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Mary Lynn Price, Underwater Videographer

One of the aspects of underwater imaging that most appeals to me is the rhythm and motion of the underwater world — it’s like music. Two DVDs that have really stuck with me are about music. Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built features incredible footage and interviews with greats like Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, and Ahmet Ertegun, the cofounder of the landmark recording label. Also featured is Jerry Wexler, who passed away last month. These are the people who created music that’s part of our collective memory.

Tom Dowd and the Language of Music is about the innovative music producer and recording engineer responsible for helping create the recording sounds of many of Atlantic’s music greats. Dowd shows us how he mixed memorable tracks like the dual guitar leads of Eric Clapton and Duane Allman on “Layla.”

Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built (USA) 2007, Rhino
Tom Dowd and The Language of Music (USA) 2003, Palm Pictures

Karen Straus, Photographer and Underwater Videographer, birdbrained.biz

Having just served as emcee at the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition reminds me to dust off my favorite water-themed DVDs. The Big Blue was the first English-language film by French director Luc Besson. Based on a true story, it immerses viewers in the rivalry between real-life free-dive champions Jacques Mayol (Jean-Marc Barr) and Enzo Maiorca (the always excellent Jean Reno). Breath-taking underwater photography and a fluid score add to the drama, which culminates at the world championships. You’ll be holding your breath right along with the divers!

Being a diver, I have a natural kinship with other water people. So it was a natural that I would rush out to see Riding Giants and buy the Special Edition DVD. Even if you’re not a surfer, this documentary brings the evolution of surfing alive, from its beginnings in early Hawaii to today’s tow-in surfer superstars.

The Big Blue (Director's Cut) (France) 1988, Sony Pictures, list price: $29.98
Riding Giants (Special Edition) (USA) 2004, Sony Pictures

Eric Hanauer, Underwater Photographer and Videographer, [email protected]

As an exhibitor at the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition, I have some water-themed DVDs to recommend. Das Boot is simply the best submarine movie ever made. Filmed before the CGI era, it exhibits a gritty realism.

Men of Honor is based on the life of Carl Brashears, the first African-American salvage diver in the U.S. Navy. In the Hollywood film, he takes ten steps on his prosthetic leg dressed in full hardhat gear. In reality, Brashears made several surreptitious dives unbeknownst to the brass, so recertification as the Navy’s first amputee diver was pro forma.

When Pixar filmed Finding Nemo, key animators had to take scuba classes. It shows. They captured the look of light underwater, including backscatter, the tiny particles that are the bane of underwater photographers. Advisors included marine biologists, so the underwater world, although fanciful, was authentic.

Das Boot (Germany) 1982, Sony Pictures
Men of Honor (USA) 2000, 20th Century Fox
Finding Nemo (USA) 2003, Disney

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