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Old September 8th, 2008, 10:04 PM   #1
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Fisher Towers Aerials

This video was shot on a whim while driving to Colorado last week. I had an unexpected two hours of free time and used it with a mad dash off of I-70 to the Fishers to try to squeek in some shooting.

It was shot in horrible afternoon light, 89 degree temps, and massive thermals rising up along the cliffs/towers. I had to over utilize post image stabilization on some shots, as there is no way an RC heli can fly smooth when there are winds rocketing up cliff faces at 30mph. Descending was a trick, need quite a bit of negative pitch to get the little heli out of the sky.

I ended up only flying 4 packs with the limited time. But I'd like to spend a weekend here shooting in good light/weather some time.

The second to last spire is Ancient Art, a fun four pitch 5.10 with a corkscrew summit.

www.pitonproductions.com/StockAerial/Fisher.mov
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Old September 9th, 2008, 04:08 PM   #2
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Gorgeous aerials.

I have to admit that on many of the shots, I didn't notice the post stabilization stuff. I did notice it on some later shots though. In fact, there is a spot on the lens that I think is accentuated by the stablization wobbliness. Are you using Final Cut Pro 6's smooth cam filter? I've had similar results with spots on the lens.

Overall, very cool footage. Nice and smooth and just nice perspectives. Nice samples.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #3
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Yeah love the angles didn't like the smooth cam filter wobbles... must be bloody hard though to stop vibration and excess movement
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Old September 9th, 2008, 06:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Shaw View Post
Yeah love the angles didn't like the smooth cam filter wobbles... must be bloody hard though to stop vibration and excess movement
If the winds are 15mph or less, minimal post stabilization is needed. This was a mid afternoon scenario, with wicked winds and thermals. Definitely not ideal. But fun anyway.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 05:13 AM   #5
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As an aspiring indie filmmaker still in college, I'm curious, is what you do fairly new? I mean, are there professional production groups flying RC helicopters to get these kinds of shots instead of real helicopters?

I'm curious because I can only imagine how much lower your costs would be. Is this something that only a few hobbyists have gotten into or do you know how broadly this technique is employed in getting aerial footage? I ask because I've wanted to explore getting some aerials but always figured I'd have to get by with shooting from inside a small airplane or helicopter, looking out, simply due to a lack of funds and the scope of any projects I were to do. I'm wondering if there are people around the country (in my case, in Utah) that do this same thing you do...

Also, as I bombard you with questions, do you have some sort of hookup with a video feed so you have a helicopter POV to fly with or do you just fly within your own sight from the ground?
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Old September 10th, 2008, 07:30 AM   #6
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Derek: You got me Googling "RC helicopter" .. dammit. Your and Jacek's stuff is tooo good.

I've hook cams to my kitesurfing kites (http://wetstuff.com/movie/R16_strut.mov) but can only look up-to-the-kite ..or down-from ..I cannot get rider and kite into same frame. Yet, when I hear your angst about winds ..then I'm screwed because my game is really, only fun when it is cranking. (that vid was done in 'better to cut grass' conditions).

I envy Farnes's youth. I've made a reasonable living with similar curiosity ..'just the sh/t I had to work with was such Bronze Age vs. today.

Cheers.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 09:12 AM   #7
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Ryan,

I live in SLC.

But yes, the big hitter in the industry is of course Flying-Cam. They are a European company that has done big budget Hollywood projects for better than 15 years. Their day rates aren't any cheaper than a full size. Perhaps a bit more in some cases.

The advantage of the RC heli isn't to replace a full size, it's to get low, in close, in places a full size can't get in to, and a jib isn't big enough. But they have to be used in their scope of usefullness. Once you're familiar with that, the possibilities are pretty limitless.

Yes, I have transmitter that sends a live preview image to the camera operator, who operates the camera on pan/tilt with gyro roll stabilization.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #8
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Do you have enough useful load to put another camera on and shoot 3D?
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Old September 10th, 2008, 11:29 PM   #9
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Derek,

Thanks for the info. The Flying-Cam website was fascinating with its samples from films it has worked on. I think I had always wondered in the back of my mind about some of those types of shots, interesting to see at least one solution filmmakers use.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 03:46 AM   #10
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I love Fisher Towers, and I always enjoy your aerial footy, Derek, so the combination was quite a thrill. Would you have been able to take an overhead shot of the Titan? Or would that have been out of range or too risky?
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