Society of Camera Operators 2017 Underwater Workshop

Nauticam was pleased to sponsor the recent Society of Camera Operators 2017 Underwater Camera Operating Workshop.  Held in Los Angles, the workshop consisted of one day of lectures and two days of in-water skill-building.

Lectures were held at Hydroflex in El Segundo. Hydroflex manager Matt Brown explained camera and lens choices as well as different housing options. Hydroflex rents a number of Nauticam housings including the Alexa Mini. Matt also took participants through prepping gear, port choices and underwater optics. Veteran underwater cinematographer and owner of Hydroflex, Pete Romano, shared shots from a number of the films he has worked on and explained some of the difficulties he encountered while filming underwater and ultimately how those difficult shots where accomplished.

Day two and three were held at Tank One Studios in Signal Hill. The 233,000 gallon tank was originally built for the film “Men of Honor” and has continued to be used for features, commercials and music videos. Participants got to work closely with working professionals and practice a number of different shots and scenarios including working with mermaids and models. They learned how to take direction from the surface and communicate to the topside crew through finger slates and camera movements as well as learning a number of tricks and tips for setting up shots. Pete likes to use ladders for support in mid water as you can wrap your legs around them to keep your hands free. The ladders are easy to set up with just a few shot bags to weigh them down making for a stable elevated underwater platform. A modified BCD bladder with a camera mount was used as a floating platform for split shots.

Participants got to work with a number of different size housings. Nauticam provided housings for the Alexa Mini, which could be diver operated or equipped with cforce mini-motors so it could be tethered and controlled from the surface, two RED Weapon LT housings, various Canon DSLRs and a Sony A7II. Hydroflex also had two of their remote Aquacam housings for Alexa cameras. These housings are controlled from the surface with a diver framing and controlling camera movements below and utilize a Nauticam 250mm optical glass dome port with an N200 mount. That port is also available in a N120 mount to use with DSLR housings and the RED Weapon LT housing. Deep Versions are available in both the N200 and N120 mounts and are rated to 100m.

If you are interested in attending the next SOC Underwater workshop, keep an eye on their website at soc.org. This past workshop was only $400 for SOC members and $500 for non members.

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