Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aero Aerials!

We’ve told you a lot about the Klaus Cam and how it enhances Aero's Aerials, but its high time (see what I did there!?) to talk about the man that truly makes the Klaus Cam so impressive. (Not to toot our own horn but TOOT TOOT!  He does a good job.)  Please meet our helicopter pilot, Craig Hosking:



Craig Hosking


Craig is the guy who flies the helicopter and puts the Klaus Cam in dead accurate position for shooting. Imagine putting a camera a few feet away from your talent's face (most recently, Julia Roberts' face), whilst said camera is hanging off a 80 foot cable AND you’re flying the helicopter that the cable is attached to. Yeah, not a job you find on Craigslist!  But this is precisely the skill Craig (no relation to the list) exercises on a daily basis.  He balances the speed and the placement of the helicopter to make the camerawork smooth with perfect framing… and he makes sure not to bonk the talent on the noggin. (Which, as a producer, I am very thankful for... as is the talent, I'm sure.)

He was also at the helm (or whatever the phrase is for a helicopter) for a recent Chevy Truck spot directed by Klaus Obermeyer. (And while trucks don't have a noggin to whack into, it’s never good to have a camera and truck in a face off.  Which insurance companies all around are grateful for.)  Give this video a watch for some behind the scenes footage.  (Note: Craig is on the right and Klaus is flying shotgun.)

Eat Pray Love was Craig’s experience with Julia Roberts, where he and Scott Howell from CineMoves (Klaus Cam designer) went to Bali for 2 weeks of aerial photography to capture shots that were only possible with the Klaus Cam.   Many of Craig’s scenes were in the Eat Pray Love trailer, which I’m guessing you may have seen 3000 times as it apparently had the biggest media buy in history, so we cut it down to the good parts for your viewing pleasure (and sanity).  Additionally, Craig was the Aerial Coordinator on Inception, Dark Knight, Quantum of Solace, Aviator and countless others like Hot Tub Time Machine…? Oh IMDB, you air out everyone’s secrets!

"HOW did he get into this odd line of work," you ask?  Excellent query!  Craig got into the business following in his father’s footsteps. (Or "flysteps.")  He started flying when he was a teenager and moved into precision long line delivery for mining projects. That skill for precision flying translated into becoming a film pilot.  Craig has shot and flown in over 50 countries and loves nothing more than capturing a shot where people have no idea how it was done. The end shot in Eat Pray Love does that, as well as the snow plow shot in Klaus’s Ram spot where he had the camera suspended in front of the truck as it drives through virgin snow. Russian Arm can’t do it, regular heli mount can’t either… And THIS challenge is what keeps Craig flying.

See more of Craig’s work here!





Friday, August 20, 2010

Music!

We are  all big music buffs at Aero Film. Tracks can definitely make or break commercial, and the most beautiful film can be tarnished by a plinky-plunky dud of a musical score. So, we are very grateful to our musical friends who create amazing tracks for our spots!

Shoot Magazine just named their 10 Best Tracks of the year, and 2 of Klaus's spots are on the list!  #5 is Fruit of the Loom "Comfortably" by the Wojahn Brothers. It gets stuck in your head and we seem to hum it around the Aero office, so thank goodness its a great piece or that would get really annoying!  #10 is Klaus's Oceana PSA "Fast", created by Nylon. We've worked with them quite a bit--Ken Arlidge's Kaiser work, as well as other Oceana and Obermeyer Ski Wear spot. They always create something beautiful and are incredibly collaborative.

Want to thank Human music as well, as they just scored Sam O'Hare latest short film which will launch in September. They did an amazing job on The Sandpit, and this new piece is just as poignant for the film. Its a completely different vibe, but just perfect.


Next week we'll feature Aero Aerials. (Say that 5 times fast...)  Have a great weekend!  

UPDATE:  OH MY!  Since posting Klaus' spot for Fruit of the Loom, "Comfortably" has been named Top Spot of the Week by SHOOTonline!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Updates from the Aero Film News Desk...

It's been a great week here at Aero Film! Huzzah!

First, Aero director, Klaus Obermeyer, didn't get eaten sharks. I repeat, he was NOT eaten by sharks. (This is actually news in our office.)

You're gonna need a bigger boat, Klaus.”

Second, Klaus' Fruit of the Loom spot got a wonderful shout-out on AdFreak.com. We loved working on this campaign. It's fresh, it's fun and the Klaus Cam got to go for a ride in the desert. Win/win all around.

Third, Marcus & Indrani's augmented reality shorts for fashion designer Marc Ecko are up and running! 

Print out the glyph, turn on your webcam and watch Marc Ecko's muse, Lindsay Lohan, come to life in the palm of your hand. You can actually interact with her and even record your “conversation” and post it online! (For a bigger explanation of what augmented reality is and how its being used in the media world, check out this article on How Stuff Works.)

Fourth, Klaus sent some amazing photos from Valdez, Alaska where he was shooting a job for Chevy Trucks. Thank goodness it’s sea life that doesn’t have teeth for once…

 
Aero Director and DP Bill Ahrens gets the award for prettiest fish.

 Shamu’s cousin says, 'Hi.'


 Klaus and his future dinner.

Will all this fit in carry-on luggage?

