Hollywood’s underwater moviemaking technology will be tapped for the upcoming action flick Deep Gold from Bigfoot Entertainment. Topbilled by international actresses Bebe Pham and Jaymee Ong, this film will also feature Filipino actor Joel Torre in a notable role.
Written and directed by Michael Gleissner, who’s also known for his acclaimed work in Irreversi, Deep Gold is filmed entirely on the scenic islands of Cebu and Palawan where a champion free-diver Amy (Pham) and her sister Jess (Ong) are entrapped in a web of lies on the disappearance of a government plane carrying a fortune in gold. Amy then gets involved in a web of lies and deceit as she seeks the truth on the disappearance of her boyfriend along with the fortune.
Deep Gold features 3D action sequences, including spectacular underwater footage using the shooting tank located at Bigfoot facilities in Cebu. Gleissner together with Rick Robinson, the film’s director of photography and an Emmy Award winner, leads us deep into the bottom of filming the movie under Philippine waters.
"The Phillippines provided spectacular locations and was the ideal place to set the movie in, given the story," Gleissner shares. "Filming on a tropical location that does not have a Hollywood-style film industry has some challenges. For example, we totally underestimated how much time it takes to shoot on boats, as the setup of equipment and lights are a lot more complicated."
Robinson, on the other hand shares that this is his first time shooting underwater. "I am primarily concerned with lighting and underwater lighting, it reflects light differently than shooting on land, especially when it comes to water clarity. The complex process that is underwater filming required more than acute understanding of lighting.
"To achieve this for Deep Gold, Bigfoot had to train the crew, mostly Filipinos, to make these spectacular underwater scenes come to fruition. The local Filipino crew underwent training to work with the underwater shooting because it requires specific knowledge that cannot be received anywhere else in the country."
Although originally shot in 2D, Gleissner’s decision to convert the film into stereoscopic 3D is due to deeper engagement experience 3D brings to the audience. Using 3D allows the audience to feel as though they are part of the action—turning them into participants instead of spectators.
Now that 3D films are becoming mainstream, Gleissner predicts that within a few years it will become the norm to film in 3D. "With the cost of converting a film from 2D to 3D going down and the quality of conversion going up, a lot more independent films are able to utilize this. 3D makes films more competitive within the marketplace," Gleissner concludes.
Deep Gold opens in Philippine cinemas on August 31 from Bigfoot Entertainment.