Ron and Valerie Taylor have been leaders in underwater film and photography for decades. They have produced documentaries such as Shark Hunters, Blue Water White Death, National Geographic’s Sharks, and Shadow of the Shark. Most of their footage has been with various film cameras such as 16mm, 35mm, and 8mm all with various qualities. With advances in DV technology they now use a DV camera and Ron builds the underwater housing for them himself. They recognize the advantages in cost and quality of DV and now Ron says the other cameras that he has never get used.
“I was very interested to note that my recent PAL DV footage was equal, and sometimes better, in quality than some of my old 16mm film.”(5)
Ron has been able to cut production costs after his switch to a Betacam SP (a form of DV camera). Also with his switch to DV he can take advantage of what non-linear editing has to offer.
“At the moment, Final Cut Pro is very new to me. I am only in the beginning stages of using it, but can already see the advantages of non-linear editing. I hope to be able to do the complete postproduction in FCP.”(5)
Ron selects the footage that he wants from each shoot, transfers them to his editing system, and never touches the original tapes again. Ron found that shooting in video makes the water look clearer than it actually is and less artificial light is needed to get a good colorful exposure (5). Ron and Valerie, like many other filmakers are clearly taking advantage of what DV has to offer.
Quentin Lee is another filmmaker that is taking advantage of the cost effectiveness and the speed at which you can make feature length films in DV. He has made such films as Shopping with Fangs and Drift. His films have been shown at many festivals around the world.
“Drift has played over 20 festivals, mainly gay and lesbian ones worldwide. The reviews are mixed, some good and some bad. Regardless, it is getting seen and the audience seems to react very positive to the film” (6)
Quentin realizes that you do not have to have a big budget and expensive equipment to have your work shown around the world is works hard to keep putting out new material. He intends to shoot his next film in DV as well. One reason he favors DV is that it allows him to be less concerned with the equipment and focus more on the actors.
“Shooting DV is certainly actor friendly because the setup is faster and a lot less clunky. Everyone can focus more on the performances.”(6)
Quentin encourages others to find cool stories and just start making films.