Helinet and Transformers

wpid7307-C59F2448.jpgEvery once in a while, I am reminded of something that has happened before and I realize that this took place in the days before I started blogging.  Then I have to decide whether it is fair to you, my dedicated reader, to roll out something that is several years old as a blog post.  If it is interesting enough, why not.  Besides, my life is not always so interesting so getting material is a case of taking it when you have it.

wpid7309-C59F2597.jpgThe subject in this case is a helicopter.  “no, surely not” I hear you cry.  It’s not like I ever write about or photograph helicopters.  This is true.  Indeed, this helicopter was involved in filming in the city which, as some recent posts will show, is not a particularly new topic either.  This film, though, was Transformers 3.  The filming of Transformers was a big deal in the city.  Major streets were shut for days at a time and set construction to make them look like they had been demolished was impressive.  As I think about it, I should probably post some pictures of that too at some point (note to self…).

wpid7295-IMG_8090.jpgAlan Purwin of Helinet was the pilot for the helicopter used for filming.  It was a Eurocopter Astar (Squirrel for those of you in the UK and Ecureuil for the French speakers).  It had a large camera mount on the nose to hold the cinema camera.  Until recently, it was relatively easy to tell movie shoots from TV shoots by the size of the mount.  Now film cameras are being replaced with such digital powerhouses as the Reds, the mount sizes are no longer so obvious.

wpid7299-C59F2302.jpgThere was filming day and night (including people skydiving into the shots from other helicopters and, if memory serves, the Trump Tower) and some pretty dramatic explosions.  The Astar would fly around the river a lot getting shots and sometimes the shots were of people on the buildings so it would be flying close to them.  All of this was a treat for someone like me.  Just watching it was great fun but I got some shots too.

wpid7303-C59F2351.jpgThe plan had been to write a piece on Helinet.  However, Paramount were not keen on having anything come out until the movie was released (a year later!) so the article stumbled a little.  Then, there was an accident on one of the sets out of the city in which a woman received terrible injuries and the whole production schedule changed and Alan headed off to other projects.  It would be nice to follow that one up again at some point.

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