Camera Operator & Photographer Jenny Baumert

In episode #55 host Brett Stanley chats with Underwater Camera Operator and Photographer Jenny Baumert. 

Jenny fell in love with underwater photography at the Brooks Institute in California, but quickly moved in to cinematography. She’s worked on commercials and music videos, and just finished up shooting the title sequence for Netflix’s Merpeople docuseries.

They talk about shooting 1000 frames per second underwater on the phantom high speed camera, how she made the move from camera tech to operator, and how drinking Timothy Leary’s ashes with Susan Sarandon totally changed her visual style.

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About Jenny Baumert – Camera Operator & Photographer

Jenny is an award-winning cinematographer/photographer who specializes in the underwater world, she is inspired by the beauty of our ocean and creates surreal imagery sharing the world below, hoping to inspire others to love and protect our ocean.

Jenny aims to create a space where anyone can feel truly free and have an empowering experience.

Podcast Transcript

Ep 55 – Jenny Baumert 
 [00:00:00] Brett Stanley: Welcome back to the underwater podcast. And this week we’re talking to underwater camera operator and photographer. Jenny Beaumont. Jenny fell in love with underwater photography at the Brooks Institute in California, but quickly moved into cinematography. She worked on commercials and music videos, and just finished up shooting the title sequence for Netflix is more people docu-series. 
 We talk about shooting a thousand frames per second, under water on the Phantom high-speed camera. How she made the move from camera tech to operator and how drinking Timothy Leary’s ashes with Susan Surandon totally changed a visual style. All right. Oh, actually, you know what? I just want to take a second to thank you. The listener for supporting this podcast. 
 It was something I started during the pandemic to keep me entertained. And I’ve really enjoyed talking to all the amazing guests I’ve had come on, but there is a downside to podcasting and that is that it’s a bit of a one-way process. Meaning that I rarely get feedback from listeners on how they’re liking it or what I should change or do more of. in fact it’s a little bit like sending stuff out into the void sometimes. And I only really know if people are listening to looking at the statistics. 
 So in saying that I’d love to hear from you, whether that’s an actual message or just by tagging or sharing the podcast on your socials. Everything helps. Especially a review. And if you’re subscribed by an apple podcast or Spotify, then even better. If you really want to support, you can grab one of our very cool t-shirts designed by illustrator and underwater photographer, Joe hatano from the web It’s such a cool graphic. I am wearing one right now. 
 All right. Sorry. Enough mumbling from me. Let’s jump in and hear all about Jenny. Jenny, welcome to the underwater podcast. 
 [00:01:45] Jenny Baumert: Thanks for having me. 
 [00:01:46] Brett Stanley: It’s good to have you here, man. We’ve been friends for many years now, and I think I’ve been bugging you to come on this podcast for many years now. 
 [00:01:55] Jenny Baumert: Mm hmm. 
 [00:01:56] Brett Stanley: So it’s good to finally corner you and get you on. 
 [00:01:59] Jenny Baumert: Yes, I am finally doing it. This is my year. 
 [00:02:02] Brett Stanley: Yeah. so let’s talk about you. So you’re, you kind of do a lot of things. You are a camera operator, you’re a DP, you’re an AC, you’re a water tech, you’re a photographer. How did, how did all the water stuff start for you? Where did that kind of begin? 
 [00:02:17] Jenny Baumert: So it began when I started attending Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara and I think a week into school I found out that they had an underwater class specifically for photography, not any motion or anything like that. And I was instantly obsessed. I had to take the class. You had to be at a certain year and a certain level to be allowed to take it, but you could audit it. 
 So I did that for two years before I was actually allowed to take the class, which, you know, gave me all the tools and tips to go out and try it myself. So, yeah, I just, if, if it, if I hadn’t gone to Brooks Institute, I would have never. gotten into underwater photography. I didn’t even know it existed. 
 You know? I had admired underwater images, but like, never thought about how they got that image. 
 [00:03:09] Brett Stanley: That’s crazy. So how’d you. had a love of water before that or did it all just kind of start at the same time? 
 [00:03:16] Jenny Baumert: I’ve definitely always been a water child, for 
 [00:03:19] Brett Stanley: Yeah, 
 [00:03:20] Jenny Baumert: Just always in the water at some pool or a lake. I grew up in Kentucky, so Myrtle Beach was like our closest ocean. It was mostly lakes and pools, and I’m a Pisces, so naturally, just, you know, water sign. 
 [00:03:34] Brett Stanley: yeah That’s amazing. Were you always in the water? We’re like what did you do in the water when you’re a kid? Did you just swim around or did you kind of like, you know, make up games and play karate and stuff? That’s 
 [00:03:45] Jenny Baumert: All of the above. We had tea parties underwater. 
 [00:03:49] Brett Stanley: Nice. 
 [00:03:49] Jenny Baumert: Just me and my brother, we lived at the city pool in our tiny town. There was like, absolutely nothing to do, so that is what we did. 
 [00:03:57] Brett Stanley: Right. So then when you were at Brooks and you saw this underwater classes, it must have blown your mind, right? 
 [00:04:04] Jenny Baumert: Insane. And the teacher, Ralph Clevenger, one of the just most amazing people. First of all, he’s just so kind and so willing to share his knowledge, which is endless. He’s shot for National Geographic, like, I wish I knew his whole list of everything he’s done, but he’s done a lot and he, I owe everything to him, I feel like. 
 He’s really, he just stuck his neck out for all of us and um, We used to go on these really cool This was like the coolest part of the class is towards the end of the class, I believe. End of the semester, you would go on a six day five night boat trip where we went on this boat called the conception. 
 And we went out to Catalina Island and we would stay there for six days. We would literally spend our entire day going on dives or free diving and just shooting. Everyone could come up with, An idea and we would all help each other execute it. We would make costumes out of kelp and like sew them Yeah, it was amazing. 
 I did my very first shoot ever was Adam and Eve and Adam’s giving Eve the apple and I took like a strapless bra and some underwear and I like tied kelp and sewed kelp to it and actually looked pretty good and used two of the boat crew. They were just gorgeous people and they totally looked the part and they were down. 
 So we went out there and fought this insane current and it was just, it was really wild, but we got, we ended up getting the one shot and it was, it was really fun. That was like, after that, I was hooked completely. 
 [00:05:42] Brett Stanley: at that point, were you a diver as well? 
 [00:05:44] Jenny Baumert: I. I think I had just, yeah, so when I knew I was finally accepted into the class and allowed to take the class, I quickly hired like a, just a guy that did it personally, like he taught on his own time, and had his own boat, so he was able to like, I feel like I completed the class in like four or five days. 
 We just, every day, all day, we were just like diving and practicing and taking the written tests and all that. So yeah, right before, probably two days before the trip is when I got certified. 
 [00:06:18] Brett Stanley: Wow. So that’s, that’s just in time and then you’re out on a boat for six days. 
 [00:06:23] Jenny Baumert: Yeah. That’s kind of my style. Like very last minute, Larry, know, 
 [00:06:29] Brett Stanley: Yeah. 
 [00:06:29] Jenny Baumert: but it’ll happen. 
 [00:06:30] Brett Stanley: So that trip out there must have been kind of like a, like a playground, I guess, where you guys got to kind of you know, create and, and kind of, and, and do the ideas that you had. Doing, whilst doing the class. 
 [00:06:42] Jenny Baumert: Yeah. It was amazing. And just seeing how everyone else. came up with these ideas and executed the ideas. First of all, just being on the boat for that long was, was a wild to me, like sleeping on a boat every night, waking up, having, you know, all these meals with the crew and your classmates and getting to just go kayak and go swim. 
