Welcome to the second half of our interview with Aerial Director of Photography at Aerial Filmworks, Ron Chapple!

5. Do you have a favorite "go-to" camera and/or lens?
 
We have both the Fujinon 42x 9.7mm and 13x 4.5mm lens kits for our Cineflex systems. (We own 3 of the 42x lenses, and one 13x lens.) While most of our clients request the longer lens for the amazing range, I personally like the wide lens. With the wide, I can get images that feel as if they are wrapping around the helicopter. In December, I filmed in the narrow canyons of Big Bend National Park where we had less than 200 feet between 1,000 foot canyon walls. The Fujinon 13x wide was perfect!

6. You film a lot of wildlife. For example, the PBS/Nature film, "Bears of the Final Frontier" must have been a challenge. What is that like?

Our first premise is that wildlife must be filmed without any awareness of the helicopter. Having the right long lens is critical to getting the shot.  If any animal is startled or intimidated by the helicopter, we immediately cease filming. The big "no no" in nature documentary work is seeing the backside of the animal running from the camera. On the "Bears…" project, we were fortunate to have a strong wind that pushed the helicopter noise away from the animals, and by using the 42x 9.7mm lens from 1,500 feet away, we were able to get really great images of the bears interacting normally.
 
7.  What are the most significant changes in aerial filming from when you started until now?

The newest trend we are seeing is what the industry calls "Piece to Camera" where the actor or presenter looks at the Cineflex to deliver their lines. We are circling the scene zoomed in to the actor , and then pull out to full wide to reveal the whole scene. The new PBS series "America Revealed" has many of these scenes. We have filmed the host skydiving from 10,000 feet, riding along in open cockpit airplanes, standing on top of huge industrial cranes, and flying in ultralights. Last week in Costa Rica, I filmed two actors in a helicopter flying low through the rainforest!

8. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
 
Yes! Lenses and cameras are critical hardware for any creative business. The part of this business that always is most impressive is the teamwork! Everyone in the entire process is important, from the people that make the lenses, build and design the Cineflex, to the creative director, helicopter pilot and logistics crew. We all have our unique role in bringing great images to the viewer.


For more information on Aerial Filmworks visit http://www.aerialfilmwork.com/.

For more information on Fujifilm Optical Devices, go to www.Fujinon.com, or follow us at www.Facebook.com/FujifilmOptical and www.Twitter.com/FujifilmOptical.
Posted: 5/23/2012 11:10:12 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments




Director of Marketing & Product Development Thom Calabro introduces the Fujinon XA19 Lens, which debuted at NAB 2012.

The Fujinon PL 19-90 Cabrio Lens, featured in the video above, was presented with a Digital Video Best of Show Black Diamond Award at NAB Show 2012. A select panel of engineers, editors, and production and post professionals joined the magazine staff to judge the Best of Show awards for Digital Video, which recognize outstanding achievement in the advancement of video technology.

The Fujinon PL 19-90 Cabrio (ZK4.7x19) features an exclusive detachable servo drive unit, making it suitable for use as a standard PL lens or as an ENG-Style lens. The ZK4.7x19 also features flange focal distance adjustment, macro function, and is LDS (Lens Data System) and /i metadata compatible. With a 19-90mm focal range and weight of only 2.7kg including servo motors, this lens has the longest focal range available in a light weight zoom.

Visit www.FujifilmUSA.com/2012NAB to see other Fujinon lens debuts from this years NAB or for more information on Fujifilm Optical Devices, go to www.Fujinon.com, or follow us at www.Facebook.com/FujifilmOptical and www.Twitter.com/FujifilmOptical

Posted: 5/17/2012 1:22:45 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


1. Is there one instance you can pinpoint that turned you on to photography and cinematography?

In high school, I was always the kid that could not quite figure out the whole social scene. When I discovered photography, my whole world opened up to new ways of communicating. I could now create an image and get really interesting responses from people.  
 
2. What do you view as emerging trends in cinematography today?

For me, creative trends are far more interesting than technology trends. In our business, we are seeing the need to have aerials, or establishing shots, in all productions from full scale nature documentary to reality shows to indie films. Aerials are unique in their power to set a place and mood for the film.

