Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Not the case with Acro Camp, but sometimes it's good to be reminded that, although the marketing is cool, it's the movie that matters.
The biggest release of this holiday movie season is in trouble: nobody remembered to shoot it. A satire by Scott Blaszak, performed by James Babson and Jake Newton.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I'm just about done with shooting B-roll for the movie. For many reasons, not the least of which is that the leaves are changing color and are actually about to depart the trees. I got this really nice sequence on Monday after setting up a camera while I preflighted the aircraft for my CAP Form 5.
Here's a time-lapse treatment of the footage.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Check out the current episode of Airspeed for information about how we’re crowdsourcing some of the music for Acro Camp! Listen to the episode, download the guide tracks, play or sing, and you might find yourself in the soundtrack of an independent film!
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The tech frame evolved when Roger Bishop gave in to the ham that's in all of us and gave the camera a wave. Being a guy with a true sense of lighting and composition, I'm sure that he couldn't resist stepping out into the near-perfect lighting of one of the early flights of that day.
Here's footage from the Hero cam on the Pitts moments after startup. First Barry, then Steve, then Rod decide to surf the prop blast of the Pitts. This is from Saturday 15 May, Day 2 of flying.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Here's a sample of some of the great footage that we captured with one of the outboard cameras. This is a GoPro HD Hero mounted on the right wing strut of the Super-D and pointed more or less straight at Michelle.
Michelle pulled off a great seven- or eight-turn spin. Nice and stable (you can watch where the horizon intersects the frame). This angle gives a real sense of the world rotating.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Yeah, we’ve been (and gone) a little radio-dark of late. A lot of that has been catching up on sleep and attending to various other responsibilities that have gone wanting due to the our devotion of energies to the film project. And one or more of us had coverage opportunities in associated with the other media hats that we wear that essentially came immediately on the heels of the film shoot.
So here’s what’s going on. All of the aerial footage is not off the cards and onto a hard drive and backed up. We’re still extracting footage from the big cameras on the ground and I expect to have that done in a few days. We’re also cataloging the still photography and paying attention to the other media that various people shot and are providing to us.
The next task is to sit down and watch and log all of the footage. I’m guessing that we have something in excess of 100 hours of footage. Much of it is from the ground cameras. And much of it is from up to three cameras per aircraft going at once. And the airborne footage will require synching up the audio with the video elements.
Then we start figuring out what the stories are. We have several anecdotal story lines that we think will be key, but we need to be sure that they’re borne out by the video and audio so that we can show the audience what happened. We really want to have this thing be free of narration and to speak for itself and it’ll take a thorough inventory of the video to be sure of what we have.
Then comes the editing and assembly of the material into the rough cut. Think months away. And think getting a lot better with Final Cut and the other applications that come with it (e.g. color correction, stabilization, etc.).
Much of the dust remains to settle before we’re in a true orderly post-production mode. But, once we get there, we’ll have the opportunity to put out a couple of teasers and continue the process of getting people excited about the picture. Stay tuned here for more information as it becomes available.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Have you seen us lately? Wow! Neither have we. That was a pretty intense week. But we’re proud to tell you that principal photography of Acro Camp wrapped yesterday afternoon.
I haven’t tallied up the sorties or hours or other information, but we captured a really broad range of subject matter, emotion, perspectives, and drama. All four campers performed amazingly. Each surprised him- or herself and the IPs in many ways. The acro was amazing. And, unexpectedly, we several of the campers got in solo tailwheel flights.
The film crew was unbelievable. We ran this thing really lean. Crew at any one time ranged from two to five. We were up in the pre-dawn most of the time and rarely hit the rack before midnight. Whatever it took so get the video in and downloaded and everything ready for the next day.
Anyway, this evening, it’s more backup and extracting video from the shoot and starting to think about the editing process. Once we have all of the footage saved in at least two places and secure, it’s time to start watching it and extracting story lines. And there’s the music and other stuff to compose and record. We don’t yet have any solid idea of when we’re thinking that the thing will be out. The best we can say at the moment is that it’s more than one Christmas away but less than two Christmases away.
Thanks again for your support and well wishes. You don’t work this hard for this long without having a lot of encouragement from folks like you. We really appreciate it.
Now it’s time to crash on the couch and get such sleep as it necessary to be able to see clearly to do the editing.
Invertor et vomens! Smoke on!
Monday, May 10, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I spent a little time out at the Aviation Station at KPTK (the home base for Acro Camp) last night with parachute rigger Todd Ames. Two of the chutes that we’re going to use were coming due for their re-packing and I wanted to get an idea of what the guts of a parachute look like and how the repacking process works.
We set up tables in the hangar and then Todd performed the repacking. I filmed the process for the movie and shot stills as well.
One of the cooler parts was actually deploying the chutes. Todd pulled one for the camera and then laid it out, inspected it, and re-packed it. Then it was my turn to pull. You stick your thumbs into the D-ring and pull straight out from your body. The pilot chute is spring-loaded and it fires the pilot chute about eight feet away from you. The pilot chute then drags the main chute out from the container.
The lines are rubber-banded in alternating courses and they deploy evenly as each loop slips out of the rubber bands. Clearly, a lot of though goes into the design and into the packing process.
The repacking process consists mostly of a close inspection of the lines, the canopy, the container, and the other elements of the chute. Some items are inspected initially when the chute is laid out on the table and other inspection elements occur as you’re re-packing. It’s fairly regimented, just like a preflight check or some cockpit procedures – a flow that most pilots would recognize and appreciate. And Todd pulled the manuals from the Internet to make sure that the pack sequence was according to the manufacturer’s spec.
And here’s the particularly interesting part. Obviously, most chute aren’t deployed between re-packs. That means that, as a rigger, your pack job is going to be seen in close detail by the next rigger. If you thought that pilots were critical of each other, you ought to hear the stories about riggers. Some riggers can identify a previous rigger’s pack job just by looking at it. And, if you screw something up and someone else repacks that chute after you, you’ll likely hear about it from the subsequent rigger.
I like that sense of professionalism and the willingness within the rigger community to self-police. I hope I never have the need to deploy an emergency parachute. But, if I do, the experience last night gave me a lot of confidence in these vital safety systems.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Among may personal quirks, I have a particular way if identifying when an upcoming event is getting pretty darned close. From the bar exam to vacations, to other really important stuff. Yesterday, I came home from the store and put a gallon of milk in the fridge. That gallon of milk will still be good after principal photography for Acro Camp is complete.
Pretty cool, huh?
I spent the morning and early afternoon over at Ray Community Airport with Todd Yuhas of Berz Flight Training crawling all over the Pitts to investigate camera mounts and audio setup. I think we have the camera setup resolved and that the Pitts is good to go. I was a little worried prior to today because a quarter or so of the footage (and – because the introduction of the Pitts will be an escalation point in the film – some of the most important footage) will be in the Pitts and that needs to work. But I think that we have out ducks in a row and are good to go with the airplane.
Todd and I also spent some time walking down the hangar rows talking to people. I got to sit in a Waco that’s in the middle of rebuilding and see other really interesting aircraft. I continue to believe that Ray Community Airport is one of the best airports in the country. It’s everything that the Harper’s Field of my imagination was at the beginning and now Ray actually informs my vision of Harper’s field. It’s just that cool.
So, anyway, with less than 10 days do go, I think that we’re about ready. A couple more test flights to verify technical setups, some hauling of tables and chairs, some icing down of tasty beverages, and lots of other last-minute stuff. But we seem to be getting pretty close to ready. (Whatever “ready” means . . .)