Pictorvision announced that its state-of-the-art aerial camera system, Eclipse, is now carrying IMAX MSM 65mm film cameras for several major feature productions.
Despite the fact that the IMAX camera with full 1000-foot mags of 65mm negative is significantly larger than most film cameras, pilots can fly just as fast and aggressively as with the smaller film and digital cameras, and DP’s can enjoy the full range of steering and performance they are used to. There is no need to slow down or plan shots around the limitations of the other aerial camera systems.
To accomplish this, Pictorvision engineer Grant Bieman worked closely with Mike Hendriks, director of camera operations at IMAX Corporation. The team worked out the mechanical and electrical interface including slight modifications such as taking the eyepiece and handles off the camera plus constructing a new Eclipse support for mounting the IMAX camera.
One of the first to test the system was aerial cinematographer Hans Bjerno, loader Wayne Baker, and pilot Craig Hosking. The team took to the air over New York. And Bjerno was able to tilt the camera and track forward with the helicopter, looking straight down over the top of buildings. “With a wide lens, we could see the whole city and then tilt to horizon smooth as can be,” said Baker.
In addition, Hosking was able to go into “hover mode” over a building, turning the helicopter and the Eclipse into an aerial tripod. “The results were the most stable aerial images that I have ever seen,” said Baker.
“Both in the tests in Los Angeles and the first shots for a major feature in New York, we flew the helicopter to its limits of bank angle, speed, and g forces,” Bjerno explained. “The Eclipse was perfect in all cases. There were literally no limitations on what and how we could film and fly. In New York, when we began shooting, the Eclipse with the MSM camera got amazing shots, whether we were on a 50, 80 or 120mm prime lens. In all cases the package was stable, and operated the same as if we used a 35mm or small HD camera.”
“Big films with big cameras need big performance,” said Hallman. “The Eclipse brings that to the IMAX aerial filmmaking market.”