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Super Steady?


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#1 Jaco Jansen

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:38 PM

Hi all
I hope this is the right forum to post this on? BBC?s ?Planet Earth? has these stunning ? super steady birds-eye shots. I recall an episode with a polar bear swimming miles out into the ocean, or walking on a barren ice landscape. The framing starts on a full shot, and then zooms out to an ELS showing the vast empty landscape, until the bears are specs on the ice. From the closer shots, right through the zoom the shot is PERFECTLY stable. In other episodes as well? Animals do not seem bothered too much by whatever they use to fly the camera. How do they do it?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 05:05 PM

Really smooth helicopter shots are often done with mounts like SpaceCams.

In terms of flying really close with flocks of birds flying in formation (using small planes like Ultralites) often they have to train the flock from birth to get used to the plane!
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#3 Dylan Goss

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 07:03 AM

I believe there were two guys who did most or all of the aerials on Planet Earth. The one I know very well who I AC'd for and who got me into aerials is Michael Kelem. I guess you know they are originated on HD video, in this case the system used was the Cineflex. It's an 18" ball that is very similar to the Gyron, a closed loop with a lot of analog and nulling - they are bullet-proof (in terms of downtime), responsive, and usually go out with insanely long ENG type lenses on the Sony 950 head. Record deck is in the cabin of the ship. This is unlike the Spacecam that is based on a larger inertial-type setup that is a decendent (design wise) of the original "kleenex" of ball mounts, the Wescam. It's a 36" ball that has one advantage of being able to take various bodies on the platform inside in replacement of the standard Mitchell. HD can be done on these not only by putting in the similar Sony 900 (in camcorder form) but also by dropping in bodies like the Genesis. So they are a bit more future-proof in this respect. But Cineflex sells many more systems to Homeland Security types than get used in film production.

Anyway, Mike has great taste and deserves the Emmy he shared for that work. He did that great opening aerial in Shawshank Redemption as well.
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#4 Ron Chapple

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 07:15 PM

The latest generation of the Cineflex V14 HD uses a Sony CineAlta HDC 1500 camera with 1920 x 1080 resolution in 4:4:4 with dual-link connectors. Several lenses are available from 13x4.5 up through 42x9.7mm.
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