Artbeats Top 10
April 1, 2014 2 Comments
The Stories Behind Our Highest Selling Clips of 2013 I’ll start with the tenth most popular and count down to #1:
10. In The Clouds
Back in early 2010, I got a call from Doug Holgate who was scheduled to shoot aerials for the movie Soul Surfer. He said that the Pictorvision Eclipse, a gyrostabilized gimbal mounted on a helicopter, would need to be shuttled from Kauai to Kona: that is, from one end of the island chain to the other. He asked if I would be interested in arranging a film shoot during this trip. I jumped at the chance. So, after shooting Soul Surfer, the Artbeats RedONE was mounted on the Eclipse and the next morning we lifted off from the Princeville airport on the North side of Kauai. After shooting aerials of the island, we headed Southeast toward Oahu. Over the ocean we encountered low level clouds that were practically begging us to shoot them so we obliged.
9. Washington DC National Mall
In November, 2011, after months of plowing through mounds of red tape, Artbeats was given the go-ahead to film in the no-fly zone over Washington. This was a huge coup for us as we were told by many in the DC community that there was no way we would get clearance. As far as we know, this is the only time such a waiver was given to a stock footage company. We did four filming sortees: two in the evening and two the next morning. We were required to have a police officer on board, and after we landed, military intelligence officers inspected every shot looking for anything that could be sensitive to national security. They erased about 5% of our footage. Our route instructions called for us to enter the DC area low over the Potomac River from the North. This shot was one of the first taken as we were still over the Potomac. As for most of our aerial shoots, we hired Doug Holgate as the camera operator and used the Pictorvision Eclipse gimbal. We shot in 5K with our Epic-X. The lens was an Optimo 24-250mm zoom. To view a demo of the DC footage click here.
8. Arizona Sunset
A year after our first pyrotechnic shoots in 1997, I rented a Mitchell 35mm motion picture camera with a Norris intervalometer and took it to Arizona to film time-lapse storms and clouds. This was long before any digital camera had this capability. In fact, seeing a full-size motion picture camera on the side of the road was a rare event and captured a lot of attention wherever I went. The footage from that shoot went into the White Puffy Clouds, Storm Clouds, Light Clouds & Fog, and Sky Effects collections. Over the years the Sky Effects clips have been the most popular of the four. This particular shot was taken from a highway viewpoint just West of Flagstaff. It is one of the oldest shots in the Artbeats library and the oldest on this list.
7. Cloud Aerial
Cloud Fly-Thrus has been a great category for Artbeats over the years. Unfortunately, POV cloud plates are very expensive to shoot and also risky, as the film maker may not be able to find the right kind of weather. In April, 2007, for instance, we spent five days chasing around the country looking for the right kind of clouds. The challenge is to find cumulus clouds with well-defined shapes that are lower than 14,000 feet. Above that altitude the pilot can no longer use Visual Flight Rules and must get tower permission for every direction he flies. Also, ice forms on the front glass too easily at higher altitudes. After trying Utah, Colorado, Texas, and Arizona we found the best clouds in Oregon, ironically directly over the area where I live. To film our cloud fly-thrus we use the Wolfe Air Learjet 25 outfitted with a nose camera mount plus the Vectorvision system, which is a periscope tube that extends down out of the belly of the jet. The above shot was taken using the nose camera mount. We typically use both camera systems whenever we contract with Wolfe Air.
6. New York City Aerial
In November, 2011 we set up a week-long aerial shoot in the region surrounding NYC. The main goal was to capture NYC and Boston, but we were also able to fit Washington DC into the itinerary, as we found out last minute that we had been granted the flight restriction waiver. This particular shot shows our movement traveling southeast over the Financial District, starting over Wall Street and ending at the East River. To view our New York Aerials demo click here.
5. Downtown LA Aerial
When I got word that Pictorvision was testing out a new 3D camera rig for their Eclipse gimbal, I asked if I could be their first customer and run it through its paces. We set up the shoot for October 2010, in the LA area, with two prep days and one shoot day. At the end of the second prep day, we decided to take the camera up for some evening shots downtown. This was one of those shots. The direction of movement is south, looking down South Figueroa Street. Although this was shot in stereo 3D, the most popular sales have been of the 2D version.
4. Fiery Ground Explosion
Pyrotechnic effects have been a crucial part of our library since the very beginning. In fact, the success of the ReelFire and ReelExplosions collections launched the Artbeats Digital Film Library in 1998. That represented the first of many pyrotechnic film shoots. In February of 2011 we continued this tradition by shooting pyrotechnics with a 3D stereo rig holding two RedONE cameras. The shot list included many fire effects such as this gasoline-based ground explosion. This particular shot took place on a ten-acre field in a rural area of Southern Oregon. We dug a hole about a foot deep and several feet wide, then placed a gunpowder charge in a plastic bag holding a gallon of gasoline, and put the bag in the hole. The purpose of the hole was to direct the explosion upwards, sideways and away from the cameras and crew. The powder charge contained an electrical squib that could be ignited from a safe distance. We placed the tripod about 80 feet from the “bomb”, then rolled the camera at a speed of about 60fps and ignited the charge. The resulting explosion was incredibly bright, hot, and noisy. Similar to clip #5, this was shot in Stereo 3D; however, the most popular version is 2D.
3. Spinning Globe
This is one of the oldest HD clips in our library and the only clip on the top 10 list that comes from an outside producer. Although we don’t publicize the names of the producers we represent, I can say that he comes from a highly respected Hollywood Effects company, and at one time, theirs was one of the globes in a Universal Film Feature Logo. This clip and those from the entire Earth Views Collection have retained their popularity for over thirteen years now.
2. Timelapse Clouds
In May, 2010 we contracted with a Storm Chasing Tour company to take us on a 10-day trek looking for tornadoes in the Midwest. This tour company had a perfect record of finding tornadoes for every tour they did. Unfortunately, our tour was the first one to break that record. Although we did not find any tornadoes, we did get some great cloud and storm shots, and this is one of the best. It is also the longest running shot in this list at 1 minute, 14 seconds in length. To see our storm demo click here. (This demo contains more footage from this shoot and others taken that same year.)
And finally, the top selling clip of 2013:
1. Cloud Aerial at Sunset
After 5 days spent filming clouds.