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Coming this Friday to Netflix is the all new feature film by Ricky Gervais, ‘Special Correspondents‘. The film which stars Ricky Gervais, Eric Bana, Vera Farmiga, Kelly Macdonald, Kevin Pollak, Benjamin Bratt, America Ferrera and Raúl Castillo, features drone aerial cinematography by SkyMotion Video.

Synopsis:
"A radio journalist and his technician get in over their heads when they hatch a scheme to fake their own kidnapping during a rebel uprising in South America and hide out in New York instead."
- Internet Movie Database (IMDB)

While the story takes place in New York and Ecuador, SkyMotion Video was tasked with capturing aerial footage in Toronto with the RED Dragon equipped drone to make it look like Gervais and Bana were sailing the seas on their way to Ecuador. Filmed at the shores of Lake Ontario at Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto, the drone was flown from the shoreline to capture the transitional travel shot in a mere morning. One such pass of the boat with Gervais and Bana on board can be seen in the official trailer below at 1:14. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kKTFAEQgSY
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Congrats. Nice work.
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Last August of 2015 we had the pleasure of supplying the aerial filming services for the latest Lotto 649 commercials which were shot in beautiful Nova Scotia Canada. Directed by Luis Gerard and produced by Holiday Films, our first destination was set at…
Last August of 2015 we have had the pleasure supply the aerial filming services for the latest Lotto 649 commercials shot in beautiful Nova Scotia Canada.
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Happy New Year everyone! Well last year we have been pretty terrible at posting news and footage regarding our aerial video services, and it’s not because there was a lack of news. We have actually been very busy. More and more we have been offering our…
To start off the new year and make it easier to read all our aerial video news, we have completely re-coded the website to look great on all devices.
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BBC Wild life in the Bahamas

Once again the BBC Natural History Unit selected SkyMotion Video as their aerial video drone team to provide them with new interesting dynamic shots of nature.  There were two different upcoming BBC series, which both required on location filming within the Bahamas. Although the locations were similar, each show had it’s own unique set of ‘characters’. While one focused on the local shark population, the other program was working on a sequence relating to the dolphins in the area.
 
Filming wildlife definitely comes with its challenges, and maybe that’s why there is such a rewarding feeling when it all comes together. The need to find the animal every day and then wishing to have the chance to film good behavior, in good weather, with good light, during good tides, in similar water color and visibility, all with a flying moving camera! The other main challenge of course, with filming wild life, is that you can never know how the animals will react to a drone, or any camera for that matters. The type of animal, as well as the age, plays a factor in the way we approach an animal, or if filming in close proximity with an drone system is even a viable option. On the technical side, it also means our team needs to work at sea, taking off and landing on boats of various sizes and making sure everything stays dry! We ended up being incredibly lucky to have had the chance to encounter some very cooperative animals in all the right conditions. We are glad to say that we captured some wonderful topside footage, while the rest of the BBC team captured amazing intimate underwater cinematography.
 
We can’t wait to see the sequence put together, but alas once again we will have to wait until 2015 :)
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In February of 2014, the SkyMotion Video drone team was moved from severely dry deserts in Africa, to lush tropical islands in the southern Philippines and Palau. The island area of Tawi-Tawi in the Philippines (near the border of Malaysia) where the aerial drone filming was to be done, presented some additional logistical challenges which had to be overcome by the production company Clearwater Media. The main concern is that this region of the Philippines is known as a real hotspot for kidnapping - especially of Caucasian visitors. There have been many people taken away at gunpoint in order to be sold off for ransom at the best of times. In order to eliminate the risks involved in filming in such a danger zone, the production company alongside local officials worked it out to have both a team of Marines, and Navy Seals protecting us from danger around the clock. No crew member could walk or be driven anywhere without armed escorts. The military personnel assigned to us were absolute pros, and cleared the way for us so that we could work safely, capturing the beautiful images to tell the story we were there to document.

The primary reason for coming into this danger zone to film was to work with the Bajau community. The Bajau people are particularly special as they are one of the last surviving traditional free diving communities on the planet. Originally living on the open sea, most have moved to land to build their houses. However, as they owned no land, they built their villages on stilts above the water in shallower areas. Filming with the RED Epic to capture incredible aerial views of the village was a real treat as the bird's eye view quickly revealed the intricacy and shear beauty of their construction. These people are clearly at one with the sea, and they truly were the ideal subjects for exemplifying how humans may have lived and evolved along coastal environments.