 Like we, it was a playground. We could do whatever we wanted within those days. You didn’t even have to create if you didn’t want it, want to. Um, And then every night. After dinner, we’d all meet up and we’d have our computers out and we’d be editing together and kind of like showing our work and getting advice on how we could have done it better or differently. 
 It was really amazing. And I, I had the class with some of the most amazing underwater photographers, in my opinion too. So that was really, I was lucky getting to be able to work with them. 
 [00:07:35] Brett Stanley: yeah, just to be able to get, you know, kind of learn from their skills and stuff as well. 
 [00:07:39] Jenny Baumert: Yeah. Like who you know, like Kiara was in one of my classes I’m gonna butcher her last name. I think it’s Salamani. I’m sorry, Kiara, and Angelina Venturella and John Kelsey. These people are like all very successful underwater photographers at the moment. Yeah, I look up 
 [00:07:58] Brett Stanley: Yeah. Oh 
 [00:07:58] Jenny Baumert: them a lot. 
 [00:07:59] Brett Stanley: So it sounds like a little summer camp. 
 [00:08:01] Jenny Baumert: Basically, yeah, that’s what it felt like. 
 [00:08:03] Brett Stanley: And did you guys have to have all your own equipment as well, or did, did Brooks kind of provide a lot of that? 
 [00:08:08] Jenny Baumert: As far as the scuba equipment, you had to have your own. But Brooks did provide, I think we had two Aquatech housings, one Aquatica, and I don’t think we had any 35 millimeter with us, but everyone else had their own housings too and they would share. So you really got to try out all these different brands 
 [00:08:28] Brett Stanley: Oh, right. Yeah. 
 [00:08:29] Jenny Baumert: which was also amazing and strobes or no strobes. 
 It was like, it was really. Really hands on. 
 [00:08:36] Brett Stanley: I think that’s, that, that is kind of invaluable and pretty rare that, that, that you kind of get that experience while you’re learning because, you know, there’s not really somewhere you can go and just kind of play with everything. Like you can either rent a housing and take it out and try it, but for you to be able to have access to all these different ones for, you know, a week, that’s just sounds amazing. 
 [00:08:56] Jenny Baumert: Oh, it’s, it’s, yeah, unheard of. Even, like, most, I feel like film schools start you out just, it’s very theory based for the first few years. And with Brooks, from day one, you had a camera in your hand, or a light. You, you, it was just completely technical and fully hands on. That’s what I loved about it. 
 But yeah, I wish we had a program where every summer for, you know, a week We could get a group together and just go be at Catalina for you know, the entire time. That would be a dream. 
 [00:09:29] Brett Stanley: Yeah. It’s like a underwater summer camp. I think this needs to happen 
 [00:09:32] Jenny Baumert: I think we should, I think we just started it. I 
 [00:09:35] Brett Stanley: Yeah. 
 [00:09:36] Jenny Baumert: it’s gonna happen. I mean that would be so much fun. 
 [00:09:39] Brett Stanley: Oh, totally. Yeah. Just just like a week of creation and and helping each other and yeah trying new techniques and stuff cuz especially through the podcast, I’ve come across so many different ways of doing the same thing 
 [00:09:51] Jenny Baumert: Mm 
 [00:09:52] Brett Stanley: and having you know different results and different approaches and you know, I think you can you can live in a bubble for so long. 
 But then when you see how someone else works, you’re like, Oh my God, that seems so much easier or the results I hadn’t even thought of, you know? So it’s having that collaboration feel, I think would be amazing. 
 [00:10:09] Jenny Baumert: 100% that’s one of the reasons why I still love teching. Just being an underwater tech, it, you learn so much. Every single person you work for, you have the opportunity to watch how they, you know, trim the housing, how they use the housing, how they just use their own body to get these shots. It’s really incredible. 
 That’s where I’ve learned the most, I think. 
 [00:10:33] Brett Stanley: Yeah. So, well, let’s talk about that. So how did you go from, from Brooks to actually working on set? 
 [00:10:39] Jenny Baumert: I think… I got lucky at Brooks because I was one of the only people that wanted to learn underwater video in the photography class. So I actually took the class a second time the following year and just mainly took everything we learned and just applied it to video. And so I feel like I was just a rarity there and that kind of… 
 helped push me out. Like a lot of teachers would be like, Well, let me get you on this show. Or, I know someone who does underwater so maybe you can go shadow them. And it just kind of went from there. Yeah. And then, you know, I did a lot of years of just really simple like, projects for friends. Like nothing major. 
 And then finally started getting pulled on to tech like, features and like union shoots. 
 [00:11:34] Brett Stanley: Right. 
 [00:11:35] Jenny Baumert: Which was terrifying at first. Very intimidating. 
 [00:11:40] Brett Stanley: Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s, I think that, I mean, I’ve found a similar sort of thing and I haven’t worked anywhere near as much as you have on those sorts of sets. And yeah, going from a small budget thing where you’re kind of, kind of in control of everything, 
 [00:11:52] Jenny Baumert: Mm hmm. 
 [00:11:53] Brett Stanley: then to going on to, you know, a larger production that has, that everybody has a job and that’s the only thing they do, yeah, it’s kind of confronting. 
 [00:12:01] Jenny Baumert: Oh, yeah, and like the fact that if you make one mistake that keeps the underwater unit from Getting the shot. That’s like millions of dollars or hundred. It’s just a lot of money on the line So yeah, it’s it’s a lot of pressure. I feel like 
 [00:12:18] Brett Stanley: Yeah. So, so how do you deal with that when you, when you went into these sorts of productions and you knew you were going to work on, you know, a feature film or a union set, did you kind of do homework? Did you kind of hone your skills somehow? 
 [00:12:30] Jenny Baumert: oh Yes, I am If I’m going to do any shoot, even today, and it’s something I’ve never done, or it’s equipment I’ve never worked with, I will study it inside and out. Any tutorial, any book, like anything I can find on it, I definitely study it. Also just working with being able to tech and have like an amazing first AC that also knows a Hydroflex housing, or if you’re lucky enough to have a first, second, and a tech. 
 It’s just a lot easier to figure things out, and I think on my very first few shoots as a tech, I just, being a woman, first of all, it was so hard to get there and have the trust. I think I just, you know, sucked it up and just did it, even though I was nervous, I just pushed through and still thought as clearly as I could to like, prove that I could do it. 
 [00:13:21] Brett Stanley: So what’s, what is the actual difference between an AC and a tech? 
 [00:13:26] Jenny Baumert: So. They’re two completely different jobs, but I feel like nowadays, especially in the U S we, we tend to combine them because of budget reasons usually, but a first day C should be specifically focused on the camera, like, and pulling focus or just pulling focus. And your second can tech like worry about the camera. 
 Your underwater tech should just be focused on that housing and helping, you know, the operator. 
 [00:13:54] Brett Stanley: Right. So if you, yeah, so if you’ve got, you’ve got your, your operator in the water, you’ve got your camera housing and you’ve got your camera inside the housing, then you as the tech is, you’re, you’re in charge of, of opening the housing, getting it kind of trimmed and putting it back together, make sure it’s watertight and sort of everything about that housing is your domain. 
 [00:14:13] Jenny Baumert: And the cabling, everything, power for the housing. Yeah. 
 [00:14:17] Brett Stanley: Which do you prefer? Do you prefer teching or ACing? 
 [00:14:20] Jenny Baumert: Good question. I AC’d for so many years. I love, love pulling focus. It’s so challenging. Not as challenging underwater because you don’t have. As big of movements from my experience, so it’s not crazy pools, but I think teching just because you’re, you’re closest to the operator, you can really see how they’re holding the camera, how they’re moving with the camera, how they’re talking to the talent and directing them. 
