We were lucky to get a GoPro behind the scenes of the final construction stages of the Queensferry Crossing. Since we have a bigger project on the Forth Bridges unfolding we thought it would be fun to present a different angle on the rope access personnel involved in construction. Thanks to Dave Watt for the behind the scenes footage.
We were approached in late November to capture some footage of walkers in the Scottish mountains. This was to go towards new marketing material for the Mend Our Mountains crowd funder campaign that will be restarted in 2018 with a new target of reaching £1 million. The campaigns aim is to raise funds for the repair of popular walking routes around the UK that have been suffering from heavy erosion leaving terrible scars on our landscape.
Two challenges Skytech Aerial had to deal with, carrying and operating a drone on a Scottish mountain in winter; and finding good weather in December. With rapid planing, the DJI Inspire 2, helpful volunteers and more than a little pain we pulled off two great days. The first, Ben Vane in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Nation Park went really well and we captured over an hour of footage right up to the summit.
The second, Beinn a’Ghlo in the Cairngorms was a little more challenging. Close to the summit winds reached 50mph so we had to settle for hand held drone footage on the summit. By which point it was difficult to even stand. Luckily a 15min clear spell opened on the return enough to fly close to the summit as our walkers descended.
Skytech Aerial hope to get back into the Scottish Mountains over the coming winter months and share more stunning aerial video with you. In the meantime if you value our outdoors please donate to the Mend Our Mountains campaign.
As part of a project with the BMC we were filming and mapping at Crookrise crag North Yorkshire last week. This project is to showcase many of the BMC owned crags in the UK allowing climbers secured access to several quality climbing locations throughout the UK. The slog up the hill was well worth it for the evening light. However, the gusty wind was playing tricks with most of the video shots blowing the I2 about and changing the lighting dramatically. Very tight landing spots between the rocks were also nerve wracking pushing VLOS skills to the limit.
We’ve been busy shooting in the Forth area for a film project titled The Crossing, a mini doc about the history of Queensferry area. We hope to release a few more shorts in 2017 towards showreel material. Right now it’s all about acquisition of footage before autumn sets in. Plenty of rain days to spend tweaking edits through the winter.
Last week we had an great opportunity to work with the The British Mountaineering Council on a new project. This involved some aerial film work for us on the Isle of Skye, the problem being it was on the summit of a mountain! Skytech Aerial UAV pilot Dave Redpath was up to the task, and takes up the story: Back in 2015 I remember watching The Ridge by Cut Media thinking to myself what a great film project. Two years later I’d never have guessed I’d get a similar opportunity!
To warrant the effort I knew I had to get the Inspire 2 up there and shoot with 4K ProRes422HQ. The Mavic or Phantom wasn’t going to cut it in terms of quality for the project. Coming in at 12 kilos before clothing, food and water I knew this was going to be a major effort. Having bagged over 50 Munros before family came along I had a rough Idea of the scale. The Inspire 2 was around the weight of climbing/camping gear anyway so I knew it was possible. Just nearly a decades gap in fitness to account for. I managed to squeeze in a few training runs and gear up on energy food and drink from Decathalon. I also invested in an external frame ruck sack much like the ALICE pack the military use.
On the day the challenge for me was overcoming doubt that I could get up there. I’d built it up in my head I’d hit some terrible fitness wall mountain bikers refer to as the ‘bonk’. It hurt a bit but slow and steady won the race and I got to the summit in 3.5 hours. There was also a worry over geomagnetic interference on the ridge where compasses are reported to spin freely. The Inspire 2 had no problems. After a long wait to get the right mood and solitude I got the aerial shots required. We got some great clear weather to shot in. I did 3 batteries of shots varying between the 12mm and 45mm Olympus M.Zuiko lenses compatible with the Zenmuse X5S. These were perfect for aerial establishing shots on the 12mm as well as some tighter tracking shots on the 45mm. After finishing up we got back for around 10pm, nearly a 15 hr day. If only I had more batteries and a mule. What an awesome spot to film.