Shooting b-roll of the Maule with Marcel at Hinckley (0c2)

Putting together videos has been a fun way to spend a lot of hours lately, but I decided I needed more b-roll to use in them. B-roll is additional footage to use where good shots of the event being presented are unavailable or as supporting footage. As an example, think about documentaries where a person is being interviewed and talking about an event while the video cuts back and forth from the person being interviewed and a variety of shots relevant to the subject matter at hand.

In this case, I put out a call on facebook to see if anyone wanted to tag along and a friend who is also into video, Marcel, was the first to jump on the opportunity. He’s really into skydiving and the last time I had seen him was when we went tumbling out of a plane together last summer, so it was also a good opportunity to catch up.

Some people are pretty particular about what airports the fly into. A Cirrus pilot needs a longer runway than a maule pilot, so their options are going to be more limited. A lower experienced pilot might be nervous about busy airports. Those kinds of things come into play every day for pilots all over. For our mission, the main criteria was trying to find the most scenic setting possible given that we’re in the flatlands of the midwest. So I picked a lightly used grass strip nearby and scheduled the flight for the evening. Not quite ‘magic hour’ or ‘golden hour’, but close enough that the footage wouldn’t be too blown out by a bright sun.

The runway is east/west, so it favors some shots better than others. What wind there was, was blowing from the west, so I would be taking off and landing into the sun. This was good. If the sun had been setting behind the plane we would have only been able to get one or two decent shots, nearly every other idea would have been blown out by the sunset.

We landed and dropped off Marcel along with the cameras. We set one up in the runway for the fun shots of the plane zooming over at a few feet above the ground and I kept the ones on the plane also for the ariel shots. I did a couple landings, taxi’s and one low pass to get all the stuff I wanted for the moment, then we wrapped everything up and headed back to DuPage.

This video has a bunch of that raw footage and alert viewers will notice it popping up from time to time in future videos as well.

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4th of July

Beth and I spent the last couple weeks up at the farm and most of the family came up at one point or another. I got to do some flying too. The kids came out to the airport and we filmed some footage for the pre-flight briefing for the Maule. Need some more to make it better, but we’re off to a good start. I took the kids out for flights over the farm and everyone seemed to have fun. Finally, on the way home I was able stop at a couple grass strips and get some short field practice.

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Change Of Scenery

I decided that we needed a pre-flight briefing video for the Maule so I put together a shot list over the last few days and recruited my nieces and nephew to star in it. We were all gathering at the farm for the 4th of July weekend anyway so decided to use that opportunity to film the footage.

I had estimated that it would take 15-45 minutes to film the 3 minutes of footage I needed so we decided to head to the airport around 10:30, shoot the footage, get some lunch and do some flying. The kids are rounded up by their parents and I hitch a ride over with Matt. We made a quick stop in Lone Rock for cash and found the only bank in the world that doesn’t have an ATM. Weird.

The standard cast of characters was in the mini-mart. As I got some money out I overheard the cashier and a customer discussing the latest DUI for a relative and an older guy with no teeth came in for a 24oz Old Style. Cheaper breakfast than an order of eggs and bacon I suppose.

Out the door we headed back down the road to the airport and I set to work getting the plane ready for the filming. I got the gear I needed unpacked and threw the rest into the luggage compartment. First cast was Opie and What-What. They mostly did their parts from the back seat and looked adorable as always.

Neutron and Stinkeye were next and also pulled everything off admirably.

We grabbed a quick lunch and went flying in shifts. The kids had a blast in the back seat. We flew sorties over the farm and various folks came out to the driveway to wave as we flew over.

All in all a good day.

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