FEATURE STORY

THE VIEW
FROM ABOVE

The Industry's Leading Aerial Cinematographers and Experts
Discuss Their Recent Accomplishments

by Iain Blair

 

Ray McCort,
Aerial Cinema Productions

New York-based Aerial Cinema Productions (ACP) shoots film and video for features and commercials, and boasts such movie credits as Blown Away, Now and then, the upcoming releases Kingpin and Eraser, and commercials for Coca-Cola, Timex and Microsoft.  Co-founded by partners McCort and Narins, ACP is, according to aerial cinematographer Narins, "the first full-service aerial company on the East Coast providing both aviation and production services."

"We use everything from SpaceCam to Continental and Tyler mechanical mounts," reports aerial coordinator and pilot McCort, "and we fly one of the only two Long Rangers certified for SpaceCam nose and tail mounts in North America.  They're also a very safe helicopter, which is a major issue when you're flying around Manhattan."

ray3b.jpg (29754 bytes)McCort was the visual effects aerial coordinator for the new Schwarzenegger actioner  Eraser, and used the SpaceCam system and nose mount to shoot CGI plates for a scene where the star is shot out of a 727.   "There was a very complex skydiving sequence that involved a team of four aerial jumpers led by Jeff Jones with cameras attached to their helmets," McCort explains.  "We shot the area around the jump scene for the matching plates over a six-day period." McCort reports only one problem:  "The SpaceCam footage was so steady that they actually talked about having to add some bounce in post.

"Aerial cinematography is a big growth industry," he adds, estimation that "80 to 90 percent of movies and commercials feature some kind of aerial shot today.  Just 15 years ago, it was more of a high-risk, stunt-driven area.  Now, it's a whole specialized industry."


82.   Film & Video, February 1996

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