Over The Water

Over The Water

Getting some attention from the locals at Shark Bay Let’s delve into one of the more challenging and rewarding aspects of aerial video production… filming off boats over the water. “Holdfast” built by Dongara Marine punching out. Flying and filming from boats… it’s not for the faint of heart, or those prone to sea sickness! There is something about standing on one moving object (and not being able to see the waves coming) while keeping your sight fixed on another moving object (the drone) that can make you go green in the face very quickly. Of course the bigger the boat  the better. Taking off from said moving platform can also be challenging, landing…. now that can be down right freaky. Again… the bigger the boat the better. If it’s really rough or the boat is very small there is the option of a hand grab landing (count your fingers after), which is fine for the smaller drones (Inspire 2 with Zenmuse X5s or X7), but when we’re flying our big drones with a RED Monster / Gemini or Arri Alexa Mini Camera and an anamorphic lens totalling about 25kg… it’s not an option. We have our own boat that we use to film from, complete with drone helipad on the roof, but from experience it’s just as easy to take off and land from the vessel you are wanting to film. It’s easy to coordinate the shots and boat movements with skipper which speeds up the process greatly. “Blonde Moments” our floating work platform. There are some interesting technical issues with flying off boats, one of those is the “return to home” function....
McDermott and Ichthys LNG Project

McDermott and Ichthys LNG Project

We’re currently shooting a project for McDermott a leading engineering, procurement, construction and installation company focused on executing complex offshore oil and gas projects like the INPEX-led Ichthys LNG project. Filming and flying offshore for McDermott has been an amazing and rewarding experience, the final video has been now been completed. McDermott – Inpex NG Project from Sky Pixels on...
Woodside/IBM Trip – Shooting Aerial Video Offshore

Woodside/IBM Trip – Shooting Aerial Video Offshore

Shooting aerial video at anytime is great fun and challenging, shooting aerial photography offshore in the oil and gas industry is a completely new adventure in its own right. We were recently hired to shoot for IBM and Woodside on the North Rankin platforms 150kms offshore from Karratha in Western Australia, just getting was half the fun! We already had our Emergency Helicopter Evacuation Certification, the one where they strap you in a mock helicopter, roll it upside down and drop it in a swimming pool and you have to get out, if you ever get the chance, do it, it’s great fun, but make sure you use the nose clips! There are very strict limits to what and how much you can carry on the helicopter with you out to the rigs, because of this we have to know the bare minimum of drone and camera gear we can carry and not sacrifice quality and production values. There is also the PPE gear (hard hats, steel cap boots, clothing etc) and personnel gear to consider as well, this trip was just a two day shoot so only the bare minimum was needed. We have been on other drone shoots offshore for 10 days with a lot of gear. In these cases we have to organise our gear to be freighted by road first and then transferred out to the ship or rig via a support vessel. Due to another job that had us working offshore at the same time we were unable to film on the rig together with the full film crew, so after getting a full and...
Working in the Pilbara and aerial inspections.

Working in the Pilbara and aerial inspections.

We love filming and photographing in the Pilbara, it’s almost become a 2nd home for us and there are a few things that make it a bit different from working down south. Of course the greatest difference is the heat, wow it gets hot up there, especially January to March and having a giant 8 bladed ceiling fan buzzing around overhead doesn’t cool things down. In fact we’re very impressed with how our heavy lifter drone “The Beast” handles the heat, we thought it’s motors may overheat but no, The Beast likes it hot, we even had The Beast flying with a RED camera at Marble Bar in 46°C heat without a problem. Then there is also the wet, we were sent home from one job early due to a cyclone, so the best time to work up north is in the winter months. Batteries are the other factor working up north, because we aren’t allowed to take our batteries on planes we sometimes have to road freight them up north along with our chargers and other gear. So it’s good to get a few weeks notice to get our batteries up there before we arrive to film especially if we are using The Beast. One of the most noticeable difference is how friendly everyone is, almost everyone up north are so laid back and friendly towards seeing our drone and what we are doing, it’s a great place to work. The best thing about working up north is the colour and the light, it’s a whole different world. skypixels.com.au Click here to learn more about our drone aerial...