As large sequences of the shoot were also done underwater to show off the extraordinary talents of these free divers, it allowed for us to have a bit more free time than usual to explore the village we were visiting. The people living there were healthy, kind, and showed no signs of worry. People would let us pass through their homes freely if it made for a good shortcut. Sometimes this was done out of necessity as the walkways are nothing more than random worn out boards loosely nailed to wobbly posts.

With two full days to film in the village, the shooting was a huge success. SkyMotion Video took care of capturing both the aerial video with the octocopter drone, as well as shooting on the ground with the MOVI brushless camera gimbal. Meanwhile, accomplished underwater cinematographer Adam Ravetch, filmed with another RED Epic to capture the Bajau at home in their underwater environment - often holding their breath at great depths for five minutes. The MOVI proved to be a very useful tool for capturing elegant dolly moves close to the water's surface. By hand-holding the camera gimbal from a small boat, while someone wading through the water simply pushed it, beautiful shots could be achieved while passing underneath the stilted houses. Even though the little boat would wobble back and forth, the MOVI M10 held the horizon solid.

Of course, one of the obvious benefits of being in a warm tropical environment out at sea is that you are constantly surrounded by beautiful clear blue waters sitting at 26°C or more. So when time permitted in the busy schedule, we were just minutes away from a quick scuba dive amongst the beautiful coral reefs.

One of the last locations we filmed at in Tawi-Tawi, was a very unique market. This market is one of the last of its kind in which absolutely no money is exchanged. Everything is done through the trading of physical goods. The Bajau bring in their boats of seafood they have hunted, while people living inland bring in the fruits of their crops. This way, the farmers can trade for food from the sea, while the Bajau can trade for food from the land, and the two communities can diversify their diets. Here, once again the MOVI M10 and RED Epic were used on the ground to get intimate dolly moves throughout the market, as well as taken airborne on the remote-controlled drone to get the high-angle aerial views of the trading in progress. The Marines were exceptionally helpful with clearing the way for take-off and landing zones, as the locals were naturally very curious in the flying machine they had never seen before.

After the Philippines, the team flew to Palau - a small island country in the South Pacific Ocean. The goal here was to document a team which is still able to sail boats using traditional methods and without the use of instrumentation. In other words by relying on stars, current, saltiness of water, etc. Unfortunately, after such a successful shooting experience in the Philippines, the production was heavily disappointed with the Palau shoot. Despite over a year of preparation and planning, there was no way to anticipate the disaster which awaited them. Untold to anyone was the fact that the sailboat was not ready. Upon arrival the first day, the central mast was sitting on the ground near the dock and not even on the boat. That evening, the boat crew worked hard to get the mast up. The following day, the boat was taken out to sea so that we could film. We managed one flight with the aerial video drone to follow along as the sail was raised, but had to promptly land as the real problem revealed itself. The mast simply could not support the sail, and immediately bent into a dangerous 'C' shape. The short story is, "No mast = No Sailing". Time was limited to three days of shooting, and with one lost to weather, and another lost to a malfunctioning mast, the shoot was more or less a bust. We continued to film what we could, but already show producer/director, Niobe Thompson, has come up with an alternative filming plan in another part of the world to tell this important part of the story. As this was the last location in a long line of travels, Chuck Taylor and Gabrielle Nadeau of SkyMotion Video, took a few extra days for themselves in Palau to scuba dive in one of the most beautiful underwater environments on the plant.

By far our favorite dive was in Palau's "Jellyfish Lake". If you are ever in that corner of the world, do yourself a favour and go and see this remarkable and rare lake filled with millions of jellyfish which have lost their stinging ability. You will not be disappointed!
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During our hiatus from the CBC three-part documentary which has been keeping us busy over the past few months, we were asked if we could squeeze in a quick trip to Bodh Gaya, India. This made for a couple 'firsts' for us at SkyMotion Video - our first time filming in India, and our first time capturing aerials with the new RED EPIC Dragon 6K camera with carbon fiber body and carbon fiber SSD side module. The camera came courtesy of Blackwood Cinema.