 That’s, that’s where I feel like I get the most experience when I, like, my goal is to be an underwater cinematographer, like, so yeah. 
 [00:14:59] Brett Stanley: Yeah. So, so kind of if if you were talking about a career path to to end up being the underwater cinematographer or the camera operator, then teching is is probably the best way to get in, right? 
 [00:15:10] Jenny Baumert: I think so. Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of DPs I know that have never AC’d. They, they don’t know, sometimes, anything about the camera. They really rely on their first AC. So, yeah, I think teching, just knowing more about the housings and like, how to trim them, even as an operator, I feel like that’s important because, A lot of times you either don’t get a tech, depending, if it’s hydroflexed you have to have a tech basically, you can’t do that alone. 
 But sometimes you have to teach people how to do certain things. So if you don’t know how to trim it, and they don’t know how to trim it, or hook anything up properly, then, you know, it’s not going to be a successful shoot. 
 [00:15:49] Brett Stanley: No, exactly. And I think, I think a lot of productions will not understand how important that is on an underwater shoot and how easily things can, can go wrong and take a lot of time to, to fix if you don’t have people with the right experience. 
 [00:16:04] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, they don’t know it until it happens, I feel like, until it hits them really hard. 
 [00:16:08] Brett Stanley: Yeah. And then it’s too late. 
 [00:16:10] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, yeah. Mm 
 [00:16:11] Brett Stanley: that doesn’t know a lot about the camera. 
 [00:16:14] Jenny Baumert: Mm 
 [00:16:15] Brett Stanley: you know, why I tend to work with you a lot. And, and it is amazing having someone who knows exactly what is going on. You know, for me, just my experience and my career, I haven’t really had to, kind of deal with the cameras. It has just been, you know, I get hired as a camera operator and then it’s like, okay, I know how to move the camera. I know how to do the operation of it, but the setting up and the settings and all the kind of the tech side of it having someone like you who knows that stuff inside out is invaluable. You know, that, that saves my butt so many times. 
 [00:16:46] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, and having that trust so you can be an operator and focus on operating. You don’t have to, like, worry in the back of your head, Well, is this set up right? Oh my god, that’s my cat, I’m sorry. Gu, stop! 
 [00:16:58] Brett Stanley: that’s all. 
 [00:16:59] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, and that’s actually one of the first jobs we ever did together you were, I think you were working with Chiara. And you had me come on as like a tech, but also second shooter, which was awesome. 
 And that was like, was that like seven years ago? 
 [00:17:14] Brett Stanley: I think it was something like that, 
 [00:17:16] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, wild. Wild. We’ve come a long way, Brett. 
 [00:17:20] Brett Stanley: We have. Yeah. It’s, it’s been an interesting journey, I’ll tell you and if I, yeah, if I do think back to that job, which we did which was for, 
 [00:17:28] Jenny Baumert: I supermodel. 
 [00:17:29] Brett Stanley: iSupermodel, yeah, which was a I think it was Chinese supermodel kind of reality show. And they had hired me at the beginning as a stills photographer and then asked me if I did video and I just said yes. 
 I don’t know why I said yes. 
 [00:17:45] Jenny Baumert: As you should. No, 
 [00:17:47] Brett Stanley: well, I hadn’t really done much of it then. And And then it all just kind of blew out of proportion. I was like, suddenly we’re dealing with, they wanted like, you know, two cameras under the water and, you know, we had to have a DIT and behind the stills, behind the scenes stills photographer and all that sort of stuff. 
 And so, yeah, I kind of scrambled, reached out to Chiara and Chiara was like, I’ve got the person for you and introduced me to you and and you just kind of saved my butt. You knew exactly what we needed to do and we worked your ass off, it was incredible. 
 [00:18:16] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, I had a blast. And it, you know, started an awesome relationship. Like we’ve worked together on so many projects since then. 
 [00:18:23] Brett Stanley: yeah, yeah, totally. And I think that that goes towards that trust thing of, you know, I know when you’re on set, there’s nothing I need to worry about. You know, like you’re going to have thought of everything before I’ve even thought of it. So it’s, it’s, that just makes everything run so much smoother. 
 [00:18:39] Jenny Baumert: Thank you, that’s awesome. I might accidentally burn one of your gels when you tell me not to use that gel, but that’s about 
 [00:18:45] Brett Stanley: Oh yeah. 
 [00:18:47] Jenny Baumert: it. That’s about it. 
 [00:18:48] Brett Stanley: That’s a small price to pay, I think, it’s all good. But I think that kind of, you know, having fun on set and having people that you enjoy working with and also people who love and respect the water as much as you do, I think that makes so much of a difference. 
 [00:19:02] Jenny Baumert: Totally, because they’re gonna help you come up with ideas, like during the shoot, why don’t you try this, or I’ve done this before, this is how I did it, you know, that’s always really really helpful. 
 [00:19:12] Brett Stanley: Yeah. And so, so recently I, I checked for you, 
 [00:19:16] Jenny Baumert: Mm hmm. 
 [00:19:17] Brett Stanley: on a job. And we had Soda Pop on set as well. 
 [00:19:21] Jenny Baumert: Soda’s the best, everyone. Hire Soda. 
 [00:19:24] Brett Stanley: Yeah. And that, well, that’s what it was like. It was like, cause we were shooting and you were shooting in the ocean. You know, there was some pretty decent sets coming through that day and just knowing that, that Soda had your back literally out in the water out there and just watching you guys kind of work together. 
 And kind of, you know, you have people who know exactly what you’re trying to do without even saying it. 
 [00:19:45] Jenny Baumert: Absolutely. I feel like Working with friends is, is really amazing, and getting a lot of your friends on shoots to experience, like, underwater is fun, but having people with years of experience on you, in my opinion, is way better. Like, I always want to hire someone who is watching my back, specifically, that has, like, years of experience on me, just so. 
 I don’t know, I can take their advice, and they’ve probably been through this situation a hundred times before you, so they just know exactly how to act. Soda has worked on so much for so long, like, I just feel like, yeah, he knows what’s gonna happen before it’s gonna happen. So I, I trust him with my life, literally. 
 [00:20:31] Brett Stanley: Yeah, and I think especially, you know, we work in a dangerous environment. You know, things can go from fine to shit in a second. 
 [00:20:41] Jenny Baumert: Mm hmm. 
 [00:20:41] Brett Stanley: Yeah. And if you’ve got someone who’s green with you… You know, if you have to show them everything, you know, that takes time and it’s great to upskill people, but you know, if something goes, if you need something done in a second, having that person who’s got the experience and has been in the situations before, we’ll just, yeah, make that such a better situation. 
 [00:21:01] Jenny Baumert: Absolutely, yeah. And then just even like having you there, I just love having people who, like you said, have the same love for the water, have brilliant ideas just people that I, I really respect. I just, I love having that team on my side. Yes. Yes. Mm 
 [00:21:20] Brett Stanley: So speaking of an amazing team, you, there is a job that you got, you did with Ian Takahashi. Which was the Harry Styles music video. And I saw that music video before I knew that you guys had worked on it. I went green with envy because that is you know, a sinking room with a, with a grand piano and all this sort of stuff. 
 It’s just up my alley. But yeah, you, you got to shoot that with Ian. Can you talk about how, how that all came together? 
 [00:21:46] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, Ian brought me on to tech the the Hydro Crane. And I think that was not one of my first experiences on like a huge Union shoot. But to that scale, I feel like we had two or three cameras in the water and I’m not even quite sure who else was teching with me, but I don’t feel like it was that big of a camera team. 
