Underwater Pinewood Studios films display
Underwater photos from some of Pinewood Studios’ most famous films are to go on display for the first time.
The photographs offer a rare glimpse into life behind the scenes at the studio’s world famous underwater stage.
They feature stars such as Keira Knightley, Myleene Klass, Sharon Stone and Matt Lucas, who have all swum in the giant tank.
‘It’s exciting to show the story of the production through underwater pictures,’ said Phoebe Rudomino, a commercial diver and photographer who took all the shots.
‘It’s interesting to take a wider shot and show what is going on behind the camera.The final image or film sequence may look very slick but the reality will often be very different.
‘There may be gaffer tape holding a bikini together or divers hanging upside down to keep someone in a certain position but the viewer will only ever see the final polished shot.’
The underwater stage, which opened in 2005, is a globally unique facility and has been used for a huge number of TV commercials, music videos and films, including the Boat That Rocked, Bourne Ultimatum, Atonement, Elizabeth and Casino Royale.
It houses a permanently filled water tank, which holds 1.2 million litres of water and is heated at 32 degrees.
‘All the underwater sequences are a challenge as you have to come at it from a different angle and there will often be a lot of people squeezed into a small space,’ said Phoebe, who has worked at Pinewood since the facility opened five years ago.
Underwater access is limited so often all the director can see is the image coming out of the camera.
‘They don’t get to see all the things which are going on behind the scenes so it’s interesting for me to capture that.
‘We have a very good team but each shoot presents its own problems and its all about planning.’
Actress Keira Knightley is among a number of celebrities to have filmed in the underwater studio and was a ‘natural.’
‘She did a charity shoot for Fresh 20 drinking water and she was very good underwater,’ said Phoebe.
‘We had to train her to use scuba equipment and she was naturally very good.
‘She was wearing a fairly heavy dress which made it hard but she was surrounded by safety divers and she did very well.’
Presenter and singer Myleene Klass was also filmed swimming gracefully underwater for her monthly CNN International show.
‘She was great in the water. We often find singers are good at holding their breath,’ added Phoebe.
‘A big part of the shoot is making the artiste feel comfortable because they may have to look serene and beautiful in the water but are likely to be feeling exactly the opposite.
‘I think Myleene really enjoyed the shoot and the images looked fantastic.’
Singer James Blunt had no problems when he filmed a Brit Awards promo underwater as he is a trained diver.
‘He is very experienced and knew exactly what he was doing,’ said Phoebe.
‘We did a shot where he is suspended mid-water which can be a bit tricky.’ Phoebe, who has been shooting underwater photography for eight years, says she finds working with babies one of the most challenging parts of the job.
‘The Getty baby shoot was hard as Charlie kept floating the wrong way round,’ she said.
But one of her favourite shoots was a piece about sharks for the Discovery Channel.
‘We had two animatronic six foot Great Whites and 5,000 litres of fake blood. It was a lot of fun.’ The exhibition, entitled Water on the Lens will be held in Movieum of London on the Southbank throughout October.