Cinematographer remembers Titanic Sub crew member Hamish Harding, collaborator on 2020 documentary 'One More Orbit'

Cinematographer remembers Titanic Sub crew member Hamish Harding, collaborator on 2020 documentary ‘One More Orbit’

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When news of the discovery of the wreck of the Titan broke Thursday, cinematographer James Neihouse was especially fond of his friend Hamish Harding, the billionaire businessman and explorer who was one of five people on the submarine, who disappeared Sunday during a dive into the Titanic.

They met during the making of the 2020 documentary Another orbitwhich followed former NASA astronaut Col. Terry Virts and a team, including Harding, as they broke the “around-the-world speed record for an airplane flying over the north and south poles, while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landfall. Harding was a mission director, as well as executive producer on the document. Neihouse, who served as cinematographer, described Harding as “one of the driving forces” behind the project, having been instrumental in the logistics, including securing the Gulfstream G650 ER jet that was used to break the record.

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“We are all heartbroken about this,” Neihouse says The Hollywood Reporter. “Hamish was a wonderful guy and he will be missed. But he was doing what he loved to do and there’s some comfort in that.”

Neihouse remembered his friend as a “family man” and “definitely the explorer-adventurer,” having been to the South Pole, in space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep during a dive in 2021 in another submarine.

“He was a very skilled pilot and knew how to assess risk,” says Neihouse.

He was also interested in continuing to make documentaries, adds the cinematographer. “I think we probably would have collaborated on another film in the near future if that hadn’t happened.”

They hadn’t talked about the Titanic as a subject, but Neihouse – an accomplished underwater cinematographer who also trained astronauts to film in space – reveals that during the 1990s, he was in talks to go to the Titanic for a documentary that stalled when the production company was unable to raise the funds. At the time, Neihouse learned of the ships while researching how to film the Titanic’s depth of 12,5000 feet.

The DP says of this week’s tragedy: “I think what we really need to take away from that is you can’t be too safe at those depths. It’s ruthless.

“I don’t know enough about the construction of the submarine (Titan) – only what I’ve heard on the news – but it seems they could have had a few more precautions on board. But since it was a catastrophic failure, these tend to happen instantly. It’s too early to speculate on any of this, because they have to unearth the debris and analyze what happened.

Neihouse also believes the regulations could be stricter. “If you’re going to sell this adventure to the general public, which is pretty much what it was, I think there should be some expectations that the vehicle has been tested and certified as thoroughly as possible.”

James Cameron, deep sea explorer and director of the iconic Titanic movie, Neihouse echoed in recent interviews, saying he was struck by the similarity to the sinking of the Titanic: “Many people in the community were concerned about this submarine and even wrote letters to the company saying what they were doing was too experimental and what they were doing had to be certified,” he told ABC News. an ice field on a moonless night and many died as a result. It’s a very similar tragedy in the same place. It’s amazing and really quite surreal.”