It's a miracle that ESPN somehow talked technology-averse FIFA into letting them rig up the Skycam, the zooming overhead camera, over the matches. As we wrote in an earlier post, Skycam requires quite a bit of set-up involving cables and CNC spools.
Then we come across this: RC pilot and videographer Eric Austin has rigged up Heli Video, a remote-control helicopter with a gimbal holding a Canon 5D or 7D which can downlink live video to a shooter on the ground. The results are absolutely stunning:
(If you work in an office be sure to turn the audio down on your computer, these videos have an extremely loud soundtrack.)
I just want to point out how completely disruptive it is to combine these three existing technologies. Never mind sports coverage, Austin's system has the capability to completely up-end how films and commercials are shot.
In Manhattan you see them filming commercials all the time; have you ever seen them set up that mini-railroad-track when they need a level dolly shot over uneven terrain? They need an entire truck's worth of equipment to lay the track out and shim it every few inches/feet so the heavy dolly can safely roll on top. All of that goes away with Austin's system.
Have you ever seen them set up a camera crane? The preparations are insane, and of course the blocking has to be set up in such a way that the crane itself is not in the way. Not to mention, that crane has to be trucked in and parked, and it requires tankfuls of gas and the driver, independent of the cameraman who goes up with it. Austin replaces that with something he can carry in a freaking bag over his shoulder!
I'm sure a subset of indie and pro shooters will be tripping all over themselves trying to rig up similar systems and learn how to fly them. But Austin my friend, if you stay out in front of this thing, you are going to be a very rich man.