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filmguy123

Professional Freelance work in Underwater Video?

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New to the boards AND to diving. As a professional freelance cinematographer and burgeoning diving enthusiast, I am asking the obvious question: should I expand my freelance services into underwater video?


Anyone have any professional experience, advice, or info on this? I am wondering how crowded the field is for a freelancer, and how many jobs may actually be available? And, what sort of jobs they usually are (rec diving VS tech diving, etc.)


It sounds like the GoPro has largely hurt this industry, but I am wondering if there is still much (or any) work left in it? I would not be relying on it as a career, rather an expansion of my own already existing services. Even $15k a year worth of gigs could be enough to justify involvement... but I am wondering if even that is feasible?


This isn't an immediate thing for me - I know I am going to need a great deal more dive experience first until I would look into this. But when that time comes, I am wondering the process to get plugged into the industry and what I might expect, any steps I can take in the meantime to prepare (if it is even worthwhile)?


Thank you!

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It really depends on your location. If you are in Florida, you would have a hard time because most commercial works just go to dive shop or underwater equipment stores.

 

It also depends on what kind of cinematographer are you. Such as if you are event shooter, marketing shooter etc. If you're marketing shooter, then chances is you would do a lot of shooting in the pool, which you can get into quite quickly. If you're event shooter, then yes you do need more dive experience. The trend of bride/groom underwater photo/video is not taking off. So I don't know what kind of outlet would you have. Does any of your existing client show interest in UW video? The drone is outpace the Underwater scene so far.

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I would say that majority of us here are hobbyists, but there are definitely some professionals here. There was a long discussion about this maybe a year or so ago, when someone else had roughly the same question. I can't seem to find that thread using the search function though. As I recall, the guy was based in Great Britain, and there was some discussion regarding the broadcast standards that the BBC required.

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My friend just shot some scene for this (for BuzzFeed), and he's in South Florida:

 

Eunjae from Korea shoot for broadcast station.

 

I believe Chris (Bubble Vision) in Thailand shoot documentary style video and sell DVD of the stuff he shoot.

 

So yes, there are a few people in this forum that do commercial work, they just don't check the forum regularly.

Edited by kc_moses

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It's Nick, not Chris :) I'd probably have to describe myself as semi-pro these days, as I only make part of my living from underwater video. Of that, I make the most as a YouTube partner, plus some from stock footage and some from DVD sales. I did a few jobs as a freelance underwater cameraman a few years ago but haven't done one for years. I probably didn't chase the work hard enough. You have to be really fired up to get regular work in that field.

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