Meeting the Halls – Underwater Cinematographers (interview)

Howard and Michelle Hall with Liko from Life&Dive

Nobody thinks of a great name in underwater cinematography when you find yourself sitting at a beach bar in the middle of tropical nowhere.
For that reason it wasn’t Howard himself who caught my first attention but his huge underwater camera, a RED Epic 4K in a gigantic Gates housing. You just don’t see a camera like this every day. It took two tankboys to carry it from the boat to be washed in the rinse pool.
I started asking around: Whom’s camera is this? Nobody knew, until Keith the base leader of SeaExplorers’ dive centre told me. Howard Hall was on the same island as me, diving with the same dive operator. Now how cool is that?!!

Dive site facts

  • Transfer distance from Malapascua: 20-25 minutes
  • Depth range: 12-30 metres
  • Training level required: AOWD or Deep specialty
  • Highlights: Thresher Sharks, so far the only known place in the world to see Thresher Sharks with some degree of predictability

What followed the next days was a great learning experience. Observing him working underwater, while trying to document it. Watching him operate a huge camera in current. Quite exciting.
But obviously, the pinnacle of it all was to interview him and Michele, his wife.
He talks about how he got where he is today, operating an IMAX 3D camera underwater (an even larger monster of a camera) and his motivation to film. Tips and tricks of how to improve your own underwater videography included.
And Michele talks about organising their huge productions and the logistics behind them. It’s quite an eye-opener and gives an idea of why Hollywood productions are so expensive. The effort they make is phenomenal. But you can see for yourself, if you watch the video until the end with footage of them operating underwater with the IMAX 3d camera. It’s impressive.

Best you watch it yourself! Enjoy.

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