SkyMotion Video was proud to be part of the team behind the 2012 Tourism Partnership of Niagara commercials for the Niagara Falls region - produced by HLP + Partners. This video is NOT the tourism commercial, but instead a collection of some of our favorite shots.
The SkyMotion Video team provided the aerial video services for the shoot - making use of their state of the art remote controlled helicopter drone. Niagara Falls has of course been filmed countless times in the past using full sized helicopters. However, with this remote controlled helicopter, the shoot was not limited by minimum altitude restrictions, and so was able to achieve shots which were unlike any before. Flying only a couple feet above the water, the camera was able to approach the waterfall edge to give the viewer a true sense of the shear scale of the world famous falls.
However, the Niagara region is not limited to just the falls. The surrounding area is full of beautiful landscapes with quaint towns, and world class vineyards. The area is full of life, and the hope is that these dynamic shots give a real sense of the variety of things offered by not only the falls, but by the region as a whole.
When asked how we felt about piloting several thousands of dollars over the edge of the Falls, system pilot Chuck Taylor had this to say: "If it were to fall over the Falls, or into the ocean, or even from 100 feet in the air into a parking lot, the end result is pretty much the same. When it is juxtaposed against one of the most powerful natural structures in the world, it simply gives the illusion of being more dangerous than a typical flight. To be honest, the shots in the Jackson Triggs wine cellar was the most nerve-racking, as clearances were often less than one foot."
This said however, the team was concerned about mist from the waterfall interfering with the sensitive electronics on the system, and so the flight path was limited to an area between the actual Falls edge. and the large cloud created by the turbulent water below. Hopefully keen viewers will enjoy the 'shower cap' seen over top of the central hub in some of the shots. :-)
Flying a Phantom 1.1.1 with Zenmuse gimbal GoPro Black in some instances, with an 5.8g FPV set-up for essentially the first time. 1st Impression is wow, for the money, this set-up is pretty amazing. The gimbal is solid and combined with a GoPro, it's hard to pick to many holes in it. If I had a big "wish" it would be having a two person set-up Pilot/camera op but considering the simplicity and cost, you gotta be happy with the package.