In Broadcast - December 2017 - 31

31

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 7 - Issue 12 | December 2017

A Breath Of Air

InFocus
Westminster call - HFS covers the
full spectrum of news, feature films
and docs

Drones are becoming an increasingly popular and relevant player in
aerial photography for film, TV and news production; Contributing
Editor Jim Evans monitors the views of key operators in this sector...

A

s the equipment has become
smaller, lighter and more
sophisticated, aerial filming no longer
always has to involve expensive
helicopters and enormous static
cranes. Production companies are
increasingly using drones to film
sequences that require dramatic
panoramas. And there is now a core
of operators offering these specialist
skills, frequently alongside mainstream
production services.
Drones it seems are never out of the
news and there doesn't seem to be a
TV or film production that doesn't have
a 'drone' shot in it and certainly some
of the more basic ones are very easy
to spot. From murder mysteries to
The Great British Bake Off it seems we
can't be entertained unless we sense a
breath of fresh air. The technology has
incessantly marched onwards and the
prospect of using a drone has become
ever easier.
Broadcast Flights
Helicopter Film Services' (HFS)
primary drone pilot Alan Perrin
comments, "Those systems that
are considered as 'acceptable' for
broadcast now come off the shelf with
dual control and 4K cameras. The
latest release from industry giant DJI,
the Zenmuse X7 is a compact Super 35
camera offering high resolution and
image quality, with its 24 MP CMOS
sensor it offers both 6K CinemaDNG
and 5.2K Apple ProRes with support
for continuous RAW burst shooting at
20 fps and 24 MP stills.
"The larger drones, with professional
operation, carry the state -of-the-art
The Typhon 6 Array combines
six ARRI Alexa Minis in a
Shotover system

in digital cinematography, with camera
packages like the ARRI Alexa Mini
and the RED Carbon Helium 8K with
a choice of lens package from Ultra
Primes through to Zooms. And it's not
just limited to digital, at HFS we've
even flown the ARRI 235 with a 200
foot mag of 35mm film, retro perhaps
but something the proprietary systems
can only dream of!"
Erica Bensly, Business Development
Manager at Helicopter Film Services,
adds: "Besides working on almost all
continents this year, we have been
capitalising on our new presence at
Pinewood Studios, which makes the
perfect complement to our main base
at Denham Aerodrome. In May, we
launched a new camera array, the
Typhon 6 Array, which combines 6
ARRI Alexa Minis in a Shotover system
for specialist filming of VFX sequences
where a particularly wide field of view
is required. This was used to great
effect on Paddington 2 and continues
to be in demand."
"Demand is split between budget
conscious productions such as news,
reality and smaller dramas where
owner operators generally supply
their small drone free of charge,
and the 'high end' dramas using the
larger format cameras like those from
RED and ARRI which need serious
investment and intense operation. HFS
has seen an increase globally, where
productions want experienced crews
with the right equipment. In
some countries where drones/
UAV are strictly controlled or
even banned, such as Kenya,
we have managed to obtain
permission to operate."
Hyperlapses And 3D
Skyvantage, established in 2013,
is one of the UK's leading aerial
filming and photography production
companies. "Mostly, straight aerial
filming and photography is the initial
request from clients," says Founder
Toby Pocock. "However, we now offer
full aerial and ground production.
The two are usually needed to work
in unison to effectively tell a story.
We have evolved into a full service,
production company now - creative,
planning, shooting, editing and

producing the end films. We do a little
TV work but mostly concentrate on the
corporate sector."
Pocock confirms that there has been
a massive increase in the demand for
drone-based
filming/photography:
"Five years ago, when we started, most
people had never even really seen
a drone or were familiar with their
creative possibilities. Everyone knows
their potential now, so naturally more
people are requesting them. When
we began there were a few hundred
operators and now there are a few
thousand, so increase in demand has
certainly been effectively absorbed by
supply."
As to future developments, Pocock
suggests: "3D mapping is yet to
be truly utilised but it will be big.
Dronelapse is another thing we
are now shooting and will grow in
awareness - Basically using the drone
to perform epic aerial hyperlapses."
Drones are used for productions
that cover just about everything
from live news clips to feature films,
documentaries, corporate promotions
and just about everything in between.
"In the last few months we have just
finished a film for Highways England
which was both ground and aerial
based film from all over the country,"
says Pocock. "We shot a series of aerial
hyperlapses which was a unique way to
show some of Britain's roads. We shot
sequences for a film (just released)

about Richmond Park featuring Sir
David Attenborough which was a real
honour.
"We have filmed for Massey
Ferguson at a few European locations
shooting their promotional footage
for the impressive new Ideal Combine
Harvester. We have also filmed and
produced a handful of films to promote
commercial and distribution properties
on the market who are now using film
as a major part of their marketing
initiative. This includes the likes of
Southbank Central and Sheffield 615."

Shots Demand
IronBird works primarily within
the TV & Film industry offering aerial
filming services with SUAS. Their
clients include Red Productions, BBC,
ITV Studios, MTP and Lime Pictures.
"We work time and again with line
producers/production managers that
we have developed a good relationship
with," says IronBird Co-Director
and Chief Pilot Rob Tilly. "Trust is
important in our industry and you gain
that by routinely delivering what the
Director/DoP want."
On the drone front, Tilly comments:
"Low level aerial filming is becoming
better understood by creatives
Shooting in Richmond Park - Skyvantage
every day, and with this, there is
a demand for the types of shots
that a drone can capture. We
are seeing an increased demand
across most formats."

Skyvantage shot a number of hyperlapses for Highways England


http://www.inbroadcast.com http://www.helicopterfilm.tv/aerial-drones http://skyvantage.co.uk/ http://www.helicopterfilm.tv/aerial-aerial-equipment

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - December 2017

Contents
In Broadcast - December 2017 - Intro
In Broadcast - December 2017 - Cover1
In Broadcast - December 2017 - Cover2
In Broadcast - December 2017 - Contents
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 4
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 5
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 6
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 7
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 8
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 9
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 10
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 11
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 12
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 13
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 14
In Broadcast - December 2017 - 15
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In Broadcast - December 2017 - 18
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In Broadcast - December 2017 - 55
In Broadcast - December 2017 - Cover3
In Broadcast - December 2017 - Cover4
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