 So it was just a little intimidating too, because I also like, I look up to Ian a lot. I feel like he is one of the gods of the underwater world, in my opinion, when it comes to cinematography, just everything he does is incredible. Getting to watch how they, Yeah, we’re lowering the set in with a crane and tru I think they were, there was a point where we had trouble Getting the set down and getting the water to come out of the piano at the rate They wanted it to so watching how they troubleshot that and like I think they just had to cut the inside of the piano out Or something to make the water like rush through as they lowered the crane. 
 [00:22:51] Brett Stanley: yeah. Right. 
 [00:22:52] Jenny Baumert: sure just stuff like that was amazing and then Anytime there was like a moment of just like, rest, Ian would like, pull me over and this is this light, and this is what I’m doing with this, you know, he’s just very willing to explain his process, and I, I just, I think that’s amazing. 
 [00:23:10] Brett Stanley: Yeah, totally. And, and, and I think in, in such a niche kind of industry, it, it’s, it’s lovely that someone is willing to kind of teach and share and and help other people. 
 [00:23:21] Jenny Baumert: It’s refreshing, because I mean, yeah, it’s a male dominated industry, and I feel like I’ve worked with a lot of, Salty ones, salty men, where, yeah, they just don’t want to see, I guess, maybe the next generation of people take over. I’m not quite sure. It’s because I’m a woman. I just, it’s so refreshing and comforting when you meet people that are just willing to, like, help you out. 
 [00:23:47] Brett Stanley: Yeah. 
 [00:23:48] Jenny Baumert: you know, share their wisdom. 
 [00:23:49] Brett Stanley: Yeah, I mean, Ian’s great like that and and Pete Romano as well, you know, just kind of really, you know, they’ve had an amazing, they’re having an amazing career and and they don’t feel threatened by anyone. So, you know, they’re more than happy. Yeah, 
 [00:24:03] Jenny Baumert: They’re on the top of the totem pole. 
 [00:24:05] Brett Stanley: Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, you mentioned the hydro crane or the hydro head. 
 From Hydroflex. Can you just talk about that? So that’s basically like a, an arm that the, the housing is connected to. 
 [00:24:17] Jenny Baumert: Yes. Yeah. And you can like have that rigged on a boat for like tracking shots. The Hydra head can be like rigged to boats or on a dolly. It’s great for tracking shots, especially for like Olympic swimmers. I’ve definitely learned the hard way that you do not have someone pulling you from a rope along with an Olympic swimmer to try to get the shot because it doesn’t work. 
 [00:24:41] Brett Stanley: So so talk about that, Jen. What happened there? 
 [00:24:46] Jenny Baumert: Oh, so this was one of the. One of the shoots that really made me realize you need to plan ahead for underwater shoots like when you have a crazy tracking shot. I think it was one of the first times I ever shot an Olympic swimmer and it was for a Kroger commercial. And I just didn’t really, I thought it would be a lot easier. 
 It was like, I don’t remember what year this was, so I was still pretty green. But we ended up needing a tracking shot and I could not swim as fast as this, this Olympic swimmer, even with fins and everything on. So they tied a rope to me and had four grips pulling me as fast as they could, which the speed worked out, but you’ve got all the, your fins flapping in the way and all the bubbles coming from just your force into the shot. 
 It was just, yeah, none of that shoot worked out. None of it. I think also I hadn’t figured out buoyancy yet, like proper buoyancy. So, you know, no steady shots. I couldn’t get to the level they needed. It was, it was probably the only shot I’ve, or shoot I’ve really like, totally failed. And, 
 [00:25:59] Brett Stanley: Right. 
 [00:26:00] Jenny Baumert: like that was a fail. 
 [00:26:01] Brett Stanley: Right. 
 Well, so this is a good question too, and what I like to do with people is kind of ask them, you know, what was your, what was your best moment on set and what was your worst moment on set? 
 [00:26:11] Jenny Baumert: that might have, and is this just the underwater world? Cause if we get into land, that’s just a whole other ballpark of, of disappointments. 
 [00:26:20] Brett Stanley: Let’s stay with the underwater. Yeah. Yeah. 
 [00:26:23] Jenny Baumert: That shoot for Kroger was probably my worst one because it was just really, humbling. It just made me realize I need a team. I was also by myself that day. So I need a team, I need to just plan, and, yeah. 
 Anyways, my best shoot? My be Okay, my best shoot was something really recent. I can talk a little bit about it because of NDAs, but I got to go to the Bahamas, I got to shoot at the Atlantis, where they’ve recreated Atlantis in their whole, like, their tanks. They had… So many species of marine life. It was incredible. 
 I’m surrounded by sharks and rays and fish and it was mind blowing. And it’s for, it’s gonna come out for a new Netflix docu series, I think this June. Best shoot in the world. Best experience. Best team. I learned so much. It was phenomenal. I want more trips like that. More shoots like that. 
 [00:27:22] Brett Stanley: Yeah. I kind of, I remember you speaking about it and it, it just sounded amazing to having just mainly just having access to that, that location as well. 
 [00:27:29] Jenny Baumert: It was insane. Yeah, I guess it does not happen often at all to like, allow people to go in there and actually just freely shoot and swim around. It was amazing. And that was a shoot where I didn’t know anybody on the crew. And when I went to Miami to fly out to the Bahamas, I had to meet, you know, my underwater tech, my first AC. 
 We had a phantom tech that day. Cause we were shooting with the phantom the whole time. So that was like, you know, learning them and hoping that they knew what they were doing and luckily, like, they were a phenomenal team. Such a great team, and they knew that Hydroflex housing, like, the back of their hand. 
 So, it was really awesome. 
 [00:28:11] Brett Stanley: So, so why was that the case? Why were you not able to bring your own tech? Was that like a budget thing or? 
 [00:28:17] Jenny Baumert: It was a budget thing, so supposedly this is the most money Netflix has ever spent on a docu series. So I think we had just drained everything, and yeah, that was it. I don’t even know if they were gonna hire like a phantom tech or anything at first, and I was like, we absolutely need that. Yeah, so I just think sometimes it’s most it’s mostly budget. 
 It’s generally the reason, you know, flying people out to Miami from LA, then from Miami to, to the Bahamas. Yeah, I’m sure it’s just, it adds up. 
 [00:28:48] Brett Stanley: And so with those people, had you been told ahead of time who they were and what their experience was, or did you just kind of have to trust that they had hired someone good? 
 [00:28:56] Jenny Baumert: I just had to trust. I was able to talk to my tech. I think a couple days before to tell him exactly what I wanted to come with the package. And he told me what I was able to get with the package because it’s whatever they had in Miami and that was it. Yeah, it was fully just going in blind and trusting them and then As soon as we all got to the hotel we had a full day to prep and then after five minutes of prepping with them I was like, oh, this is gonna be great, you 
 [00:29:23] Brett Stanley: Okay. 
 [00:29:24] Jenny Baumert: Complete relief washed over me as I watched them correctly prep the housing. 
 It was amazing. 
 [00:29:29] Brett Stanley: Yeah. Because when you’re standing back and you’re just watching, you’re like, okay, that’s good. Yeah. 
 [00:29:36] Jenny Baumert: sometimes you’re like, oh that doesn’t go there no no no no 
 [00:29:39] Brett Stanley: Was that your first time shooting the phantom underwater? 
 [00:29:42] Jenny Baumert: That was actually yeah 
 [00:29:43] Brett Stanley: Yeah. How was that? 
