“With the canyon as narrow and tight as it was, it became impossible to increase the speed of the camera ship,” he explains. “Now that we were dropping the frame rate, the stability of the Eclipse became vital. Any instability in the camera platform would show up two fold.”
The Eclipse enables the simulation of the aircraft taking exciting turns and twists along its flight path.
“We had to shoot two different types of plates…One would be the horizon level during the entire flight through the canyon and the other banking the platform’s horizon as we flew around corners, simulating the look of a banking aircraft. The Eclipse worked impeccably.”
Nowell’s task included capturing plates similar to the canyon shots but up above the clouds, imitating the look of a jet aircraft flying through and around them.
“This meant dropping the frame rate even less, to four frames per second or eight times normal flight speed,” “With the precision of the Eclipse controls, I was able to operate the system very, very slowly, to simulate the effect I needed. The stability of the Eclipse was flawless.”
The other advantage of the Eclipse is its ability to use a rain deflector
“Because the weather was so unpredictable in Iceland, we ended up using the spinner half the time, which allowed us to continue shooting. Other systems would have had to stop when raindrops hit the lens. But with the Eclipse rain deflector on, we could change to different lenses during the shoot and it simply adapted to our lens of choice. Nothing ever stopped us, we just kept shooting.”
Nowell’s exciting frame rate change shots were for a major feature to be released mid 2013. He has also shot aerial footage for recent releases such as “The Avengers”, “Savages”, “X-Men: First Class”, “Green Lantern”, and “Air Racers 3D”.