Aerial Camera Systems (ACS) completes world’s first 4K Live aerial shoot
In conjunction with Broadcast RF and Helicopter Film Services (HFS), Aerial Camera Systems has successfully tested and completed the first live 4K helicopter aerial shoot over London. Using an AS355 Twin Engine Helicopter fitted with a Shotover Stabilised Camera Mount and Sony F55 Camera, ACS’ award winning aerial cameraman, Dave Manton, was able to send back live 4K aerial images using Broadcast RF’s newly developed 4K RF system. The Ultra High definition video feed was transmitted to the ground over the same channel bandwidth as an ordinary HD radio camera.
Speaking on completion of the test, ACS Sales Director, Matt Coyde, commented, ‘We’ve been keen to find a solution for live 4K aerial filming for some time now and to have been able to achieve such great results is really encouraging for future projects. We’re confident this will be of interest to a number of our clients who have expressed interest in shooting 4K live aerials for some time.’
ACS takes delivery of Arri Alexa M XT
The newest addition to our camera inventory has arrived! The Arri Alexa M XT will primarily be used for our aerial filming work, along with our Red Dragon®
ACS orders new Cineflex Ultra
We’re excited to announce the imminent delivery of the very latest development in the Cineflex stabilised mount. The Cineflex Ultra will be offered with multiple broadcast and cinema lenses and a choice of Red Epic Dragon, Arri Alexa XT M and the Sony HDC-2500. Download the PDF for further information on the Ultra.
ACS at the XX Commonwealth Games
As ACS’ largest aerial project to date was finishing at the World Cup in Brazil, preparations were underway for the year’s major delivery of specialist cameras for Commonwealth Games’ host broadcaster SVGTV.
Remote head, tracks and aerial crews all travelled to Glasgow to contribute in the delivery of SVGTV’s coverage of the 20th Games. ACS kit could be found across most venues and if it wasn’t on the ground it was in the air supplying aerial filming of the Games including the Opening and Closing Ceremony.
As the two AS355 twin engine helicopter fitted with HD Cineflex V14 stabilised mounts followed overhead, two specially adapted tracking vehicles also fitted with Cineflex mounts followed by road for the Marathon coverage. Capturing the Glasgow scenery were four beautycam systems positioned across the city, 3 RF linked to the IBC and 1 via direct fibre link.
For the Aquatics coverage crews delivered a 60m overhead track and 50m pooldeck track fitted with HD Cineflex V14 stabilised mounts. Under the water kit included a Mobycam underwater railcam system, underwater remotes and Divecam. The ACS SMARThead™ remote heads could also be found positioned at the top of the diving boards capturing the athlete’s preparations before diving.
A further 24 SMARTheads™ were positioned at the athletics (1), gymnastics (7), squash (2), Boxing (1), Judo & Wrestling (1) and table tennis (1), with the remaining 11 heads used at the Shooting as part of fellow Euro Media Group company, Videohouse’, provision for SVGTV.
Hampden Park saw the 100m ACS tracking camera keeping up with the track athletes to provide those travelling shots to the finish while the 7m vertical captured the high jumpers and 8 minicam systems helped to provide referral facilities for the IAAF as well as shots for broadcast.
The final track system was one of ACS’ more lightweight, shorter tracks fitted with a SMARThead™ remote head and camera. 30m in length it offered dynamic tracking shots of the gymnasts as they competed in all disciplines.
ACS operating vehicles were also supplied to house crews at various venues. Over 40 ACS crew took part in the delivery headed up by a dedicated project manager and support engineer.
Speaking after the Games ACS Managing Director, Philip Beckett, commented, ‘The Commonwealth Games is another example of ACS’ capacity to handle large projects of this nature across a number of different camera provisions whilst continuing to deliver our ongoing commitments to other clients
ACS Unit back from Brazil
ACS are pleased to announce the successful delivery of all aerial coverage for this year's FIFA World Cup in Brazil. 7 helicopters fitted with HD Cineflex V14 camera systems and HD RF down links flew over 500 flying hours throughout the period. The 7 Cineflex operators and 28 pilots were supported by a dedicated ACS aerial coordination and project management team with ground support staff based throughout Brazil. Helisul, Brazil's largest commercial helicopter operator was chosen by ACS to supply all helicopters with Broadcast RF delivering all RF. Crew were positioned at all twelve host cities, from Manaus in the Amazon Basin in the north to the sub-tropical climate of Porto Alegre in the South to ensure clear pictures, to be beamed to a global audience, were received at every stadium.
