Deep Gold Submerged in Underwater Shooting Tank
Bigfoot Entertainment’s feature film Deep Gold is in its final two weeks of production, which requires the submersion of prop gold, parts of a boat and plane in a 5m deep shooting tank.
The shooting tank is the only one of its kind in the Philippines, allowing for a unique filming opportunity at Bigfoot’s facilities in Cebu. For the production of Deep Gold, it is being used for several underwater fight scenes and explosions. Set pieces that are being submerged in the tank include the cockpit and fuselage of a C130 military transport plane, gold bars worth millions of dollars and the front hull of the “Sun Star,” the boat featured throughout the film.
Rick Robinson, the film’s award-winning cinematographer, explains the advantages and challenges of using Bigfoot’s underwater shooting studio. “[The tank] gives the production team the ability to film underwater in a controllable environment,” he said, “…understanding light underwater is quite different than a typical shoot.”
Although an experienced cinematographer, working on Deep Gold is Robinson’s first time shooting underwater. The cinematographer is primarily concerned with lighting and underwater lighting is unique in that it reflects light differently than shooting on land, especially when it comes to water clarity and particulates in the water. Robinson remarked, “we are using huge sets and when they are placed in the water it affects the water chemistry. The water needs to be treated regularly to control the murkiness that can result from these underwater scene changes.” He also mentioned that filming in murky water can be used as an advantage to create a certain ambiance to the film.
While there are challenges to shooting underwater, a tank is much preferred to shooting in the ocean. Robinson explains: “the tank allows you to maintain consistency in lighting. You can change lighting to assimilate different depths. And light travels over the course of the day as the sun changes its position; you can completely control this in the tank and not worry about those issues. This is just not feasible in the ocean, where you also have to deal with the transport of people and equipment.”
Underwater filming is a complex process that requires more than an acute understanding of lighting. The divers and crew were trained by Bigfoot to make these scenes come to fruition. Bigfoot trains and certifies body doubles in scuba diving for the underwater fight scenes. The local Filipino crew also undergoes training to work with the underwater shooting tank because it requires specific knowledge that cannot be received anywhere else in the country.
Rick Robinson has impressive experience as a cinematographer in Los Angeles, California and throughout the world. He first joined Bigfoot as a mentor with the company’s affiliate the International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) in April 2004. Along with his role on Deep Gold, he has just signed a two-year contract as a mentor for IAFT’s new Crazy Filmmaker Program, an intensive, two-year program with its first intake later this month.
About Deep Gold
Deep Gold is a feature film in its final phase of production. The story follows Amy Sanchez, a record-breaking Philippine free diver, and her sister who set out on an action-packed adventure to find Amy’s boyfriend Tony, a Philippine Air Force pilot whose airplane mysteriously vanished with millions of dollars worth of gold. Amy becomes entangled in a web of lies and deceit as she seeks the truth about whether Tony is a casualty of a larger conspiracy to steal the gold or part of the scheme.
About Bigfoot Entertainment
Bigfoot Entertainment is an innovative, socially responsible entertainment company, which provides quality content, products, services and training for the global marketplace. Founded in 2002, the company continues to finance and produce feature films, television series and reality shows that are distributed throughout the world, many of which receive recognition and awards at film festivals. With primary production facilities in Cebu, Philippines and a presence in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, Bigfoot is positioned to be a viable competitor in the international entertainment industry.
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For more information visit www.bigfootentertainment.com
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