SkyMotion Video The latest news and updates from SkyMotion Video A day at the track <p><a class="fancybox-button" title="Anne-Marie and her horse, race in hot pursuit behind the SkyMotion Video aerial cinematography platform" href=""><img class="left" src="" width="600" height="333" alt="" title=""/></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> </p> <p>Yesterday was packed with shooting and new test flights. The day began at "LKQ Pintendre Autos" - world leader of automotive recycling, followed by an evening shoot at the local race track to capture horse trainer Anne-Marie.</p> <p> </p> <p>Reaching speeds of 50km/hr was originally seen as a possible challenge, but pilot Chuck Taylor pushed the system to the limits and often reached speeds of an incredible 80km/hr. Although he was initially quite timid from the SkyMotion Video aerial platform, the horse quickly warmed up to the high tech racing companion and allowed us to get some unique high speed tracking shots. A new video should be posted in the coming days featuring some of the new images captured both at the track, as well as at "LKQ Pintendre Autos".</p> Sun, 29 Apr 2012 13:42:15 -0500 SkyMotion Video in Spain <p><a class="fancybox-button" title="Babaloo Films" href=""><img class="left" src="" width="600" height="124" alt="" title=""/></a></p> <div class="captionImage left" style="width: 600px;"> <p> </p> <p>SkyMotion Video will be heading to the region of Almeria, Spain for the first three weeks of June to provide aerial cinematography services for the upcoming feature film "<strong><em>Paper. Scissors. Stone</em></strong> - Three Friends. One Game. No Winner." - produced by Babaloo Films. The movie is a psychological thriller with supernatural elements, written and directed by <strong>Philip Goodhew</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>SYNOPSIS</strong></p> <p>When Rachel reunites with her childhood friends, Delia and Andy, at their home in the Spanish countryside, the powerful bond they share is soon tested by a deep seated grudge they have carried unknowingly for years. Forced to confront their own dark shadows, they will be forced to play one last game that will redefine their destiny… and that of an innocent child.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>Babaloo Films', Mimmo Di Giacomo - producer for "Paper, Scissors Stone" had this to say about the upcoming collaboration with SkyMotion Video:</p> <p> </p> <p style="padding-left: 60px;"><em>"This unique technology has the potential to add immense production value to a film at reasonable costs. In our situation, we believe that it will help give the story a great fluidity when transitioning to different scenes, and locations. The system will be a great asset as we wish to showcase many of the cinematic landscapes we will be filming at here in Spain. The farmlands, the Mediterranean coast, the rivers, and the mountains lend themselves very well to these sort of breath-taking aerial views to help establish the correct feel and ‘atmosphere’ throughout portions of the story. Furthermore, we intend to make use of this new system for achieving much lower-altitude angles around the main property location where we will be filming. This will ultimately replace the need for a cumbersome crane, as well as the additional work hours associated with rigging such specialty equipment. To put is plainly, this technology has the potential to offer unique angles, which are normally only obtainable with large studio budgets."</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>SkyMotion Video is very excited to be part of this ambitious project, and eager to collaborate with the artistic team behind "Paper, Scissors, Stone". More news to come soon.</p> </div> Fri, 11 May 2012 17:50:58 -0500 Filming props with props <p>Wind turbine manufacturer, "<a href="" target="_blank">Eocycle</a>" wanted unique perspectives to showcase their latest project. Although cranes had been used in the past, they decided to make use of SkyMotion Video's latest technology to capture views like never before. With the ability to circumnavigate the wind turbine with incredible ease and efficiency, and adjust altitude at a moments notice, Eocycle was able to gather a large volume of photos and videos from virtually every angle imagineable.</p> <p> </p> <p>Joining the SkyMotion Video team was Eocycle's chief electrical designer, Raphaël Nadeau. At the ground station, he was able to view everything the camera was seeing live, and help choose the angles that were most important to him and the company. The results were a huge collection of images that were both unique and informative.</p> <p> </p> <p>Check out the photos below.</p> <p> </p> <p><a class="fancybox-gallery" title="Eocycle's latest project in Joncquière Quebec" rel="gallery1" href=""><img class="left" src="" width="380" alt="" title=""/></a>   <a class="fancybox-gallery" title="SkyMotion Video soars above the Eocycle wind turbine to get images which were never before possible." rel="gallery1" href=""><img class="left" src="" height="225" alt="" title=""/></a></p> <p> </p> <p></p> Wed, 16 May 2012 15:00:00 -0500 Big air <p>Yesterday, SkyMotion Video covered the "<a href="" target="_blank">Challenge Quebec Motocross 2.0</a>" competition in St-Apollinaire. It was hot, dusty, loud, and all around an incredible time. SkyMotion Video was able to keep pace with the over 200 competitors - flying along side top riders as they sped over jumps and soared through the air at fantastic heights. The unique images captured on the day are unlike any that have been shot there in the past. An enormous amount of footage was captured both in the air, and on the ground, but we are excited to have a video up <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">soon</span>. Video is now online! Please enjoy the clip below.