Sunday, July 26, 2009

Video of the AeroShell Ride and the Saturday Performance at Battle Creek

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These are the show notes to a video episode. You can watch online above or download the file from this direct link.
http://media.libsyn.com/media/airspeed/AirspeedVideoAeroShell.m4v.

As many of you know, I got a ride with The AeroShell Team at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow and Balloon Festival this year. Although I’ve posted some frame grabs, I hadn’t been through all of the video.

The video of my ride itself was pretty good, especially considering the fact that it was the first time I’d held the camera and not mounted it.. Even a 17-ounce rig gets pretty heavy at four Gs, especially if you’re holding it out at arm’s length to capture more in the shot.

But the real treat was the video from the performance on Saturday. In an Airspeed first, the AeroShall Team agreed to fly the camera in the No. 2 ship (which, in the AeroShell Team, is the right wing). I mounted the camera that morning, ran out onto the field and turned it on that afternoon right before the flight, and then retrieved it when the team returned.

Holy crap, was the footage exciting! It was an unexpected perspective. A performer’s-eye-view of the show. The formation part was beautiful, but the real surprises were after the first break, where you can see other aircraft mixing it up. This is a perspective that I had not even imagined and I just kind of sat there staring at my computer screen as it unfolded.

I rarely devote more than about 20 seconds to a shot. It keeps things moving along. But there are sequences of almost a minute in this video because the surprises just keep happening. Worth the time and the bandwidth, says I.

It was a gray day and I’ll bet that some sunshine would have made it look positively amazing. But I’m not complaining.

As cool as this is, It’s made me think about the possibility of adding another camera to the rig. Same camera and lens. One pointed out the front or back at the pilot and one camera pointed over the wing. This could get really cool.

As long as nobody decides that they don’t need to fly the producer at some point . . .

Many thanks to Vimeo for having such huge free bandwidth and storage that allows me to post a full 16 minutes (an 183MB file)!

Also thanks to The AeroShell Team for flying me and the cameras.

http://www.naat.net/
http://www.aeroshell.com/

2 comments:

pbuck said...

Loved the video: Try holding the horizon level by twirling your ipod to match the attitude and you get a great feel for just how many times these guys go shiny side down.

One question: when you were with the thunderbirds, I recall boss would "sing" through the routine to better coordinate everyone's actions... is this common for other group performers like the AeroShell team?

-Peter Buckner
maps.AvnWx.com

Stephen Force (Steve Tupper) said...

Yep. No. 1 calls out the maneuvers. Thinngs don't happen as fast in th T-6s, so there's not as much chatter or precision, but there's definite coordination. Really cool.