Helicopter Film Services Relied on the AERIGON for Aerial Cinematography on Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron
The AERIGON™, an aerial remote camera head (ARCH™) from Intuitive Aerial, was operated by Helicopter Film Services to shoot aerial footage used throughout Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. The remarkable stability of the AERIGON platform meant that footage captured could be fed directly into ILM’s VFX pipeline. For the first time, filmmakers have access to an aerial system capable of controlling the best production cameras, such as the new ARRI Alexa Mini, regardless of weight, to shoot feature film-ready images with reliable precision.
“The AERIGON drone was able to fly at lower altitude than the helicopter, giving us more dramatic sweeping camera moves than we’d have been able to get otherwise,” said Christopher Townsend, Overall Production VFX Supervisor on Avengers: Age of Ultron.
“It was quick and efficient to get it flying, with real-time visual feedback. The resulting footage was great, stable, and clean, which was an absolute necessity as we were using it as background plates, into which we added CG VFX elements.”
Helicopter Film Services (HFS) captured aerial footage on set in Hendon, U.K. for ten days during the production of the film. Its three-person crew flew the AERIGON carrying the RED Dragon.
“We had to get a stable shot the first time and the AERIGON let us do this,” said Jeremy Braben Aerial DP and founder of HFS.
“Drones can leap about, but the AERIGON is the most stable drone we’ve seen without depending on post-stabilization. There isn’t the buzz or vibration with the AERIGON gimbal.” The aerial crew shot background plates and live action, under instructions from Joss Whedon, director, John Mahaffie, the 2nd unit director, Ben Davis, the DP, and the VFX supervisors, including Townsend. “We could be working to the directions of three different people, all on the same day,” said Braben. “That made time in the air a premium during production.”