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Underwater Videography


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#1 MichaelFrymus

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 12:25 AM

I live within ontario, Canada.
I am currently with iatse 873 as an electric permit.
However, I want to be working as an underwater videographer.
The camera union is 667.

But im wondering, do I need to go through the union, with the very long training process in order to be an underwater videographer?

Or is there a way to work as freelance and be able to work, on special gigs on the union?


I'm studying in school, and I'm doing lots of diving (marine biology), and I like filming. So I'd like to combine both... I have done this before, but not to this extent.
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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 12:55 AM

Ya know, I use to teach scuba diving, I've dove all over the country from the pacific to the atlantic and many lakes in between. I've taught many underwater photography and cinematography classes as well. Yet, breaking into the underwater cinematography business has been overly tricky for no reason. Sure, you can get smaller projects, but it's been hard to get anything that will pay well enough to afford the appropriate equipment. Since most of the low budget shows want you to have your own gear, it's kind of a catch 22. Like everything in this business, it's all who you know and honestly, if you can find work, then I'd go for it. Otherwise, there is no reason in my opinion. 


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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 09:41 PM

Always keep in mind that no union can prevent you from doing anything.  They are not the law.  Even though the folks that run 667 like to think they are.

 

R,


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 02:05 AM

I would imagine that just like any other kind of specialty shooting (steadicam, gimbals, drones, aerials, motion control, timelapse, crane work, etc.) if you become proficient on your own and advertise as such, you'll begin to pick up non-union jobs in the category and be able to build a reel. From there, eventually you'll be able to get union work when the union guys pass on the job and you're the only one available. Pick up your 30 union days and you're in. Or go the 100 non-union day route. I've seen steadicam ops, gimbal techs, drone ops, mo-co techs, timelapse shooters, Jimmy Jib ops, and Russian Arm techs make it in that way.

 

*Most of these folks are owner-ops or assisted for owner-ops while coming up, so be prepared to spend a lot of money. Just like any start-up business.


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#5 ian takahashi

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 06:02 PM

Michael, a lot of what everyone else is saying is true. Don't feel like you have to go through the union.

Being a Union cameraman (for me IA600) is important but I didn't need my union to tell me I can shoot underwater.

I started shooting non-union jobs, and then when I joined 600 I continued working but on union jobs underwater.

If you shoot awesome stuff, and hustle, you'll be good.
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