Definition August 2024 - Web



WORDS Katie Kasperson

L ike many in the film industry, Jeremy Braben grew up with a camera always in hand. His parents – both artists – nudged him towards a creative career, yet Braben had another calling: aviation. Documentary making, early jobs in current affairs, TV production and music videos allowed Braben the ‘occasional use of a helicopter’, he highlights. This ‘further whetted the aerial appetite’ – especially filming news segments and live concerts such as Michael Jackson’s Bad tour. After around a decade, he combined his two passions and ‘made the decision to focus solely as an aerial cinematographer’, forming Helicopter Film Services (HFS) in 1993. INDUSTRY ESTABLISHED With over three decades under its belt, HFS offers aerial filming services to features, scripted and unscripted television, commercials and branded content via helicopters, jets, drones and stabilised camera systems. Although based in north-west London, the firm enjoys worldwide operations – having travelled to Greece ( Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery , The Bourne Identity ) and Spain ( House of the Dragon ), as well as Japan, Iceland, Africa, Hawaii and an abundance of other destinations. Braben himself has served as aerial DOP on over 150 productions, including Wicked , Sonic the Hedgehog 3 , The Union and How to Train Your Dragon most recently. On the latter, he shot from both Aerial DOP Jeremy Braben elevates productions to new heights with help from his team at Helicopter Film Services

helicopter and drone, filming on a studio lot and on location in four countries. Over the years, Braben and his team at HFS have worked alongside directors Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott and James Cameron – Braben’s first big break was aerial operating on Titanic – as well as actors like Matt Damon, George Clooney, Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford. They even helped Spielberg with his first- ever drone project, filming the stacks sequences in Ready Player One . TODAY’S TECH Aerial cinematography today ‘is split into two areas’, according to Braben: helicopter/aeroplane and drone. When filming from a helicopter or aeroplane, “it’s generally a SHOTOVER six-axis

HIGH-LEVEL SHOOTING Ariel shooting merges skill and creativity, aligning with the director’s overall vision



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