Definition August 2024 - Web


and POV cameras in cockpits and on wings.” Braben also notes the ‘welcome return’ of 65mm IMAX film, famously used on Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer . On the other hand, “drones have seen a veritable explosion of close- distance aerial filming,” Braben explains. Responding to DOP demand, he created the TITAN, an ultra-heavy lift drone which supports large format filming on digital or 35mm. “Helicopter Film Services’ heritage – combined with our adoption of new technology – enables us to stay ahead,” Braben summarises. TEAM EFFORT While aerial filming requires a certain level of niche expertise, it’s a creative endeavour at its core. “Apart from the physical challenges of the where, when and how,” continues Braben, “there is the bigger challenge of being able to translate a director or DOP’s vision into something on screen. Being involved early on, and having a script, greatly helps us aerial cinematographers to recommend equipment and prepare for the aerial sequences – even if it is just plates,” he shares. Often, the director must trust the aerial team to capture the right footage, as they don’t always ride along in the helicopter. “With a drone, it’s easier to have a director at a monitor station,” says Braben – a benefit of using remote- controlled kit. Up in the air, “the choice of a good film pilot is crucial, but it’s the whole team that makes it special.”

gimbal – either the F1 or the larger K1,” details Braben. “The latter system incorporates specially designed housings for multicamera aerial arrays,” he adds, having devised the Typhon six-camera array in 2017. Over HFS’s lifespan, aerial filming has witnessed quite the technological transformation. “Not so long ago,” begins Braben, “there were only a handful of big, expensive gimbals from WESCAM and Spacecam for shooting mostly 35mm film. As digital technology evolved out of the military and found its way into smaller, lighter and cheaper gimbals, the market exploded. “Since contemporary camera bodies have bigger sensors but are smaller physically,” he continues, “we’ve seen the development of the multicamera arrays



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