aerial drone shot of offshore barge for installation of electrical cabling for city of Los Angeles

Construction Photo Documentation

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We had the honor to work on a fantastic job for the Los Angeles Dept of Water and Power and L3 Harris MariPro, the contractor. We provided construction photo documentation and video services including aerial drone footage and time-lapse for an offshore public works project in the Santa Monica Bay in Los Angeles.

Related article: construction video production.

It was quite a pleasure and and an eduction being able to watch (and film and photograph) the teams from the LADWP and from L3 Harris at work. They truly are masters at their job. As a team of construction videographers and photographers, it was fascinating to see their work on this complex project. It finished on schedule with no safety issues whatsoever. Quite a success!

construction site photo documentation on progress of offshore installation


The involved the installation of vaults and cabling in the Santa Monica Bay to increase the capacity of the power grid of the City of Los Angeles. It now allows for 50% of the city’s electricity to be provided by green renewable energy sources with the goal of the LADWP and the City of Los Angeles to eventually be 100%.

Related article: construction videographer.

The project was very complex and involved. It involved placing 36 concrete vault structures that weighed 25 tons each on the ocean floor in the Santa Monica bay about 2 miles offshore.

site installation documentary loading vault into Santa Monica Bay to upgrade electrical grid

The vaults were loaded into the ocean from the barge. Each vault contains 4 electrodes and the 36 vaults are connected to each other and through a massive amount of cabling that runs from their offshore location two miles out, to an onshore node in Pacific Palisades where it connects to an electrical system that originates in Oregon and to the electrical grid for the city.

Sophisticated video and diving gear enabled the underwater crew to monitor and to precisely place each vault on the ocean floor and to make sure all cable connections were in place. Wildlife monitors oversaw all the steps of the process to ensure all marine life and birds were safe.


Gate5 was hired to film and photograph all the stages of the installation over a four month period. It included close to 50 days of filming in total. The vast majority of the days were spent offshore on the installation barge in the Santa Monica Bay. The other days were spent dockside in the Port of Long Beach loading up the vaults onto the barge in the first phase of the installation and then later in phase 2 when the barge returned to the dock to load up the massive amounts of cabling. 

A few days were spent onshore in Pacific Palisades when the cables were being connected to the city’s electrical grid near the end of the installation. The project included video and photography documentation with aerial footage from drones and timelapse capture.

Related article: Construction documentary video.

After the project was completed and all the filming and photography was done, we took all the hours of footage and edited a Highlight/Promotional Reel. With over 100 hours of raw footage to sort through, organize and log, it was quite a challenge choosing what to keep and what not to include in the eight minute Highlight Reel. 

construction site photo documentation of offshore installation project

Having a firm goal in mind made it easier to decide. We wanted the Highlight Reel to be more than a typical highlight reel – we wanted it to tell the story of the installation from start to finish. Normally a “Highlight Reel” is just that, a montage of short clips usually without a narrative. Wanting to tell the story as our goal for the video, it made it a little easier choosing the shots. 

Of course, with so much footage there were a lot of great shots that didn’t make the final edit as it was impossible to include everything in an eight minute video.

To further clarify the story, we filmed a two camera interview with a representative of the LADWP to introduce the project and the video. That intro was inserted at the beginning of the Highlight Reel for the full longer version.

You can watch the video without the intro here.


Gate5 is a creative video agency and full service video production company in Los Angeles producing high quality video content for the web, social media outlets, public kiosks and broadcast TV. Our clients are large corporations, small businesses and advertising agencies.

Our construction photography and videography documentation services include filming crews, aerial drone footage, timelapse capture and still photography. 

construction progress photography documentation of offshore installation for Los Angeles

In addition to job site progress photography and video documentation, we produce promotional videos for construction companies and/or projects. We offer story consultation and development, scriptwriting, single and full filming crews, video editing, animation and visual graphics and voice over talent.

In commercial video production, we conceptualize, write scripts, direct, cast, film and edit product and explainer videos, branded films, promotional and training videos, web and TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Read our post on 5 Video Marketing Tips for helpful ideas to focus on for your video marketing production.

Watch our video samples.

Contact us to see how we can help your business with video or photography.