Saudi Arabia: KAFD development

So we have just returned from Saudi Arabia. After some initial issues getting kit and especially batteries through Saudi customs we had a great week shooting the new King Abdullah financial development. Its a very impressive development with over 50 huge towers built from scratch and on course to be completed in a 10 year period, in around 3 years time. At the start they had over 52,000 people working on the project!

With all the restrictions in the UK on flying in a built up area it was great to have the opportunity to film in an environment of huge sky scrapers that we’ve never been able to film in before. We got some stunning results with the Red Epic, some of which will definitely be in the new showreel. We had to deal with some new wind conditions with the angles of the buildings creating some unique shear factors but luckily the weather in Saudi at this time of the year is pretty calm and only at around 25-30c rather than the 55c it can get to in the summer months! We had lots of different shapes, textures and refletions to work with as each build has a unique design with some very unusual shapes using a variety of materials including a lot of glass and some copper and steel.

One unusual circumstance was taking off from the 35th floor of an unfinished tower in order to get some super high wide shots of the development. Again, as we were in Saudi Arabia and under the unusual situation of having the Kings permission to fly, we didn’t have the same height restrictions as in the UK so we were able to get up to around 700ft from ground level for some unique angles.

All the kit was performing great. This was the Movi M15 gimbal’s first real test and it performed amazingly giving us super smooth results even in some windy conditions at high altitudes. The Skyjib 8 octocopter with the Tiger MN 4120 motors and carbon props is also flying really well with the extra weight of the Red Epic and the M15.

We got a lot of interest from the locals and may well be headed back shortly to complete some more filming on a different development in Riyadh.

Busiest months ever!

Well what a time its been at the Flying Camera Company! It’s been so busy I haven’t had time to write a post. In the last couple of months we’ve shot a several feature films, one a hollywood blockbuster involving two weeks filming in some incredible but hard to reach locations in Vietnam. We’ve shot for large scale drama series for Fox, Disney, ABC, Nickelodeon and the BBC. We’ve filmed lots of horses and some bee’s as well as some more super cars and lots of mountain biking. It’s been an amazing couple of months. Lots of new kit has been bought including a fully customised VW Transporter with racks and charging stations which has all made our operation as smooth as possible! Im still waiting to get some of the photo’s from the Vietnam shoot but in the mean time here’s a few photo’s of us flying the Red Epic over some more water!

 

A very busy March

March has been a very busy time for us. Starting off filming at the Royal Shrovetide football match in Ashbourne. A crazy event much like a giant rugby match between a whole town on a pitch 3 miles long with no rules except you can’t enter church ground and you can’t purposefully kill someone! Other than that anything goes. This was an amazing event to film but presented some challenges for us in terms of being able to film safely around all these people whilst following the laws of our license. The producer managed to find us a flat rooftop away from the event that we could take off and land from whilst still keeping our 50m distance from the crowd. As well as filming the 2 day event we got some beautiful early morning shots of the town and surrounding landmarks with an early morning mist and sunrise.

After this we had a shoot on the Isle of Wight for the official America’s cup video. This shoot involved a lot of filming over water whilst carrying a Red Epic on our new Movi gimbal. An expensive set up and a nervous time! Again we got some lovely footage ending with a trip out on a boat to the light house at the end of the needles. This involved jumping from the boat onto the light house steps, basically in the middle of the sea, with all the gear, in between waves! This was only the second time in 6 months the sea had been calm enough to get onto the light house. With 20 minutes till the sun went down we had some beautiful light and got some of the best shots we’ve ever shot from a unique angle that will be pretty hard to replicate again as very few people are allowed onto the light house and Im sure no ones been on there with an Octocopter and Red Epic before!

A shoot for a new Disney/ABC television show set in a fantasy medieval Britain followed filming riders on horseback galloping along a stunning beach in wales. This was a big production with 2 film units, us and a full russian arm set up. It was a fairly wind day by the time we got to film and as the schedule was fairly tight we only had around 30 minutes and 3 flights to get our shots. Working with animals and against the wind it wasn’t an easy shoot but again I think we got some lovely shots. Unfortunately we weren’t the most exciting bit of kit on set as the Russian arm was mounted on a matt black AMG Mercedes 4×4 and at £30,000 a day hire they were the main priority and got given more time!

Coming up we’ve got 2 more drama shoots, a music video for Pink Flyod, a feature film and 16 days in Vietnam! Exciting and busy times ahead! Continue reading

Kingston Prison Shoot for UKTV

Yesterday we had a shoot for a documentary about the UK TV series ‘Porridge’ for UKTV. As for what has seemed like all winter it was a very windy day and we were a bit concerned about how much we would be able to achieve until the client informed us they mostly wanted interior shots inside the prison wings. This solved the wind issue and also gave us an opportunity to do some very technical interior flying in relatively small spaces.

We managed to do some exterior shots as well or though we did struggle with a lot of wind sheer around the buildings. On landing at one stage a strong gust of wind hit the octocopter at just the wrong time resulting in 2 broken props but nothing too serious. We decided at that stage to abandon outside and the strong winds and move to the interior shots. With long tunnel like prison wings to fly down we experienced a fair amount of the octocopters own down draft being directed back at itself causing a bit of drift and height variations making the shots harder to achieve. But after getting used to how the Skyjib was handling we managed to get some very different and dynamic shots flying up the stairs between the two floors, drifting down the wings looking into cells and rises past the iron bars. The client seemed very happy with the results and they will be airing on UKTV Gold very soon.