</p> <p> </p> <p></p> <p> </p> <p>Photos by: Vincent Fournier</p> <p> </p> <p><a class="fancybox-gallery" title="System pilot Chuck Taylor lines up the SkyMotion Video aerial platform to capture a dramatic following shot as a rider takes a jump." rel="gallery1" href=""><img class="left" src="" width="280" height="186" alt="" title=""/></a>   <a class="fancybox-gallery" title="Camera operator Gabie Nadeau follows every moment of the action from the ground station." rel="gallery1" href=""><img class="left" src="" width="280" height="186" alt="" title=""/></a></p> Mon, 21 May 2012 14:37:51 -0500 Velez Blanco, Spain <p>One of the shots required for the upcoming feature film "Paper, Scissors, Stone", was a grandiose fly-by over the picturesque town of Velez Blanco, Spain. Director Phillip Goodhew wanted to showcase the town during a transitional point in the film in order to set the right atmosphere for the scenes to follow. As the landscape plays a very large role in the film, the need to capture appropriately stunning landscapes is paramount for the story's success.</p> <p> </p> <p>While filming these breath-taking views, a local school could no longer control their curiosity as to what was going on above town. And so, the teacher decided an impromptu school trip was needed in order to investigate. While swapping batteries for a second flight, the class was excited to circle around the SkyMotion Video aerial platform in order to better see the innovative multicopter, as the pilot Chuck Taylor did the battery swap. After a barrage of questions from both the students and the teacher, the group was delighted to witness the take-off and filming process. However, much to the dismay of the students, the SkyMotion Video team was only in the area for a mere 40 minutes from start to finish, and they found themselves back in class quite quickly.</p> <p> </p> <p>Enjoy some pics from the day, and a few from beautiful 'Cabo de Gata'. And don't forget to watch the video below which was captured on the day at beautiful Velez Blanco, Spain.</p> <p> </p> <p><a class="fancybox-gallery" title="System pilot Chuck Taylor performs a battery swap while the local school children of Velez Blanco pay a visit in order to see the aerial system up close. Photo by Gabrielle Nadeau." rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="left" src="" alt="Velez Blanco crowd" height="182" title=""/></a>    <a class="fancybox-gallery" title="On location on the pier at Cabo De Gata, Spain - Chuck Taylor readies the SkyMotion Video aerial platform for a sweeping coastal shot, as camera operator Gabrielle Nadeau watches the live video stream alongside the film's director and DOP in order to ensure the best possible framing. Photo by Nigel Hawks" rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="left" src="" alt="Velez Blanco crowd" width="280" height="182" title=""/></a></p> <p> </p> <p><a class="fancybox-gallery" title="Over open water, the SkyMotion Video aerial platform sweeps along the coast to capture the scene from angles normally thought impossible. Photo by Nigel Hawks." rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="left" src="" width="272" alt="" title=""/></a>    <a class="fancybox-gallery" title="The SkyMotion Video aerial system in position for a massive pull-back reveal. Photo by Nigel Hawks" rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="left" src="" height="181" alt="" title=""/></a></p> <p> </p> <p></p> Sun, 17 Jun 2012 18:30:00 -0500 A young business takes off <p><a class="fancybox-gallery" title="SkyMotion Video team, Chuck Taylor and Gabrielle Nadeau pose for a photo with their unmanned aerial system for the Journal De Lévis in Quebec Canada." rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="leftAlone" src="" width="500" height="333" alt="" title=""/></a></p> <p> </p> <p>SkyMotion Video has had an article published in the Journal de Lévis titled "A young business takes off" [Une jeune entreprise prend son envol]. In the article, the journalist Andrée Boulanger describes Chuck and Gabrielle's artistic background and how they went about starting their new business.</p> <p> </p> <p>Here are a some of the keypoints mentioned in the article. Starting as freelance filmmakers, the team has held a variety of positions in the film industry such as director, producer, and cinematographer. Together, they have maintained these positions for the past eight years, and have recently decided to develop a new business idea of providing aerial cinematography services. To do so, they have undergone a diverse array of training including six months of flight simulation and flight theory courses. For startup financing, they received the support of the BDC (Bank of development of Canada), RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) and the FJP grant (Fonds Jeune Promoteur) to get their new buisness growing. With their head office in Lévis, SkyMotion Video not only offers local services in their home region of Lévis and Quebec city, but in Toronto and Montreal as well.</p> <p> </p> <p><a class="fancybox-gallery" rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to see the full original article.</p> Wed, 20 Jun 2012 13:00:00 -0500 Team Wins 'Best Short Film' <p><img class="left" src="" width="600" height="415" alt="" title=""/></p> <p> </p> <p>SkyMotion Video's very own Gabrielle Nadeau has just won 'Best Short Film' at the 2012 Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. The awarded film, 'Along the Road', was written and directed by Gabrielle Nadeau, and DOP'd by our own, Chuck Taylor.