The Importance of Hiring an Underwater Camera Crew With Experience

Shooting underwater presents a myriad of challenges, complexities, and nuances distinct from traditional on-land productions. The underwater environment demands a unique set of skills, expertise, and understanding to navigate successfully.

In this blog post, we dive into the importance of having an experienced film crew when venturing into the water for your cinematic endeavors.

As the largest rental house for Professional Underwater camera gear and Jimmy Jib rentals in the North East, and with 30 years of diverse underwater shooting experience, Air Sea Land understands the complexities and challenges of shooting underwater.

Benefits Of Hiring An Experienced Underwater Camera Crew

When it comes to filmmaking, time is money. An experienced underwater camera crew introduces order and structure. Established procedures, meticulous execution, and efficient time management become the norm. This orderliness directly translates into a smoother production process. Hiring an experienced crew doesn’t just save time; it’s an investment in efficiency, versatility, and safety.

A Time-Saving, Systematic Approach

Experts understand the practicality of shots, prioritize effectively, and execute them in the shortest time possible.

  • Practicality: The pace underwater is inherently different, with movements slowed down. Recognizing this, an experienced crew understands the achievable, foresees post-production VFX needs, and excels in meticulous shot planning. They know how to best maximize your time on location or underwater and will tell you the best scenario of events.

  • Prioritization: Experts understand that time is a precious commodity underwater and know what shots are most important for the audience to see. They are able to streamline the shot list to prioritize essential shots that drive the narrative.

  • Execution: Seasoned underwater operators bring a high degree of adaptability to the set. They anticipate challenges, pivot when needed, and possess the ability to troubleshoot on the fly. Their experience and versatile nature allows them to handle unexpected situations with composure, ensuring the production stays on course.

This efficiency is not just a time-saver but also contributes to a safer and more controlled filming environment.

Comfort and Safety

Perhaps the most crucial aspect is the trust an experienced crew instills. Trust in their ability to maneuver for the perfect shot, to make talent feel at ease underwater, and to communicate effectively. This trust permeates the entire production, creating an environment where creativity flourishes and safety is paramount.

  • Environment: Being underwater, whether in a pool or open water, poses inherent risks. Extended periods in water demand vigilant safety measures. Fatigue, unpredictable weather, strong currents, and marine life add variables that demand acute awareness. An experienced crew, equipped with safety divers and lifeguards, navigates these challenges with ease, recognizing the limits and ensuring the well- being of everyone involved.

  • Effective communication: Traditional verbal cues lose their immediacy underwater. An experienced crew utilizes specialized equipment like an Underwater PA System and employs hand signals to bridge the communication gap between the submerged camera operator and the crew above water. This ensures that the director’s notes can be efficiently translated to the underwater camera operator and crew above. This improves clarity, contributes to steady production flow, and minimizes time spent underwater.

  • Certifications: Underwater operators require specialized diver training and certification. Inexperienced operators attempting to shoot without proper credentials jeopardize safety and slow down production. An expert crew with certified divers ensures smooth operations, allowing the camera operator to focus on capturing stunning visuals without compromising safety.
Equipment Proficiency

The challenges of shooting underwater are multifaceted and require a thorough comprehension of the equipment being used. From the intricacies of buoyancy control to the importance of lighting, every aspect of underwater filmmaking demands a specialized approach.

  • Buoyancy: Talent and camera operators must contend with the natural tendency to float, necessitating the use of weighted belts and Buoyancy Control Devices (BCD) for precise control. An experienced crew navigates this seamlessly, understanding the complexities of talent movement and camera buoyancy. This expertise ensures shots are not compromised and that the underwater environment is navigated safely.

  • Lighting: Experienced crews bring a nuanced understanding of lighting and will help you avoid over-lighting your scenes. They will also use the same lighting in different ways in order to achieve your desired outcome. This knowledge saves 30 – 60 minutes in moving lights around set, allowing for a more focused and efficient workflow.

Navigating The Water With Expert Guidance

In the intricate world of underwater filmmaking, the importance of hiring an experienced underwater camera crew cannot be overstated. As you dive in, remember that having an expert crew on board isn’t just an investment; it’s the assurance of a production that flows smoothly, safely, and creatively.

