UAV operation. Our team specializes in capturing stunning aerial cinematography using the latest in light and heavy lift drone technology, first in New Zealand to be utilizing multi-rotor drone systems for flying moving cameras, Drone Operator, CAA Part 102 Certified, leading Drone Provider in New Zealand that is Certified by the Civil Aviation Of New Zealand at the highest level under Part 102, Aerial Photography, Aerial Cinematography, Thermal Imaging, building inspections, Real estate virtual tours, Surveillance & Monitoring, Consulting, Line production services, remote drone shooting and cinematography., multi-rotor drone systems, UAV operation. Our team specializes in capturing stunning aerial cinematography, leading Drone Provider in New Zealand that is Certified by the Civil Aviation Of New Zealand at the highest level under Part 102, Aerial Photography, Aerial Cinematography, Thermal Imaging, building inspections, Real estate

ABOUT SKYHOOK

CAMERAS THAT FLY

Skyhook Aerial Cinema burst into life in 2011 at the genesis moment for multirotor camera drones.

 

 

The baby of two Wellington NZ based cinematographers Jess Charlton and Simon Baumfield, the initial Skyhook plan was to use the technology for their own projects as both a point of difference and as a unique story telling device. However once the technology was proven, Jess and Simon expanded their offering to clients in the film and TV world who were seeking to enliven their projects with strong and effective aerial imagery.

 

 

This was no mean feat. The limitations of the original technology defined the effectiveness of the solution. Wind speed overheads were low and the crude style of camera stabilisation did not allow for aggressive maneuvers or speed flying. But, with time, the technology evolved to the point where it is rare now to suspend operations due to wind speed, mist or indeed any of the limiting factors of those first generation drones.

 

 

In a way these are the glory days, we have progressed well past the initial “wow” factor of the drone perspective, and are now in the phase where drone cinematography is used in countless ways to support visual narrative. Drone shots are written into scripts or devised by directors and DPs to fit appropriately within their projects. The technology has become invisible (as it should be) and we are left with the creative. Long may it last.

 

ABOUT DRONES

CAMERAS THAT FLY

In the beginning there was Mikrocopter.
 

Lipo batteries, brushless DC motors and Mikrocopter flight controls from Germany were the critical confluence of technology that allowed us to get our digital video cameras airborne. The catch was the need to source the components, embrace the geek within and build the rigs yourself. And we did

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Our first multirotor based on the Mikrocopter flight board took us 10 months to build, the second unit took a month and from then on we could knock one out in a week. 

Our heavy lift cinema drone was built from scratch, audited by the CAA and approved for flight up to a take off weight of 25KG, no mean feat and she still flies today, a very robust and reliable machine.

 

 

We have seen some critical breakthroughs that have opened up the scope of drone based cinematography. The first was the advent of three axis systems where the roles of pilot and camera operator were split, creating a new level of accuracy with framing and positioning.

But perhaps the biggest breakthrough was the advent of the brushless DC gimbal. Prior to this gimbals were a pretty rough affair actuated via traditional RC servos, with a considerable amount of backlash, resulting in jittery footage in anything but dead calm conditions. 

A well balanced brushless DC gimbal reacts instantly and the footage is usually very smooth, regardless of whatever punishment your drone is going through.

 

 

These brushless gimbals have paved the way for the new generation of cinema drones, many are available off the shelf and run in tandem with smart flight control systems capable of position hold, automated flight routines and brilliant GUI telemetry for the pilot and gimbal operator. 

Such drones have leveled the playing field somewhat – anyone with the bucks can become a drone pilot. But that is not where the story ends.

 

 



A good drone operation for aerial cinema, requires a team who understand film sets, who speak the language and who can operate independently or as an integrated unit. 

A quality drone team will have logged many hours working together, refining and perfecting their roles, so that when the potential of the technology needs to shine, they can create the perfect moment.

 

 

Skyhook Aerial Cinema is such a team.

UAV operation. Our team specializes in capturing stunning aerial cinematography using the latest in light and heavy lift drone technology, first in New Zealand to be utilizing multi-rotor drone systems for flying moving cameras, Drone Operator, CAA Part 102 Certified, leading Drone Provider in New Zealand that is Certified by the Civil Aviation Of New Zealand at the highest level under Part 102, Aerial Photography, Aerial Cinematography, Thermal Imaging, building inspections, Real estate virtual tours, Surveillance & Monitoring, Consulting, Line production services, remote drone shooting and cinematography.