Behind the scenes, Lights, Camera, Action!

On the powered parachute with a camera…


Aerial shoots are always highly demanding specialised work with lots of people communicating with each other and often it is this coordination which is the biggest challenge of all.

For example, the director wants a specific shot to convey the story which he communicates to the cameraman, to achieve that cameraman demands a particular manoeuvre that the pilot has to understand and perform exactly so the shoot achieves its objective. And all this has to be done when a three blade chopper is flying with its side door opened fully. With heavy winds blowing in like a storm you can hardly hear anybody talking…. well forget talking you hardly hear anybody screaming, despite the headphones we wear.

But in our case we can put together an in-house aerial team in a jiffy where the George the director is also the pilot who flies the powered parachute! For some aerials the PPC is idea more so when the director himself flies it and so knows what shots the cameraman needs. The cameraman just sits behind him and finds it a lot easier to communicate the particular manoeuvre required for a particular aerial shot with just one or two words.

I have done aerials with a wide variety of flying machines, different models and designs like fixed-wing micro light, open top micro light, twin blade luxury chopper, Russian made three blade choppers as big as a hall which can accommodate minimum of 20 to 25 people, twin blade military chopper and the powered parachute. Each machine has its own pros and cons.

The powered parachute allows you to shoot from all directions as it is fully open (in fact it feels like a tricycle attached to a parachute!). Since it is slow you get an extended amount of time to click your different pictures it is ideal for aerial photography.

The pictures shown here was taken when we were doing the first test flight with our brand new Sony HD EX3 camera with a combination of Kenyon KS-8 Gyro. Wow, the result was very good, far beyond my expectations!

I am now eagerly anticipating the aerial shoot next week with the Sony HD EX3 camera most probable on a Russian chopper, I hope the weather clears up and we get a clear day, as the weather is a main factor for the aerial shoots.

-Arul the cameraman-

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