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FILMING ON—AND IN—NORTHWEST WATERS WITH TMkey FILM/RESEARCH n the Northwest region—and particularly Washington—we are surrounded by bountiful bodies of water ripe for commercial and film production. Everyone knows that the glistening Puget Sound is picturesque, but the lesser-known waters are the true film-friendly gems. That’s where TMkey Film/Research, led by coordinator Dale “Doc”Thoemke, comes in. With an intimate, in-depth knowledge of these hidden waters, Thoemke can not only show you where to film, but he can provide an ADA-accessible and U.S. Coast Guard-approved boat to take you there, and even cabins for overnight or multi-day filming excursions. And with his 30-plus years of experience as a reputable contractor for the federal, state and tribal government, Thoemke and film/commercial consultant Jason Roberts, a Makah guide, have access to waters that most don’t. Working with Thoemke and crew, not only will you film in secluded, untouched spots, but you will also have the opportuntity to see what lies beneath. TMkey specializes in underwater imagery without the use of divers. A filming crew obtains high-definition, high-resolution, macro videography in low light conditions by utilizing robotic remotely




Above and right: Doc Thoemke at work. Far right: TMkey’s extender system used for flying underwater cameras.

controlled, waterborne GPS-enabled real-time underwater recording, in combination with sonar echo location and sidescan capability. Other equipment includes an extender system used for flying HD underwater cameras, GPS mapping, substrate sample taking and lightweight removal lift. In addition to their production services for outside proj-

ects, the company does film work and research of its own. A recent documentary series produced by TMkey traced efforts by the Puget Sound Partnership—a community effort of citizens, governments, tribes, scientists and businesses— to clean up, restore and protect Puget Sound. Thoemke used his patented robotical puppeteering underwater camera system to help systematically track pollution conditions and restoration efforts. TMkey is dedicated to protecting our natural resources. In fact, the company has successfully completed the requirements of a contract with the Quinault Indian Nation to locate, remove, document and dispose of derelict fishing nets in the Chehalis River. The crew used underwater cameras to locate the waste—which equaled six tons of netting! WF For more information on this one-stop production shop, or to contact Thoemke for your next project, visit

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