Hans Hass, 23.01.1919 – 16.06.2013
It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Professor Hans Hass, one of the most exceptional characters I have ever known during the course of my life.
Hans Hass was a multi-talented allrounder: aquanaut, researcher, film maker. By exploring the seas, he uncovered a whole new world with all its bizarre creatures. He acted as a pioneer for everyone of us in the film industry, amongst his many achievements the development of the first underwater camera. The movies he shot fascinated the world and were style-defining firsts in cinema and on television in the 1950s and 60s.
His contributions nurtured the existence of ORF UNIVERSUM as well as TERRA MATER. Even Sir David Attenborough, who together with Hans Hass produced the first works of the BBC, remarked that, in all likelihood, without Hass the legendary BBC Natural History Unit would not have gained the worldwide significance it enjoys today.
In my capacity as head of ORF’s natural history unit, UNIVERSUM, I had the great honour and fortune of working on multiple films with Professor Hass and his wife Lotte. Every single encounter was an unforgettable experience. My sympathy, not only on behalf of Terra Mater Factual Studios, but also on behalf of the national as well as international nature film-industry, is above all with Lotte Hass and their daughter Meta Raunig-Hass.
We all will honour his memory and will try to continue along his path – to inspire people through the medium of film, and to stand up for the preservation of our planet’s natural resources.
Dr. Walter Köhler,
Terra Mater Factual Studios