Thar be Mermaids!

Hello Hitflimers!

I'm a professional mermaid. Yes.... It's a job an it's harder than you might think.. but you are welcome to explore the mermaid community to learn more &  I'll answer what I can! I'm excited to soon show you some of the photography and videos I was able to get recently in my home springs here in Florida. I'm curious what your take on creating unique looks underwater as well as in post. My love; my sailor: spydurhank, has his own bait to tackle. I'm working with Express and a mobile movie editor.. hint ehm hint developers.. creating unique niche content is key in helping me get out into the world from a marking aspect. Limitless imagination is why I'm reaching out to you. If you're not fond of mermaids or are general mervert.. this isn't for you. That's cool 


I'm reaching out to the community to pick your minds.

What funny things might a mermaid find underwater..? 

I'm mischievous so what might I steal?

Tracking.. I'm not sure how markers would stay on in the drink..  how can I improve as the model to make that simpler in post.

Green screen and water reactions. I'm curious about that too. 

If its a little weird an not for this forum I get that too! Have some fun and tell me what you think.



  • edited June 2018


  • First of all Spydurhank is a lucky so and so. . . just sayin'.  

    As to what fun items you might find at the bottom of the ocean - a Commodore 64, an iPad, a slide rule, a DVD, a laptop, the Holy Grail, Jimmy Hoffa, Jack Sparrow's compass . . . .

  • "What funny things might a mermaid find underwater..?"

    I saw your post before you edited it Courtney and what you thought about a Mermaid finding the object you mentioned would indeed be very curious to a Mermaid. I say finding a red bag with a syringe attached to a hose would certainly fit into that "very strange" item to be found to.  I could just imagine she thinking....What da hell is this for?? :-)

    I must admit I know little about fact so little I had to go do a little searching. Women of the a Mervert would then be a Pervert of The Sea??

    I'm going to watch your thread and see what the other have to say about your questions before I try and comment on your querries as I'm curious as to their thoughts.

  • edited June 2018

    Cool I love the Suggestions so far! @stargazer54 I did find a car, (not your preferred make lol) 20ft down so next shoot I'll work it in.

    @Graymotion ..yeah.. merverts exist.. lol the Shrimpleminded. It's an entrepreneurship like any other. Marketing, book keeping, leads for parties, charities. I'm just getting goin on really solidifying the brand. My neighbors love it I made the local circular once.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Weeki Wachee or a different spring?

    She's not joking, folks, those performers work hard, and it's a potentially hazardous job. It's not easy work at all! 

    Courtney are you thinking of things being shot from outside the tank by a diver in the tank or with action cams on the mermaids? Or a combination thereof? Each situation presents different technical challenges.

    Green or blue screen is probably impractical. With green plants and blue water that's going to push a lot of colors together. Fortunately Chroma Key just needs color differences. Try a bright purple. That should contrast most colors in the environment and costumes. Well, I say costumes, but, since we all know mermaids are real I guess I mean the tops required to keep the show family friendly. 

    A cloth backdrop won't work so you'd need to paint and seal some board. 1/8 or 1/4 inch Masonite should work. 

    Because of caustics in the water you'll need a canopy over any background to keep off direct sun, or the light patterns will mess up the key. 

    Markers... Any adhesive that would hold underwater risks damaging your scales on removal. Are safety pins a viable option? You just need points of contrast. How about a neon puffy paint? That might hold while being removed without damaging scales, but risks staining your mermaid skin.

    Funny things to find underwater? I'd say Frank's heart, but you already have that. If character animation is feasible, Godzilla or any Kaiju or Jaeger would be potentially fun.

    Box of matches? They can all fail to light... 

    A skeleton in concrete overshoes? No, wait, someone already said Jimmy Hoffa... 

    Spanish dubloons too obvious...

    A pair of bikini bottoms? Useless to a mermaid but there's got to be a joke there.. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Oh, you hinted at a mobile app to the devs.

    This was discussed yesterday on the Hitfilm YouTube channel live stream. In short it's not something feasible for FXHOME at this time. I think Josh hit the following points: 1) mobile devices currently lack the power to do the middling to complex effects Hitfilm does. 2) the current type of interface used in Hitfilm would be a nightmare on a small screen - it's a massive UI challenge. 3) Mobile apps are generally priced well below PC apps, or even a Hitfilm Express add-on; the development costs associated would likely require millions of sales in a short time to be viable. Additionally Josh mentioned FXHOME is a small (20-ish) person company he didn't discuss the exact number of devs, but, back out your corporate, marketing, QA, support and office crew and there are certainly fewer than 10 full-time devs across four existing product lines. Add in that mobile coding is a different environment than PC/MAC and they'd probably have to hire new dev teams: Android and iOS.

