Mike Valentine

It’s been more than 20 years since film director, Nicolas Roeg, gave Mike Valentine his first break filming Oliver Reed and Amanda Donohoe in Castaway. “I was in the Seychelles for almost two months, shooting and directing all the underwater sequences from a script that contained only two lines of description. The result was more than six minutes of screen time, something I still feel lucky to have achieved at that time” Valentine grinned. This achievement was remarkable because Valentine had just given up his “safe” day job as a senior sound technician with the BBC to work as a freelance underwater cameraman.

“I found it ironic that my first professional job was in the Seychelles, because this was where I first experienced scuba. In 1977, during a holiday there, I noticed a sign saying ‘Visit the Underwater World for US$20’. It was the best 20 bucks I have ever spent. I was instantly hooked. So, as soon as I got back to the UK, I joined the United London Hospital Diving Group—a local BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club)—and learnt to dive. The thing with diving is that it can really bite you, and I soon discovered I wanted to share this new world with as many people as possible. The obvious answer for me was to start making underwater films, so I stole a friend’s camera for a couple of weeks, one which had been used by Cousteau on some of his underwater documentaries, and off I went.”

Eventually, armed with Silent World, Valentine knocked on the door of BBC Acquisitions and showed them his 6.5 minute Red Sea mini epic. After shooting another ten films, he was given an offer he couldn’t refuse, to take his underwater expertise to the Seychelles to work on Castaway.

Mike Valentine worked on these films

2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (underwater camera)

2016 Sense8 (TV Series) (underwater dp – 1 episode)

– Happy F*cking New Year. (2016) … (underwater dp)

2016 Assassin’s Creed (underwater camera)

2016 The Lost City of Z (underwater camera)

2016 Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (director of photography: underwater unit)

2016 Criminal (underwater camera)

2016 Grimsby (underwater camera)

2015 Victor Frankenstein (underwater camera)

2015 Humans (TV Series) (underwater camera – 8 episodes)

– Episode #1.8 (2015) … (underwater camera)

– Episode #1.7 (2015) … (underwater camera)

– Episode #1.6 (2015) … (underwater camera)

– Episode #1.5 (2015) … (underwater camera)

– Episode #1.4 (2015) … (underwater camera)

Show all 8 episodes

2015 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (underwater camera)

2015 Pinewood: 80 Years of Movie Magic (TV Movie documentary) (underwater director of photography)

2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron (underwater camera)

2013 The Breakdown (TV Movie) (assistant camera)

2012 Skyfall (director of photography: underwater unit)

2012 Dark Shadows (underwater camera operator)

2012 Punch Face Moan (Short) (assistant camera)

2012 Dark Tide (underwater camera)

2012 Volume (Short) (underwater director of photography)

2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (underwater camera operator)

2011 I Shouldn’t Be Alive (TV Series documentary) (director of photography – 1 episode)

– Ocean Disaster (2011) … (director of photography: underwater shoot)

2010 Clear Blue (Short) (additional first assistant camera – as Michael Valentine)

2010 Hereafter (underwater camera operator: London) / (underwater director of photography: London)

2010 Robin Hood (underwater camera)

2009/I Cracks (underwater camera)

2009 Mr. Nobody (camera operator: underwater unit) / (director of photography: underwater unit)

Jonathan Creek (TV Series) (camera operator – 1 episode, 2009) (director of photography – 1 episode, 2009)

– The Grinning Man (2009) … (camera operator: underwater camera crew) / (director of photography: underwater camera crew)

2008 Donkey Punch (underwater camera)

2007 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (director of photography: underwater unit)

2007 Atonement (underwater photographer)

2007 The Bourne Ultimatum (underwater camera)

2007 New Tricks (TV Series) (underwater photography – 1 episode)

– Ducking and Diving (2007) … (underwater photography)

2006 Eragon (underwater director of photography – as Michael Valentine)

2006 Casino Royale (underwater photographer)

2006 Windkracht 10: Koksijde Rescue (underwater camera operator)

2006/II True North (underwater director of photography)

2006 Doctor Who (TV Series) (underwater camera operator – 1 episode)

– The Impossible Planet (2006) … (underwater camera operator – uncredited)

