Pro Moviemaker Spring 2019




NIGHT RIDER Just when you thought you’d seen it all in terms of drone footage, along comes an innovative ‘aerial DP’ like TimSessler, who has used his vast experience to perfect the technique of flying at night


W e’ve now become accustomed to seeing sweeping and expertly contrived drone footage, even in low-budget films, that even a few short years ago would have been unimaginable. But the thing about creative people is that they’re never content to accept the status quo and they’re always looking to push on that bit further. So it is that Tim Sessler, having made his reputation on the back of flying the higher- end heavy-duty craft that are employed by big-budget Hollywood film producers, decided to pursue the idea of flying drones at night and lighting up his subjects from the sky. It’s worth pointing out that this wasn’t an idea that came from nowhere. It’s one that’s developed over the years as Tim has mastered his craft and slowly but surely become an aerial

specialist that people would turn to when the requirement arose for this kind of footage. “I started out as a commercial DP,” he says, “but I now call myself an aerial DP since this is the line of work I undertake the most. It can be a mixture of things: sometimes I just DP ‘normal’ commercials, sometimes the aerial component might be part of the job that I’m shooting or it could be that I’m solely responsible for the aerials of much larger projects. “That said, there are some projects that are UAV only, for example the work I recently carried out on the indie feature We the Animals . Other shoots might be helicopter only, and I was recently aerial DP on the NYC scenes for the Hollywood feature 17 Bridges . Due to the location and the kind of coverage we were looking for, a drone wouldn’t have worked.



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