My First Time Shooting from a Helicopter

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    • #48377
      AvatarGregory
      Participant

      Today I went out and shot some video from a helicopter. I do think I could have done better. but this was my first time to ever fly in my entire life and my first time to shoot video while doing so. Of course it would be that way.

    • #198784
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Gregory,

      When shooting aerials, you want to use longer lenses. You also want to use some sort of stabilization. Next, unless you are getting narrative audio from the pilot, etc. kill the nat audio. When shooting aerials, remember that you still have to shoot sequences. Wide shots establish the area shot in and after that you zoom in for tighter shots. Staying wide all the time helps with keeping the image steady, but is of no help in showing the audience the scope of the devastation from the air. Also, zooming in keeps you from revealing the edges of the window frame.

    • #198785
      AvatarGregory
      Participant

      Hello Wolfgang, stabilization was my biggest issue. I did have the ability to zoom in tight, I did on a trailer park, but it was really shaky. BUT I may be able to fix. Corel VSX5 Ultimate (just released) I bought and it has an outstanding feature to stabilize shots like I took, but I have yet to try it, (Post it if it works.) I agree 100% with everything you said. I am trying to figure out how to keep the camera steady. He has a two seat helicopter that has a bubble dome, (you can see me in front of it in the beginning.) The side window is tiny, and space is cramped. No room at all for any type of gyro, in fact I had to remove all gear from the camera and strip it to its bottom just to get the lens out the window. My knee is right under the window, I stand nearly 6 feet, so I thought about one of those little bean plush pillows, I will try it next time, the second problem was wind that day, the thermals off the ground were strong the closer we got to the ground. I will keep all your points in mind and find some way to work what I can in in that tight helicopter. I also think I was overtaken by the fact this was my very first time to fly and it was indescribable, I had no awareness of fear, in fact it felt instinctive for me to be in the air. So I was also “high” on the fact that a dream had at last come true after 44 years. As for the nat noise, I was totally unsure to keep it or loose it, since I had zero experience, bu now I got someone’s viewpoint I respect so next time I will keep the nat noise out. Thanks

    • #198786
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      ” . . .stabilization was my biggest issue.

      Yup . . . Every time I was involved in shooting from ahelicopter, the cinematographer had to use a ” Tyler Mount ” for the camera. It’s kinda large, usually lashed to the deck with a door removed ( it will fit in a ” Mash “-type helicopter ), and the operator sits with his legs dangling out. It’s a fairly pricey thing to rent, but the video image is friggin ROCK SOLID!!

      Rick Crampton

    • #198787
      AvatarGregory
      Participant

      @Rick, I cannot see Scott allowing me to have any part of my body of of the copter. He does three checklist and inspects every inch of the copter before liftoff, maybe that is why I felt so safe. Scott is an extremely safe 100% no risk pilot, and I am grateful for that, because if I am given the chance I will push the limits of what is consider safe.

      But I do need to find an answer…I remember watching the “making of” at the end of a DVD movie and one scene was cramped and no way to steady the camera so they used a plush bean type pillow, they said it would great, so I am thinking of trying that.

    • #198788
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Gregory,

      Bungee cords. You’d be surprised at what you can rig up to make a temp stabilizer.

    • #198789
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      Look at Prodad’s Mercalli 2 or NewBlueFX’s Stabilizer Pro. Both work well within limits and coupled with some optical image stabilization should help.

    • #198790
      AvatarGregory
      Participant

      @Bruce, Yes both of those came with VideoStudio X5 Ultimate, that is what I was going to try. Thanks for the tip.

    • #198791
      AvatarGregory
      Participant

      Wolfgang, here is an idea. Old wheel, make a budgie cord spoke all tied to a tripod foot, mount the camera to the tripod foot. My tripod comes with two feet, so I can leave one attached all the time. I think once we move I will try this. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • #198792
      AvatarGregory
      Participant

      Prodad’s Mercalli 2 Has more settings then I thought, Attempted first go, no good, trying go number two, cut the footage up to segments.

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