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.