CopterStudios Outfits its Mini-Helicopters with new JVC Cameras

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Sun, 06/27/2010 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

CopterStudios a specialty production company based in Santa Rosa California has outfitted two Halo remote-controlled helicopters with JVC GY-HM100 ProHD camcorders for close-range aerial cinematography. The Halo-based helicopters have captured footage for cable network programs movies and TV commercials as well as promotional footage for Sonoma and Napa Valley wineries real estate properties and golf courses. 
 CopterStudios owner Darin Huard founded the company five years ago because he recognized the valuable and incomparable cinematic perspective these mini-helicopter camera systems could capture. With the ability to hover or fly with precision the Halo can get unique shots 50 to 100 feet off the ground which would be too difficult or expensive to get from a full-size helicopter camera boom or crane.
Built by PhotoShip One in Mesa Arizona the two Halo remote controlled helicopters were designed and built specifically for close range aerial cinematography. “Once we took delivery of the helicopter systems it was up to us to outfit them with our choice of cameras and wireless transmission systems ” says Huard. “We chose the JVC GY-HM100 because it offers features that are mission-critical to this application.”
 Besides outstanding HD picture quality Huard says the GY-HM100s are ideal because they are lightweight extremely compact and include a built-in Fujinon 10x lens. Plus the camcorders can shoot both HD and PAL video in a variety of frame rates and feature 3-CCD image capture along with built-in image stabilization. 
 “The 3-CCD chips in the JVC GY-HM100s also play a critical role. CCD imaging tolerates the vibrations of the helicopter better than CMOS sensors can ” Huard says. “Also when the helicopter moves abruptly CMOS imagers can leave an unacceptable waviness in the picture whereas CCDs don’t seem to have that problem.”
 CopterStudios maintains a five-man crew for each production: a pilot for the remote controlled helicopter; a camera operator who uses an IR remote control to adjust camera functions; two safety assistants who warn the pilot of obstacles in the flight path; and a set coordinator who works with the director or producer to plan the shots. While remote-controlled helicopter camera systems may seem like very sophisticated toys ” Huard says “it takes considerable technical skill and knowledge to operate them with the precision and predictability big-budget productions require.”
Usually the remote controlled helicopter is airborne and shooting between three and 10 minutes. The director or producer can watch the video in real time on a monitor on the set. SD video is transmitted from the JVC camera via a live video microwave downlink to a directional patch antenna which feeds the reference monitor on set. 
 CopterStudios also takes advantage of the GY-HM100’s use of SDHC solid-state media and native Final Cut Pro recording. “We have a table set up with an Apple MacBook Pro laptop running the latest Final Cut Pro software ” Huard says. “When we bring the cameras back down we simply transfer the QuickTime files from the solid-state media cards directly into the laptop and Final Cut Pro to review our footage. Having this tapeless workflow right on the set is very fast and truly indispensable to our operations.
We’re extremely pleased with the reliability performance and affordability of our two JVC GY-HM100s and the technical support we’ve received from JVC. The JVC GY-HM100s provide all the features and functionality demanded by this unique application.”
 JVC ,1805
Disney to Release Step Up 3D in Dolby Surround 7.1,2010-06-29, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures plans to release Step Up 3D in both 2D and 3D formats with Dolby Surround 7.1 next month. In June Disney released Toy Story 3 globally in both 2D and 3D formats of Dolby Surround 7.1. “We are always looking for ways to push the cinematic envelope and bring more realistic and exciting sensory experiences to our audiences ” says Gary Weaver senior vice president administration Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. “By collaborating with Dolby Laboratories we have raised the bar for moviegoers by delivering a superior audio format that complements both 2D and 3D digital cinema. Dolby Surround 7.1 will provide audiences around the globe with the most immersing audio entertainment experience available.” “This year Dolby cinema celebrates 40 years of helping filmmakers realize their artistic vision through continued innovation in audio and visual technologies ” says Page Haun senior director marketing cinema market segment Dolby Laboratories. “Today we are pleased to continue this tradition by offering Dolby Surround 7.1 giving filmmakers greater control over the definition and placement of sounds better representing the creative vision for the movies they produce.” Click here for more information on Dolby Surround 7.1. ,1807
Doremi Releases Mac Version of CineAsset,2010-06-29, Doremi Cinema has announced the availability of CineAsset software for Mac OS X. CineAsset-Pro is also available for Mac. Pricing for the Mac versions remain the same as the Windows versions.
CineAsset is a media asset management solution that converts common computer files such as QuickTime AVI JPEG and TIFF to JPEG2000 unencrypted MXF wrapped files for playback on digital cinema servers including Doremi’s DCP-2000 DCP-2K4 and DSV-J2. Both 2D and 3D content can be converted. Since it's initial release XYZ color space conversion and scaling have been added as well as multi-threading in the faster PRO version. “With CineAsset the JPEG2000 conversion and MXF wrapping happens as a software solution and creates DCI compliant content that can be ingested and scheduled directly on the server ” says Michael Archer vice president of Doremi Cinema. “This takes full advantage of the high quality 2K digital cinema experience without the added expense and time of off-site mastering.” 

 Another key advancement to CineAsset is Composition Play List authoring. CPL authoring will allow users to organize content in specific order in one Digital Cinema Package eliminating potential errors in show list creation as well as multi-reel feature creation. 