From understanding the unique challenges to implementing solutions with finesse, an experienced crew is an invaluable asset. As showcased by Air Sea Land’s extensive experience in underwater productions, the benefits extend far beyond technical proficiency. We provide a secure, efficient, and creative environment, ensuring that your vision not only comes to life but does so safely and with the highest cinematic quality.

If you are embarking on an underwater film project and aspire to navigate the depths safely while unlocking creative possibilities, consider the expertise of Air Sea Land. With over 30 years of experience, specialized equipment, and a commitment to safety, we stand ready to guide you through the complexities of underwater filmmaking.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for professional services or further assistance, and let your underwater vision unfold seamlessly with the support of seasoned professionals.

Telephone: +1 (718) 626.2646
Email: or

NYC’s Cinematic Renaissance: A Spotlight on Our Underwater Filmmaking Expertise

In the wake of the recent Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) strike, New York City’s film and television industry is on the rise. Filmmakers are leaving Hollywood, and new studios are being built in The Big Apple. Amid this cinematic renaissance, Air Sea Land stands as a leading force, especially in the niche realm of underwater filmmaking.

With over 30 years of experience, ASL is the largest rental house for Professional Underwater camera gear and Jimmy Jib rentals in the NorthEast US.

NYC’s Industry on the Rise

It’s no secret that filmmakers love New York for its iconic nature and backdrop. Add in the tax credit, and you’ve got even more allure.

To encourage film companies to film in New York, productions which comply with requirements may be eligible for a tax credit of 30% percent of qualified production expenses. Qualified expenses include certain above-the-line wages subject to specific caps, below-the-line wages, and production costs directly related to the production of a qualified film. This tax credit is funded at $700 million a year through 2034. — New York State

New York State Film Tax Credit Program (Production)

Developers have caught on and are making strides. Even NYC Mayor Eric Adams is calling Western Queens “a worthy rival of Hollywood.” (Deadline)

Wildflower Studios

Located next to the Steinway and Sons piano factory in Astoria and developed in partnership with Robert De Niro and his son Raphael, Wildflower Studios is a multi-level, 775,042-square-foot complex with 11 Sound Stages. Wildflower refers to the studio as a “vertical village for film production…combining the collaborative environment of a Hollywood-style studio with the latest digital production capability.” (Wildflower Ltd.)

East End Studio

Located in Sunnyside, East End Studio will be a 340,000 square feet production campus with “three full-service, ground floor soundstages adding up to 75,000 square feet” and a “15,000 square foot rooftop flex stage boasting views of the Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan skylines.” (Variety). Completion is expected by Quarter 1 of 2025.

These studios join Kaufman Astoria Studios and Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, making Queens the place to be. Our company is geared to be an integral part of this exciting chapter.

The Increasing Demand for Underwater Film Scenes

The industry is witnessing a surge in popularity and demand for underwater filming. Productions are increasingly choosing to shoot scenes underwater, a trend aimed at breathing life into their narratives and elevating the audience experience.

In the world of storytelling, underwater scenes have an unparalleled allure. We’ve witnessed ingenious solutions like stages built with retaining walls for shallow water shots, and it’s clear – New York needs a dedicated underwater stage.

As these studios emerge across the city, ASL is here to consult, provide equipment, and cater to the dynamic needs of filmmakers seeking to push boundaries.

ASL’s Underwater Production Services

Our dedicated team of highly skilled underwater divers and camera operators brings premium underwater video and filming services that elevate your visual storytelling. This commitment ensures that we capture not just footage but immersive experiences beneath the surface.

We pride ourselves on:

  • Versatility: Our expertise spans various industries, including film, television, documentaries, and commercials.
  • Equipment: We utilize state-of-the-art equipment featuring advanced underwater camera systems and cutting-edge underwater lighting.
  • Results: We are driven to deliver exceptional results that surpass our clients’ expectations. Whether it’s the visual narrative of a feature film or the impactful storytelling needed for a marketing campaign, ASL transforms your vision into reality.

