Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In some movies, for instance the Jaws series, it's a wonderful feeling to see sharks underwater and have it feel very realistic.

I'm curious to know how they film underwater scenes in movies. Not just in Jaws, but other movies as well.

What are the techniques used to film the underwater scenes in movies?

enter image description here

share|improve this question
up vote 18 down vote accepted

Mostly with underwater cameras and divers mixed with Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).

  • This particular scene looks to be filmed completely underwater with a shark model. Nowadays they would simply film the water surface and add a CG shark later. CG effects grow better and they just make complete scene with CG.
  • When there is a need to film an actor in water the scene is shot in a swimming pool and cover the background with green screen so the CG can make it seem they are deep in the water or in some other location.

Behind the cameras there is full team in scuba gear. The scene is shot in many little pieces depending how long actors can hold their breaths before they surface or are given an air tank. When the video is cut and other camera angles added it appears as they never left the water.

When an actor's face is not visible, a professional "breath hold" diver is shot in the scene in one continuous roll.

Here you can see how they filmed Harry Potter underwater.

share|improve this answer
Worth pointing that underwater vehicles are often models shot in fog in slow motion. No water involved. – Michael Itzoe Nov 30 '12 at 13:38

In some cheap movies (fairy tales) they clearly used aquarium, either standing in front of the actors, or overlaid over the actors in postproduction.

share|improve this answer

They have a high tech cameras for underwater filming plus it really takes a lot preparation and takes just to capture the right scenes. It looks wonderful on screen but lot of works.

share|improve this answer
This doesn't really answer the question. It just states the obvious. – Chenmunka Aug 9 '15 at 17:37

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.