Ideal for independent filmmakers or regional theatre chains with digital cinema systems CineAsset software allows statutory messages custom slides and local commercials to be quickly and easily produced in-house without any prior experience in digital cinema mastering. Now exhibitors and advertisers have more flexibility on pre-show content file preparation and delivery. CineAsset is available as a download on ,1809
Epic Theatres Opens with Barco Projectors,2010-06-29, Epic Theatres has installed Barco digital projectors in its new all-stadium all-digital theatre in Palm Coast Florida and will be the first theatre in the area designed from the ground up for complete digital projection and 3D presentation. The new Epic theatre opened last month. Clint DeMarsh vice president of purchasing for Epic Theatres says “We are pleased to select Barco in bringing Epic entertainment to the Palm Coast area. Digital projection provides a number of advantages over film and Barco brings the quality and expertise needed for this all-digital facility. Epic plans to deploy all-digital complexes from here on. In the next eighteen months Epic will open two new multiplexes. 

 Epic Theatres is one of Barco's most forward-thinking customers says Terri Westhafer director of business development. They are fully embracing the next-generation digital technology and plan to open more all-digital multiplexes in 2011. We are very proud to be a part of EPIC Theatres' growth and dynamic innovation.” 

 Epic has installed Barco Series II DP2K-15Cs and DP2K-20Cs models at their new Palm Coast location. All incorporate Barco's proprietary and patented cooling designs modular construction sealed engines Smart Power Systems and Diagnostic Companion as well as many additional features. “To be able to partner with Epic at this point in their evolution is an amazing opportunity. We can truly help to position them as a leader in digital cinema along the Atlantic Coast and fuel their growth as they expand into new markets ” says Todd Hoddick vice president of Barco Digital Cinema North America. ,1810
Korea Lotte Cinemas Shows FIFA World Cup Live in 3D in 52 Theatres,2010-06-29,Korea Lotte Cinemas presented the FIFA World Cup match between Korea and Argentina live in 3D to 52 of its theatres. The company has announced that more matches will also be presented live at its theatres.   “We are very pleased to have chosen GDC servers because other than their impressive reliability the speedy software upgrade to enable live 3D telecast has saved us much time and costly new hardware acquisition needed ” said Edward Muk Choi technical manager of Lotte Cinemas. “The GDC solution has also greatly reduced the hardware complexity. As a matter of fact GDC server is currently the only one on the market that has a built-in integrated 3D receiver-decoder in its digital cinema servers so as to seamlessly support 3D live broadcast without additional boxes.”   “The success of live broadcast of 2010 FIFA World Cup in 3D exemplifies not only GDC’s technical capability but also our vision in digital cinema technology. The existing GDC servers can be upgraded to include an integrated 3D receiver-decoder capability through a software upgrade and there is no need for any extra hardware whatsoever ” says Dr. Man-Nang Chong founder and CEO of GDC Technology. “After successfully carrying out two separate demonstrations of this capability in Beijing and Seoul about a month ago we are pleased to win the confidence of Lotte Cinemas to adopt GDC solution to bring live 3D FIFA World Cup broadcast to its cinemas. This project would not have been successful without the technical support given by Lotte Cinemas and Eugenetek a GDC dealer and South Korea’s leading cinema equipment and service provider. Together we are proud to have brought to soccer fans in Korea the first-ever live 3D FIFA World Cup broadcast.”   GDC Technology ,1812
Kodak Adds to Vision3 Line of Film Stock,2010-06-29, Kodak has just added two new films to its Vision 3 family. The stock additions include a medium-speed tungsten-balanced color negative camera film and a color intermediate film optimized to work with digital post-production technologies. These new Vision3 films are the tangible results of our ongoing commitment to filmmakers says Kim Snyder president of the Entertainment Imaging Division and vice president of Eastman Kodak Company. They were designed based on our customers' suggestions and with the goal of increasing creative freedom and efficiencies in production and post-production. As filmmaking technology evolves Kodak continues to lead the way by delivering the highest-quality imaging systems and innovative products and services for visual storytellers. Kodak Vision3 5213/7213 is a 200-speed tungsten-balanced film. It features extended latitude enabling cinematographers to record more details in highlights and delivers finer grain for natural-looking images in the darkest areas. The emulsion is optimally designed for both controlled interiors and challenging high-contrast exteriors and is available in all formats (65 mm 35 mm Super 16 and Super 8). Cinematographers who have tested the film report that it records cleaner whites and deeper black tones offers enhanced latitude and provides richer color saturation and natural skin tones. Kodak's new Vision3200T 5213 stock is a significant improvement over the already excellent Vision2 5217 says American Society of Cinematographers president Michael Goi (The Mentalist My Name is Earl) who tested the film. Reds in skin tones have a noticeably more natural balance and I felt I could almost touch the high resolution results in texture. This new film has an even finer grain structure with deeper black tones and richer color saturation especially in the reds and flesh tones says David Mullen ASC (Jennifer's Body Akeelah and the Bee) who also tested the film. The images were slightly sharper and more consistent in over-exposed areas. The white tones were cleaner after the film was scanned and converted to digital files. There is also a tighter grain structure especially when it is used for daylight exterior scenes. By capturing the highest possible amount of image information far more than any digital format the Kodak Vision3 family of films gives the filmmaking community incomparable flexibility throughout the motion picture chain Snyder adds. That translates directly to time and cost efficiencies on set and in post and greater creative control no matter what workflow is followed. Our customers demand the very highest image quality and these new Kodak films help them achieve their creative visions better than any other image capture medium today says Snyder. Our actions continue to demonstrate that Kodak remains committed to motion picture film with more advances on the way.