 [00:29:45] Jenny Baumert: That was It was good. We, the lens was too heavy. The lens was too long in my opinion. I just, I didn’t choose the right one. I didn’t suggest the right one. I wish I could remember what, what we even used, but um, the Phantom was amazing. We shot from 800 frames per second to a thousand frames per second. 
 [00:30:04] Brett Stanley: Yeah. 
 [00:30:04] Jenny Baumert: The only downside is that, so you’ll, You don’t record the whole clip if this makes sense. Like, you have to choose a section from the clip because the file is so large. So every single take, you know, you hear the director and the DP up there like, Oh, they’re like, they’re so excited. They’re like, we’re melting up here. 
 And all you want to do is see it and hear about it. But you have to wait like. six minutes for them to scrub through the clip, pick the exact points they want, export that, like save that clip and then reset for the shot. So it was like a lot of waiting that I was not 
 [00:30:41] Brett Stanley: wow. 
 [00:30:42] Jenny Baumert: Yeah. I was like, Oh wow, this is like crazy. 
 And you know, you start seeing the mermaids. Shake cuz they’re freezing and you’re like, we’re gonna lose ’em soon. . This has taken too long. But yeah, it’s the, the results, it looks like they’re suspended in time. Like I’ve only gotten to watch the rough cut of this sequence like once or twice and both times literally just tears cuz I, I could not believe I shot it. 
 It was just that moment where you’re like, there’s no way, like super, super proud moment. 
 [00:31:16] Brett Stanley: And I guess for you as well, like, you don’t get any of the phantom effect while you’re shooting it, or even on, because you wouldn’t get playback either, right? 
 [00:31:23] Jenny Baumert: exactly. I think once I got playback, but you couldn’t tell it was playing back because it was so slow. So yeah, yeah, I think after they scrubbed, I was able to see it. But yeah, it took too long. So 
 [00:31:36] Brett Stanley: Yeah. So, in, in, when you’re shooting that fast, you really have to know what your start and end point is, I guess, 
 [00:31:44] Jenny Baumert: oh, yeah. 
 [00:31:45] Brett Stanley: you doing much tracking or 
 [00:31:46] Jenny Baumert: Oh, yeah, it was all push ins and pull outs every single time. Yeah. Yeah. Shot and take that every setup we did so super fun challenge because you know I’d start off Just kind of suspended super still and then I’d have to kick myself off Not of a wall just of the water and still stay really steady and then stop really hard and then pull back Ever so slightly so there were a lot of those shots and It was just, I love those challenges. 
 I think it’s just so much fun. Movement underwater is like all I want to do. I don’t like being a human tripod. It’s just not as fun, 
 [00:32:24] Brett Stanley: No. Yeah. I mean, I kind of, yeah, when I think when I first started, it was like, I’m just happy to be here. But now you’ve, you know, after doing it for a while, it’s like, I want to do like more, you know, like, cause you’re, you’re basically a steadicam under there, you know, you are every you know, you’re a dolly, you’re, you’re a crane, you’re all the stuff and you want to get as creative as you can with it. 
 [00:32:42] Jenny Baumert: It’s so, so fun. I love it so much. And, and on those shoots with the Phantom, you have to have an insane focus puller. And Jill Maloof from I think she’s based in New York or Miami. She’s phenomenal. She, like, killed every shot. Never missed a beat. It was crazy. Mm hmm. Mm 
 [00:33:00] Brett Stanley: Cause that’s the other thing too. Right. Cause yeah. Cause depending on. Cause everything’s going to be, I don’t know how long your movement was, like, you know, like five seconds or something, which then turns into a minute and a half of footage. Yeah. Any, any micro adjustments of focus are going to be really apparent. 
 [00:33:17] Jenny Baumert: Oh, yeah. And take forever to get back into focus. And you’re just like… I don’t know for me that makes me like it makes my insides hurt 
 [00:33:26] Brett Stanley: Yeah, 
 [00:33:27] Jenny Baumert: see, you know, it’s buzzing and it just won’t go back into focus and you’re like, oh, but the frame’s so perfect Yeah 
 [00:33:34] Brett Stanley: And you do this thing with, I do this thing when I’m looking at footage, usually when I’ve shot it and I’m, I’m actually physically moving my 
 [00:33:39] Jenny Baumert: Pulling yes I do the same thing. I actually did that a lot when I was pulling focus. I pulled focus for a good friend of mine alex for many many years and I Like, when I see BTS video of me pulling, I’m like moving with the camera the whole time, hoping that my focus is going with my body, 
 [00:34:01] Brett Stanley: Oh, yeah. Right. 
 [00:34:02] Jenny Baumert: it’s really funny, yeah, what you do, just to like, you’re trying to make it happen with your mind, you know? 
 [00:34:07] Brett Stanley: Hold. Yeah. Totally. Yeah. It’s like, yeah, you can try and move the whole world around the frame somehow. It’s amazing. 
 So there was one project I wanted to ask you about as well, which was the Amazon commercial that you did. I forget the guy’s name, Zach. 
 [00:34:22] Jenny Baumert: Zach King. Yeah, it was for their new Alexa product. 
 [00:34:26] Brett Stanley: So talk about that because Zach King, he’s been like the king of mind bending little skits for so long where he, you know, he’ll pull things out of a television and all that sort of stuff. What was this one? What was the underwater theme of this? 
 [00:34:39] Jenny Baumert: So, Zach and his team came to, I can’t remember where they found me, I think it was through Facebook, but um, came to me with this idea where they really wanted a guy to be dressing for a vacation, and as he packs, the room slowly fills up with water. He’s in a tropical paradise, and all of the fish posters on his wall come off in real life, and then the Alexa ball turns into a scuba diver, like, waving at him. 
 And then Zach slowly swims away. And so, it was really, really fun. Just trying to figure out how we were going to make that happen because he likes to do things as Practical as he can to a point and then everything else is like special effects And it’s wild because he has a whole team of guys just sitting there on computers like it. 
 It’s really cool He’s got his team like Dialed in I’m pretty sure he’s been like really popular since the vine days 
 [00:35:39] Brett Stanley: Yeah. That’s when, that’s when I knew him. 
 [00:35:41] Jenny Baumert: Okay. yeah, super exciting. I knew for this that we were going to have to build a set, put it on a crane and sink it multiple times and be able to reset quickly. 
 So that meant thinking about exactly what we’re going to use as far as props and things that might need to dry quicker or get multiples of like the sheets and everything. I knew I would need like, Okay. a massive team of people with Just loads of experience So I just brought on a lot of people I knew That have been in the industry for a while and had worked on a bunch of stuff like we had soda again I had andy schuber as the gaffer. 
 He’s like an insane diver underwater gaffer land gaffer like anything lighting he’s just like A textbook. And then we had a great marine coordinator and a great safety team. It was Rob Trussell’s team. We eventually, like, did everything we needed to do on the pre light day, the set up day. And then when it came to the shoot day, we tested the set, trying to sync it, and it would not sync. 
 It would always, like, either go to the right, or one corner would go down, and it would just, like, 
 [00:36:58] Brett Stanley: Oh, 
 [00:36:58] Jenny Baumert: Take the whole thing and wobble it around. Then we like I think we ended up tying ropes to different parts and having people pull it to level it out And then we ended up having guys Pulling it down straight and then I think towards the very end of all these tries the production designer just started drilling holes in the bottom of the set to get it to like evenly sink and fill up and Soda even, like, I started dry, and then I was dunked into the water with Zach, so we could get the water level at the same time, so they could, like, put C do CGI to it later. 
 So Soda had to build a rig where I was kind of like, I don’t know, we just had speed rail around me, and I was locked in so I could steady the camera, but then be able to swim off when I’m under the water and do like a parallax around Zach and then end up pushing into him as he’s swimming above me. 
