Ron Taylor AM ACS & Valerie Taylor AM

Ron Taylor AM ACS & Valerie Taylor AM ~ Inducted into ACS Hall of Fame – 2011

Ron Taylor was born in Australia in 1934, under the star of Pisces the fish. Valerie was born in Australia, 1936, and married Ron in 1963.

The Taylor’s expertise is in the underwater world shooting with 16 and 35 mm film, and lately with HD Video. In the late 1950s Ron was experimenting with a borrowed 16mm Bell & Howell in a housing he constructed himself, and Valerie was his model, swimming in front of the lens. Ron soon had his own Bolex in a homemade housing. He found that provided the subject was dramatic, Movietone News would use his 16 mm film, blown up to 35 mm, to show it in cinemas. In 1967 Ron then purchased his own 16/35 mm Éclair camera and built an underwater housing for it.

Ron’s first award for photography was in 1962, the Encyclopaedia Britannica Award for a Movietone News short ‘Playing With Sharks’. In 1963 The Taylor’s first major underwater 16mm film production, Shark Hunters, was aired on Australian and American television.

A great incentive for a career in film production. In 1966 Ron received top honours at the International Underwater Film Festival at Santa Monica, California.

During 1970 – 71, the Taylor’s did the underwater filming and directing for the 39 episode TV series ‘Barrier Reef’. In 1972 and 1973 Ron and Valerie co-produced their own television series, Taylor’s Inner Space. This series of 13 films, features Taylor encounters with the marine life of the western Pacific.

During 1974 the Taylor’s were credited with filming the live shark sequences for ‘JAWS’ 1974. Other notable feature films they have worked on include, ‘Age of Consent’ 1968. ‘Blue Water White Death’ 1969 ‘Orca’ 1976. ‘The Blue Lagoon’ 1979. ‘Return to the Blue Lagoon’ 1990. ‘The Last Wave’ 1977. ‘Gallipoli’ 1981. ‘Year of Living Dangerously’ 1982. ‘The Silent One’ 1983. ‘Sky Pirates’ 1984. ‘Frog Dreaming’ 1986. ‘The Rescue’ for Walt Disney. ‘Honeymoon in Vegas’ 1991. ‘Island of Dr. Moreau’ 1995. The Taylor’s latest series of 3 TV one hours ‘Shadow of the Shark’, is the story of their diving lives, utilizing their vast library of underwater action.

In 1967 Ron was granted ACS Accreditation, in 2006 he was honoured with Life Membership of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, SMPTE. Then in 2003 was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia AM. In 1997 Valerie was honoured as American Nature Photographer of the Year by the American Press Club, in 2000 she was inducted the Women Divers Hall of Fame in the US, then in 2001 was awarded the Centenary Medal of Australia. In 2010 Valerie was also honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia AM.

The Taylor’s latest honour is their induction into the ACS Hall of Fame on June 30, 2011.