Air-to-Air Shooters

I love anything related to aviation so I jumped at the chance to produce this story. Hawaiian Airlines had just gotten a fleet of new Boeing 717 jets and needed to acquire film footage of the planes in flight to use in future commercials. They hired Clay Lacy Aviation which is a premier aviation photography company to do the shooting. I was fortunate to be able to go up in the 717 during one of the shoots which took us over open water north of the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The whole process is an extremely well-coordinated dance between the big 717 and the small Learjet camera plane. Pilots are in constant communication with each other as the most dangerous factor is the possibility of a mid-air collision. They also have to be aware of their location within the airspace with air traffic controllers as there may be other commercial aircraft in the same area. I took a small DV camera with me to use only in the cockpit as there was no room to maneuver with the big Betacam. For audio I tapped into their intercom system to capture the dialog between the two planes. I was able to obtain the processed footage from the Lear in time for the edit so I could integrate them into the piece. I did match cuts between the film footage and my video using the location of the planes as reference to get some point-of-view perspectives. I loved this shoot and was privileged to be able to participate.

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