The final in Rio saw the deployment of 2 helicopter camera ships delivering stunning aerial coverage of Rio de Janiero and the game between Germany and Argentina.
During this delivery ACS crews in the UK were busy with the delivery of our specialist kit at the Wimbledon Championships, Roland Garros, BBC's Springwatch, Heineken Cup Final, Epsom Derby, Queen's Tennis Championships, Trooping the Colour and Royal Ascot amongst others.
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We're back at Wimbledon this year with a new addition to our provision. Positioned at the back of Henman Hill our track system is capturing shots of the crowds watching the day's action. Other ACS specialist camera systems are on-site to deliver those ever important shots of the players from the ACS SMARThead rigged on the umpire's chair in Centre Court and No. 1 Court as well as the baseline track on Centre Court and aerials of the action below.
Another busy year...
ACS began 2013 delivering aerials of the New Year Firework celebration at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and ended the year with the aerial unit supplying seven systems and crew for coverage of Dubai’s world record breaking Firework display to see in 2014. Outside of the Olympics, this was our largest delivery of Cineflex systems for a single shoot! Aside from this, over the course of the past twelve months, our aerial unit has been to some far reaching places as well as those a little closer to home. Places visited include Brazil, Kenya, Norway, South Sudan, Russia, Ethiopia, Australia, Cancun, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Romania, Germany and France, not forgetting following the Moto GP series around the world. Within the UK the aerial team delivered coverage of the World Triathlon Championships, The Grand National and the World Endurance Championships as well as shoots for television programmes and corporates.
Our largest project of the year was undertaken in Brazil providing aerial coverage of the Confederations Cup and there were other events where the team travelled long distances including filming from tracking vehicles in South Korea for the coverage of the World Rowing Championships and Camel Racing in Qatar. The ACS EyeFlyer contributed to our aerial work, delivering shots from England’s victory in The Ashes in the UK, to the racing at Cheltenham and the Epsom Derby and followed F1 teams in Japan and Australia.
Our tracks department also had an eventful year, starting with ITV’s Dancing on Ice followed by the Six Nations, the Speed Skating Championships in Sochi and the yearly provision for athletics events around the country with the team re-visiting the Olympic Stadium for the London Anniversary Games. Railcams were in high demand at the London Fashion Weeks and 2013 saw new systems provided for Burberry Menswear and Top Shop, along with the established provision for Burberry Womenswear. The track team filmed Muse at Horseguards Parade, supplied vertical tracks for the Chime for Change concert at Twickenham and were there for the last recording at BBC Television Centre. Flown tracks were also used at a number of boxing matches around the country as well as a Royal Wedding in Abu Dhabi. As they were busy developing, prepping and packing for next year’s large events the Autumn Internationals arrived with the crew delivering 100m 3D track for Sky Sports’ coverage of the games at Twickenham. Finally, the year ended with the team delivering flown and vertical tracks for Sports Personality of the Year as well as 100m track for the South East Asian Games in Myanmar.
Whilst ACS tracks were keeping up with the year’s events our SMARTheads™ crew saw their fair share of high profile events in 2013 which involved a number of UK and international state occasions including Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Service, Trooping the Colour, the Swedish Royal Wedding and the Coronation of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands. Thanks to extensive long term planning they were ready to deliver SMARTheads™ at St Paul’s Cathedral for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral and completed the year contributing to the BBC’s Carols from Kings along with coverage of the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services at Westminster Abbey. Provision increased within the sporting world too, including jobs for the Ultimate Fighting Championships in Sweden and the UK and The British Open. SMARTheads™ could also be found on BBC’s Springwatch, The Proms, The Voice, The Royal Variety Performance and concerts for Kings of Leon and Peter Gabriel to name a few.
