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Old March 2nd, 2009, 11:18 PM   #1
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Helicopter Filming - Suggestions Needed (ASAP!)

Wow, haven't been on the forums in forever....

In any case, I've filmed from helicopters countless times, but all of them have had the proper equipment for stabilization purposes.

That being stated, I am filming in the Dominican Republic this weekend and the client literally just emailed me the following:

>Pilot doesn't speak english
>Translator / friend of client will be seat #2
>Client seat #3
>I'll be the 4th person

>Doors will be removed from the sides
>Gyros and "REAL" equipment will not be an option (makes sense, doesn't it?)

>I have no idea, nor does the client, as to the type of helicopter, stability, hovering, or otherwise.

SO.....

What, if anything, can be done to stabilize the filming? I'll be using a Z7, and they also asked if I can do some photographs (40D) as well...not too concerned about the latter, but what the heck can I do for filming when all I will have (for other reasons) is a Glidecam 4000, of which is not only too big, but wouldn't make sense in the copter.

I'm leaving on Friday, so any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 11:34 PM   #2
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Strap in tight and hold on. - LOL!
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 11:36 PM   #3
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Yeah, I know. I can just imagine it now!

I'm just really concerned over stable shots....any real-life suggestions? Anyone?
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 06:11 AM   #4
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Sit behind the pilot, that way at least you will be able to see the translator and point if necessary.

Remember with head phones on it is difficult to place the camera close to your head.

Make sure that the camera is tied to a piece of short rope.

Good luck

Bob
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 07:53 AM   #5
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use the widest lens you have!

use your arms as shock absorbers.....don't rest the cam on your legs or shoulder when shooting.

Fly early in the morning if you have a choice.....this is normally when the air is smoothest and the lighting looks best.

Have Fun!!!!
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 06:13 PM   #6
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Oh....take a small roll of gaffers tape with you and wrap a strip around your seatbelt release mechanism so that it can't accidentally be released. You don't want your seatbelt coming loose while you are leaning out the door getting that shot.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 03:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kendal View Post
Oh....take a small roll of gaffers tape with you and wrap a strip around your seatbelt release mechanism so that it can't accidentally be released. You don't want your seatbelt coming loose while you are leaning out the door getting that shot.
If you're going to do this don't use gaffer tape, use a single layer of electrical insulation tape, so that you can pull open the buckle release in a emergency. You won't stand a chance with gaffer tape, at least the insulation will stretch open as you pull on the buckle.

It would be better flying early in the morning, so you'll get less turbulence, plus the light is more interesting than in the middle of the day. The helicopter is pretty well loaded, so an early start well improve its lifting capability in the lower temperatures.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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thanks to all thus far.

Just found out that I have a choice between:

Robinson R44

Bell 206


I've used a R44 in the past but it's more expensive and the client is worried about cost - aren't we all? They're charging him $500 per 30-minutes, from lift-off...that's crazy, I think.

Any opinions?
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Old March 4th, 2009, 04:38 PM   #9
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I'm surprised the R44 is more expensive, but that could the cost of the fuel, since the R44 is a piston engined helicopter and Avgas is more expensive.

You should get less vibration with the turbine powered 206 and it won't be fully loaded with 3 passengers, whilst the R44 will be.

The 206 is a film industry workhorse, so you won't have any problems filming and it has an extremely good safety record.
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