Behind the Scenes of Highly Suspect's 4-Minute Long Take Music Video Shot Underwater

Highly Suspect Lydia Music Video BTS
Two weeks back, we shared a sublime music video shot in a single 4-minute take at the bottom of a pool. Now the BTS video has been released to the world.

The video for Lydia, the latest single from Massachusetts-based rock trio Highly Suspect, was produced by the talented dudes at Pier Pictures. In our previous post about the video, Pier Pictures founders T.S. Pfeffer and Robert McHugh (collectively referred to as TS&R) shared some awesome information about how they planned and executed this complex production, as well as a few BTS photos.

In case you missed it the first time around, here's the Lydia music video once again:

And here's the BTS video, which, after being kept under wraps by the band's label, has finally been released to the public:

The most interesting tidbit from this BTS video is about the implications of pressure differences when shooting underwater. Depending on how much air is trapped in an underwater camera housing, it can make it incredibly difficult to keep the camera level, which was an important aspect of this particular shoot. For that reason, TS&R and their team kept a watchful eye on the pressure levels in the Gates Housing that enclosed the EPIC DRAGON camera. By keeping the pressure at the right amount for that particular depth in the pool, underwater operator Pascal Combes-Knoke was able to move the camera precisely and create some interesting dynamic camera movements that would have been difficult otherwise.     

Your Comment


Interesting, been wanting to do some underwater stuff. I definitely wont wear a hat tho, lol.

August 25, 2015 at 1:02PM, Edited August 25, 1:02PM


I meant to comment on this video when it was first featured here on NFS. Besides the incredible ability the girl has for holding her breath underwater, there is nothing remarkable about this video.
Purely pedestrian underwater footage.

For exceptional underwater 'narrative' photography, you should check out my buddy, Scott Rhea's work. They should have gotten him to direct and shoot this.

August 25, 2015 at 7:59PM

Richard Krall

I liked it as one take, loved a lot of the compositions and changing from wide to detail. Also the choreography was great.

Im sure your buddy is great, but photography is still a different ballgame then to direct a one take 4 minute clip underwater.

August 27, 2015 at 2:32AM

Gerbert Floor
DP / Director / Camera / Editor

ya know…taking nothing away from Lydia Highly Suspect, which I enjoyed, this BTS makes me feel a lot of people were taking themselves way too seriously. and…wow…they were able to balance the pressure in the housing in a pool…amazing.
I've shot hours of UW footage. And, taking nothing away from the technical challenges, I am mostly impressed by Marina Kazankova.

August 25, 2015 at 9:08PM

Steve Ramsey

For all the work that went into this video I sadly must agree with the earlier comments. Underwater work of any kind is a matter of fact and circumstance and you hire appropriately. The whole pressure in the pool business and having to adjust the pressure in the housing highlights a certain amount of inexperience....this is simply a matter of Buoyancy and stability. Something all underwater shooters deal with. In fact most U/W housing makers will create a housing that will be fairly close to neutral buoyancy so that the shooter does not have to deal with a negatively or positively buoyant housing. If a difference in buoyancy is required then a weight or floater is added to adjust accordingly. The pressure inside a housing has never in my understanding been used to adjust a persons ability to drive their camera U/W (negative pressure is now commonly used to create and check a good o'ring seal).

As to the shots and everything else in the vid it becomes subjective, a writer/director and DP's view of what they shoot and how is I believe not on the board here. Marina Kazankova work underwater is of course without flaw, and naturally one hires a world freediving champion for work like this (or someone with a breath holding prowess). So with all due respect to the video and it's creation and all of those who worked on it (by the looks this was not a cheap shoot), personally the BTS unfortunately falls short of inspiring and educating those who will pay attention to the physics and U/W components that make up a U/W shoot. As to the viewing public and those who just want to be distracted by something cool probably hits the mark. But for me too much sensationalism and not enough heart.

August 28, 2015 at 2:24AM

Capkin van Alphen
Cameraman/Photographer/Media manager