</p> <p> </p> <p>With hundreds of submissions made by other director's, and a showcase of almost 50 short films, this is a great achievement for the team. Although this news is not directly related to aerial cinematography, we feel that it is important to note that our team comes from the film and television industry. As working producers, directors, and cinematographers, we understand the unique requirements for our services from a working professional stand point. For full information about the film, please visit Gabrielle Nadeau's website at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> <p> </p> <h3><strong>Synopsis:</strong></h3> <p><span style="font: 12px Arial,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif;">April, eight year old, stumbles across a curiously strange girl sitting in the middle of a country road. Discovering that this girl Jules is desperately trying to get the attention of her mother, April coaxes Jules to try new provocative ways. Setting out to a nearby storage barn, the two of them transform the space into their own playground as they try to construct a tragic accident. However, getting Jules’s mother to the scene is not as easy as it sounds.</span></p> <p> </p> <p></p> Thu, 28 Jun 2012 10:41:30 -0500 What is this contraption? <p> </p> <div class="captionImage leftAlone" style="width: 600px;"><a class="fancybox-gallery" title="What the heck is this thing?" rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="leftAlone" src="" alt="What the heck is this flying machine?" title="What the heck is this flying machine?" width="600" height="319"/></a></div> <p> </p> <p>SkyMotion Video was only officially launched about 4 and a half months ago, and in that short time we have received one question above all others. “What the heck is this thing?” And so, we thought it would be appropriate to take some time here to do our best and explain the SkyMotion Video Aerial Platform in more specific terms.</p> <p> </p> <p>Our current system of choice at the time of this writing is an eight rotor remote controlled ‘helicopter’ which is often referred to as a ‘multicopter’, or ‘octocopter’. However, these systems come labelled with a host of other names too such as drones, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), UASs (Unmanned Aerial Systems), remote-controlled rc or r/c helicopters, and many more. As you can see, this technology comes with a huge list of labels, and much of this is due to the fact that the technology is so new, and individuals from different backgrounds are giving it different names, until hopefully one day a common name will come forth from common use.</p> <p> </p> <p>Typically either hobbyists or laymen first referred to these systems as remote-controlled helicopters, which then became things like multicopter, quadcopter, or in the case of SkyMotion Video’s current system an ‘octocopter’. Governments of course have different titles for these systems which are still being debated. Some refer to it as an ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’ or UAV for short, while others refer to it as an ‘Unmanned Aerial System’ or UAS. These are very broad titles that refer to virtually any sort of aircraft without an onboard pilot. This would include any future system that may for example, transport cargo, or even human passengers through the use of either autonomous flight systems, or by remote operation. UAS is perhaps the broadest of these titles as it not only refers to the actual aircraft, but also the support equipment, personnel, and ground station. And finally of course, the military have their own name ‘drone’ to define the aerial systems they use to either do reconnaissance, or drop weapons.</p> <p> </p> <p>So what does SkyMotion Video call their system? With titles ranging on both ends of the spectrum hobbyists and laymen on the one, and government and military on the other, we truthfully haven’t found that ideal label just yet. And so for the time being, we prefer to refer to it as either the SkyMotion Video Aerial Platform, or the SkyJib. It’s not that we have particularly large egos and so name it directly after ourselves. We use this label for two simple reasons. The first is that the technologies we are using today, are probably not going to be the same ones we use two years from now, or maybe even one year from now. So using this broad term in our situation helps ‘future proof’ our written content so that we are not continually going through all the text to replace ‘SjyJib’ with ‘Whatever New Thing’. The second reason is that until an accepted universal name for these systems emerge, it too is pointless to call it one thing, and then switch it to another name just to confuse all clients.</p> <p> </p> <p>So why is it so difficult for different groups to agree on a name? The answer to this is probably that rarely will you find the same components on two different systems. For our 8-rotor systems we have chosen specific components from Australia, China, New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA, and Canada in order to build what we believe to be the best possible system for our applications. At the time of this writing, you cannot simply walk down to your local hardware store, or even hobby shop for that matter, and find all the components necessary to put together a system capable of professional filmmaking at the level we aspire to.</p> <p> </p> <p>But in the end, until computer automation takes over every aspect, these new tools and technology are nothing without a competent team behind the controls. We pride ourselves in our taking every precaution we can to operate these systems safely. Through ground school training, Industry Canada radio licensing, and continual hands on training, we are dedicated to operating these rc helicopters, remote controlled octocopters, or unmanned aerial whatevers, safely and reliably.