With more than 25 years experience in the industry and a perfect safety record, Studio Wings™ is the one stop destination for all aviation related filming requirements. We own and operate the latest aircraft in the industry, equipped with state-of the-art safety equipment. Whether your project calls for a single aerial POV shot or a Sortie of FA-18 Super Hornets, Studio Wings™ has the creative talent and aerial production expertise to consistently bring in spectacular dailies. From breathtaking aerial cinematography, shot by the finest DP’s in the industry, to the choreography, coordination and piloting of the most extreme helicopter and airplane stunt sequences imaginable, Studio Wings™ will exceed your expectations every shot, every time.
Aerial Camera Systems
- CineFlex Elite™
- Spacecam Aurora™
- Pictorvision Eclipse™
- Imax Wide Screen 3D™
- Red Cam – Red Cam 3D™
Additional Aerial Equipment
- Camera and Picture Ships
- Night Suns
- Fuel Trucks
Door & Nose Mounts
- Tyler™ Mounts
- Custom mounts also available upon request (FAA certified)
The Aerial Unit – Personnel & Equipment
The size of the Aerial Film Unit depends upon the requirements of the desired aerial sequences of the motion picture, television episode or commercial to be filmed. It can range from a few people and one camera ship for simple aerial POV’s, to a large-scale aerial unit on a major feature film involving numerous aircraft and multiple personnel.
Depending on the specific needs, scope and budget of your production, Studio Wings™ will assemble a unique, highly experienced aerial unit which may include some or all the following personnel and equipment.
Aerial Unit Director
Working closely with the first unit director, the aerial unit director creates and designs aerial shots and sequences that are precisely tailored to the telling of the story. The best aerial unit directors possess the talents of both accomplished director and professional motion picture pilot.
The aerial coordinator provides all the pilots and aircraft necessary for the aerial shoot. He obtains the required FAA permits through his individually approved FAA Motion Picture Flight Operations Manual. He coordinates the choreography for all aircraft involved and conducts required safety meetings with the production crew on the ground. In most instances, the aerial coordinator functions as lead camera ship pilot on the production.
The aerial cinematographer photographs the air-to-air and air-to-ground sequences, working as a team with the camera ship pilot. Together with the aerial unit director, he determines the proper aerial mount, camera, lenses, filters and recording media to suit the shots and sequences intended. In most instances, he functions as the aerial camera system operator.
Aerial Camera Assistant / Technician
The aerial camera assistant preps, installs, reloads and maintains the airborne camera system. He is responsible for pulling focus when employing long lens focal lengths. These crewmembers are chosen from a small group of highly skilled technicians.
Professional Motion Picture Pilots
Professional film pilots are highly specialized, experienced pilots used to working with aerial directors, coordinators and cinematographers. Their knowledge of motion picture production allows them to precisely and safely execute coordinated maneuvers between air and ground production elements.
Ground Safety Coordinator
The Ground Coordinator will normally stand next to the assistant director and video monitor during shots involving the aerial unit. He is the line of communication between air and ground elements, utilizing a hand held VHF radio. He is also responsible for the safe interaction between aircraft operating on the ground and the production crew.
Fuel Truck & Driver
A fuel truck can be provided when the filming location is more than a short distance from the nearest airport, saving time and budget consuming fuel trips. The aerial coordinator will determine the need for a fuel truck and driver after the initial location scout.
Linking camera to aircraft, aerial camera mounts are essential tools of the aerial director and cinematographer. There are many different systems available. At times it’s common to employ any combination of these mounts during a major aerial production shoot. The choice of system depends entirely on the nature of the desired shot.
Gyro Stabilized Ball Mounts
These systems are referred to as “ball mounts” due to the spherical wind shroud. They are utilized when highly stable images are desirable. Many of these systems are capable of 360-degree panning shots with a stabilized horizon. They can be mounted on either side of the aircraft or on the nose, allowing multiple screen direction capability. Primarily used on helicopters, some systems are available for fixed-wing platforms as well.
These systems are referred to as side mounts. They are mainly designed for quick, action cuts when a stabilized horizon is not required. They are primarily used on helicopters, although some systems are available for fixed-wing platforms as well.
Fixed Nose Mounts
These may be installed on the belly of a helicopter or mounted under the wing of an airplane. Most systems are available with remote tilt capability or fixed hard mounts. They are used primarily for action chase POV shots where panning capability is not required.
Periscope Camera Systems
These systems are mainly installed in high-speed jet aircraft. This is the only mount of choice when shooting a commercial airliner or military jet in flight due to the camera aircraft’s ability to precisely match the picture ship’s speed during formation photo flights.
It’s common to employ any combination of these mounts during a film production. Consult the aerial unit director, coordinator or cinematographer on the demands of the shot to ensure the correct choice of aerial mounts.