on the windy roads of Southern France and had a car accident. Missed a curb and had a pretty bad car accident, and broke his back. And because of that, the doctors weren’t sure if he would be able to walk again. So he was washed out of the Naval aviation program. And for him, this was a terrible tragedy at the time. However, it would change the course of history because every member of his graduating class of this Naval aviation program was, was killed in the early days of World War II.
And, and so, um, over the years, we’ve, you know, we always look to various different platforms, as a way to reach different audiences
So I certainly would not have been in the picture if he hadn’t had that car accident and neither would he, and, and indeed he was told to swim in the Mediterranean every day to rebuild his strength after the accident. And it was during that time that a man named Phillip Danielle, or excuse me, Philippe Tailliez gave him a pair of homemade goggles and fins because, you know, again, at the time exploring the ocean was not a thing. And so you couldn’t just go down to the corner store and buy a mask and snorkel. You had to make them yourself out of ground glass and rubber from inner tubes from tires. So my grandfather started free diving and started to explore this world – um, breath hole diving, you know, for a few minutes at a time and was fascinated by this, that this incredible whole other universe that existed just offshore of the, of the south of France.