Check out our latest underwater track record:

In 2017, ASL live-streamed ABC News’ Ginger Zee swimming with sharks at the Ray of Hope Shipwreck off the coast of the Bahamas. ASL is the only company that has live-streamed underwater. You can watch the Live 360-degree view here.

ASL’s Jib Crane Services

ASL stands as a leading provider of jib services, jib rentals, and crew services. We are one of the pioneering companies in New York City to offer jib services.

We pride ourselves on:

  • Inventory: Our extensive inventory includes various jib sizes and types, catering to the diverse needs of clients across film, television, and live events.
  • Expertise: Our team of experienced professionals operates 24/7, providing jib services that consistently exceed client expectations. Our highly skilled technicians and operators are dedicated to ensuring that clients’ projects, from setup to breakdown, are executed seamlessly. With ASL’s crewing services, you get a comprehensive solution for all your jib-related needs.

Whether it’s capturing the magic of an underwater environment or orchestrating intricate shots with our jib cranes, our equipment, expertise, and creative support are pivotal in meeting the demands of the NYC film industry.

If you’re searching for underwater video equipment in NYC, check out our website or contact our team for tailored solutions:

Telephone: +1 (718) 626.2646
Email: or

Beyond Boundaries: ToughSignal’s Role in Redefining Filmmaking Challenges

In the dynamic landscape of filmmaking, connectivity and communication stand as critical pillars for success — especially in remote locations.

Enter ToughSignal, a powerful solution for remote internet needs, designed to strengthen and protect your film productions.

In this article, we will delve into the key features of ToughSignal, explore how this technology benefits filmmakers, and how it has revolutionized remote internet connectivity for challenging environments, particularly the underwater sphere.

About ToughSignal

ToughSignal is your go-to for powerful remote internet. It’s resilient, easy to use, and
scales to your filmmaking needs

Key Features:

  1. Reliability: ToughSignal keeps you connected anywhere. It combines up to 5 internet sources through network bonding technology for extreme reliability and security.
  2. Straightforward Operation: ToughSignal has a user-friendly design with an integrated power button inside the case. Once you connect to the dedicated Wi-Fi network, you can start working.
  3. Battery Life: With a massive 54,000 mAh battery, ToughSignal provides up to 72 hours of runtime on a single charge.

Business Use Cases:

  1. Live Streaming: ToughSignal provides stable and uninterrupted internet connection for live streaming, festivals, or trade shows.
  2. Mobile Teams: ToughSignal is ideal for teams on the move. Smooth video calls, quick data transfer, and secure access to your files.
  3. Education & Health: Uninterrupted internet for online classes, virtual labs, or remote health services.

ToughSignal emphasizes its commitment to customer relationships and technical expertise under pressure through ToughCare™ Priority Support, staffed by enterprise-class network engineers.

How ToughSignal Benefits Filmmakers

ToughSignal enhances connectivity and communication in the film industry in three main areas:

Cell Service

ToughSignal has multiple high powered antennas that reach cell towers a phone cannot. If you’re on a film shoot where cell service isn’t reliable but you still need access to Wi-Fi and phone calls, ToughSignal acts as a hotspot for everyone on set.

Remote Locations

If you find that no one has service during a location scout, you can fix that problem
ahead of time. Using ToughSignal is a great safety backup that streamlines
production and makes you feel like you’re back in the studio.

ToughSignal (with the Starlink add on) connects you to the internet in any remote location as long as you have a clear view of the sky. The Starlink antenna provides access to the Starlink satellites so you’re not tethered to cell towers. When Starlink is in use, ToughSignal acts as a modem.

Large Events

If you attend an event that has good service but a large crowd takes up a substantial amount of bandwidth from neighboring cell towers, you can use ToughSignal to bypass the cell towers nearby. It will connect you with further cell towers that are less jammed up.

How ToughSignal Provides Solutions for ASL Clients

With over 30 years of experience, we understand the challenges that come along with filmmaking. Our unwavering commitment to simplifying our clients’ lives propels us to explore cutting-edge solutions. After an extensive search, we’re thrilled to unveil a product that not only meets but exceeds expectations, delivering truly remarkable solutions:


Since we work in unconventional environments, safety is always our top priority. In the past, we’ve run into a problem: no cell service on the boat in the middle of the ocean. Although our expert camera operators and technicians are trained to handle uncertain situations, it’s important to be able to contact emergency services if needed. ToughSignal enhances any communication you may need. If something
goes wrong, you’re no longer on your own.

