The January general meeting of MCA-I was held at the PADI facility in Rancho Santa Margarita. The food from Baja Fresh was graciously provided by our host DSAT Productions of PADI. www.padi.com. THANK YOU!!!
President Dennis Backer opened the meeting and introduced John Coleman who in turn introduced Ken Berry: Executive Producer-underwater directing. Ken gave us a fascinating glimpse into the world of underwater production in great detail. His team has been involved with the underwater shooting of such films as The Abyss and Titanic. Others that also spoke were Karl Shreeves: Underwater Photography, Aaron Anthony: Underwater equipment, Dawn Orbin: Producing overseas as well as producing on land, and John Oats: Underwater audio. It seemed as though there were almost as many people from DAST as MCA-I members!.
While this was a very specific area of media production, I found it fascinating. The language of production was the same, and it is always interesting to learn about the issues and how they were dealt with. As Ken said, it's just like directing on land - except that it's underwater.
DAST produces nearly all of the video media used in the worldwide PADI facilities that help train divers to be truly professional divers, capable of teaching others how to dive and making a tourist dive a safe and memorable one.
Our group toured their editing facility and sound stage. Later we actually got to feel how heavy an underwater video camera and housing are, try on masks with microphones, hear an underwater speaker, and see how an underwater slate works. Gary Stone brought his underwater camera and presented a little show and tell about it.
A big thanks also to Dominique Watson; production liaison, who was on hand to check people in and make sure that we didn't get lost and were well taken care of.
I want to commend the staff at DSAT for a very nice presentation despite our rather low attendance. And I also want to encourage all of our members to attend meetings - even though they may be a little far from home - and on subject matters that you may not think will be relevant for some reason. It's all good stuff, and worth the time.
John Primm, MCA-I OC Secretary