The film "Thongdrol" will be:
"A visually stunning feature length theatrical documentary on the creation and practice of Tibetan sacred art as it developed through the history of the Karmapas and the Karma Kagyu branch of Tibetan Buddhism."

Bodh Gaya is the where the Mahabodhi Temple is situated, which marks the site where the Buddha is said to have obtained enlightenment. Next to the temple is the holy Bodhi Tree - it is under this tree which still stands today that the Buddha had meditated for the three nights before reaching this enlightenment in 534 BC. It is for this reason that Bodh Gaya is the most important pilgrimmage for Buddhists. Because of this, as well as the presence of the Karmapa, along with the many beautiful artworks and buildings in the region that the film began its shooting at this breathtaking location.

Director David Cherniack and DOP Kris Belchevski wanted to capture many of the images for the show during pre-dawn, and at sunset. Because of this, the RED EPIC Dragon proved to be an invaluable asset. The camera's ability to operate in low-light situations is incredible, and delivers very clean results in even the most demanding situations. Additionally, the carbon fiber body, and the carbon fiber side SSD module drops an entire pound of weight off the camera brain. This opened the doors to more lens options without maxing out the recommended weight limit of 10 lbs for the MOVI M10.

Belchevski brought along an additional MOVI to the shoot allowing two stabilized cameras to be working at the same time - Belchevski on the ground performing intimate following shots as hundreds of monks walked in meditation, and the remote controlled octocopter drone in the air capturing aerials to show off the shear scale of the events.

As you'll see from the accompanying images, Bodh Gaya is a chaotic place where almost anything can happen. The streets are filled with cars, rickshaws, bikes, pedestrians, dogs, cows, and goats. And watch out where you step - it's not just animal poop you will find at the side of the road. :) As David the director said, "You will see more life in five minutes out on the streets here, than you will in an entire year back in Canada'. Very true indeed. Beautiful, ugly, and everything inbetween can be seen in such a short time that it boggles the mind.

We wish to express a warm thanks to the rest of the crew involved in the making of "Thongdrol". We had an amazing time!
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Thank you Aazai!
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SkyMotion Video

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Over the past year, from March to October 2015, we have had the pleasure of providing drone aerial filming services for the television series “Heroes Reborn” in and around the Toronto area. The show is a mini series based on NBC’s original series…
We have had the pleasure of providing drone aerial filming services for the television series “Heroes Reborn” in and around the Toronto area.
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Last March in Toronto, we were happy to supply the drone aerial video services for the Minority Report television series pilot episode.  20th Century Fox chose the city of Toronto for the filming of the new TV series pilot, but the show has since then…
Last March in Toronto, we were happy to supply the drone aerial video services for the Minority Report television series pilot episode.
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"The Great Human Odyssey" airs tonight at 8pm EST on CBC's "The Nature of Things" After 3 years in the making, it is finally time to check out the show that took SkyMotion Video around the world. Enjoy!
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https://vimeo.com/94187095

After coming back from Dubai, SkyMotion Video was proud to be selected again by Nova Film for creating the winter edition of the tourism campaign for Charlevoix in Quebec. As one of the most beautiful regions in the province, Charlevoix has so much to offer in terms of winter activities and Nova Film wasn’t short on ideas: skiers skiing down slopes while admiring the gorgeous view of the St-Lawrence river, sea kayaking in between the ice, snowmobiling over fresh fallen snow, skating over a beautiful frozen lake, ice climbing, snowshoeing and helicopter tours, so much to do and what a film shoot!
 