In amongst all these highlights of 2013 ACS continued its annual coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Roland Garros, Queens Tournament, Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race, the London Marathon, Dubai World Cup, as well as the Champions League Final and over 250 football matches for BBC, BT Sport, ITV Sport and Sky Sports. The team also began a new provision of facilities for Channel 4 racing following the appointment of IMG World to produce the programme, with over 80 racing days covered throughout the year. This culminated in the world famous Aintree Grand National where ACS supplied two tracking vehicles, Superloupe™, SMARTheads™, minicams, aerial coverage and the CAMCAT system making a significant contribution to the broadcast content of the event.
Looking forward, 2014 is already looking like an even busier year with a number of large international projects confirmed as well as the contracted delivery at home. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients and suppliers for their support in 2013 and wish all a happy and prosperous 2014.
A busy weekend again
Our crews were out on the Thames at the weekend for the Boat Race, operating our stabilised mounts on the chase and umpire's boats as well as providing aerial coverage of Oxford's win. Meanwhile....further north ACS crew were delivering specialist cameras and aerials for Channel 4's coverage of The Grand National
ACS debuts new Tracking Vehicle at Cheltenham Festival
Our new tracking vehicle provided coverage for Channel 4 at the Cheltenham Festival. Six weeks in development this specially adapted Landrover Discovery is the latest addition to ACS’ fleet of tracking vehicles.
The vehicle can be fitted with an HD Cineflex V14 or HD Gyron Stabilised Mount (pictured here) as well as various open stabilised mounts allowing for 3D rigs or 4K cameras, all of which can be operated from racing seats configured within the back of the vehicle.
ACS has also taken delivery of a further operating vehicle adding to the company’s continual investment in providing clients with the very latest specialist camera systems.
ACS Celebrates Queen's Diamond Jubilee
Following on from the successful coverage of commemorative services and events including last year’s Royal Wedding, ACS was chosen by BBC Events to help provide specialist camera facilities for the Jubilee with planning beginning late last year. Included within this delivery, ACS supplied and operated eight SMARThead™ remote head camera systems on board the Royal Barge at the Jubilee River Pageant.
The BBC Events production team conceived the idea at an early stage of providing extensive coverage on board the Royal Barge using solely remote cameras in preference to manned and PSC style cameras. As a result, eight ACS SMARThead™ remote pan and tilt heads were installed equipped with Ikegami HDL51 ‘brick style’ 2/3 HD broadcast quality cameras. Six were fitted with Canon HJ14 lenses and the remaining two with Canon HJ22s. The cameras offered shots of Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Party on board as well as giving their POV of this unique flotilla.
Along with this provision on the Royal Barge ACS also supplied a further SMARThead™ with P1 camera channel rigged to Tower Bridge, offering a unique shot of the flotilla passing through. Travelling within the Pageant was an HD Gyron 935 Plus stabilised mount rigged and operated from one of the one thousand boats that took part, again offering a unique perspective of the flotilla as it made its way down the Thames.
Not far from this celebration other ACS crew supplied and operated three HD Cineflex V14 stabilised mounts rigged to hoists for coverage of the Concert at the Palace and the Royal Procession on the Tuesday, placed at Canada Gate, Hyde Park and The Mall. Our ACS Tracks department also operated a Railcam at the back of the stage for the concert.
The Tuesday saw a further ACS team supply five ACS SMARTheads™ for the coverage of the service at St Paul’s and other crew rigging these discreet remotes at The Palace of Westminster and Whitehall making a total of over twenty different ACS specialist cameras supplied to capture this historic event.
ACS Managing Director Phillip Becket commented: “2012 is turning into a year of exceptional large scale deliveries for ACS. Everyone from our specialist camera operators to our engineering department have worked tirelessly to deliver incredible results during a very busy time for the company and I for one am extremely proud of the team and what they’ve achieved on this project.”
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