Is the Era of Renting a Chopper for Aerial Shots Gone for Good?

I still remember the day when we had to shoot some aerial footage of Cairo. The producer had just paid the Army $10,000 to rent a chopper to do the shots. We headed to a military base on the outskirts of Cairo. The moment we arrived, we were shocked because the helicopter we agreed on had been replaced with another tiny one that can barely accommodate 3-crew members besides the captain.

We had to take the shots no matter what on that day, due to client deadline. The moment the blades swiveled and we were air-borne I knew that the shots would be terribly shaky. At the end, the footage was total mess and the visual effects editor struggled to stabilize it in the post.

Now, all it takes is around $10,000 and you own a CineStar, a remotely controlled copter that can hold your DSLR or even Red Epic or Scarlet. The company that manufacturers these copers is called Quadrocopter, based in Montana, and it has several models that start at $6000.

Here is some aerial footage shot by Tabb Firchau using CineStar8. (Tabb is the owner of FreeFly Cinema).

CineStar 3 Axis Gimbal from tabb firchau on Vimeo.