Biography: Denis LAGRANGE
Denis took his first underwater still photography shots while on holiday with his family in Rangiroa Atoll, French Polynesia, in 1982. He was 10 years old. He didn’t know it at the time, but this experience would have a significant impact on the future direction of his life.
The Nikonos underwater camera was Denis’ best friend in his early years. Later he borrowed a Super 8mm camera from his father and using a splash bag, took the motion camera underwater. This was the first underwater motion picture footage of Denis’ career.
Back in France, Denis’ childhood dream was always to go back to Rangiroa Atoll. But sometimes life works out differently than what you expect and Denis turned his attention to completing a Master’s degree in Finance.
After completing University, Denis had 2 years of compulsory military service as a dive instructor in the French Army based in the French West Indies. In 1997, on his way back to Europe, Denis turned his attention to Technical Diving. He was one of the first cameramen to use technical diving techniques for filming underwater. Deep diving and close circuit rebreathers became useful tools in underwater cinematography.
In 1999, Denis went back to his roots: Rangiroa Atoll. With his best friend, they learned to dive in strong drifting currents. Over the course of the next few years, they shot some incredible wildlife images in this remote part of the South Pacific.
Various international productions showed interest in Denis’ work. He soon began filming for the BBC, one of the best known institutions for wildlife TV documentaries.
Denis’ deeper passion was to work in motion pictures and big cinema projects. To help facilitate this, Denis started to develop his own underwater cinema housings and lighting systems in collaboration with a Swiss company. He also started to build specialized teams for feature films including Gaffers, Grips, 1st AC and proper safety divers.
Today, Denis works for the most demanding production companies in the world, supplying a full range of underwater services including crew and equipment.
Denis has been credited in major American productions such as “Point Break”, “Fifty Shades Freed”, and “Dark Tide” and also in various IMAX movies and TV commercials. Alongside this, Denis continues doing work for wildlife films. He was recently one of the main Directors of Photography for the new Disney Nature film called “Blue” to be released in January 2018.
Denis is a member of the AFC (French Association of Cinematographers) and has received multiple awards and share awards for best cinematography.
Denis continues to pursue his childhood dream of underwater cinematography.