Packing the Right Kit: RC Helicopter and Handheld Gimb


Storytelling on Location


Lesson Info

Packing the Right Kit: RC Helicopter and Handheld Gimb

So let's actually show him the gimbal and explain the rationale behind it and you can probably do it better than I can say this is really a game changing device. This is home made like sean built this out of the same parts that he was flying on rc helicopters and you know, we alluded to the difference between that glide cam the handheld glide cam in this device and there's there's a lot of advantages and mostly the three axis stabilisation um yes the, uh, handheld gimbal essentially it was born out of, uh camera gambles for helicopters um in order to keep a stable image on a helicopter that you can imagine has to do this in order to move to fly has to counter aka those three axes which is pitch roll in, right? Yeah. So the handheld is the same, but instead of an aircraft you just put handlebars on it and it'll stabilize uh those three axes when it's working properly um and then and this set up you have an operator, you can do it both ways, but dane can operate with this and he has wire...

less transmission of with the para links and as well as I can have a monitor to help me with remy but then dane can control this device here as well. In the end of a jib we're having some little bit issues right now I think it's because it's one hundred percent humidity outside and I think that's a really important you know sean is having this problem you can probably see from looking at this device this is not something that you're just going to like buy a kit, pull it out of the box and it's ready to roll like I think dane said it when we're off the air he said like this this is the job requires the most stress he's shown sweating it but he's cool as a cucumber it appears on the outside a lot can go wrong with rc helicopters in these handheld gimbel's I mean there's a ton of electronics there's a ton of battery issues there's you know, the bottom line is it is not easy to operate this it up so the reality is if you're sitting at home or you're sitting in this audience right now and you're thinking, oh, this is a no brainer I'm just gonna, like, pick up one of these and I'm gonna pick up one of these. The reality for me is I realized early on I'm never going to be the pilot of an rc helicopter unless they advanced greatly and you know I can do it on my iphone and I'm certainly not thinking the guy that's like building the handheld gimbal when we get on location this becomes a team effort you know there's little helicopters that guy's air flying with gopro cameras and they're almost disposable like you crash it it still hurts but it's not as painful is like a big camp big helicopter going down so it's you know that I'm just pointing that out it's huge opportunity but it does require your bringing a little help on the job so but we can let us let's demo how this thing works how it doesn't humanity but here the three axes that air stabilized this is pan, which on helicopter is you're uttering there's role and I didn't see the camera staying pretty darn still I mean this is a pretty impressive pretty impressive deal here that would be danged job you need there, bud man sensitive but that's the idea you know you can picture how we're going to use this so jim is walking down the dock and sean is walking behind jim as the camera staying stable and you know, the bottom line is it would be very difficult to do that much. You were using a steady cam vast with very specific training a technician that really knows how to operate a steadicam and so we're having obviously humidity issue but the point is this is a game changing tool like it's absolutely game changing in terms of some of the shots where we're capturing this might give you okay so now you can see what that gamble so now we made the decision on the rc helicopter that we're actually flying a nikon one camera and I alluded to that earlier the reason we're flying that muralist camera is it super lightweight? So we're getting probably doubled the flight time out of this helicopter uh as opposed to flying in the slr john, can you explain the boyds and it's just like a new school deal? Um this is technically an octa copter because it has eight motors propellers but you can see that it's on four arms and if you a lot of the new indoor helicopters that you can buy our co axial and on an indoor helicopter the propeller one will spin clockwise and one was counterclockwise and that just gives it some inherent stability. So that's the same here there's no tail rotor unlike a traditional helicopter. So each of these blades just spend an alternating directions and that helps it fight the wind and just give you a little better stability have you crashed? Helicopter crashed helicopter! How many, uh, two had two crashes? Did you sell them to the cameras on either one of those one, huh? So that's super important to here? I mean it's just period if you're going to fly rc helicopters it's kind of like an if then statement if you fly rc helicopters, you will crash rc helicopters an ideal you just don't do it on the job and if you do it on the job like you want to have a redundancy a backup plan for the one primary helicopter goes down you know what do you do? I said it earlier I bet of the twelve times we've used rc helicopters and jobs has been at least five crashes so you know that and we're and we're pretty conservative we weren't pushing it we weren't you know but we're on location it's humid and cold locations were in the desert you know, that's just kind of the reality um let's see how about any questions here guys or or from the internet? I have a question I'd like to ask so this the scare is incredible it's amazing and I would I would love to know how to use one of these helicopters I think you know helicopters you guys know what I mean? I mean, I think these shots would improve anybody's anybody's images or video anytime I mean it takes you up to that next level but I guess my question is what do you guys think as as the basic kitt as faras mobile being mobile and doing motion and stills and then taking it from they're going up to say, what would you take as a one man crew versus when the three of you go and you're operating all this all this incredibly difficult technical gear sure you give us a run down for me and and dane jump in and correct me if I think for me it starts with one camera body two lenses seventeen to thirty five millimeter lens seventy two two hundred millimeter lens in a single dslr body a tripod with the fluid head there's your entry like that's like mandatory you need that stuff to do your job next I would probably at a jib would probably be this actual jim would be the feather light crane because you could do a lot of camera movement