Private Project


While the majority of the worlds population, are aware of the existence of our Oceans, and possibly some of the Marine Megafauna that live in them, the majority by far, know nothing at all about the millions of other creatures that live there too.
“Naked Gills” provides a glimpse into this mysterious Macro environment, by showcasing just one group of these small creatures and how they are helping us all. Hopefully inspiring, triggering further interest and shedding some light on just how important, our Oceans and all the creatures living in them actually are.

  • Russ van Aardt
  • Russ van Aardt
  • Barbara van Aardt
    Production Company
  • Russ van Aardt
  • Barbara van Aardt
  • Russ van Aardt
  • Artlist
  • Russ van Aardt
  • Russ van Aardt
    Sound Design
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Television
  • Genres:
    Oceans Environmental, Comedy, Education, mystery, K, Four K
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 26, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    Indonesia, Maldives, Micronesia, Federated States of, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South Africa
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED Dragon 6K & BlackMagic 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Russ van Aardt

I have spent the last 15 years filming Natural history subject matter, primarily in, but not limited to, underwater environments. During that time, I have completed a number of short productions, designed to promote conservation work being done by NGO/NPO's, but this is my first production intended for the commercial market.

My training and background is not in the film industry at all, but rather in building construction and property development. For the past 6 years, we have been working full time, at building a comprehensive Natural History film stock library, to record the current state of our environment and to hopefully assist with education and increased awareness of the pressures that are being applied to it.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

We have been diving and filming our Oceans underwater environments for more than 15 years. Through this process of filming and building a substantial natural history film stock library, we have seen the changes taking place below the surface, but find that the only stories that get told, are those of Marine Megafauna, such as sharks, whales and manta Rays. While we love and understand that these animals may be more appealing to the viewer, easily evoking empathy or fear, the smaller Ocean creatures, while being as, or even more important, go almost unnoticed.
This, along with COVID travel restrictions, inspired us to revisit our film stock library to look for footage that would start to tell a Macro story, even if it only covered a very, very small group of creatures. Within an hour of wading into our stock, we had so many possible stories to tell and creatures to introduce, that the selection of just one group became more of a challenge than we had realized. We eventually settled on Nudibranch's, as we felt that they had just the right amount of intrigue, character and smarts, to stimulate the imagination and interest of viewers and possibly helping them to see our Oceans from a whole new perspective.