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Old October 16th, 2013, 03:07 PM   #1
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Filming in a Flight Simulator - Any Tips?

In a few days time I'll be filming in a very advanced flight simulator located at a UK airport with either my Sony EX3 or Canon C100.

Cool really, normally I have to pay to go into flight sims at air shows, this time they pay me :-)

I'm well used to filming normal computer screens over peoples shoulders etc. and getting my shutter speed (which here in the UK is typically set to 1/50th) adjusted to match the refresh rate of the screens. [Typically computer screens are 60 Hertz - so needing 1/60th sec - but other variants exist - as I'm sure most know].

I'll watch exposure carefully - I've been pre-warned it's pretty dark in the simulator and a big part of what I'm doing will be capturing the flight crew "in action/under stress", not just what they are looking at....maybe crashing into, who knows....Should be a fun job this one!!! ;-)

Leaning towards the C100 for this job because of good dynamic range/cleaner images in low light/Wave Form Monitor/ability to use fast, relatively wide angle lens etc. plus likely small/tight space. EX3 might struggle a bit with that scenario list.

Any special tips/insights from anyone that's done this....things to watch out for?

Thanks in advance. It's appreciated!
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Old October 16th, 2013, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: Filming in a Flight Simulator - Any Tips?

Sounds like fun. Do you happen to know the technology being used for the display? For instance, an f16 sim display I saw demo'd at a military simulation technology conference used projection mapping onto a sphere, but back projection and video panels are another option. I'd want the capability to crank up the ISO if necessary. Are all the visuals coming from a single graphics system with a constant refresh rate or might there be multiple display systems at work?. Can they adjust the brightness of the glass panel display?
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Old October 16th, 2013, 03:47 PM   #3
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Re: Filming in a Flight Simulator - Any Tips?

Hi Andy, thought about trying to position your other cam in front of the sim, looking back through the windscreen to the Captains face? It could be static and give another perspective if you can trigger both together, or have someone else do the start/stop. You might need 2 spots one each looking into the cockpit side windows without blowing out the sims projected pix.

Hopefully the sim is quiet enough, out of the flightpath. Put a lav on each pilot, under their shirts with suitable damping and be prepared to record incoming comms, take some cables with a phone jack and a small mixer.

I'm checking out the new Jetstar Dreamliner this Sat, might have more after that :)

Cheers.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 04:08 PM   #4
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Re: Filming in a Flight Simulator - Any Tips?

i would bring a pair of gopro to get additional angles.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 09:29 AM   #5
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Re: Filming in a Flight Simulator - Any Tips?

Definitely try to do it as a multi-cam: WS over the shoulder for the sim screen, and then a front mounted camera (or two) for the pilots and their reactions.

Even better if someone in the simulator control can give you a recording of the screen images and audio after the fact, so you can have that to play with as well.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 09:40 AM   #6
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Re: Filming in a Flight Simulator - Any Tips?

Some great suggestions guys. Thanks!
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Old October 25th, 2013, 07:36 AM   #7
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Re: Filming in a Flight Simulator - Any Tips?

Hi, just to say that this went very well indeed. I ended up using the C100 at an ISO of 12,800 along with my Canon 10-22mm EF-S lens for the bulk of the shots and it came out great. Can't share anything that I shot at the moment - but I hope to eventually - once the client has signed off.
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