Remarkable Access

ToughSignal gives you access to remote locations like never before. Since underwater live streaming comes with many challenges, it has only ever been done three times – all by us. With this technology, the possibilities to do livestreams in any capacity (through live TV or an app like Zoom, Facebook, or Instagram) are endless. Whether you stumble upon a pride of lions on a safari or start swimming with sharks off the coast, a live presenter can narrate for your audience, bringing them right into
the action.

Cost Effective and Effortless Live Streaming

In our initial endeavor into live underwater feeds, we arranged microwave transmitters aboard a boat to send signals to a strategically positioned satellite truck on the shore. This truck beamed the signal up to a satellite, serving as our uplink. While this intricate setup thrived in proximity to the shore, it would not serve us for our next live event 80 miles off shore. Instead, we needed to place large satellites on
the boat itself, requiring a larger boat to fulfill the task.

With ToughSignal, everything you need to live stream is self contained within two
cases. Not only does this reduce the possibility of error or failure, it dramatically
reduces the costs associated with live productions of the past.

ToughSignal is Your Go-To Solution

From enhancing communication in remote locations to providing a safety net in unconventional filming environments, ToughSignal transforms what was once near impossible into endless filmmaking possibilities.

With a unique set of features, ToughSignal provides bold filmmakers the security they
need to pursue their creative vision.

ASL clients, supported with over 30 years of filmmaking expertise, now have at their
disposal a tool that not only simplifies but revolutionizes their productions.

To explore ToughSignal further, check out our web page or contact our team for more
information via:

Telephone: +1 (718) 626.2646
Email: or

Underwater Communication: Crucial Steps We Take To Succeed

In the enchanting world of underwater filmmaking, the significance of communication
takes center stage. With over 30 years of industry experience, we appreciate that
effective communication is not only desirable but indispensable in underwater
cinematography. This blog post dives deep into the ways underwater camera operators
communicate to show you what goes on below the surface.

The Importance of Communication on Set

Regular communication on a film set is not only normal, but necessary. The following
areas are some of the reasons why effective communication is so important:

  • Collaborations: There are numerous professionals involved in filmmaking: talent, camera operators, directors, and producers to name a few. Each department must coordinate and align to achieve the goals of production.
  • Adjustments: Whether it is due to lighting, weather, or problems on set, there are many on-the-fly adjustments made during production. This necessitates updates to all professionals involved.
  • Direction: One of the camera operator’s role in underwater filmmaking involves translating the director’s vision into achievable actions for talent.
  • Problem-Solving: The camera operator employs hand signals to relay information to the above-water camera technician, facilitating the swift transmission of underwater conditions to the entire crew.
  • Safety and Logistics: Filming underwater can become hazardous if there are no experts around to help. Communication throughout production helps maintain safety and ensure everyone is on the same page before shooting.

Unique Ways to Communicate Underwater

There are many challenges that filmmakers face when communicating underwater.
Since they cannot talk to each other naturally, they have to figure out ways to convey
what they need. Below are some ways they do this:

Underwater PA System

We use a Hydrophone to communicate to everyone underwater at once. It is an ideal system for a pool when the topside Director needs to communicate one-way to the underwater camera operator and/or talent during a shoot. The Hydrophone is calibrated for the sound waves to travel through water rather than air. When the director speaks into the microphone, anyone in the pool can hear what they are saying.

Setting up a PA system is quick, enhances communication, ensures clear directives for talent, streamlines production flow, and reduces time spent underwater.

Communication System

A communication system, like the OTS Aquacom MK2-DC1, is ideal for underwater talent communications in a live broadcast situation. Up to four divers can communicate to a topside tender via a four wire mask system with ComRope. This system is beneficial if for longer underwater productions or if you want to make many changes to your shots. The camera operator can speak directly to the talent underwater and to the topside director and camera technician.

