Underwater DOP Peter Zuccarini talks dolphin tales, gearing up, and the magical world of aquatic 3D

Peter Zuccarini, Underwater Camera Operator/DOP on 3D projects including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and the upcoming Underworld Awakening details his experiences filming Dolphin Tale 3D… stereoscopic gear, impressions on set, and the magical world of aquatic 3D.

A 3D Tale

Most of the story takes place in the aquarium where Winter the dolphin lives full time. The main character, Sawyer, ends up getting, sort of pulled into the water by Winter and they develop this special relationship. They needed some angles both daytime and nighttime in 3D of those two sort of playing around. My involvement in the beginning of the film was operating a 3D camera in the water. After principal photography they were doing a final sequence that involved integrating some animated dolphins into 3D plates that were shot in the ocean. I was the director of photography for the Caymen Islands unit that did those 3D plates – flying a 3D camera through tunnels and caverns and things like that to develop like a natural world that dolphins would swim through.