I’m not surprised people s


I’m not surprised people say “nice job.” You have some really good shots and flight sequences here. This is a matter of taste, but I think you have a tendency to hold shots too long. Specifically, in your first example, the taxi down the run way could be greatly compressed; let the plane go out of frame to the right, cut, then pick it up much further along the runway. Same on the takeoff.

If you’re going to do matched edits, which work well here, be sure they actually match. Use pan/crop to make sure you don’t have a double image, like you do just before the plane begins its takeoff run.

You do an awful lot of zooming on the opening shots. I think the pacing would benefit from a slow zoom in on the plane to a CU of the cockpit and pilot; a pull back to reveal the entire plane again, then a series of cuts to CUs of the name and logo, the prop, tail numbers, etc. I think you need this to offset the slow down that the taxi down the runway creates.

I found that starting every shot wide, so I could find the planes in the sky, was absolutely necessary; then I could zoom in and track them. It helps to have an assistant, too, someone who can locate aircraft for you. Like you, we often abandoned our tripods for either a monopod, shoulder mount or just hand held. It is extremely difficult to acquire and track a high-performance aircraft when on a tripod. We were fortunate to be able to shoot from inside planes in flight and this presented huge problems with vibration and engine noise.

I think one of the biggest problems you face with a production such as this is that some of your audience will love it, some will hate it, and there’s no pleasing both groups. Some of the group that produced the airshow thought we spent too much time on acrobatics, some wanted every flight from take-off to landing. Others wanted more crowd shots while some thought these had no place in an air-show DVD. In the end there was total disagreement among the Museum board and the project was scrapped.

We shot an air show several years ago in Tumwater at the Museum of Flight and I wrote an article about the problems and solutions. You’ll find it here if you’re interested: http://www.videoccasions-nw.com/airshow_text.html.

Keep up the good work.



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