They say if you choose a job you love you’ll never work aday in your life, and we can’t think of a person this rings true for more thanShelton Du Preez — the ex-chief officer of M/Y Latitude combined his love for yachting and videography to createLuxury Yacht Films (LYF), a freelance videography service for the yachtingindustry.
“LYF covers a superyacht’s every media need by filming andcreating personalized videos to both document and preserve the owner andguest’s once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” he explains, adding that he joins vesselsto film their journey however the owner wishes, whether for memories, part of aresearch project, to enter a film festival, or just something fun for the boatand crew.
Du Preez’s affinity for playing with video and editingstarted as kid, but he didn’t really take it seriously until the owner told theM/Y Latitude crew he wanted tocomplete the Northwest Passage — for the second time around. “I thought, ‘Okay,I need to make a movie about this incredible experience,’” he says. “After somepractice in California and Alaska, the owner showed interest in my hobby andbought some new gear. I went on to film and make ‘The Northwest Passage.’” M/Y Latitude then won Boat InternationalMedia’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 onfilming their next adventure — circumnavigating Svalbard, where they reachedthe 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 SvalbardExpedition,” which was given a special award for Outstanding Video at BoatInternational’s 2017 World Superyacht Awards.
After leaving Latitudelast March, Du Preez was faced with two choices — “Take the normal route andpursue a captain’s position or roll the dice and start something new while Ihad momentum.” It was then that LYF was born. Du Preez screened “The HighestLatitude” at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in NYC in October and wonBest Amateur Film — the final push he needed to go full time with LYF. Thefirst stop on his new journey? The beautiful, iconic M/Y Savannah.
“We cruised the [Galapagos Islands], and I spent a week onboard filming, photographing, and documenting the guests’ experience andinteractions with the unique land and marine wildlife of the Galapagos,” hesays. “On the last night of the trip, I presented them a polished seven-minutemovie, showcasing the yacht, the laughs, and the close-up encounters withdozens of different endemic species.”
Currently, Du Preez has been based in the Galapagos Islandsfor six weeks, with stints creating movies and pictures for charter guests forthe 48-meter M/Y Passion and 52-meterS/Y Mary Anne. Up next he’ll beworking 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 divemasters ticket to offer underwater footage to yachts and will be venturing intoscience expeditions, working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canadaand hopefully a production company on behalf of National Geographic.
If one thing’s for certain, it’s that Du Preez is one busyguy. “My long-term goal is to create a brand that people know and trust, whereif the owner of the boat says to the captain, ‘We should film this next trip toAntarctica,’ the captain immediately thinks, ‘Okay, I’ll call Luxury YachtFilms.’”