Pictorvision’s Eclipse & Iwerks Take to the Air for Major European Feature
When pilot and aerial coordinator Marc Wolff began prepping for a large format feature to be shot in Budapest, he decided to pair Pictorvision’s Eclipse with the Iwerks camera, as an alternative to IMAX. “With large format filming becoming so popular in the past few years, it’s a great relief to have a choice between IMAX and Iwerks for stabilized aerial filming,” he says. “And, of course, to be able to pair the equipment with the Eclipse, the top-of-the-line aerial stabilized system.
“I am a big fan of the Eclipse,” Wolff adds. “From a director’s perspective, I can get shots that no other aerial system can deliver. From a producer’s point-of-view, we can work more efficiently, save money and get more material on-screen for each dollar spent! With the Eclipse we use less flying time to get our work done and are able to achieve more work in a given day. And, putting my pilot or aerial coordinator’s hat on, it takes fewer takes to get a shot, which increases safety and reduces risk to both me and my crew. It is also just pure fun to fly the Eclipse; I love it!”
Wolff says that the installation of the Iwerks camera into the Eclipse was seamless. “The Eclipse performs it’s magic with the Iwerks camera as it does with any of the other many cameras that can be installed in it,” he adds. “By adding the Iwerks camera to this long list, it provides the filmmaker with an even greater choice of film format in which to do aerial filming.”
When Wolff’s equipment was up and running, he shot a series of sequences including shooting at a very low height, roof-top level, over the center of Budapest — literally dodging antennas as he flew. “Such flights over major European cities are very controversial from both a safety and environmental noise point-of-view,” he explains. “The aviation authorities give us special exemptions from the law to carry out such flights but they limit the number of sorties we can fly and restrict them to a very short duration.
“We did a shot flying between the spires on the roof of the beautiful, historic parliament buildings on the banks of the River Danube,” he adds. “We were allowed to do it only once but, thankfully, with the Eclipse’s amazing performance and reliability, we could be sure of getting the shot, and also knew that, thanks to the stunning large-format quality of the Iwerks camera, it would look amazing on the big screen.”