    So, for now it's off the table. Maybe in a couple of years as mobile tech advances and FXHOME grows some sort of mobile platform becomes possible? I'd guess we'd be more likely to get a dedicated photo/drawing program or even an audio suite first.

    To clarify forum Mods aren't FXHOME staff, so the above is partially remembering what Josh said yesterday and my personal speculation. :) 

  • @Triem23 Thanks. All of this is very useful for me. I understand the situation from the other side as you said it's a huge gap. I use a simple app for transition from an to. An interesting one that has Masking, Motion, Stabilize, or Layers. That produce what I need for now. Just hoping one day Hitfilm is so Big it's as simple as possible and for every level of user.

    Weeki isn't my home spring, but those are the originals. Hardcore badasses that brave 50 degree water an Gators for your viewing pleasure 3-5x a day. Inspired as I am by them, I'm a free range fish. I use a Mernation designed full Silicone tail with a monofin. It's 40 lbs on land.. an requires a lil funky chicken to get into.  I'll post a video next chance I get to give an idea of the colors and camera quality and work forward from there to do it better next round. Thanks dude!

  • edited July 2018

    Fixed this one.. still learning ya'll!

  • This is an example of what I share now. I'd like to improve the transitions an more dynamic text in the future by  Rendering from Hitfilm.


  • edited June 2018

    Do mermaids have bikini top shops or do they steal them from unsuspecting sunbathers?

    If they are clam-based clothing do mermaids have a tough time find two of them in the right size or are there clam shops?

    Do mermaids keep land-based pets (i.e. the opposite of goldfish) and, if so, what do they keep them in?

    (I'm spending too much time thinking about all this now)


  • @dafterthings Mertailors an SeaShops galore! The ocean is full of crazy things and imagination makes it limitless and mer-made!

    On the flip.. there are many artists who build tops only. Watersafe Silicone an tiger paw shells, octopus wraps, starfish, shells galore... a clam has two matching sides from living sea to size A,B or C. I have a Moon Jellyfish that lives in my pool. I use my pet to teach about conservation and wildlife like turtles. Gets youngins interested in protecting the planet.

  • edited June 2018

    Got to thinking about (post) special effects aspect of your presentation so I went a searching a bit to educate myself and ran across a pretty awesome "no VFX" effects"....thought it had some very cool stuff but I'm sure you already know of it....

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    40 lb rig? 

    Once again, don't underestimate the effort it takes to mermaid! That extra weight and water resistance=thighs of steel! 

    I apologize for the next joke, but I'm making it anyway: @Stargazer54 is right, @spydurhank is a lucky so-and-so.

    Actually Frank has spoken of you often, and always in the highest terms. We already knew he loves his mermaid. 

  • edited June 2018

    Was just an observation. If it were my company (can't hold my breath and blow bubbles at the same time) I'd hire someone to carry the rig for me. Maybe a bait and tackle guy?? :-)

    VFX aside for just a moment...I really appreciate this @courtneymermaid :

    "I use my pet to teach about conservation and wildlife like turtles. Gets youngins interested in protecting the planet."

    This is most awesome in my book. IMO us humans treat the Sea as our personal dumping grounds. Out of site out of mind. @Stargazer54 was right...Commodore 64, an iPad, a slide rule, a DVD, a laptop, the Holy Grail, Jimmy Hoffa, Jack Sparrow's compass, Railroad engines, 266,997 2012 Summer Olympics clothing pieces, enough  food packaging for take-out breakfast. lunch and dinner that would last 858 years....NASA rocket engines...if it's been shipped on a sea vessel chances are it's in (on) the ocean. If you can think of's there

    Did you know the very fist computer was found in the sea? The Antikythera Device

  • In terms of finding things, instead of small items, what about historical environments or large statues. Perhaps the statue of liberty or ruins of an ancient Greek Temple. It would be a bit more complex than adding a single item using hitfilm. Some markers on the environment would help you track the camera and add in 3D models.

  • edited June 2018

    @Triem23 Awe Shucks. Thanks

    @GreyMotion ohh that cape idea....   Your right! free diving skills are key, dolphin kick an strong breathing technique. I did however learn from @spydurhank the importance of composition, light, materials too! The realism of the tail sets it off. Children are excited to poke at my fluke because it feels like it "should" 

     I carry my tail for now.. I do hope to get performers insurance soon but it's a pricy piece of what I do and it would be hard to let someone else lug 

    I'm excited about all the interesting suggestions and the wealth of friendly information! Ocean conservation starts with conversation, the unique ideas you folks are presenting will make it fun to learn an watch to create teachable moments or pure hilarity!