 So, it was all a wild process, like it literally took a village to make that whole shot happen, and it was just one shot. And then, at the end, we did do one green screen shot to make the Alexa ball turn into our scuba diver, and he had like the old school helmet on. It was really, really fun, but one of the most challenging underwater shoots as a DP I’ve ever done, but I’ve learned the most on that one, 
 [00:38:23] Brett Stanley: And so that was one of those ones where it, it wasn’t like there was a lot of setups and a lot of takes. It was really just one kind of shot that you needed, 
 [00:38:32] Jenny Baumert: Exactly. 
 [00:38:32] Brett Stanley: days and days of prep and, and most of your time is spent trying to work out how to make the whole thing actually work. 
 [00:38:39] Jenny Baumert: Yeah. Yeah. But Zach was, he’s so pro. I mean, he does this stuff all the time, but he was just like, he had a great breath hold. He like, nailed the shot every time. Even like being underwater and not really being able to see well. It was, it was really fun. 
 [00:38:54] Brett Stanley: Yeah, no, I ended up seeing the the end result and I saw some behind the scenes too. And yeah, you’re basically just hanging on to the side of this set that’s being dropped into the water And there was so many safety as well like so many grips in the water so many safety in the water It was yeah, it seemed very busy 
 [00:39:09] Jenny Baumert: And we needed it. And at the end of the day, like, it may have seemed like overkill at first, but seeing how many people it took to get that. Set to sync, like we definitely needed all the hands. 
 [00:39:22] Brett Stanley: And I think that’s, yeah, I don’t know, like you’d think that you, you, dropping a set is quite a common thing 
 [00:39:28] Jenny Baumert: Mm 
 [00:39:28] Brett Stanley: in, in this industry. You’d think that’d be pretty, they’d know how to do it well now, but it’s like every time it’s different. You know, the weight is different on the, on the truss and all that sort of stuff. 
 The resistance is different. 
 [00:39:40] Jenny Baumert: I guess different production designers and like, some people just don’t listen to you when you give them advice on how to do it, you know what I mean? Like they’ll use different materials or build the whole thing out of wood and of course that’s going to be more difficult to sync. 
 [00:39:54] Brett Stanley: Yeah. So how much input do you have in the pre production 
 [00:39:58] Jenny Baumert: In the pre pro, like, a good amount, like, they came to me for my expertise because they had never done an underwater one before. That was like fully underwater. So a lot, but I also, you know, I don’t have a crazy amount of experience with, with sets, especially sinking a set on a crane, like very little. 
 So I also didn’t want to suggest things that I wasn’t 100% on. So. Myself, Soda, and Andy, because they have experience, just worked with a production designer just on phone calls and stuff about like certain materials they should use and everything. So the whole team, like just because of their experience alone, like that was, that made such a difference for everyone. 
 Every like what am I trying to say? Every department. 
 [00:40:42] Brett Stanley: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s that’s when it all really works together is everyone’s kind of working towards that same goal. 
 [00:40:49] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, and then when you finally get it, it’s like, ah, it’s like so fun. 
 [00:40:53] Brett Stanley: Yeah. 
 [00:40:54] Jenny Baumert: Finally all the stress goes away. 
 [00:40:57] Brett Stanley: That’s right. It’s how many times did you actually do the dunking of the set? Was there just one take or did you do many takes? 
 [00:41:03] Jenny Baumert: Oh, we dunked that set a lot. Cause we, like, it was mostly dunking it, trying to get it to sink. So I don’t ever think we did a full dunk more than like, maybe four or five times. Maybe more. I wish I had a better memory. 
 [00:41:19] Brett Stanley: Yeah. And then in terms of working with the, the end CGI stuff, was there much that you needed to kind of match? Did you have to keep, keep things, keep the camera moving the same direction all the time 
 [00:41:30] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, which is super difficult underwater. On land, you would have marks that you would hit exactly like the same focal length, the same height, you know, the same, like for the parallax, the same end point. And I didn’t have any of that underwater. I just had to go based on like, okay, I know on the right edge of my frame, that’s where that cabinet ends. 
 And then the bed frame ends on my right, you know, so I just kind of did it like that. But going down. Was the hardest way, was the hardest part, like, keeping the camera completely still as it’s going underwater. Which you know, it’s gonna hit, like, the dome port, like, the shield and all that, like, it’s gonna move. 
 No matter what, cause we couldn’t lock it in because I had to immediately just, like, seamlessly swim once I was under. So that was the most challenging thing. So I’m sure they had to do some like extra work there, but yeah nailing those those points was really difficult 
 [00:42:27] Brett Stanley: No, I mean the end result looks so good. It’s it’s, it’s hard to tell where the, the CG and the real kind of connected. 
 [00:42:34] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, I think so too just a little bit in the surf on the surface that’s that’s where I can really tell Like it looks real at some points, and it looks really like AI 
 in others Yeah. 
 [00:42:48] Brett Stanley: Yeah. 
 So I, I know you started at Brooks with photography and then got into video. You’re still shooting photography as well? Like you’re still doing that these days? 
 [00:43:00] Jenny Baumert: I do I think it’s so much fun. I kind of like I want to do it professionally But I don’t feel like I’m where the professionals are. Like, if I compare my work to you, Mallory Morrison, Jamie Johnson, which are like, are my favorites. I just feel like, I don’t know, I’ve got a lot of room to grow. But I also do feel like my images aren’t like everyone else’s in a way. 
 Where I don’t use, you know, lighting and, I don’t know. They’re, they’re more trippy, I guess. More psychedelic. 
 [00:43:33] Brett Stanley: Well, I think that’s something that, that I know you for is that very organic, very lo fi, almost, almost kind of vintage kind of look to your work where it is very um, you know, it has grain and it has anomalies and, and I think you’re basically trying to put anomalies into the images to kind of make them as trippy as possible. 
 Where did, where did that kind of come from for you? Like, where did that style evolve? 
 [00:43:59] Jenny Baumert: I have a really funny story about how I think I got my style because it’s, it switched. I just don’t know if it’s an appropriate story. 
 [00:44:09] Brett Stanley: Let’s try it. 
 [00:44:10] Jenny Baumert: okay. So you know, I had been shooting underwater for a few years and I feel like if you look back at a lot of my images, they were fairly desaturated. Still, still sort of psychedelic, but very desaturated. 
 And so, here’s the story everyone hears. I went to Burning Man, and I was actually hired to shoot Susan Sarandon at a camp. So that was like my whole Burning Man experience. And one night we had this surrealist dinner. Where, you know, they had full, like, fully cooked pigs, but they had woven, or like, they had bacon weaved, however you say that, wings, that they had stuck into the pig. 
 So it was like a pig with bacon wings, and all these crickets riding, like, squirrels, and like, as we’re eating, these people are throwing bugs in our soup, like crickets, and they’re like, there’s a bug in your soup, and we’re like, what? And little did we know they were laced with acid. So, you know, after halfway through the dinner, we start to realize it and then they tell us and then Susan Sarandon takes us, this like, group of ten, to this room, and she’s like, Okay, so as many of you know, I was one of Timothy Leary’s lovers, and when Timothy Leary died and got cremated, he gave a little bit of him to all of his, like, mistresses, or lovers, I guess we’ll say. 
 And so she had kept this for so long, waiting for the perfect time to kind of release him from this vial. And so, you know, she’s like, let’s do this ceremony. Let’s, let’s, you know, celebrate his life and everything he’s done for us. And then we were going to do this giant march through, through the camp. 
