Pete Romano, ASC, is a former Navy Diver and member of the Pacific Fleet Underwater Combat Camera Group.
After his Navy service, Pete was determined to find work in the motion picture industry and eventually landed a position as an Assistant Cameraman at Industrial Light & Magic, where he built his first underwater housing for the Gizmo 16 mm camera.
In 1985, while working as a Camera Operator at Boss Film in LA, he was contracted by the Cousteau Society to design and build their state-of-the art underwater camera housings. That same year, he built his first underwater housing for the Arri 35-3 film camera after recognizing the industry need for standardized equipment to simplify and enhance the underwater shooting process. Soon after, camera rental houses were representing his product and HydroFlex, Inc. was born. In 1988, HydroFlex was the first to design high-powered HMI underwater lights that were developed specifically for James Cameron and The Abyss. Since then HydroFlex has continued to design camera and lighting equipment for the evolving needs of the motion picture industry, making products available for the rental market through its worldwide network of agents. Along the way, HydroFlex and Pete have been honored with two Motion Picture Academy Technical Achievement awards and an SOC Technical Achievement award.
Outside the motion picture and television realm, Pete and HydroFlex created high-powered lighting (SeaSun) that was utilized for clean-up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico post Hurricane Katrina, and in Italy for the reclamation and dismantling of the Costa Concordia in 2012. Currently, HydroFlex is supplying NASA with their 4K HMI for astronaut training at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, and working with the Department of Defense on the development of special housings for high-speed cameras.
As an Underwater Director of Photography, Pete has amassed numerous credits, notable among them are: The Abyss, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, Free Willy 1, 2 & 3, Waterworld, Pearl Harbor, Men of Honor, Tree of Life, Inception, Edge of Tomorrow, Mission Impossible: 3, 4 & 5, Ad Astra, Gemini Man, Call of the Wild, Quiet Place 2, and more. Pete is a member of the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Additionally, he holds awards for Excellence in Cinematography (shared) from the AICP (Association of Independent Commercial Producers) and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the SOC (Society of Operating Cameramen).