News Production & Post

Flying Pictures soars with Pictorvision

26 June 2012
Flying Pictures soars with Pictorvision

“Filmmaking in Europe over the past 12 months has been phenomenally busy and the highlight has undoubtedly been the arrival of the Pictorvision Eclipse to Flying Pictures in the UK,” said aerial camera operator and Director of Photography John Marzano. “It has significantly enhanced the creative element of aerial cinematography.” For a recent summer blockbuster, Marzano was asked to capture a seaplane taxiing on water while being pursued by the bad guys in a cluster of airboats with machine guns. Marzano chose to shoot with an ARRI 435, 1000-foot magazines and a Primo 11:1 zoom. “With Eclipse’s perfect horizon gyro technology I was able to do a filming pass across the action and have the pilot reposition the helicopter through some very tight turns in time to do a second and even a third pass before the end of the run,” he said. “That meant two or three takes in one action, where before only one would have been achievable.” For a different summer release, Marzano was tasked with a very challenging visual effects shot. Again, he shot film with the Primo 11:1 zoom. This time he had to orbit the top of a castle prison tower (as yet to be created in CGI) to reveal a princess standing forlornly on the balcony at the top. “The balcony was supposed to be about 120 feet above ground level,” he explained. “With the CGI Geo Steering function of the Eclipse, I was able to lock to a point on the ground where the base of the tower would be, then dial in a vertical offset of 120 feet. I then had to trust the system to hold that point in space as we circled. We achieved a perfect orbit on several different lens sizes of an imaginary point in space with little or no visual references to orientate to.” Marzano and Pictorvision’s Eclipse also tackled the world of 3D. “The company did a great job designing a 3D installation for us,” Marzano enthusiastically comments. “Two RED Epics, each with a Primo 4:1 zoom mounted in parallel with a fixed inter-ocular of 5.3 inches and convergence of approximately 120. The lenses were controlled by two Preston FIZ units slaved to track perfectly through the Eclipse 3D lens tracking software. We got amazing footage for this summer feature.” “I’m very excited about several other projects that are happening in the near future,” he added. “Pictorvision and Flying Pictures in the UK have worked hard together to provide a first rate service with top class crew and equipment. They continue to float new ideas for improvements and new features that will help me and the Eclipse capture even more and more excitement for the big screen.”


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