The HydroFlex ALEXA 65 Remote AquaCam (RAC) is the latest version of the 35-3 Remote AquaCam System. The original 35-3 Remote AquaCam received a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) in 2002 and over the years has been modernized to support a wide variety of digital cameras but the ALEXA 65 Remote AquaCam is the latest adaptation of the award winning design.
In May 2014, during prep for a major motion picture and six months before the release of the ALEXA 65, Pete Romano, ASC had heard rumors of ARRI developing a large format digital camera. The movie had a technically complicated VFX underwater sequence and the ALEXA 65’s resolution and body size would be the tool to make the sequence possible. With no camera available, Pete and HydroFlex’s Matt Brown worked closely with ARRI Rental Group London’s, Neil Fanthom and John Duclose during the design phase of the underwater housing construction. HydroFlex also teamed with Nauticam underwater camera company’s, Ryan Canon, to design and build a custom glass dome port for the ALEXA 65’s 24mm, 28mm and 35mm lenses.
The underwater housings were finished early November and HydroFlex received the prototype ALEXA 65 on November 11th for the first fitting and electrical and buoyancy testing. On November 13th HydroFlex shipped two successfully tested ALEXA 65 underwater camera systems off to location.
HydroFlex has gone on record to be the first ever to use the ALEXA 65 in production. During the course of shooting with two complete underwater camera packages, over 400 hours were logged. Heat was a big concern but by using a proprietary heat sink that was built into the housings design all heat issues were eliminated.
ARRI Rental Group’s, Neil Fanthom, Andrew Prior and Mario Radinovic, provided full support during filming and the two ALEXA 65 underwater camera systems worked flawlessly during production.