Friday, September 10, 2010

What -2.5G Looks Like

On Lynda's last flight in the Pitts, Don demonstrated advanced maneuvers. Here's a frame grab from an outside half loop (from inverted, push to upright). If Lynda's hair was up on the canopy in here -1G inverted flight, it was plastered there in this maneuver. Don also did an outside recovery from a hammerhead with Michelle, which I think was the maneuver during which Michelle experienced the max negative G of Acro Camp. I think I took a picture of the G meter just for posterity.

The cataloging of Day 4 (17 May) is almost complete. Then I start watching the ground footage, which will be a little more straightforward than the aerial footage has been so far.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Crowdsourcing A Piece of the Music

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

Wing Cam footage of Jim's Botched Hammerhead

More slaving over a hot Mac this evening. But eminently worth it. I think I'm about 80% of the way through cataloging the aerial footage.

I found the wing camera version of Jim's botched hammerhead. About the same level of drama as the cockpit camera, but a different angle.

Here's a pretty good frame grab of Michelle and Don in the vertical. The footage is becoming much more Pitts and Super-D heavy with the Citabria only doing two flights on Day 3.

A Taste of The Fun Part

Okay, I couldn't resist. I put a couple of angles of a flight up in side-by-side frames and loosely synced them by hitting the start buttons at the appropriate times. Then I watched for a few minutes.

Suddenly, instead of gritty, disjointed, insider-only raw material, it looks like something that might soon actually be cinematic. It's pretty. The sun wanders over the fuselage. Your eye gets drawn from angle to angle as the aircraft banks rolls or pitches. Oh, man, am I getting excited.

I'm still in the very early stages of editing. In fact, not even editing yet. Just cataloging and indexing and figuring out what I have. Call it Phase 1.

Once I get that done, I'll assemble the video from all of the cameras (usually two or three per flight) along with the audio into multiclips in Final Cut Pro. That way, I can experience all of the multiple camera angles and the audio at once and actually figure out what I like and what the story is. Call That Phase 2.

Phase 3 is still a way off. That's where the parts come together and get dropped into a timeline and actually assembled into a movie.

I think that the amount of fun is only going to increase as this thing goes on. Not that I'm not having fun right now, but I can't wait to get to the later phases and really movie a movie out of this. It's going to take pallets of Sugar Free Red Bull to make it happen, but I'm completely up for that.

And I guess there's this, too: I see and hear stuff in this footage and in the music running through my head that is completely and utterly satisfying. Moments of beauty and truth. Not the bullshit rhetorical kind. No, these are things that happen when you fly that you can't experience adequately because you're too busy flying, but that are nevertheless there. Stuff that's so beautiful, it hurts. And I get to see it in slow motion or from multiple angles and say, "Look! This matters! Pay attention to this! Now that! Now listen to this! Now shout!" And I get to capture it and show it to myself in a cogent way. Herein, ladies and gentlemen, I rationalize and make real to myself things that I've felt since I first read Sabre Jet Ace when I was six.

I suspect that you will like my movie. But it's no longer essential that you do. It's enough for me to do what I'm doing. I've heard people say that this mindset is the proper mental space in which to make things like this movie. If so, great. But great even if not.

The journey continues . . .

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jim's Botched Hammerhead in the Pitts

Think Acro Camp is all about beautiful and coordinated flying? No-sir-ee bob!

In this outtake, camper Jim Rodriguez botches a hammerhead. Ugly, ugly, ugly!

But how are you going to learn how to do it right if you don't do it wrong every once in awhile? And, perhaps more importantly, you're going to botch a maneuver every now and then. You might as well see what botched maneuvers look like and learn how to recover from (and eventually laugh at!) them. I can't think of another IP or airplane that I rather have it happen to me in. Jim is in great hands with Don and the Berz Pitts.

Folks, Acro Camp is about real people who are a lot like you hanging it out there on the edge and getting a good snootful of what's up there. It's a genuine story of transformation and growth. Botched, beautiful, and otherwise. I can't wait to share it with you!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tech Frame Mosaic Proof of Concept

No, you're not going blind. It's just that I think I have enough tech frames now to do a quick prof of concept for the DVD note card. A "tech frame" is a frame from the raw footage, usually from the very beginning or the very end of the sequence. It usually shows the tech starting or stopping the camera, but it sometimes also shows the interesting goings-on immediately before or after a flight.

In any case, I started grabbing these from the very beginning with the thought that I'd find a use for them at some point. And how about this? We use them in mosaic form as a background for the blow-in card in the DVD case. One mosaic of the tech frames for the technical notes and one mosaic using camper frame grabs for the explanatory stuff and credits.

Pretty cool, eh?