Hand Signals

Since a PA system only works one-way, from topside to underwater, hand signals are used between the underwater operator and the topside technician. The operator can alert the technician quickly and efficiently if they are ready to shoot or if they need production to wait.

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors has a standardized set of hand signals that we utilize. The ones we use most often are:

  • Ascend, which is a thumbs up.
  • Descend, which is a thumbs down.
  • Are you OK?/I am OK which is a circle made with your thumb and forefinger with all remaining fingers extended upward.

The operator will inform talent what the signals mean and what to do if they see them.
This helps keep everyone safe and on the same page.

The Consequences of Miscommunication

If underwater communication systems are not set up, you can run into a number of issues. If talent cannot hear direction, they cannot adjust on the fly. If the operator cannot hear direction, they might:

  • start rolling too early
  • stop rolling before the director calls cut
  • continue rolling when everyone else has cut
  • frame a different shot than what the director wants

All of these issues add time to production.

Pre-Production Planning

Preparing for effective communication happens long before you arrive to set. When you hire an expert, we help you decide which type of communication system will work best for your situation.

Having the right equipment and expertise contributes to effective communication on set. If you’re shooting in a pool, we recommend using a PA system. If you’re shooting in open water, using comms and hand signals become even more important.

When we’re on set, we establish ground rules of how to communicate using the systems so everyone has context for the framework we work within. This ensures everyone is informed about upcoming actions, eliminating guesswork and reducing on-set confusion and time.

Diving In?

In the world of underwater filmmaking, clear communication goes a long way. From PA systems to communication devices, these innovations enhance clarity and streamline production, while minimizing costly delays and misaligned shots.

Comprehensive pre-production planning can help you choose the right communication system and establish clear communication protocols to ensure your underwater shoot goes off without a hitch.

With over three decades of industry experience, we’re happy to help with your next
underwater adventure. You can contact our team for more information via:

Telephone: +1 (718) 626.2646
Email: or

The Importance of Having a Camera Check-Out Day Before Your Shoot

With 30 years of experience, we understand that filmmaking can be challenging. Shooting underwater? Now that’s an entirely different story. There are many challenges involved in this specialized form of filmmaking.

Achieving success on set isn’t solely about the shoot day itself; it’s about meticulous planning during pre-production as well. This post explores the crucial role of a camera check-out day in underwater shoots and provides insights into the behind-the-scenes process.

Camera Check-Out Day

A camera check-out day prepares your camera and underwater housing for shooting a day before it’s needed. It’s important to make sure that the lenses fit within the housing, the gears line up on your lenses, and that you have full control over focus, iris, and zoom. We also make sure the housing does not obstruct the camera’s view and create vignetting around the edges of the shot

The Benefits of Having a Check-Out Day

Having a camera check-out day reduces downtime, minimizes technical issues on shoot day, and ensures optimal performance underwater.

  • Time: Assembling the camera and housing typically takes up to 1.5 to 2 hours. Having a check-out day means the camera is ready to go as soon as it arrives on set. No time is wasted.
  • Troubleshooting: Since Air Sea Land is the largest rental house for professional underwater camera gear in the North East, we have everything you need to address potential problems before you get to set. If there are issues getting the camera and lens package into the housing on check-out day, we have time to change lenses and make the necessary adjustments to ensure a successful shoot.
  • Performance: Once we confirm the seals are water tight, we balance the housing in our tank to ensure it is neutrally buoyant. This means the housing stays put in the water; it is the best case scenario for the operator and crucial if you want to get the best shots possible.

Beyond the advantages of minimizing downtime and technical glitches, a check-out day offers a unique opportunity for those last-minute adjustments that can make a world of difference. It’s the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your equipment has been rigorously checked and the confidence gained knowing your camera is ready to go.

The Disadvantages of Forgoing a Check-Out Day

Choosing not to have a check-out day can result in a number of issues while on set.

