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Water Tank or open water filming?


Kevin Kelly
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I have a script that would require a nighttime scene were the principle actor would fall into the water when jumping from one moving boat to another moving boat.   The water must appear to be moving (5-10 knots), with a single wake from a passing boat causing the fall.

Since safety is paramount, I would think shooting in a water tank would be best. So, what water tanks are available for filming in the United States.  Will the described scene required special facilities?  Are there specialized production crews that do this type of work? Any ballpark estimates on how much this would cost? Any ideas to minimize expenses?

Thanks.

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The boats would be about 40'-50' (12m-15m). Most filming would be on open water. The character falling into the water when transfering between boats, would be shot in a narrow field of view. I would like to show water movement and the splash, with one boat moving alongside the other.  I think using a stationary prop showing the partial side of one boat, and winching a partial prop of the other boat past the stationary one would realistic enough. Just need water flow, and enough depth to make it look real.

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I see, that's definitely a bigger boat. (🦈)

This is above my experience level now, but here's an idea:

Dock the two boats and then mount an small boat engine or two to a dock "ahead" of the two boats. Run those engines to create a wake and hopefully enough water flows between the two boats that it can imply they are moving. This may be more believable at night.

I'm basically approaching this stunt with a poor man's process perspective. The boats never move, you'd just move the water with a mounted boat engine.

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