  • edited June 2018

    Instagram video made with motion effect.

  • edited June 2018

    "I do hope to get performers insurance soon"

    Oh please do....this world is full of sue happy people. I carry  2 million dollar  General Liability Insurance to protect myself from lawsuits from the public resulting from accidents, injuries, insults etc. Tis cheap (2500$ a year)...Now 10 million GL ( large outfits doing dangerous work, structure erection, salvage diving, oil feilds, chopper pilots, mining, ..stuff like that) will run you 20,000k + a year. I base this of my own industry which includes commercial location like power generation plants, Google data centers, Verzion/Sprint switching pops etc, etc, etc Along with Workmens Comp (just for you though unless you have employees) should run you no more than 1500 a year....just never make a claim...unless your dead :-)

    ...and if you setup your company right (S-Corp) and pay yourself dividends instead of wages ANY money spent on business is tax-deductible. ANY EXPENSES. Receipts are your friend and paying everything thing with a company attached CC/Debt card tied to your company bank account gives you a perfect paper trail in case the dreaded IRS comes a knocking :-)

    Do indeed protect yourself from the public though.

  •  @GreyMotion I have a wonderful company lined up who many of the Mermaids use. I'm in the process of becoming NAUI certified. Life guard cert. GLI through the same company. Safety First in the all in good time I love the advice though thanks again! For now I perform primarily for charties  or with a birthday or two with close friends an family. Marketing and modeling(never did I think that's what I'd be good at) for brands an local business is where my plan starts if that makes sense?

  • edited July 2018

    "40 lb rig?" -  I get it now @Triem23 ...the tail is the rig. Apologize for being so "slow" to get that> I was thinking camera. Made a mess of that response.

  • I don't sweat the tail anymore. It's a work out! I do challenge bellhops to try.. and most are very shocked that I wasn't Today at an event for Charity an older gentleman bent down to lift my fluke and I said Ow! Just so the poor guy didn't throw a hip! LMFAO

  • New Footage coming soon.

  • Do u have breathing tanks or pipes of air? Or is it like a wale and u surface when needed. Sorry, not comparing u to one of course ;)

  • edited July 2018

    I get it! No tanks, think of "free diving" I practice often working on breathing technique and buoyancy control.

  • Bit like synchro swimming then but more under the water and less legs :)

  • Yes you've got it! .   aquatic ballet!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Helps if I actually hit the post button on comments a month ago. 

    Like the Instagram video with the water ripple effect. Simple and effective. 

    40 lb tail... Last year while traveling out of country we ended up all being overweight so I packed extra stuff in my suitcase to have one overweight bag, not three. 78 lbs (overweight would be 51, so this is significant...). Coming through Customs in Atlanta, as I slid my bag over for the guy loading the conveyer I warned him, "This bag is heavy-78 lbs." He replied, "78 pounds ain't bad," prompting my reply of, "It is when you're expecting under 50!"


    "You know, you're right! Thanks! Good looking out, man!" 

    40 lbs is more than enough for injury on a bad lift. In water with that weight under your center of gravity, no big deal, but I hope you have a backpack to distribute that evenly in transit, not all on one shoulder... I'm sure @Stargazer54 and @Aladdin4d will understand when I say a couple of decades of handheld broadcast camera work has led to me having "cameraman back." Unbalanced 15-20 lb loads on one shoulder for hours on end will eventually mess up one's spine! 

  • Thanks. Its from a phone app!..That's why I think an app is totally within the realm of possibility for Hitflimers.

    Ah yes, Airlines and mermaid tails don't get along so well either.. I use a large rolling suitcase for easier transport. I also don't let anyone pick me up in costume. I know how cute it looks but I am WAY heavier tailed up. An it's just not safe for anyone. I have a rolling wheelbarrow to get from point A-B to keep the magic for events. Thankfully the full weight of the silicone is only a pain on land. The nature of it is neutral in water whew! Beautiful wearable art, but it's still a little risky.

  • @Triem23 Dude, she's carried me on her shoulders plenty of times back when I weighed about 140. :)

  • Drumroll please... May I present.. a video compilation of swimming at Alexander Springs. I got to use Hitfilm Express today hoorah!. Check it out.

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