  • Buoyancy: If the housing is not neutrally buoyant, it will either sink or float. If it is buoyant, the operator will have to pull the housing down for the duration of the shoot. If it is negatively buoyant, the operator will have to hold the housing up. If the housing rolls to either side, the operator must fight against that as well. This will affect the outcome of your shots.
  • Lens Difficulty: If the lenses you have on set do not fit in the housing, the underwater shots you want will be impossible to shoot. If the lenses fit but create a vignette in your shot, your desired outcome will be very difficult to meet.
  • Incompatible Accessories: If the focus motor does not physically fit within the housing, or you realize you need another accessory in order to make it work, there is limited time for error correction. If you need a new piece delivered to set, your production cost will go up.

When production companies skip on hiring a technician and/or operator, their production
day is typically extended or certain shots are dismissed. This is because of the
additional technical time consumed.

What To Expect on Check-Out Day
  • Duration: A typical check-out day is a half day of labor — around 4 hours maximum. Duration is subject to change depending on the housing chosen.
  • Process: An experienced camera technician builds the camera and housing, completes all necessary tests for you, and makes adjustments to the equipment based on their assessment.
  • Attendance: It is best to have an Assistant Camera (AC) present to ensure the camera settings are correct before going into the housing. When the camera enters the housing, the focus and iris markings on your lens will no longer be visible. The AC can use this time to make focus and iris marks on the controls so they are able to pull focus while on set.

If you decide against hiring one of our experienced camera technicians on your check-
out day, we will assist in answering any questions you may have about the housing.

Maintenance and Care

When housings return to our shop, and before they are rented out again, we inspect
multiple aspects of the equipment to maintain longevity. This process allows our
housings to be ready for the next filmmaker’s production.

  • Seals and O-Rings: We make sure the seals are secure and do not allow any water into the housing. We check the O-rings for any irregularities and lubricate them upon each return.
  • Pressure Tested: We pull a vacuum to make sure air does not seep into the housing.
  • Sediment: We check for sand, salt, and dirt. If our housings are not properly cleaned while on set, our camera technicians rinse and clean them thoroughly. This is an additional labor cost.

This maintenance process is a necessary step we take to provide the best possible
tools for your underwater productions.

We’re Here to Help

Our 30 years in the film and television industry have shown us that underwater filmmaking presents abundant challenges, with little margin for error. Meticulous preparation can be the difference between a shoot that flows smoothly and one that turns into a filmmaker’s nightmare.

A camera check-out day is a critical step that ensures your camera and underwater housing are in peak condition and ready for production. It minimizes downtime and technical issues on the actual shoot day.

Whether you’re a seasoned underwater operator or embarking on your first underwater shoot, we invite you to reach out to us. When you schedule a camera check-out day with Air Sea Land, our commitment to ensuring your productions go off without a hitch will shine through.

You can contact our team for more information via:


Telephone: +1 (718) 626.2646

Email: or

The Benefits of Using a SplashBag Vs. Underwater Housing

Choosing the right camera equipment can make or break your day on set. When you add water to the mix, you must also consider how you are going to keep the equipment safe. This post delves into the advantages of utilizing Splash Bags and Underwater Housings, the differences between them, and when to use one over the other.

Understanding Splash Bags and Underwater Housings

Since cameras are not waterproof, we need a way to keep cameras safe on set when water is involved. Splash bags are used to cover a camera when there is exposure to water and splashes on set. They are great for shots that just break the surface. Underwater housings are used when the camera must be fully submerged in the water for long periods of time. Splash bags offer temporary protection and convenience whereas underwater housings offer more comprehensive camera protection and advanced shooting capabilities.

Splash Bag Benefits and Considerations

Splash bags have certain advantages that underwater housings do not:

  • Portability: Splash bags are made of polyurethane which makes them easy to handle and transport.

  • Efficiency and Ease of Use: Once the bag is tested for leaks on set, the camera slides into the bag, gets zipped up, and is ready to shoot. If the camera needs a lens change, you take the camera out, change lenses, and put it right back in. When you are done with the water scenes, you can take the camera out and continue shooting as normal.

  • Adaptability: Splash bags are less camera specific than housings since they fit different types of cameras inside.

  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Splash bags are the less expensive option when it comes to protecting your camera from water.

