Charlie Fasano is an academically educated marine biologist, possessing degrees in Marine Biology and Marine Technology. Post university, Charlie was appointed the position of Field Manager of the Coral Reef Restoration Team for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, Florida.
His work concentrated on coral reef restoration using biological methodologies in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It was here that Charlie began his underwater imaging career. He was one of the first scientists to utilize white balance techniques to more accurately survey the benthic substrate for scientific research.
In 2005, He moved to Kailua Kona, Hawaii to pursue a career in underwater cinematography. Some beginning projects include documenting autistic children swimming with wild dolphins, assigned underwater cameraman for the first high definition television station in Hawaii, and national public broadcasting stations. He has created many ocean documentaries, including a mermaid collaboration.
His first full length film, “Hawaii’s Undersea Ohana,” was released in 2011. The film tells a story of the assimilation of Hawaiian culture to the roles of the reef animals and is told through ancient Hawaiian proverbs. It has won Best Music and Nature Video at the prestigious New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival and was awarded four of five stars at the Big Island Film Festival. Various versions of the film have been played on major cable networks.
Also in Kailua Kona, Charlie was part of a small team of unique scuba divers who pioneered the recreational Blackwater dive. The dive is in the late evening, usually 10pm, and takes place about 5km offshore. Tethered to the boat, the divers hang no more than 20m deep, even though they are in 3000m deep water. The purpose of the dive is to view the marine life that migrate from the deep pelagic depths. These animals never see hard surfaces and are the most alien creatures found on Earth.
In 2010, world renowned marine artist, Wyland, appointed him the Executive Director of the distinguished Ocean Artists Society. This internationally respected Society has an exclusive membership of 270 marine artists from 18 different countries, putting Charlie as a hub of communication with global pioneering and celebrity marine artists and conservationists. His role was to create a quarterly film and ezine of the members artworks pertaining to a particular ocean subject. He is still active in the Society as a current acting representative and is in routine contact with Society members.
He is a contributor to many ocean related media publications, including Ocean Geographic, Scuba Diver Ocean Planet, Asian Diver, Scuba Diver Life, and ScubaShooters, to name a few. He has been a VIP speaker and presenter at Asia Dive Expos, Dive Resort Travel expos, and Thailand Dive Expos, where he presents underwater cinematography methods for beginners and advertises Hawaii SCUBA diving adventures for Hawaii Diving Tours.
Most recently, Charlie was the Director of Underwater Cinematography and the 2nd Assistant Cameraman on a feature film production by Malama Productions named “Kuleana.” The filming involved many days of filming tiger sharks and reef scenes with the actors.
“Due to my marine biology background, I am biased to underwater images and scenes that tell a story of the need for ocean conservation. I feel that we are in a new advent of enlightened thinking of the frailty of the marine environment. It was only 20 years ago that our belief was that the ocean is so vast and enormous, us humans could never have an impact on it. Wow, has that philosophy completely changed.
Today, I believe that underwater art can inspire a new generation of ocean conservationists to stand up and decrease our human impact on the oceans. Just as the European Renaissance of the 1400’s brought a new enlightenment to man’s intellect, science, and art that moved him out of the Dark Ages, man now needs to use this same intellect, science, and art to bring him out of this anthropogenic dark age of the Industrial Revolution and Plastics Age. This is the new Environmental Renaissance that is needed to help save our oceans.”