 And so she made this mezcal drink. And the only reason I’m part of this is because I’m shooting it. But I, you know, I took one of the drinks as well and we’re all toasting. And after we drink it, we find out we had drank Timothy Leary’s ashes. And like, I personally think that’s really cool because it’s Timothy Leary. 
 The, you know, the godfather of just psychedelics. And I just feel like since then, that is when all of my work exploded. Whether that was just me, I don’t know. Just thinking that’s why but it was pretty wild everything’s been like extremely vibrant and psychedelic and super saturated in color And yeah, it’s just funny because when I tell that story to any of my friends, they’re like Jenny you drank a dead guy That’s gross 
 [00:46:44] Brett Stanley: Yeah, right. 
 [00:46:46] Jenny Baumert: Like yeah when you say it like that, yeah, but it’s Timothy Leary But yeah, I don’t know. 
 That’s where I think my super psychedelic. I don’t know just Style came from and just I don’t know. I feel like that’s kind of like my world. I just love To see the world in a more trippy light like if I could just hold up diffraction sheets to my eyes Which I do often just all the time and see the world and like diffracted rainbows. 
 That’s like That’s just how I want to see it. 
 [00:47:14] Brett Stanley: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s beautiful and, and knowing you as I do, I think that it is, it is so Jenny. But I think we all have this kind of, whether we know it or not, there’s usually some kind of moment in our life that has, you know, it’s like a turning point. It’s like a switch has been flipped where we’re like, Oh, I’m going to do it this way because it seems to make more sense. 
 [00:47:36] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, and it just makes you feel a certain way that moment You’ve you’ve you’re retouching a photo and you’re like, holy shit. This is it. This is my style like This makes me feel like Something I would create. Yeah. 
 [00:47:50] Brett Stanley: And I think that the realization a lot of the time is accepting what your style is. You know, I feel, I feel like a lot of the time, especially for me with my career, I felt like I had been trying to have someone else’s style for so long that I was like, I love what they do. I want to do it how they do it. 
 And then it wasn’t until I kind of just after a few years, look back and went, you know what? I don’t do it like them, but I do it this way. And I quite liked the way I do it. And when I’m retouching stuff or shooting stuff and I’m like, Oh yeah, that’s my thing. There it is. That’s, that’s my, my, my voice or my touch in there. 
 And I feel this kind of self acceptance, I guess. Whereas before I’d be like, Ooh, this is not turning out how I wanted it to. 
 [00:48:30] Jenny Baumert: Totally it’s a good feeling and it’s also a really great feeling when You have such a specific style people immediately know that that’s your work when they’re like scrubbing through You know or doom scrolling and they’re like, oh, that’s a brett stanley or oh, that’s a jenny bomber for sure You know, that’s that’s awesome. 
 [00:48:47] Brett Stanley: Yeah, exactly. 
 [00:48:48] Jenny Baumert: far to like Finally develop a style that is stuck with with you 
 [00:48:53] Brett Stanley: The other thing that I’ve kind of realized too, is that, you know, previously before I kind of realized I had a style. I would shoot all the time and I would shoot stuff that I didn’t really care about because I was trying to, to find that thing. And now I’d shoot, I only shoot what I want to shoot. You know, people would be like, why don’t you shoot this thing? 
 And I’m like, nah, that’s not my, that’s not what I do. You know, I, I’ve, I’ve kind of found my little home, my little niche and and I feel comfortable there. 
 [00:49:20] Jenny Baumert: it’s a good place to be. I mean, I feel like, yeah, your whole, you’re just building sets and creating worlds. That’s totally your style. And you have a very, in my opinion, a very specific lighting style as well. Like I immediately know your image when I see it 
 [00:49:34] Brett Stanley: Yeah. 
 [00:49:34] Jenny Baumert: or an image of yours. Yeah. 
 [00:49:36] Brett Stanley: And same with yours, you know, like as soon as I see your stuff you know, there, there are kind of hallmarks, I guess, or, you know, kind of tells of, of, of a Jenny Beaumont and and it is that kind of, yeah, like you say, it’s like a saturated color. There’s, there’s usually some sort of refraction rainbow going on in there somewhere. 
 [00:49:56] Jenny Baumert: lot of, I use a lot of filters. I like to use a lot of like actual diffraction sheets. Like. If you go into any, like, high school scientific magazine where the teacher needs to order a bunch of stuff, you can find some really cool stuff to shoot with in those magazines. And they have just, like, tubes and rolls of, like, different grades of diffraction, and they’ll all do different things to light. 
 And then, not only hitting light, but when it hits on every part of the surface, you know, our world is constantly shifting and changing underwater. Which is why it’s so amazing. So your constant, every single moment is a, is completely different from the first. Like, every second is completely different. 
 It’s pretty amazing. 
 [00:50:41] Brett Stanley: So how do you approach that if you’re going into a still or a video shoot and you want to use these diffraction sheets and all that sort of stuff? Are you literally just holding it in front of the dome of the camera or are you attaching things to the lens itself? 
 [00:50:52] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, I’m attaching things to the lens which doesn’t always work out in your favor. A lot of times, you’ll forget. That if you zoom it’s gonna like push the filter off and then it’s just gonna be in your dome Then you have to go all the way back to shore and you have to take it out So it can be a pain usually if I’m doing a shoot and they really really want to use some like filters that’s the last thing we do we get all of the important stuff out of the way and then Then go with the filters. 
 But I generally just tape it on. Or, I have covered the dome port on the inside with the sheets before, and that’s worked out. But yeah, with stuff like that, you can’t take it away. You can add it in, which, you know, we don’t want to do. We want to capture it in camera. But, sometimes it’s just too much and you might, you know, ruin the shot completely. 
 [00:51:43] Brett Stanley: Do you ever do anything outside the dome in terms of refraction? 
 [00:51:47] Jenny Baumert: I’ve tried a prism outside the dome once, a really large one, but it only works on like a long lens. And we, we use so, so many wide lenses underwater. It’s kind of, it’s, it’s more challenging actually. 
 [00:52:00] Brett Stanley: Yeah, the only time I, I’ve ever used a a crystal or a prism was on a hundred mil lens. 
 [00:52:07] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, that’s 
 [00:52:07] Brett Stanley: And I was, and it was the hydroflex housing and I’m holding the housing 
 [00:52:11] Jenny Baumert: Oh, 
 [00:52:11] Brett Stanley: holding the, the, the, the, the the crystal in front of the lens. And it was basically like a sniper type thing that we had talent was kind of moving in the water. 
 Yeah. And I’m trying to find her and hold this crystal and at the same time my AC is losing his mind because he’s trying to pull focus through the crap that is coming off this crystal. But when it, when it, when it hit, like when he managed to hit that tack sharp focus, it looked incredible, 
 [00:52:39] Jenny Baumert: Oh, yeah. 
 [00:52:40] Brett Stanley: but it was so, so difficult. 
 [00:52:42] Jenny Baumert: It is, yeah, especially, I can’t believe you were holding that housing with one hand and the prism with the 
 [00:52:48] Brett Stanley: Yeah. 
 [00:52:49] Jenny Baumert: That’s so crazy. 
 [00:52:51] Brett Stanley: No, and I mean, you know me, I kind of do things, you know, I’ll just, you know, kind of go with it and see what happens. But yeah, it was kind of like, I don’t think this is going to work guys. And then then I saw the footage and I was like, Oh wow. Okay. Yeah. Nice. And and kudos to Mike, my AC on that. 
 Cause he managed to pull focus like, yeah, basically through a sniper. 
 [00:53:10] Jenny Baumert: That’s awesome. 
