Helicopter shots at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > Flying Cameras

Flying Cameras
UAV, Helicam, and all other aerial videography topics.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 21st, 2007, 01:22 AM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: La Habra Ca
Posts: 18
Helicopter shots

I was wondering what an average (rule of thumb) heli shoot would cost? Also what types of questions I should ask a helicopter company as I am shopping around. I heard you could get a helicopter for about $1500 an hour. I know it depends on the shoot and shots wanted? I was looking to use this to capture some surfing footage of some pros that I know, so stock footage really isn't an option. Also a sponsor might foot the bill if I can make a convincing case of it. I probably have to get a heli for the day. Any insights would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Norm Becerra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:50 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,430
I know a shooter who rents helicopters in the LA area for about $500 per hour. He rents a training heli (Robinson R22) which is a 2 seater. He takes off the side door and shoots handheld with a monopod as a stabilizer (but the monopod can't touch the aircraft while shooting because of the vibrations)
For the $1500 you were quoted, they probably fly the Astar or Bell JetRanger which can fly around 6 people. Find out what make and model the heli is and that will make a big difference in price per hour.

You may also consider helicopter mounts if you're shooting all day-will you be using something like a Tyler sidemount? If so, you'll have to use the larger heli like the Astar or JetRanger.
Warren Kawamoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2007, 02:56 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 85
I once rented a 'doors-off' helicopter in Hawaii and had a stab at it.

If you haven't done it before, let me tell ya, IT IS VERY HARD TO DO!!!

Even with great shots, you will probably want to learn to use Shake to correct the vibrations afterwards (Do some Googling for a tutorial I found once: keywords: 'Shake is money + helicopter' should find it).
Paul Ramsbottom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2007, 05:27 PM   #4
New Boot
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: La Habra Ca
Posts: 18
Wow.

ok, thanks for the tips, was looking around for tyler mounts which would be the best for stabilization (maybe a little over kill on the budget though) I was also looking at the Kenyon Labs Gyro system as well. I also got to thinking that it might be better to hire a camera operator that has more experience with these types of shots especially if we are going to fork over so much money. Any idea what the average day rate might be for an experienced camera operator? And where I might find one in Hawaii?

I was quoted for the A star, I would go with this so I can ride too. :)

Also with the google I found this gem of a quicktime using the shake tutorial Paul talked about.

http://frame.frankjonen.com/media/ge...le-flyover.mov

at this thread
http://www.lafcpug.org/phorum/read.php?13,153421

Amazing!!! Thanks Paul.
Norm Becerra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2007, 05:11 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
A friend of mine, and occasional reader of this board, did some work with a Maui company that mounted an HD camera to do some promotional work. I don't think that is the same as getting down low to do surfing video. Also, Maui and Oahu are far enough apart that the companies and personnel are going to be separate. Still, I could ask him to give those guys a call in case they know who does that stuff on Maui. There isn't as much big wave surfing on Maui, but there is one big break and I'm sure they shoot stuff out there.
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2007, 05:17 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Espoo Finland
Posts: 380
Ask the heli company how low they can or are allowed to fly.
Petri Kaipiainen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2007, 06:04 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belfast, UK
Posts: 4,121
For low level shooting you need an experienced film pilot and for the type of material you're talking about a good camera mount. Shooting hand held is OK on a wide angle lens and a calm day, but even then for anything more than pretty basic stuff it's too shaky.

If it's part of a production - given you're hiring the helicopter for a day - the best idea would be to hire an aerial cameraman, especially if you've never shot from a helicopter before.

You'll need to get clearances for low level work. However, depending on the subject matter and locations, often you won't be allowed any closer than 500ft.
Brian Drysdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2007, 10:06 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 2,863
General altitude rules for low level flying:

Minimum 1000ft above ground in urban areas (cities/towns) or over a "big" group of people.
Elsewhere (also over water): minimum 500ft above ground.
Trond Saetre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2007, 05:54 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
In Hawaii, the FAA has ruled 1500 feet to be the minimum altitude for tour helicopters. Obviously, surf video work must need special permits. They have pilots out here that can fly below the crest of the big waves.

Hawaii page for aerial film:

http://hawaiifilm.com/category.php?catcode=HIEQ4180
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2007, 06:53 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Becerra View Post
ok, thanks for the tips, was looking around for tyler mounts which would be the best for stabilization (maybe a little over kill on the budget though) I was also looking at the Kenyon Labs Gyro system as well. I also got to thinking that it might be better to hire a camera operator that has more experience with these types of shots especially if we are going to fork over so much money. Any idea what the average day rate might be for an experienced camera operator? And where I might find one in Hawaii?

I was quoted for the A star, I would go with this so I can ride too. :)

Also with the google I found this gem of a quicktime using the shake tutorial Paul talked about.

http://frame.frankjonen.com/media/ge...le-flyover.mov

at this thread
http://www.lafcpug.org/phorum/read.php?13,153421

Amazing!!! Thanks Paul.
Yes, that is a great example (not actually the one I was thinking about and I am darned if I can find that now).

Having spent a little time futzing with the smoothcam function of Shake, I can tell you that probably took quite a bit of trial and error.

It was lucky they started with a 4:3 image, for a 16:9 finish. With that much movement, the vertical resolution loss with a 16:9 master would have been significant.

Actually, in this example, I think the color grading also deserves a round of applause.

Other things to watch:

Shake seems to do better with up/down and left/right motion, try not to introduce any rotation.

Depending on your subject matter (specifically if you have something in the frame that does not change) try the tracking functions as well as smoothcam and combinations of both.

If you are shooting HiDef, remember that Shake doesn't properly handle HDV (you'll see HDV options in the export menu but I think that is just calling the Quicktime APIs)

If you work with HDV material, you'll see a lot of nasty artifacting in the finished product. I usually export to DVCProHD or XDCAM HD, which both seem to deliver better results.

In the example above you'll see some wobbling of the image, thats's to be expected and will vary depending on how much movement you are trying to suppress.
Paul Ramsbottom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2007, 06:50 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 848
Re altitude (in USA), see FAR 91.119, particularly (d) which pertains to helicopters. In essence the minimums do not apply so long as operations are conducted in a safe manner.
Jim Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6th, 2007, 03:11 AM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: La Habra Ca
Posts: 18
Thanks Guys

Wow. Thanks again for all the info. I've been pretty busy in the past couple of weeks so I just got back to the board. I forgot to subscribe to this thread! Actually, you brought up some great points on how close we could fly. Also that link for Hawaii production index is awesome. I am going to take a few days to digest all the info. Its an exciting prospect to get to be on a heli even if someone else is shooting. I expect to learn a lot about aerials for future reference. I'll post some info after I have a few conversations with Heli companies. Norm
Norm Becerra is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > Flying Cameras

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:31 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network