Who am I? What am I doing? Perhaps I’m just procrastinating from my usual day to day activities at Aero… Nah, that couldn’t possibly be! I’m starting the company blog!! That’s a very valid activity! This takes creativity and focus! And a chocolate mint mocha… hold please…
Oh, much better. So Aero Film is my place of employment, but better yet, I like to think as my daytime family who happen to pay me. Lord knows my “for real” family doesn’t pay me and I didn’t even get to choose them! But I digress. Back to the first question: Who am I? I am Sara Eolin, an executive producer with Aero in the NYC office. I’ve been with the Aero Family for a little over a year. Up until then I worked as an agency producer for, well… ahem-cough-cough… long enough. I was at Grey NY back in the day when people were afraid to hold the elevator door for people as that was a fireable offense from the CEO. (Not kidding, folks.) After that I was at Merkley and Partners where I met most of my closest friends in the business and got to know waaaay more about horse racing, cars and cholesterol lowering medications than I ever thought I would. From there I was off to Lowe NY, where I moved up the ranks to head of production. I really enjoyed it, but I wanted to focus on the nuts and bolts of production and to play a more creative role in the process. So off I went into the wild blue production yonder. I had wonderful plans of taking months off to find myself… but I got so incredibly bored I thought I was going to go insane. I was like a sheep dog without a task. Miserable. Drooling a bit. Not so much with the shedding… but you get the point. I’d been friends with the Aero boys for years, and when they asked me to come aboard, it was a bit of a no-brainer. I’d shot with Klaus Obermeyer and Lance O’Connor in 2003 and we remained close friends even though they almost killed me on a boat in Tahiti. As the boat leaned perilously on its side and Klaus jumped into shark infested water to save another boat, I knew then we’d either be friends forever or tied up in litigation forever. As you can tell, I did indeed survive, the friendship stuck and I realized that sea sickness can be an excellent diet aide. (I KID!)
Okay, enough about me and more about how I’m by far the most uninteresting person at the company. (Oh, that’s still about me…) Well, for starters, I can’t fly. No, we don’t have Peter Pan on staff, but for the most part, all our directors and producers can fly a plane and/or helicopter—hence the name Aero Film. The main office in California is at the Santa Monica airport, pretty much directly on the runway albeit safely tucked to one side. We house the Aero Jet and Helicopter in our hanger around the corner. Oh sure, this sounds extravagant, but I have to say, if you’ve ever done a tech scout in CA for 10 different locations in a 15-passenger van, you’ll know the benefit of having a small plane that can pop from Bakersfield to San Diego without looking at the 405. (Shudder!) So truly, they’re production tools first and foremost.
Obviously our directors are our pride and joy at Aero. Klaus is one of the founders of Aero and one of the most energetic people I’ve ever met in my life. He’s a Tai Kwon Do master, expert skier, surfer, wind surfer and spears lobsters in his spare time. He’s also great friends with a myriad of base jumpers and incredibly talented (and possibly crazy) stuntmen. When their daring-dos need to be shot, there’s Klaus figuring out the best (and safest!) way to do it. But there’s also a side to Klaus that is amazingly calm and connected to nature in ways that make Snow White seem like an Exxon executive. He can free dive with a camera for almost 2 minutes, which allows him to capture footage of sea life that few others can shoot. Apparently, most sea creatures are scared of the bubbles from SCUBAs and not the person itself. (Who knew?!)
Then there is Ken Arlidge, director/cameraman extraordinaire who’s been with Aero since day 1. He was a feature DP for years and made the transition to directing. He was working on the set of The Crow when Brandon Lee was shot, and helped figure out the series of events that lead to the great tragedy. So don’t shoot anyone around Ken and think you’ll get away with it. (You won’t.) But, it will be captured on film (or to a digital hard drive actually) beautifully. He’s very innovative in his use of new camera systems and has made the Canon 5D Mark II his camera of choice. He’s added on a lot of his own whizbangs (highly technical term) to make it professional grade, but its revolutionized set up times, and ease of shooting dialogue without mag changes. And who needs a technocrane when you can tie the camera to a $18 painters pole? It is a very nice painter’s pole, mind you.
Ok, I must go leaving you wanting more! Conference calls are looming and someone has to type in the host code, you know. Stay tuned for more Aero news, anecdotes and stories of our other directors: James Mangold, Jason Farrand and our mini-Irish Mafia of Gary McKendry and Sam O’Hare. If you’re aching for more, check out our official Aero Film website, join our Fan Page on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.