While Splash Bags have many benefits, there are a few main things to consider:

  • Fragility: Since splash bags are made of polyurethane, they must be handled with care. This means avoiding concrete or hard surfaces that can puncture the bag when not in use. If there are any sharp parts of the camera, putting the camera in and taking it out should be done with care.
  • Leaks: While all of our equipment is tested in our shop prior to your production date, the bag should be tested the day of without the camera inside. The zippers should be lubricated properly and the air release valve should be closed.
  • Depth: While some splash bags can be submerged underwater, they should not be underwater all day. We always suggest and recommend a hard case housing anytime submerging more than a couple of feet.
  • Lens Control: Since there are no controls on the splash bag, camera control must be done through remote lens control.

Underwater Housing Benefits and Considerations

There are many benefits that underwater housings provide:

  • Durability: Since housings are made from aluminum, they are more durable than splash bags. You won’t have to worry about puncturing a housing.
  • Protection: Housings are more secure and cannot leak in the same way a splash bag can. They can also be underwater for longer periods of time.
  • Depth: While the ASL Splash Bags are verified for 3-4 ft max, housings can typically shoot in depths past 100 ft.
  • Lens Control: Housings are specially designed for a specific camera with lens and camera controls on the outside of the housing (not including the Hydroflex).

Below are some points to consider prior to your production date:

  • Leaks: While housings are generally more secure against leaks, the seals and O rings must be checked and tested before going into the water with the camera. Inspect for dirt or cracks and make sure the O rings are in their proper position. When closing the latches on the housings, it is best to do all of them at the same time. If that is not possible, closing them in a criss-cross fashion is best.
  • Camera Specific: With the exception of the Hydroflex, a housing is generally camera specific. For example, you cannot put a RED V-Raptor into an ARRI Alexa 35 Housing. Instead, you would need a RED V-Raptor Housing.
  • Lens Control: The operator can have full focus, iris, and zoom control on the housing itself or a remote lens control can be used topside. Since wireless signals do not transmit underwater, external lens control must be wired. With the Hydroflex housing, there are no physical camera controls on the housing and thus camera control must be done topside through a lens control system.
  • Time: The camera must be stripped of all accessories before being set up inside the housing. If you need to change lenses, you have to:
    1. Release the vacuum seal from the housing in order to open it
    2. Work around the space constraints of the housing in order to change the
    3. Set the lens control gears back up
    4. Seal the housing by pumping out the air from inside (either with the provided
      electronic vacuum or manual pump).

Since time is the biggest limitation with housing, it’s best to have an extra
camera body on set that can reside in the housing all day.

Proper Maintenance and Care

Cleaning and drying are the best ways to ensure the longevity of splash bags and underwater housings. If you are shooting in salt water, rinse the gear with fresh water when you’re done and dry it as quickly as possible. Before opening a splash bag or housing, have a towel or compressed air nearby to dry any extra water that could drip onto the camera.

The Impact of Heat

Whether your camera is sealed in a splash bag or underwater housing, the heat from the camera recirculates inside, making the camera even hotter. If you’re shooting in cool water, the water outside of the housing will pull some of the heat out. It’s important to keep the sealed housings and splash bags out of the sun. When the cameras are not in use, unseal them away from the water in a shaded area to allow the heat to dissipate, if possible.

Tailoring Solutions to Your Needs

Air Sea Land is the largest production and rental house for Professional Underwater camera gear in the North East, US. With our extensive knowledge of different models and brands, we can provide tailored options for filmmakers based on their project requirements. Whether it’s working within a certain budget or finding solutions to fit your specific case, we are happy to guide you to the best solution. You can check out our inventory here.

Our rental process can be done online or over the phone. We recommend:

  • Reading the manual of the equipment you are renting prior to booking it
  • Scheduling a check out day so we can assist you in set up and troubleshooting
  • Booking a tech who can assist you with the gear on set

If you encounter any issues with the equipment, or have general questions or concerns,
please do not hesitate to reach out!

If you’d like to learn more about the common challenges encountered in underwater shooting and practical solutions to ensure successful productions, check out our article here.

If you’re interested in the safety challenges encountered in underwater shooting and the key considerations when deciding to hire an expert, check out our article here.