The winter video campaign will not be out until the next winter season, but we have access to their summer campaign we were part of last summer! Providing most of the drone-based aerial cinematography, we achieved spectacular shots of cyclists along the edge of the St-Lawrence River. The aerials were used to showcase the quaint landscapes of the region, such as a barn surrounded by rolling hills, and an intimate view of the sunrise while our octocopter system coasts only a few feet above the water. Additionally, Nova Film made sure that we covered many of the interesting amenities that Charlevoix has to offer, like the beautiful casino, golf course and the Manoir Richelieu hotel at the edge of the St-Lawrence River.
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In March 2014, the SkyMotion Video team prepared themselves for their last location shoot with Clearwater Documentaries, for their three part documentary project: “The Great Human Odyssey” (previously titled “Human: Miracle of a Species”). For this last shoot, Niobe Thompson (producer/director), Gabrielle Nadeau (remote camera operator) and Chuck Taylor (drone pilot / UAV operator) hopped on a flight for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
 
Because of the very small crew, and the very short window of time (only three filming days), the team had to be quite multitasking. Chuck Taylor, with his experience as a cinematographer provided on-the-ground camera operating with the Sony F55 - filming documentary style interviews, B-roll, and the archaeological site, which was the focus of the segment. Meanwhile, Gabie Nadeau continued to take care of the sound recording. Afterwards of course, the SkyMotion Video team provided some beautiful aerial scenic shots of the archeological site where the story took place, as well as stunning shots of the Arabian Desert. As for extra B-roll, the SkyMotion Video team got crafty using their MOVI in handheld mode for slow motion dolly shots of sand flying off the golden dunes. This production started off in the freezing Siberian Arctic, and so it was a fitting end to finish in the blistering Arabian Desert. Keep your eyes peeled for “The Great Human Odyssey” in 2015!
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Aerial Video in Kenya

In January 2014, SkyMotion Video was sent to the Great Rift Valley in Kenya to capture some ultraHD aerial video for the upcoming CBC documentary series, "Human Odyssey". Time was limited to only three days for this shoot, so quick planning was essential to make the shoot at the site a success.
 
The primary reason for the Kenya trip is that the Great Rift Valley is often referred to as the place where modern humans originated, and it is thought by some that it was from here that humans spread out to dominate the rest of the planet.
 
The importance of capturing aerial cinematography with the drone was two-fold at this location. First, it was necessary to gather dynamic moving imagery of the otherwise motionless archeological site and sediment layering - providing a sense of depth to the landscape. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the octocopter was an imperative tool to provide high impact introductory shots of the landscape; the site of origin of the modern human, and the beginning of our story as a species.
 
The experience of the SkyMotion Video team within film and video production allowed the production to keep the crew size smaller. Drone pilot Chuck Taylor would operate a second camera throughout the interviews between director Niobe Thompson, and paleoanthropologist Rick Potts, while remote MOVI operator Gabrielle Nadeau would take care of all sound recording. This on set experience allowed the small crew to work efficiently to gather all the material needed for the scenes within the small time frame.

On the last night, after having a successful shoot at the archaeological site, the crew went to the nearby Maasai village. Although not the primary goal for the trip to Kenya, the Maasai village offered a glimpse of traditional people who are still able to hold onto their culture and ways of life. All the shooting in the village was done with a single Sony F55 camera by director of photography Daron Donahue. Gabrielle continued to provide support as the sound recordist, while Chuck was free to take photos of the Maasai people. As the sun got low on the horizon, and the beautiful light fell on the village, it made for a remarkable last night in Kenya. Enjoy here a selection of some of our favorite photos from the evening, and the rest of the journey.
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Providing professional remote-controlled aerial cinematography services, and drone rentals world-wide.
Introduction
Specializing in low-altitude aerial cinematography for film and television, SkyMotion Video captures dynamic images at angles previously thought impossible. 

With our in-house 6K capable RED Epic Dragon camera package for video, and our respected 22.3 megapixel Canon 5D Mark III for still photography, SkyMotion Video provides some of the highest resolutions for aerial cinematography and photography at the professional level. 

With a combined 20 years of experience in film and television production, and by making use of the latest rock-solid, remote controlled UAS technologies, the SkyMotion Video team is able to capture breath-taking images. With the ability to both mimic traditional shooting platforms as well as 'go beyond the crane', SkyMotion Video gives directors, producers, and DOPs complete creative freedom on set. 

SkyMotion Video systems are completely state-of-the-art and includes the MōVI M10 and M15 camera gimbal, specifically for rock solid aerial video applications without required post-stabilization. An uncompressed full-HD video signal is transmitted to the ground, offering real-time wireless HD with unprecedented range. In the air and on the ground, our components are revolutionary - streamlining the shooting process to save your production both time and money.