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Crew Created: Dream Job

Feb 2nd 18
By Hillary Hoffower

   

They say if you choose a job you love you’ll never work a day in your life, and we can’t think of a person this rings true for more than Shelton Du Preez — the ex-chief officer of M/Y Latitude combined his love for yachting and videography to create Luxury Yacht Films (LYF), a freelance videography service for the yachting industry.  

  

“LYF covers a superyacht’s every media need by filming and creating personalized videos to both document and preserve the owner and guest’s once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” he explains, adding that he joins vessels to film their journey however the owner wishes, whether for memories, part of a research project, to enter a film festival, or just something fun for the boat and crew.  

  

Du Preez’s affinity for playing with video and editing started as kid, but he didn’t really take it seriously until the owner told the M/Y Latitude crew he wanted to complete the Northwest Passage — for the second time around. “I thought, ‘Okay, I need to make a movie about this incredible experience,’” he says. “After some practice in California and Alaska, the owner showed interest in my hobby and bought some new gear. I went on to film and make ‘The Northwest Passage.’” M/Y Latitude then won Boat International Media’s Voyager Award at the 2016 World Superyacht Awards. 

  

Powered by positive feedback and some serious gear upgrades, including two DJI Inspire Pro drones, Du Preez focused all of his attention on filming their next adventure — circumnavigating Svalbard, where they reached the highest latitude of any non-icebreaking yacht, a record of nearly 82°N. The end result was a video titled “The Highest Latitude: An Arctic Svalbard Expedition,” which was given a special award for Outstanding Video at Boat International’s 2017 World Superyacht Awards.  

  

After leaving Latitude last March, Du Preez was faced with two choices — “Take the normal route and pursue a captain’s position or roll the dice and start something new while I had momentum.” It was then that LYF was born. Du Preez screened “The Highest Latitude” at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in NYC in October and won Best Amateur Film — the final push he needed to go full time with LYF. The first stop on his new journey? The beautiful, iconic M/Y Savannah.  

  

“We cruised the [Galapagos Islands], and I spent a week on board filming, photographing, and documenting the guests’ experience and interactions with the unique land and marine wildlife of the Galapagos,” he says. “On the last night of the trip, I presented them a polished seven-minute movie, showcasing the yacht, the laughs, and the close-up encounters with dozens of different endemic species.” 

  

Currently, Du Preez has been based in the Galapagos Islands for six weeks, with stints creating movies and pictures for charter guests for the 48-meter M/Y Passion and 52-meter S/Y Mary Anne. Up next he’ll be working with a new 90-meter motor yacht and M/Y Savannah again in March. 

  

On top of that, Du Preez is currently working on his dive masters ticket to offer underwater footage to yachts and will be venturing into science expeditions, working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and hopefully a production company on behalf of National Geographic. 

  

If one thing’s for certain, it’s that Du Preez is one busy guy. “My long-term goal is to create a brand that people know and trust, where if the owner of the boat says to the captain, ‘We should film this next trip to Antarctica,’ the captain immediately thinks, ‘Okay, I’ll call Luxury Yacht Films.’” 

  

Check out his projects at www.luxuryyachtfilms.com and on Instagram @luxuryyachtfilms.  

  



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