 [00:53:11] Brett Stanley: Yeah, it was incredible. In terms of Like inspiration and all that sort of stuff. Cause I know you do a lot of you do a lot of music videos, you do a lot of kind of documentary projects, all that sort of stuff. Where do you kind of get your inspiration from in terms of what sort of shots to get and how to get these shots and, you know, lighting styles and stuff? 
 What, what kind of influences you? 
 [00:53:32] Jenny Baumert: Honestly I get most of my ideas when I’m outside, like, jogging, hiking, riding my bike. I will just get. Ridiculous ideas that I have no idea how I would accomplish them and then I can just like do testing or I don’t know just keep trying to Draw lighting diagrams to see if anything makes sense. I go back and like just Kind of youtube any underwater work that’s ever been done and like try to see if there’s behind the scenes of that How did they get this shot? 
 More times than not, they use way less lights than you’d think, you know? Just some complicated shots that you see. It’s like, oh, we just have one light outside of the water. It’s like, what? Yeah, so inspiration. I don’t know. I think it just, Just from other people, from other people that I admire that do underwater work. 
 [00:54:21] Brett Stanley: You do, you also do a lot of like, you do a lot of music videos. Where are people finding you to do these? Are they just kind of seeing your other work and then wanting you to kind of come in and kind of have the same approach and the same kind of treatment? 
 [00:54:35] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, either word of mouth or Nowadays, now that I’ve been doing it for a while, but mostly Instagram, surprisingly, probably like 80% of my work comes from social media, just someone seeing my work on there. And then recently I’ve been doing a lot of short films and with those short films come a lot of screenings and then once people see you at the screening and you’re speaking, afterwards you get approached a lot to do their projects, so that’s been a big help as well. 
 [00:55:06] Brett Stanley: you just won a pretty decent award as well, right? For cinematography. 
 [00:55:10] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, the second one for Unborn for cinematography at the, it’s, I think it was for Short Form at Cannes, the Short Form Film Festival, the film part, I’m trying to remember exactly what it was called. 
 [00:55:23] Brett Stanley: So talk about that project because Unborn was visually it was, it was beautiful. It was such a a striking a lighting style and kind of striking visuals. Just talk about that project for me. 
 [00:55:34] Jenny Baumert: That project was Speer and her journey of motherhood, trying to become a mother. She has such a Such a strong vision, and for some reason we just, we read each other’s souls when we work together, even though we, we do not, we did not know each other before this project. I think she said she had been a fan of mine on Instagram for a couple years, and then finally had this project to, to be able to do with me. 
 Yeah, just hearing her story kind of actually inspired the ocean parts of that shoot. So it was half in a pool, shot at your studio, and then the other half was shot at Catalina. Which was extremely difficult, you know, super cold, crazy current. She’s just fighting all the elements, but just her pain and journey really… 
 Just helped me tell the story. I don’t know, just feeling how she felt 
 [00:56:34] Brett Stanley: Yeah. 
 [00:56:35] Jenny Baumert: like helped guide my movements, I guess, and direction for her. 
 [00:56:39] Brett Stanley: How much input do you have in projects like this in terms of what the visuals end up looking like? Are you, are people coming to you with sort of fully fleshed, like storyboards and like even maybe previs? Or are they sort of coming to you and it’s a collaboration of, I have this idea, how would we sort of make it look? 
 [00:56:57] Jenny Baumert: It’s almost always collaboration. I, I love the… The few projects that I get where a director has like a full vision lined up and like all these references. That’s really nice. When you just want to like really give them exactly what they want, but collaborations are also like, it’s the best, best opportunity for you to keep developing your style to get to try to do things you’ve been wanting to do and didn’t have the budget for. 
 But yeah, with Sasha specifically, she fully, fully trusts me, and just, especially in the underwater realm, yeah, she just lets me go. She’s like, I know whatever you set up is gonna work for this. So, yeah, just full trust. It’s, and I love that. It makes you feel good, and it gives you the confidence to just go in with your team, set it up, and like, yeah, get it all, get it all shot the way they see it in their head. 
 [00:57:49] Brett Stanley: Yeah, do you have you have you worked with people say directors that that have done multiple projects underwater and and if if so, have you Kind of worked with them in terms of trying to change the trying to change the visuals every time and try to push the boundaries a bit 
 [00:58:06] Jenny Baumert: That’s a great question. I don’t know if I have worked with a director that has done a bunch of underwater. I hope I’m not forgetting somebody. 
 Yeah, I really, I think most people that I work with are like, This is the first time I’ve done underwater. Yeah. Mm hmm. 
 [00:58:22] Brett Stanley: because what I find with And one thing I love about it is, you know, is maybe it’s their first time shooting underwater and you kind of get a picture up and you show them what’s, what’s about to happen. And they’re like, Oh my God, this is amazing. That, you know, they’re so easily pleased. I feel, you know, in terms of, you know, it looks amazing. 
 Whereas for us, we probably kind of seen everything. And for me, I kind of had this little frustration of, yeah, I mean, it looks good, but it’s, it’s It’s been done so many times, I would love to, can we try and do something that hasn’t been done before? You know, but I feel like people are so new to it and they’re like, they just love everything. 
 [00:59:00] Jenny Baumert: That’s, that’s super true. Yeah. And like, I feel the same way. There’s so many times where I’m like, but if we did this, it would be the most cinematic moment. It’s just also executing the thing that we want to do becomes really hard because we usually don’t have the crew for it or, you know, the equipment. 
 Like, so many times I’ve wanted to build a rig, and I’m gonna do it eventually, where I can sit with the camera And be put in and out of the water, turned every way, almost like those training things for astronauts where you’re in the circle and you can go 360 degrees every way, way up and down. I want something like that, that kind of rig. 
 Somehow I will figure this out with a key grip, but um, yeah. I, I 
 [00:59:46] Brett Stanley: of want to be uh, you’re going to want to be attached to the the hydra head. 
 [00:59:49] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, but like, have way more movement. Like, you know, just, yeah. 
 [00:59:54] Brett Stanley: I think there’s those sorts of things too, and, and because we spend a lot of time just sitting at the bottom of a pool waiting for stuff to happen, I think we, we do spend a lot of time kind of fantasizing and, and looking around and going, Oh, what if I try this? 
 [01:00:07] Jenny Baumert: Absolutely. The whole time. 
 [01:00:10] Brett Stanley: Do you have like a little, like mental notebook of, of ideas you want to try? 
 [01:00:14] Jenny Baumert: I do, but then I don’t remember them. 
 [01:00:16] Brett Stanley: Yeah. the 
 [01:00:18] Jenny Baumert: And then they’ll, yeah, and then they’ll come back up when I’m underwater and I’m like, Oh, yeah, but I mean, I do draw, I have notes literally everywhere. So it’s, it’s hard to keep them together in my phone, in different notebooks. Like I have so many ideas for films I want to shoot underwater for different photo series. 
 And I, I really want to make this year the year that I, like, start focusing on more personal projects. That way I can, like, show people what is possible underwater. Like, you can move like this, or make a pool look like this, you know. 
 [01:00:51] Brett Stanley: Oh no, exactly. Yeah, I think it I think what’s needed out there is definitely some proof of concept, 
 [01:00:57] Jenny Baumert: Mm hmm. Yeah. 
 [01:01:00] Brett Stanley: see how I can weave that into a story or, you know, put that into a commercial or whatever. Yeah. Jenny, thank you so much. This has been really amazing. I’ve known you for many years, but even being able to get to ask these questions I’ve learned so much more. So thanks for sharing. 
 [01:01:16] Jenny Baumert: Yeah, thanks for having me. This was fun.

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