Director – Mark Owen
Producer – Henriette-Mercedes Spiering
DOP – Paul Dudbridge
Yalalia – Michelle Fahrenheim
Cpt Shade – Oliver Park
Underwater DOP – Zac Macaulay
Underwater Camera assistant – Zoe Masters
Fight Choreographer – Joe Golby
Studio – The Underwater Studio, Basildon
Gaffer – Geoff Holloway
Spark – Matt England
I was DOP for this underwater fight sequences from Rueful Warrior, a short science fiction film set in a dystopian future.
Working closely with the underwater lighting team, to create the best atmospheric effects to match the available budget, the lighting was rigged around the walkways of the studio. With that punching down into the crystal clear water, we enhanced the dark and moody feel by ranging the actors into the centre of the tank.
The water temperature was a constant 31 degrees centigrade, so it was super comfortable for the actors. They could then concentrate wholly on their underwater fight sequence.
The actors were initially given training by the studio manager and safety divers. After rehearsals, they plunged in and I swam around them, picking my angles during turnover.
Good rehearsal is key to a successful take underwater. An actor’s energy can be easily drained by continuous takes.
We filmed at the wonderful Underwater Studio in Basildon. The camera was my own system, the Red Epic Dragon (6K) in a Gates Deep Weapon housing with a Red 17-50mm F2.9 lens.