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Underwater Videography - Enabling Your Creativity

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Working as an employee of The Film Company, I am required to utilize a myriad of skills which range from filming documentary footage on land and underwater, editing, and selling. I majored in Video Production at college in California. At the time, I avoided and dreaded the editing process and was convinced I would work in production, not post-production. Through this job, however, my mindset has shifted and I have come to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the editing process. While there is no feeling that can quite compare to the electrifying thrill of diving and filming alongside a whale shark, I respect the editing process, which allows me to illustrate (ideally) the most cohesively beautiful harmony between audio and visual. With The Film Company, I have the unique of a position of working in pre-production, production, and post-production alone as both the videographer and editor of my films. I have complete control over the body of work that I ultimately produce that day.

In my time at The Film Company, I have noticed a transformation in the soundtrack of my films. People respond very strongly to the music that I use in my videos and ask for track titles nearly everyday. In my earlier videos, however, the soundtrack was never mentioned by the students after seeing the video. Interestingly, I recognized that my earlier videos catered to a larger crowd in terms of their commercial appeal. I was never one to use "Top 20" songs (nor will I ever be one to use....) but I certainly chose songs that were universal and recognizable and not music I personally listen to daily. I will always take the audience into consideration in terms of tones and vibes that are appropriate, however, now instead of completely catering to an audience, I use music that moves me personally. Music I listen to. Perhaps it sounds selfish.....but I have a theory that we all view the world at a different beat, a different rhythm. I feel a certain way in the world, I speak to a certain beat, walk to a certain beat, talk to a certain beat. One I'm not even aware of, one none of us may be fully aware of, but like a compass that guides us and flows out of our bodies, it is a part of the way we see the world. I often will catch myself humming or counting in my head while filming without even realizing that I am doing it. It is a beat of my meditative breathing underwater, the slow long fin kicks of my legs, quietly propelling my camera forward. As a storyteller, I think the most important thing to remember is to honor movements. There is movement in the images themselves, movement in the editing and pace of the shots, as well as movement in the rhythm of the audio. Recognize your audience but don't disregard your unique perspective. No one person sees the world in the same way, just as no person would make the exact same video. The creativity and rhythm of the video relies on complete faith in yourself and your own perspective. It seems like a simple concept, but it is a confidence that took me many months to find.

Some of the best advice I can offer novice underwater videographers is, "He who hesitates is lost." If you start to turn in one direction, commit to that direction. Any hesitation slows down your rhythm and the audience can feel the videographer's indecisiveness. Let confidence drive your motions forward. Own your rhythms in filming and in editing. Embrace the beat that lives inside you.