2006 The Da Vinci Code (underwater camera operator – uncredited)

2006 Basic Instinct 2 (underwater camera operator)

2006 Land of the Blind (camera operator: underwater)

2006 Half Light (camera operator: underwater unit)

2005 Keeping Mum (underwater camera operator)

2005 Nova (TV Series documentary) (underwater camera operator – 1 episode)

– Hitler’s Sunken Secret (2005) … (underwater camera operator)

2005 Stoned (underwater camera: second unit)

2005 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (underwater camera operator)

2004 The Bourne Supremacy (director of photography: underwater unit)

2004 King Arthur (camera operator: underwater unit)

2004 Ladies in Lavender (underwater director of photography)

2004 Casualty (TV Series) (underwater camera operator – 1 episode)

– Emotional Rescue: Part 2 (2004) … (underwater camera operator)

2003 Young Adam (underwater camera operator)

2003 Schatzsuche (underwater camera operator)

2003 Shanghai Knights (underwater director of photography)

2003 The Death of Klinghoffer (underwater camera operator)

2002 The Hours (underwater camera operator: USA)

2002 Die Another Day (underwater photographer)

2002 Monarch of the Glen (TV Series) (underwater camera operator – 1 episode)

– Episode #4.10 (2002) … (underwater camera operator)

2002 Below (underwater camera operator – uncredited)

2002 Doctor Sleep (director of photography: underwater unit)

2002 The Importance of Being Earnest (underwater camera)

2001 Birthday Girl (underwater camera)

2000 Proof of Life (underwater camera)

2000 Sexy Beast (underwater camera: underwater unit)

2000 Anchor Me (TV Movie) (underwater camera operator)

2000 The Man Who Cried (underwater camera operator)

2000 Gormenghast (TV Mini-Series) (underwater camera – 1 episode)

– Episode #1.4 (2000) … (underwater camera)

2000/I The Beach (underwater director of photography)

2000 Britannic (TV Movie) (camera operator: underwater unit)

2000 No Man’s Love (underwater cinematographer)

1999 The World Is Not Enough (additional underwater photographer)

1999 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (underwater camera operator – uncredited)

1999 Entrapment (underwater camera operator)

1997-1999 The Lakes (TV Series) (underwater camera operator – 7 episodes)

– Episode #2.5 (1999) … (underwater camera operator)

– Episode #2.4 (1999) … (underwater camera operator)

– Episode #2.3 (1999) … (underwater camera operator)

– Episode #2.2 (1999) … (underwater camera operator)

– Episode #2.1 (1999) … (underwater camera operator)

Show all 7 episodes

1998 Shakespeare in Love (underwater unit cameraman: second unit) / (underwater unit co-ordinator: second unit)

1998 Vigo (underwater camera operator)

1998 Basil (underwater camera operator)

1998 My Giant (underwater camera operator: Czech Republic

1997 Tomorrow Never Dies (underwater photographer – uncredited)

1997 Tomb Raider II (Video Game) (underwater camera)

1997 The Uninvited (TV Series) (underwater photography – 1 episode)

1997 The Peacemaker (underwater camera operator – uncredited)

1997 Firelight (underwater camera operator)

1997 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (TV Movie) (underwater director of photography)

1997 The Mill on the Floss (TV Movie) (underwater camera operator)

1996 Twelfth Night or What You Will (underwater camera operator)

1996 Trainspotting (underwater camera operator)

1996 Loch Ness (director of photography: underwater unit)

1995 Beyond Reason (TV Movie) (underwater camera operator)

1995 Modern Times: The Lido (TV Movie documentary) (underwater camera operator)

1995 First Knight (underwater camera operator – uncredited)

1995 Funny Bones (underwater camera operator – as Michael Valentine)

1994 The Jungle Book (underwater camera)

1993 Splitting Heirs (underwater camera operator – as Michael Valentine)

1992 Waterland (underwater camera operator)

1991 Europa (underwater camera operator)

1990 The Big Man (underwater camera) / (underwater camera operator – as Michael Valentine)

1990 Killing Dad or How to Love Your Mother (underwater camera)

1989 London’s Burning (TV Series) (underwater camera – 1 episode)

1989 Vanille fraise (underwater camera)

1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (underwater camera operator – uncredited)

1989 Leviathan (underwater camera operator)

1988 The Fruit Machine (underwater camera)

1988 Track 29 (underwater camera operator)

1986 Castaway (underwater camera operator)