Ocean Reef LA project 2013

Filmed and edited by Katy Fraser

This has to be by far the most logistically challenging commercial of all so far. Ocean Reef sent us their new range of masks and communication systems specifically designed for use on live aboard boats. We were sent a fairly complicated script by Ocean Reef of lots of different scenarios. The aim of the commercial was to demonstrate how common issues that arise in communication on the boats could be easily resolved with the use of these masks.

We decided to travel to Aquba, Jordan for the shoot as they had the boats that Dahab didn’t and also more of a variety of dive sites for recreational diving. We set off in the early hours and travelled first through the Egyptian border at Taba to Israel where we were stopped for over an hour while we tried to explain what full face masks and drysuits were. Surprisingly the Israeli customs at Eilat were fairly smooth and we took a taxi down to Jordan. At this border we had too spread about 100kgs worth of equipment over several trolleys and push it a good 400m to the Jordanian side. This crossing took a very long time, we waited for an official from the military to arrive and provide us an escort as diving with full face masks is considered illegal there. I was using a canon MK2 at the time and they were fairly nervous that we were there for journalistic reasons. A film crew had been turned away not too long ago as they came with the aim to film the alleged poor conditions of the refugee camps on the Syrian border. This combined with the fact that full face masks and drysuits to the untrained eye look suspiciously military esque made it all a very complicated ordeal. After eye scans and many questions we finally made it through and took transport to the town of Aquba.

The shoot it’s self was very fun there were lots of different scenarios to re-enact and as divers aren’t the most talented of actors I had to learn the script off by heart and feed lines as well as filming and directing. On land this was relatively easy underwater however was a different story there were many moments I was crying with laughter behind the camera and by the end I had several pages of wet notes full of frustrated scrawl and more than enough footage to make a fairly lengthy blooper reel. There were a few scenes that were hard to film, the script specified a bad weather scenario and as Jordan on the days we were filming had clear blue skies and flat calm waters this proved rather difficult. I got the boat boys and captain involved to their delight, they had a great time pretending to look out to sea at the non existent thunder storm that was on it’s way and searching frantically, scanning the horizon for the unknowing divers. I managed to edit something together which some what got the point across.

Amongst the kit ocean reef had sent us was a surface communication box that was to be used to communicate with the divers from the boat. We plugged a laptop into it so we could record the communication between the surface and the divers then overlay to audio on the correct parts of the footage.

We were on a time constraint of three days and there were places it looked like the shoot was going to be tight but we got it done and produced a film Ocean Reef were more than happy to show at Dusseldorf Boot show.

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