</p> Tue, 24 Jul 2012 09:51:03 -0500 Shooting 'Beyond the Crane' <p>Coffrage LD, a company specializing in construction cranes in the Quebec City area, required promotional photos to showcase the sheer scale of their equipment. Instead of using a full-sized helicopter or plane which would have to maintain a minimum altitude of 1000', the company opted to use SkyMotion Video's remote-controlled system for their aerial photography. This allowed for much closer photography, as well as for the high angles required to capture the site as a whole.</p> <p> </p> <p>Here are three of the stills which came from this shoot. Click any image to see them large.</p> <p> </p> <p><a class="fancybox-gallery" title="Coffrage LD Construction Cranes - Quebec City" rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="left" src="" width="225" height="150" alt="" title=""/></a>   <a class="fancybox-gallery" title="Coffrage LD Construction Cranes - Quebec City" rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="left" src="" width="161" height="150" alt="" title=""/></a>   <a class="fancybox-gallery" title="Coffrage LD Construction Cranes - Quebec City" rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="left" src="" width="225" height="150" alt="" title=""/></a></p> <p> </p> <p>Even though this was purely a photography assignment, the team couldn't help but to capture a few video clips between the stills, and Coffrage LD was thrilled to have these extra shots for their publicity. Here's a little taste of some of the shots captured on the day.</p> <p> </p> <p></p> Wed, 25 Jul 2012 09:11:32 -0500 Pyros Season II <p>Wednesday of last week (August 15th, 2012), the SkyMotion Video team was happy to be out for the exciting second season of <a title="Aerial Video Services for Discovery Channel's Pyros Season 2" href="" target="_blank">Discovery Channel's Pyros</a>. The show follows an elite team of pyrotechnicians from Montreal's <a title="Groupe Fiatlux-Ampleman" href="" target="_blank">Groupe Fiatlux-Ampleman</a> (GFA), as they put on some of the largest fireworks shows around the world. Exploring the real challenges of transforming dangerous explosives into high energy visual shows which entertain audiences around the globe, Pyros throws back the veil on a world full of dangers, and the men and women who work there - the team the general public rarely think about and who are all too often taken for granted.</p> <p> </p> <p>SkyMotion Video was brought on board for this most recent episode because of the unique challenges created by the placement of the launch site. For the August 15th show during les <a title="Aerial Video Services for Grands Feux Loto-Québec" href="" target="_blank">Grands Feux Loto-Québec</a> in Quebec City, the fireworks were to be fired from a barge located in the middle of the St-Lawrence river. In order to capture the scale of the project, and the challenges put on the GFA team, the SkyMotion Video helicam system performed fly-bys of the barge out in the St-Lawrence, as well as offered 90 degree straight down views pulling straight up to show the sheer size of the rigging involved on the boat.</p> <p> </p> <p>For the SkyMotion Video team, the most challenging portion of the shoot was definitely the aerial filming of the show itself. Two of the biggest challenges when flying these drone systems is flying over open water where winds are often stronger, and flying at night when visibility can become compromised. Prior to the shoot, SkyMotion Video ensured the octocopter which was to be used was equipped with reliable LED lighting for purposes of visibility and orientation. Piloting the system at night is nothing like in the day as the pilot is watching the glowing lines of LED light in a sea of black sky. System angle when maneuvering in different directions is virtually impossible to discern, and this is why it is key to have clear communication between team members. After the first few fireworks were launched and the f-stop was set, the helicam was sent airborne to find an appropriate view. The first reaction was to attempt sideways back and forth movement in order to give the shots some dynamic movement. However with the boat so far into the St-Lawrence, the movement was not registering as fast enough in order to give the right energy to the shot. Instead, after a few minutes of trying a few different things, the angle of choice turned out to be a high angle looking down at the barge. From here the camera was able to see the fireworks leaving the barge and could even tilt up to capture the colourful explosions at their same altitude. For a better sense of it, please check out the frame grabs below.</p> <p> </p> <p><a class="fancybox-gallery" title="90 degree straight down view of the fireworks setup on the barge before heading out to the St-Lawrence river. - Image captured using SkyMotion Video's RC helicam" rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="left" src="" width="300" height="169" alt="" title=""/></a>     <a class="fancybox-gallery" title="Night-time filmming of the fireworks being set-off in the middle of the St-Lawrence River at Quebec City. Images captured using the Remote-Controlled Helicopter Aerial Video Service provided by SkyMotion Video" rel="gallery1" href="" target="_blank"><img class="left" src="" width="300" alt="" title=""/></a></p> <p> </p> <p>SkyMotion Video would like to thank <a title="OmniFilm Productions LTD - Vancouver BC" href="">OmniFilm Productions LTD</a>, and Discovery Channel for having us on board for such a wonderful production.</p> Thu, 23 Aug 2012 14:19:49 -0500