Inside the sunken submarine, you will find Mike Cameron (the brother of the director) as a dead crewman. In order to reach this shot, he had to hold his breath while under 15 feet of water. Interestingly, the shot was made harder when he had to have a crab crawl out of his mouth. In this article, you will also learn some of the ‘firsts’ associated with this film.
The Abyss marked the first movie released under the THX Laserdisc Program. Another first for this feature film is being ahead of other productions when using an early version of Adobe Photoshop.
The film did not utilize stunt people like other movies in this genre have. For example, when Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio’s character is being dragged back to the rig, it is really her and she is holding her breath. The actors also tackled the scenes that involved ducking exploding pieces of the rig and drowning behind closed doors.
Supposedly, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio suffered a physical and emotional breakdown because she was pushed so hard while on set. At one point, Ed Harris admitted to having to pull over his car while returning home because he was actually overcome with tears.
The “Deepcore” set was never taken down after the filming of the movie. It remained in the abandoned (and drained) South Carolina nuclear power plant, where production took place for the underwater shots. Interestingly, 20th Century Fox still owns the set and has posted signs about the area to let photographers know that they cannot take video of the set or face copyright law infractions.
If you notice, there are no opening credits aside from the title of the film.
Due to a scheduling conflict, Lance Henrikson could not take on the role of Commodore DeMarco, even though he was the original choice for the character.
In an attempt to avoid the growing of microbes in the two tanks filled with water, a heavy dose of chlorination was used. As a result, the actors battled their hair turning green and in some cases , white.
The Special Edition version of this movie is 171 minutes long.
The filming of the Abyss took place at the Harbor Star Stage, San Pedro (in Los Angeles, California); 1st Street Viaduct (in Los Angeles, California); Earl Owensby Studios – 1 Motion Picture Boulevard (in Shelby, North Carolina); Gaffney, South Carolina; Imperial County, California; and Los Angeles, California. The underwater scenes took place in two tanks located at the Cherokee Nuclear Power Plant (in Gaffney, South Carolina).
Taglines used to market the movie include: ‘There’s everything you’ve ever known about adventure, and then there’s The Abyss, ”A place on earth more awesome than anywhere in space,’ and ‘Deep below the blue surface, there lies a place no one has ever dreamed of…’