In film projects that use scenic views as a centre piece, aerial videography is something every director and cameraman should master. You might think that it’s an undertaking that’ll break the bank, given the complexity of getting it done. Contrary to film conventions, though, aerial videography just requires an extra effort. More than just planes and helicopters, alternatives include the top of a skyscraper, tall land formations, or other structures that can lift you up or give you a vantage point of the set. Whether you own your private jet or prefer to ride a crane just to capture that perfect shot, allow us to help you execute what you need to do. Here are some tips.
Preparing the Equipment
Before getting on board the helicopter or strapping on the safety harness, a videographer should be prepared for technical difficulties. You need to bring an extra camera, and make sure that you have spare lenses. Don’t just make sure that batteries are fully-charged – bring extras. Don’t forget extra memory cards and a cleaning kit in case dirt and dust affect your lenses.
Choosing the Right Time
In aerial videography, time is always a crucial element. The best time is hours after the sunrise or hours before the sunset – or what many refer to as the golden hours. These are when natural lighting is at its best, which is helpful in emphasising the contours and silhouttes of landscapes or cityscapes. Shooting during the mid-day is not advisable, unless you want to end up with clips that lack dimensions and have drab building silhouettes or you have a strategic lighting system.
Remedy to Uncontrollable Factors
When taking aerials shots, you will encounter factors that are difficult to control. These include smog, haze, rain, extreme light, and some pollutants. If you want to pursue the shoot on a hazy day, use higher contrast settings on your camera to emphasise the subject. In case you’re riding a rented plate or helicopter, ask the pilot to move to another spot. You may also choose to reschedule the shoot when situations become unbearable.
Alternatives to Flying
Using planes and helicopters can be pricey, but that doesn’t mean that you have no other alternative. You can choose to go to places where there are tall structures. You can shoot from the top of a lighthouse, the observation deck of a building or a mountain or hill. All you really need to do is adjust the angles to make the clips look like they were taken from onboard a plane or helicopter.
Scenic views are an important element in a film project, and you have to make sure that they are taken painstakingly. If you don’t have the budget and enough resources to execute aerial shots, you can always browse through our site. Just visit our “Aerial” page and you will see a selection of aerial shots that you may need for your project.