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Looking for recommendations for video tuition

video training tuition

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#1 DanDiggler


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Posted 18 September 2014 - 01:19 AM


I'm aiming to move to Thailand next year to pursue a career in UW film making. I'm trying to find a company who can offer the very best in professional tuition. Koh Tao have so many training companies but I find it very difficult to choose the best, even after contacting them directly. I have a shortlist but I still want to ensure I choose the best.


Are any of you able to unequivocally recommend such a company? I'd like to end up filming for documentary, rather than the tourist industry, but I'm also open to all advise. I'm also not dedicated to Koh Tao, or Thailand, and am fully prepared to go anywhere where I'm guaranteed to receive the best tuition and prospects possible.


I hope you're able to help, thanks for your time!

#2 kc_moses


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Posted 18 September 2014 - 08:50 AM

If you want to get into UW film making especially doing documentary as a career, it would take more than that. I would think you need some sort of Marine Biologist background, etc. The well known ScubaZoo in Borneo require that kind of background to even be an intern.


Regardless, you should start by getting this DVD and understand the career path:




I have a friend who just turn 20. He wants to be a UW film maker, now attending film school, then decide to become a pilot because independent film maker doesn't make much money and cost a lot when come to equipment. He think flying as a pilot at least give him a chance to go diving at different location. Go figure.

#3 Nick Hope

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 09:26 PM

Wetpixel member Jon Shaw does good work and I've noticed he offers training. He'd be on my list. Probably means going to Australia though (right Jon?).

#4 sjspeck


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Posted 22 September 2014 - 01:14 PM

Anyone know if Jill Heinerth is still teaching u/w filmmaking?


She was at one time - maybe on an intern basis?




Not Thailand though, South Florida.

#5 Drew


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Posted 22 September 2014 - 11:49 PM

I think at least 60% of the newer generation (below 45) of professional camera peeps have gone through some sort of resort work  Working a resort gives you time to hone your shooting skills and maybe even people skills. The top shooters camera peeps like Didier Noirot found work with Cousteau while working for Club Med.  Even the Dougs (Allan, Anderson)  all had some resort/dive center work on their resumés.   The aforementioned Zoo boys all came up from working around Malaysian resorts, in fact that's part of their business.
That said, video courses are mainly basic curriculum and hardly do they include animal behavior (especially big ones), which is essential for a top u/w shooter.  That also comes with experience.
So learn to use a camera, understand cinematography (especially underwater physics) and develop a showreel and work hard at getting a job in the hotspots (where you can get great and rare animal behavior and where film crews pop by a lot).  I don't know any of the new programs at Koh Tao since I don't like the place for diving.

"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.

#6 MikeVeitch


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Posted 23 September 2014 - 01:55 AM

and learn to edit and post process!  Being able to put together a tight and beautiful edit really is they key to a great showreel.  Hence I don't have one hahaha

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#7 SimonSpear



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Posted 27 September 2014 - 02:35 AM

My tips would be:

Dive and film as much as you possibly can. Edit & review to improve your skills and then do it all again! Nothing substitutes for practise. I've never done it but working as a resort pro for at least a couple of years is probably the best training you could wish for.

Listen and learn from everyone and then find out what works best for you. There are lots of approaches and methods to experiment with.

Don't confuse 'gearheads' with very little practical ability to people who really know what they are talking about! Basically always look at someone's work before you take what they say for granted...

There are very few people in the world who make their entire living from filming underwater exclusively for broadcast. Most will have some form of supplemental income from other types of filming or from other types of work/businesses.

Oh and don't forget to have an amazing life doing what you love!! :)

#8 ~Zissou~



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Posted 03 October 2014 - 12:19 AM

Hey, I may not post much, but I'll vouch for Koh Tao being an excellent place to start seriously getting into underwater video. Very easy diving and nice critters with many (many, many) dive shops available to work at to gain more experience once you've completed your training. I definitely wouldn't knock resort experience either. You dive and film almost every day, build up a lot of stock for yourself (not to mention your showreel for when you do decide to move on), become an excellent diver and I believe you'll learn a lot about the behaviour of various critters.
Many companies on Koh Tao are more focused solely on Open water course filming, and others offer documentary style training. I work at Oceans Below, so I'll attempt not to be bias and just say you should check out the youtube channels of the various companies to see what impresses you most ;)
Good luck!

Edited by ~Zissou~, 03 October 2014 - 12:20 AM.

Dictated but not read.