National Geographic Channel creative director on working with Michael Muller on season three key art for “Wicked Tuna”

Michael Muller_Wicked Tuna

Photo by Michael Muller for the National Geographic Channel. Design by Arsonal.

Michael Muller_Wicked Tuna 2

Photos by Michael Muller for The National Geographic Channel. Design by Arsonal.


The National Geographic Channel recently commissioned Michael Muller to shoot the key art for Wicked Tuna, which follows the hale and hearty fishermen in Gloucester, Massachusetts, who pursue the giant—and lucrative—bluefin tuna. The show is one of the network’s most popular series, and for the first two seasons, Nat Geo’s creative team shot original footage with the boat captains for the TV promos and key art.

But for season three, Nat Geo wanted to give the print promos a bigger emphasis, explains Andy Baker, group creative director for the National Geographic Channels, in a post at The Client Blog. “We knew that we wanted to shoot the captains in a new way, and capture that same level of cinematographic quality we’d accomplished in our TV campaigns,” he writes. “We hired Michael Muller, as we loved his experience with underwater shooting and his ability to capture stunning, rugged portraits in a real, unvarnished style.”

Besides a greater focus on print, one of the goals of the promo campaign was to increase the show’s viewership—”to reach people who haven’t seen it or heard about it before…to build a new audience to add to the existing one,” writes Baker. “To us, one of the best ways to do that was to make a campaign that looked stunning and would turn your head.”

Michael had two shoot days to get the job done, rotating among the different captains when they weren’t working with Evolve, the production company hired to do the TV spots.


Michael Muller_Tyler McLaughlin

Tyler McLaughlin. Photo by Michael Muller for the National Geographic Channel.

Michael Muller_Dave Marciano

Dave Marciano. Photo by Michael Muller for the National Geographic Channel.


“We were in Gloucester for two days shooting, and we took several thousand shots, but probably the most important aspect of this job were the multiple calls beforehand with Nat Geo and Evolve,” says Michael. “Knowing the location and logistics beforehand, plus having the sketches, gave us a tight schedule—so tight that we knocked out the sketch images quickly, which left time for us to get even more than we’d planned to. We like to bring a fair amount a gear to a shoot like this, and with scuba equipment it’s even more. But we still work pretty quick and nimble and like to shoot as much as possible!”

“And boy is that true,” writes Baker. “I don’t know that I’ve worked with a photographer that moved quite as fast as Muller. It was a true rip-fest!

Below, a behind-the-scenes video from the shoots. For a deeper dive, including lots more production stills, visit The Client Blog.


[vimeo w=745&h=545]



Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: