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John Garvin

John Garvin

John Garvin's Topic:

Topic 1:

Lights, camera, action...splash! Diving for the film industry.

A unique insight into common (and not-so-common) diving practices within the feature-film industry - from two practitioners who have worked on major Hollywood films including Avatar -The Way of Water, Mission Impossible, Sanctum, Batman, The Cove and James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge.

John Garvin

Diving Consultant, Screenwriter, Actor


John has been diving since 1990 and is recognized as one of the world's leading technical diving instructors. He specialises in teaching closed circuit rebreathers and in 2005 was invited to write the Inspiration/Evolution training manual for Technical Diving International. He is an Instructor Trainer for TDI and IANTD as well as an advanced instructor for BSAC and PADI.

After years of teaching diving in the UK, John moved to the Turks and Caicos Islands, where he set up and ran his own technical diving facility. 'O2 Technical Diving' went on to become a world-class technical diving facility and helped arrange the first ever rebreather expeditions to the world's most remote and exciting dive sites, including Galapagos, Bikini and Chuuk Lagoon.

While living in the Turks and Caicos, John founded 'The Caicos Caves Project', a team of experienced cave divers dedicated to exploring, mapping and protecting the incredible underwater cave systems beneath the islands. He is also a qualified Recompression Chamber Safety Officer, having conducted over 200 treatments while in Turks and Caicos. During the eight years John ran O2 Technical Diving, his company boasted a 100% safety record.

John Garvin

In 2003, John provided the logistics and safety diver support for Tanya Streeter's world record-breaking free dive to 160m (540ft), which was filmed as part of the documentary 'Inner Breath'. Between 2001 - 2009, John was engaged and consulted as Dive Supervisor and Safety Officer on several documentaries for the BBC and Discovery channels. In 2005, John was contracted by James Cameron's Earthship Productions to work on various dive-related film projects.

John Garvin

In 2010, John worked as dive-coordinator and underwater stunt consultant for the film 'Sanctum'. In addition to writing the screenplay, he trained the actors and stunt-divers to dive the Sentinel Closed Circuit Rebreathers and also featured as a stunt diver and actor in the film. Sanctum went on to enjoy international success and is recognized as one of Australia’s highest grossing movies.

John Garvin

Throughout 2011-12, John was Diving Officer and Project Manager (Sub Internals) for James Cameron's 'Deepsea Challenger' submersible project - which made a record-breaking dive to the deepest spot in the world's ocean - 10,900m in the Challenger Deep. John was ultimately in charge of the pilot’s safety and also co-wrote the feature-length documentary 'James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge 3D' which tells the story behind the historic dive. The film was released in 2014 and has been nominated for an AACTA award for best documentary.

John has authored several published articles for International Dive Magazines and remains a popular guest speaker at International Diving conferences. John continues to consult on various diving projects around the world.

John is currently contracted to run the diving operations for James Cameron’s Avatar sequels.

John Garvin at OZTek