Phew! That's all from our news desk for today. Check back next week for more updates and to see what nautical sea creature Klaus has decided to poke with a stick. I wish I was kidding....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Swimming with Sharks

There are few things that surprise me anymore while working for Aero as lots of crazy things happen in our offices and on our shoots.  (I mean "good crazy" not "angry with a hatchet crazy."  Just to be clear.)  So, yesterday I’m reading through emails and I get one from Lance O’Conner, Owner and EP of Aero who’s in the Santa Monica office.  There are a LOT of exclamation points and words in the subject line that aren’t fit for a classy blog such as this.   Lance is a spirited man, so I took it with a grain of salt… Until I saw the photos and put it all together.

Let me explain:  Aero director, Klaus Obermeyer, decided to hang out with some great white sharks. No, this is not code.  And no, not in a Kevin Spacey/crazed assistant sort of way either.  I mean this LITERALLY. Klaus was in shark infested waters. On purpose. What’s more insane... I wasn’t at all surprised.

Let me explain further: When I first met Klaus, I knew he was a pretty ballsy kind of guy.  It was 2003 and I was still on the agency side of life, and was shooting a surfing spot with him. On Day 2 of knowing Klaus, we’re on a boat off the coast of Tahiti. (It’s a tough gig, but someone’s gotta do it.) Behind us, we were towing a small speedboat that we were going to use for the shoot. The speedboat was owned by a local who ran surf camps and was a good friend of Klaus, who is also an avid surfer (of course). 

Clockwipe to 45 minutes into the trip to our location when a HORRIBLE storm hits. It was basically the beginning credits to Gilligan’s Island. We were all getting tossed around like popcorn in a hot popper and unlike the passengers on the SS Minnow, I'd not packed a years worth of clothing for a 3 hour tour.  In short, panic set in, which was not at all quelled when Lance leaned over and told me, “Just don’t fall in the water, there are sharks out there.” AWESOME.  (However, on this trip I learned that even though I’m not a strong swimmer, I am GREAT at hiding in the corner of a boat and whimpering.) 

The situation only got worse. Two minutes later, the speedboat comes untethered from our boat. The owner looks near tears, as he’d been saving up for this boat, and it was the first time taking it out, and now it’s about to be lost at sea. So what happened next, you ask?  KLAUS JUMPS IN THE WATER.  When I heard a giant SPLOOSH, I poked out from my huddled position and yell to Lance, “Did the director just jump in the shark infested water during a giant storm?!?” Lance replies, “Oh sure! He needs to get his friend’s boat.” I quickly envisioned the mounting paperwork explaining to the production insurance as to why we couldn’t shoot since our director was eaten by a shark… But, like all ballsy heros, Klaus emerged from the water unscathed with the speedboat safe and sound and I swear I could hear a John Williams score in the background. Later on, like any good producer, I questioned Klaus about why he thought jumping into water with sharks was a good idea and he brushed it off, “Oh, they’re just Tiger Sharks…” Oh sure, like that makes it a Koi pond, mister.

Back to the present… lunch time at the Aero office. Skip Short (another Owner/EP in Santa Monica, and helicopter pilot) goes for an afternoon fly in his chopper. He calls Klaus saying that he’s spotted some sharks off the coast. Klaus runs out of his house, gets in his boat and Skip guides him from the sky to the point in the ocean where the Great Whites are swimming. Klaus then kayaks out to them (because you can’t just motorboat up on a shark, you know.) 

Here are the photos…. There aren’t words….. 


I'm just glad he didn't jump in... but I haven't opened up today's emails yet.  I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Updates from the Aero Film News Desk...

Oh my stars, there are a lot of exciting things that have just come across my desk!  Including cookies, squee!  (Hey, a girl's gotta eat.)  But more importantly, Aero director Michael Hartog won a Silver Telly earlier this summer for his Fidelity "Around the World" commercial.  Well yesterday, Mister Postal Worker (or Mrs., or Ms., or Miss... Dr. or Sir... whatever, shut up) finally delivered the goods:

"Shiny!"

We are really thrilled for Michael's win as he's a hard worker and a Silver Telly is the best kind of "gold star" one can receive!  (Ironically, in the world of Telly, silver is the top honor and gold is second.)  Don't forget to dust it, Michael!

Next up, even though Lindsay Lohan is in rehab, she still has content coming out!  Hopefully you got to see some of her antics on Double Exposure, featuring Aero directing team Markus Klinko and IndraniKlinko and Indrani directed a piece for fashion designer Marc Ecko  around the concept of Lindsay as Marc’s online digital muse for Ecko's Cut & Sew line. The video will be shown on the Cut & Sew website as augmented reality-- which is a very cool new technology. 

You can see the (sliiiiightly erroneous) New York Magazine article here that has all the details about how Lindsay will be used in the campaign.  But let's correct a few errors:  The site that will feature the shorts Lindsay made is NOT coming out today; they will be released on the 10th and THIS is the correct site that will link you there.  (The link in the article does not work.  Honestly, who fact checked that article?  No gold star for you!  Nyah!)  Of course, we'll share them with you when they go live.

So that's it for today.  We’ll have more to announce soon as everyone is coming or going from a new project.  Gold stars all around! Or a cookie... I’ll take a cookie.





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