Marine Specialist

What do Marine Specialists do?

Most Underwater Directors of Photography (DoPs) are employed in films at the early stages of pre-production, to discuss any water stunts. They usually work closely with visual effects supervisors and stunt coordinators. Underwater stunts and effects are often extremely complicated and potentially dangerous, so all sequences are carefully planned and storyboarded and used as blueprints during filming. Most directors appreciate that this is a highly specialized area, and give Underwater DoPs and their crews the autonomy to work alone and to use their experience of filming in water.

Underwater DoPs sometimes direct the 2nd Unit. They collaborate with specialized 1st assistant directors (ADs) or production managers who are responsible for operating the vital communication system above and below water to make sure that underwater filming runs as smoothly as possible. Unlike a standard camera crew, 1st and 2nd assistant camera (ACs) work at a distance from the camera (above the water), pulling focus and checking the camera by remote control. Diving Crews play a vital role in ensuring that all safety procedures are carefully monitored. Diving Supervisors usually stay above water, and are responsible for preparing risk assessments for all underwater sequences. Each actor is allocated their own Safety Diver, who remains close by throughout filming. Underwater Gaffers move and set up all underwater lighting.

Marine and Diving Crews are mainly responsible for the safety of the cast and crew while filming in water. The head of department is the Underwater Director of Photography or Underwater Camera Operator. As with a standard DoP their job is to interpret the director's vision for the underwater scenes or sequences in the screenplay.

Marine and Diving Crews are responsible for creating suspense and drama in such scenes, for bringing the underwater world alive, and for maintaining strict health and safety guidelines in the water. Most Underwater DoPs have invested in their own underwater cameras and some even have their own advanced communication systems and specialized equipment. They are employed on commercials, television drama and feature films, and usually work with the same camera crew and safety divers. The work is physically demanding and potentially dangerous and involves long periods spent away from home.

There is no typical career route to becoming an Underwater DoP. Some DoPs start out in junior positions on film crews, or as 2nd assistant camera (ACs) on short films or promos. Safety Divers must have wide ranging diving experience gained over many years of working underwater. Excellent knowledge of underwater safety procedures is a prerequisite to working at any level on a Marine and Diving Crew and all underwater specialists must hold a recognized diving certificate. Underwater DoPs and their Camera Crew must have a full working knowledge of all specialized camera equipment, lenses, and underwater lighting and diving equipment. Wide knowledge of underwater stunts and special effects is also required.

There are 20 members with the job title Marine Specialist on Media Match

Job description sources include (but are not limited to), and wikipedia.