One of the most prominent names in marine filmmaking, Howard Hall is an award-winning underwater film producer and cinematographer. Howard qualified as a certified diver whilst at high school and went on to fund his degree in zoology by teaching SCUBA diving. Graduating from San Diego University, Howard pursued a career in underwater photography and gradually made a name for himself as a stills photographer and underwater journalist.
Working as the 'shark advisor' on Peter Benchley's The Deep (1977), Howard speared fish to attract sharks and raised enough money to buy his first 16mm camera. He decided to film blue sharks and his footage was snapped up by Survival Anglia, being shown in a prime-time slot.
Howard then worked on numerous projects as an underwater cameraman including The Coral Triangle, a hugely popular episode of the PBS series Nature. Inspired by the likes of Alan Root and Hugo van Lawick, Howard could not understand why behavioural films were not being made in the underwater sector and, encouraged by his wife Michele, set out to redress the balance. Over two years in filming, Seasons of the Sea was released to international acclaim, winning numerous awards including the coveted Golden Panda at Wildscreen 1990.
After this initial success, Howard went on to produce and direct many films for a variety of networks, including Nature, PBS and the BBC. Shadows in a Desert Sea (1993) made use of complex military re-breathers to film schooling hammerheads and earned Howard his second Wildscreen Golden Panda. 1994 saw the release of the Emmy award-winning Jewels of the Caribbean Sea, co-produced with his wife Michele.
Howard's first foray into IMAX filmmaking came the same year and his profile of California's kelp forests, Into the Deep, became the first IMAX 3D underwater feature. A box office sensation, for many years it was the highest grossing IMAX 3D film made and was followed by Island of the Sharks (1999) and more recently Deep Sea 3D (2006).
Howard remains a widely published underwater stills photographer and writer and over his career he has served in an editorial capacity for a number of wildlife periodicals, including International Wildlife Magazine and Ocean Realm Magazine.