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PADI Pro :: Underwater Cinematography Course

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#1 dougdaulton



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Posted 17 April 2013 - 12:19 PM

I came across the following course today and am curious if anyone has taken it before.  If so, please share your thoughts.  I am almost done with my DM cert and, if this course is legit, it might be a great next step for me.






LINK: http://www.filmedonk...ter-videography


#2 ErolE


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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:58 PM

I hate to point out the irony, but for a course aimed at ''systematically building on dive skills whilst refining buoyancy, awareness and propulsion techniques'' they still have their students kneeing in the sand.  That would suggest that they are not very successful :)


In fairness, there are courses out there that do teach rock solid buoyancy, good backward kick (rather than hand sculling, as demonstrated by the instructor in this video) and other kicks.


Hate to bring negativity to this, but without these basic skills video is ten times harder.


All the best in your choices



Erol Eriksson




#3 jonny shaw

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 06:51 PM

I teach this course at AFTRS (Australian Film Radio and Television School) based at Fox Studios in Sydney if you are ever over here. No teaching of dive skills purely underwater video and cinematography





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#4 Drew


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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:29 PM

Well, not to be hypercritical, but the person shooting the demo video used autofocus for much of his shots, especially moving macro, which resulted in a few out of focus frames.  That brings into question of WHO is teaching the course.  Someone like Jon is a working professional camera person who also happens to teach the course.  I'm sure you will learn more from one session with him than an entire season in Koh Tao.  Now this is not to say that there aren't talented shooters from scuba factories like Koh Tao.  I know a couple of BBC camera peeps who started that way.  But talent doesn't mean knowledgeable, especially when they are just starting out, sorta like a novice teaching a beginner. Not to mention it depends on what you want from the course. Having this "certification" does nothing for your resumé/portfolio.  If you want to learn how to handle a camera, depending on the teacher, it could be useful.
Choose wisely and good luck.

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#5 dougdaulton



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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:00 AM

Erol - No worries.  I am concerned about the program, so I am looking for either supportive or critical comments.  It is a long way to go and surely not cheap, so I want to be certain it is worth it.  Thanks for the input.


Johnny - Course looks great.  I get over to that side of the world a couple of times a year for work.  I will look you up next time.


Drew - All good points.  I was am not looking for a certification per se.  I already have the PADI's UW Photography & UW Video certs and they are no help professionally unless I want to teach those things to other divers which, eventually, I do.  And, I already have PPB training/cert and will soon have my DM, which is helping me polish my general diving skills.


I work in video production topside.  So, I have some video skill/knowledge already, but feel can always room to improve my craft.  Therefore, I am looking for an intensive experience which will get me a lot of reps in the water with folks who can teach me the ropes of underwater production & post, critique my work and guide me towards being a professional UW filmmaker.  




Edited by dougdaulton, 18 April 2013 - 11:00 AM.

#6 Pete L

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 05:43 PM

Hi Doug,

             Having done the underwater cinematography course that Jon runs through AFTRS, i can tell you this is a great course with lots of hands on learning & plenty of classroom time for theory.

I think you would be hard pressed to find a better instructor/teacher & working in the industry, he is very much up to date with the current trends & equipment.

The best part of the whole course though is when he grabs a Sola 4000, stares straight at it & turns it on...... For the next 20 minutes he stumbles around the classroom blinded.

It is quite funny.....especially because i did the exact same thing before him!!!!

On a serious side though, i think Jons course would be far more in depth than some Padi run course.

Good luck with your search.

Owner of Down Under Aquatic Imaging.

#7 RestlessDeviant



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Posted 20 April 2013 - 03:51 PM

I think the Koh Tao 'novice teaching a beginner' is a bit harsh  :P


I lived in Koh Tao for many years and did a couple of days work once for one of the video companies there.  While there are some stories I have directly heard of awful videographer courses, there are also very good ones there.  I depends what you want to learn.  If you want to learn skills to make a fun video targeted for open water students or that kind of thing then I can't think of a better place to learn then Koh Tao. A working day is filming in the morning and editing in the afternoon ready for sale in the evening.  It's astonishing the quality of video some of them can produce in this time, and you would learn the tricks for this.  It is a great project template to have.  Some have spent years doing it, and you can learn a lot very quickly.  


It is also a great environment to practice as well, cos you can likely work there straight after the course.


The other tricks/tips for shooting i would imagine you would learn better from a professional course.  There will be advantages to both


I suppose its like topside deciding if you wanted to do a course learning to make great wedding videos or making great documentaries.


If you need any tips for Koh Tao PM me

Edited by RestlessDeviant, 20 April 2013 - 03:52 PM.