with the single device you can sort of mimic a slider by panning right and left you can do you khun jib up and down if I had additional budget I would probably go for a slider. It could be a smaller slider than this guy um this a castle er slider and really used and then you start graduating into a longer slider a better gift. So everything is a stair step. I mean everything it's not never. Should someone use thea excuse or can use the excuse of if I add all of the budget in the world you could do amazing filmmaking with the tripod and the camera and when you start adding a jib and you start adding a slider and you start mounting the camera on object you know your car your skateboard is a fantastic device from, you know, put a sandbag on your skateboard you said that cameron escape when you slide it down the road where you mounted on your bike, you know, that is a totally realistic way and cool way of moving the camera so it's you know, I think it's not about just getting the right equipment it's about using your head and actually capitalizing on what you do have access to, I think that's awesome that that jim is the is the first thing after the tripod that you would get so there's no, there you wouldn't have any sort of handheld rig at all after the tripod thing, I think I think I think, you know, it's a toss up for me, I'd almost say the slider first, I think it's pretty versatile and getting little camera movements, I think both of these air the first step in getting that repeatable camera movement that you might want but like course said, you know, having all the toys it's not having him is no excuse not to be able to go and make a great video. I think, you know, some of the best videos we watch are ones that don't have camera movements, so I think it's all about your story and what you're shooting this stuff just helps enhance it when you use it, you know, motivated you know you'd see a lot of overuse cider stuff, but if you motivate the shot with the movement that's coming through the shot it becomes something that adds to the shot rather than just being a gimmick for the shot you know, awesome one final question about that are these two items the pinnacle as far as is at the top? No this's you know, when we say we're like the guerrilla style through it still you know that by no means look the top is you get a real helicopter with cina flax melted okay, well, the top first people like you that travel into pakistan, the mountains of pakistan as faras available no, I would say that you know, the helicopter that we brought me I can't speak to the mechanics of the helicopter, but what was unique in pakistan is we were able to monitor what the camera was seeing from a mile and a half away so it was, you know, the pilot sean wasn't in pakistan with me was this twist pilot remo messina and remo had ski goggles on and I'll show you this clip later in the course it ski goggles on with little monitors mounted inside and he was literally standing in our base camp fourteen thousand feet and we're at twenty thousand feet climbing a rock wall and I'm radioing him from a motorola walkie talkie and saying I think we're in a cool spot and then he would say, okay, give me five minutes to get up there and he would sitting in a tallis boulder field and fire up the helicopter we're in the character or um I mean like, this is his wild as it gets and he would with this ski goggles on alone he's sitting in the boulder field, they would fire up this helicopter is like, into the air and, you know, we're like hanging out on the rock wall and then you hear the weed, wacker is like, flying and literally we only had about sixty seconds of flight time, maybe ninety seconds to him to pass us a few times and then he had to descend back so we wouldn't run out of battery power and it just sounded like a missile like shooting back down this valley through the character form so that you know, the pinnacle in terms of, you know, one day sean will be able to fly this for you from tahoe, but you'll be flying in seattle I mean, I'm not making that up, I don't know, maybe you can speak to how much better are they getting or are they right now? Rc helicopter it's moving fast as faras the photography aspect goes the camera gimbels have come a long way with the brush list motile motors but the ability of your fly great distances I think that's been around sometime but it's still people who have like a high level of technical ability and the pilot corey worked within pakistan their company and their demo reel one of the best in the world for sure the you know, I guess the other thing pinnacle is going to be and I don't know if this will ever happen is when this is out of the box and a guy like me could actually learn how to fly it easily that will be the truth game changer when it's on do I say this about cameras? No one imagined that one day you could pick up a dslr we're actually better example no one imagine that you could have a mobile phone that could actually shoot full hd video and then you can email the file on location to your buddy across the world and when that happens these rc helicopters you know they're four hundred dollars and you pull him out of a box and they're indestructible when you fly it with your mobile device that will be the game changer. But today that you know this is still the cutting edge I just want to say it's amazing to see all this care but it's great to hear that when you said you know it's not about the toys it's about the story, so I really appreciate that all right all right you guys have any questions in the studio audience? I know you do have a question for mash ana when you built this helicopter where you start from what was the into level that I want to get into flying rc helicopters I'm gonna build one where should I start? Um the best the best place to start is a flight simulator so on your computer in your house um and with that you can learn the skills necessary to fly one thing that's different about flying um a radio controlled aircraft is you're not fixed inside the cockpit so once you fly out and you turn around now your orientation is switched on. All your controls have also switched so it's different than if you're fine like inside of a traditional aircraft where left is always left right is always right that changes once you go spend so learn how to fly first but the flight controllers are pretty sophisticated that flying is not so difficult these days if you rely on the flight controller um but to be successful you're going to have to learn and love the hobby of rc um you have to learn how to sauterne program and tune and fine tune all these things in order to get um you know, good performance out of the helicopter and more importantly, good stable video a lot of people can buy a kit or buy a gopro or the phantom