Tag Archives: helinet

Getting a Little Closer to Helijet S-76s

The Helinet S-76s are something I am always looking out for.  I have seen them many times although the shots have sometimes left me wanting something better.  While I was last in Stanley Park, I got to see a lot of their movements.  The best bit was that, on some occasions, they flew pretty close overhead me.  I was able to get some shots I was pretty happy with.

I could watch them descend to the heliport on the other side of the harbor but that was a long way off.  The climb outs sometimes came close but the arrivals were the best.  I was quite surprised by the gear lowering sequence with the mains seeming to pop out like they were on springs.  No slow and steady deployment for these guys.

Shooting the Astar

wpid8070-Helinet-07-Rob-Edgcumbe-AU0E8307.jpgThe team from Helinet was in town recently as part of a movie shoot.  With the end of the shoot coming up, I was asked to get some shots of the helicopter in the city.  Alan knows exactly what he is doing when flying in amongst the city buildings and can put the helicopter wherever I wanted it for the images.  We even got lucky with some great weather.  (The following day, it was foggy and no go at all!)

wpid8068-Helinet-02-Rob-Edgcumbe-C59F9681.jpgWith some advance planning and some good communication during the shoot, we were able to position the helicopter to look dynamic in amongst the buildings.  It would have been good to get some video too but time was limited and stills were required so that is what we did.  A fun shoot and great people to work with.

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.

New Transformers Filming

wpid7530-AU0E5323.jpgThe new Transformers movie is currently filming in Chicago.  Some aerial filming was recently scheduled and we got advanced notice since it was going to make things a little disrupted in the morning.  They were opening three of the bridges along the river and a helicopter was running through at low level filming sequences.

wpid7528-AU0E5313.jpgThe filming work was being carried out by Alan Purwin of Helinet.  Often, when filming is underway, it is hard to get close and get anything recorded.  Obviously, they don’t want people filming there own stuff.  Also, they don’t want you appearing in the shot.  Fortunately, I found a spot where they were happy for us to be and that gave us a view, even if it was a bit restricted.

wpid7524-C59F8446.jpgI actually moved from my first spot.  The helicopter was so low I could only just see the top of the rotor head as it passed.  The second spot gave a more open view.  Watching from that close was very impressive.  It took a couple of hours since they had to open up and close down areas between passes.  Watching them come in was easy but coming the other way was a bit of guesswork as the helicopter could be heard but only appeared suddenly.  Still, another good chance to shoot helicopters in the city.  Am I getting repetitive?

wpid7526-AU0E5243.jpgHere is some video I got too.