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.