Planet Earth established the Cineflex V14HD as the "must have" camera for any nature documentary. Now, almost every "Made for TV" program needs aerials.

3. What were your FIRST and BEST experiences using the revolutionary Cineflex HD technology?

Everyday! I absolutely love exploring new landscapes and communicating the beauty of the planet with the Cineflex and Fujinon lenses. My personal favorites are The Andes mountains, glaciers, Grand Canyon, and filming volcanoes. Lately, we have been working in Latin America where the landscape is just now being explored with the Cineflex camera systems.
 
4. You started working mainly in fashion, annual report photography and advertising.  How did you transition from that to the range of everything you do now?

I think anyone starts business with the opportunity at hand. I was based in Charlotte, NC when I started business 30 years ago. At that time, the only work was from textile mills and banks. My only business strategy was to differentiate my studio by specializing in location work rather than studio. From my start in commercial work, I then produced images for license as stock for many years before moving to aerial HD video. As a caveat, I have been shooting aerials for many years, so moving into aerial film was an easy transition. Creating aerial video is really just creating many, many still images in sequence. Every image composition must be perfect, and transition into the next image.



Stay tuned in to our blog for part two!

For more information on Aerial Filmworks visit http://www.aerialfilmwork.com/.

For more information on Fujifilm Optical Devices, go to www.Fujinon.com, or follow us at www.Facebook.com/FujifilmOptical and www.Twitter.com/FujifilmOptical.
 

Posted: 5/9/2012 10:06:37 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


According to data released in a Broadcast Engineering article, NAB 2012 was attended by 91,932 professionals from the worldwide broadcast and professional video production industries. This is up about 4.5% from the 88,044 that gathered last year.
 
In line with the show overall, Fujifilm USA experienced better booth traffic, in part because of the new products we unveiled. Headlining this year’s cast was the Fujinon PL 19-90 Cabrio Lens, which was presented with a Digital Video Best of Show Black Diamond Award. A select panel of engineers, editors, and production and post professionals joined the magazine staff to judge the Best of Show awards for Digital Video, which recognize outstanding achievement in the advancement of video technology. You can see a video of the PL 19-90 here.

The lens was a hit with attendees from all over the world, fitting the overall feel of NAB. The official numbers*, as provided by the NAB, are as follows

    • Total Registered Attendees:  92,112
    • International Attendees:  24,928
    • Countries represented:  151
    • News Media Attendees:  1,652

NAB Executive Vice President of Media Relations Dennis Wharton said that an estimated $30 billion in commerce was generated by the show including the business done on the exhibit hall floor by the 1,600 exhibitors

To watch videos of all the products we introduced at NAB, visit our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter


* International and news media attendance figures are included in the overall registration number. All numbers are based on pre-show and onsite registration.
 

Posted: 5/7/2012 12:45:34 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments






Director of Marketing & Product Development Thom Calabro introduces the Fujinon XA19 Lens, which debuted at NAB 2012.

The XA19x mini-box lens offers automatic compensation of focus breathing. This mechanism synchronizes the zoom movement to the focus movement, enabling the image size to remain constant when focusing - a must in episodic production. The XA 19x7.4BESM-D8 is ideally suited to live studio production, such as live news, sports, and entertainment. With features like RS-232 control and tally lights, it can also be used in conjunction with virtual reality studio sets and robotic camera systems. Both the XA19x7.4BESM-D8 and HA19x7.4BERM/BERD lenses have advanced diagnostics to keep them working reliably, as well as a short "MOD" or minimum object distance of 0.55mm, which allows shooting at closer distances.

Visit www.FujifilmUSA.com/2012NAB to see other Fujinon lens debuts from this years NAB or for more information on Fujifilm Optical Devices, go to www.Fujinon.com, or follow us at www.Facebook.com/FujifilmOptical and www.Twitter.com/FujifilmOptical.
 
Posted: 5/3/2012 11:19:53 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


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