Video Production: Shooting Aerial Video

Shaun reckons the worst thing you can ever hear a helicopter pilot say is “Uh-oh” because you don’t know whether he just realised he forgot his lunch or you’re all about to die.

When we’re shooting aerial video I rarely look out the window, because I’m watching the monitor to see what the camera is seeing.

 A few shoots ago, we were flying up a forested valley, filming a cable car which ran up to the top of the cliff at the end. I was head-down, busily engaged with the monitor.

And then, beside me, the pilot quietly said “Uh-oh.”

I looked up. Out of the corner of my eye I could see his hands and feet moving rapidly. He seemed to be quite busy.

And out through the perspex canopy ahead, there was no sky. Just trees, trees and more trees, from top to bottom.

Which was disconcerting because the forest was supposed to be beneath us, not in front.

We had a Cineflex camera on a nose-mount, and we’d been quite low, nose-down, accelerating forward for the approach shot when a big gust of mountain wind raced up the valley behind us and stood our helicopter on its nose, aiming us at the ground.

I reckon sometimes it’s better not to look up.



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