“It’s the first ski footage ever above 23,000 feet,” says Marolt, who shot it on Sony HVR-A1Us and DCR-PC101s. “The problem is, at those altitudes, and with no porters, as they can’t ski, you’re very limited in what gear and rigs you can carry up a mountain like Everest. And I gradually developed a technique to stabilize the camera myself, using my arms and body.”
Marolt tried designing “various rigs,” but ultimately rigged the cameras to sit on top of a ski pole. “I could pan and really convey the extreme nature of what we were doing in these extreme environments,” he explains. “And it’s all on the fly, as it’s so hard to do anything at these altitudes.”Aerial shooting always is extreme, and the Warner Bros. recent hit film Clash of the Titans, directed by Louis Leterrier, used Pictorvision’s new state-of-the-art eclipse helicopter camera-mount system to get some extreme shots.
“I did Leterrier’s last movie with a different system,” says pilot Fred North. “It didn’t have a perfect level horizon and couldn’t look straight down. For Clash of the Titans, Leterrier and cinematographer Peter Menzies Jr. wanted to have a different system with a perfect level horizon at all times to fly at a speed approaching 135 mph through steep canyons in Tenerife [Spain] and be able to look straight down. So I suggested the eclipse.”
A week before shooting, Leterrier requested that North and aerial cinematographer Hans Bjerno capture a series of “long-line” shots in Wales. Pictorvision’s Tom Hallman, his technical team and freelance technician Peter Graf worked to design the long-line, anti-torque kit and then built a custom tail rudder on set.
At the core of the eclipse’s superior stability is the patented XR Motion Management technology, enabling the most advanced steering, stability and pointing capabilities available on the market. The eclipse won’t topple, provides an absolute level horizon and also features faster startups and resets.