with the gopro but in the long run you might not actually get stable video um that would get you paid you know, so I definitely start there and then scale up um from there I wouldn't recommend buying her ready to fly unit that costs ten thousand dollars from manufacturer because the reality is you could crash at your first day organisations or groups or that you could contact to rent pilot and rc helicopter if you had a shot that you really want and you could find someone who you know how to do that you know you have this aerial cinematographers that's yeah that's what that's what's your website sky point visuals dot com you can check out uh both our services, which is you know, the radio controlled hell ian the handheld gimbels um and yeah that's how most people work is freelance no more question what's the cost of that gimbal kit it depends on where you buy it from now, there's. You know, initially we came out of the crypt. The craze was the movie from free fly who was actually an aerial cinematography company um and they range anywhere from like, if you can do it and build it yourself and you know how to source the parts from the correct chinese factory five hundred bucks or you can pay maybe like fifteen thousand just depends, but getting it all working is is the hard part for sure so is we all go through and learn how to shoot and tell more stories visually we're going to go through the pains of what's over motioning a shot what's under motioning stop what some of things you guys have learned through using all the different tools and when you added motion to a shot that really didn't need it and was kind of give me key or not give mickie what is something you can kind of teach us is we frame of our shots? Do not overdo it as well I would even say before talking about like over emotion or moving the camera too much I was going to talk speak to photography which it it's it's kind of like critiquing a still photograph there's this kind of universal now there's this subjective reaction to your photos if seven people in this room if we put an image up on the wall a still photograph and everyone says, wow, I don't care what critique you have it's a good photo of seven people just made that noise like wow that's a great photograph and video is the same way I don't care if you're moving the camera not moving the camera ifit's good content if it's beautiful cinema photography if it's wonderful shots there's no way I don't care if someone critiques it or not but there's too much motion or not enough motion the bottom one is first and foremost make great shots like actually have an idea be creating stunning content pay attention to what's in that rectangle and then I think it really comes down to the post production process it's when you see it all strung together I think it's that audience reaction you know it's fine if one guy on the internet says like all man youjust overused the slight that's okay that's that one guy but if if the collective subjective is what I like if everybody else is commenting on your youtube video or your video video that wow great stuff you didn't use too much motion, right? I mean that's it it's it's there's very much like a personal part to it do you like the way that it looks? Are you proud of the shots or you your harshest critic? Because that's really important you need to be your harshest critic and then you want to hear what the world around you has to say and if you think you've done a really great job but everybody online says this is bad, then at that point, guess what, you've probably used a little too much motion or if that's their critique the specific and critique on the other hand and it turns out everybody loves what you're doing yeah, you've answered the question you're not overusing your devices you know that's like a quick, easy jab that folks will take you like, oh you're moving your stuff too much if it's good stuff, it doesn't matter that's why I think you know you'll find you have a little more success with their shots shots that you're gonna like a little more when you do when you're using the motion that's within the frame too you know motivate that slider shot it's maybe it is the guy skiing down and you're going with him and you let him do a clean exit out of frame I think you know, thinking about that type of what you want from the shot to begin with is going to help a lot because maybe you find hey, I did a slide of moving in with the other direction and for some reason I'm not liking what it did it well it's probably because you're not flowing with the movement that's going within the frame you know the other advice I would give if you have the time and you're doing it for yourself if you have the opportunity to do it with the camera moving, try it then try it without the camera moving try it locked up and then when you get into post production, try to figure out what works best for your aesthetic I mean, it turns out, sometimes you do it with motion. You realise, while this doesn't really work, and other times you have this locked off shot where you're thinking, I wish I would have done something with the camera. I mean, it's still photographers, that's. Our natural instinct is to, like, lock off the shot and just let something happen, and it happened in front of the camera for motion. But the beauty of motion is your subject moving, and you can move the camera so it's, just deciding, when does it work? And when does it not? And it's a muscle memory thing? The more times you try it, the better fuel you're going tohave for does. This worker doesn't not work in that situation.

Class Description

The future of storytelling, for enthusiasts and professionals alike, is all about capturing great pictures AND great video during a single dynamic shoot. However, attempting to be both a still photographer and ace filmmaker at the same time is rife with opportunities to mess up, miss the shot, and blow the whole shoot.

A lot of photographers have learned to add video into their repertoire through trial and error, often with frustrating results. Join seasoned visual storyteller Corey Rich for a 3-day live still-and-motion shoot on location. Corey will walk you through every step of the process — from storyboarding to post-production.

Whether you’re an enthusiast wanting to capture stills and video of your cousin’s wedding, or a professional photographer looking to offer stunning motion spots to your clients, this workshop will help you seamlessly bring your stories to life.


a Creativelive Student

What a great class it is such a great opportunity to what some real pros at work. This class will inspire you to do what it takes to get the image. You will see that even the pros struggle sometimes.

Edina C.

Very informative class! I loved it... Thanks Corey!

a Creativelive Student