Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fly Me To The Moon

For a Tuesday on a flight week, today was a very good day. Mother nature has treated us with a break in the monsoon season. Clear skies, fresh snow on the mountains, surely flight missions would follow.
It began with a phone call from re assigned flight reporter Dave (Kink) Kincaid. He reassigned duties keep him terrestrial. He now fronts a thing called "Where We Live" and today he sold the desk on the idea doing one from the air.

It has been said by someone when describing Vancouver, that you can ski, golf and then go for a sail in one's yacht all in a single day. Our mission, to show this from the sky.

As we took off to collect the orgasmic visuals for this piece. A call from the desk sent us in a different direction. A body found in Langley.
"We're on our way Gregg." I told the voice on the other end of the cell phone.
Actual news gathering is what we live for and this mission in Langley would fill the need for the "hard" news that the desk hungers for.
Peter my pilot for today, began to bring the turbine engine to life. I established contact with control room to determine which receive tower I would be linking with. Gregg breaks in on the radio and gives us an additional assignment. This one, a shooting in Surrey less than ten minutes old.
This would be a busy flight. We had a guest with us as well, Freelance CTV Writer Doug Murray. Doug also writes a blog called "Road Spill". Kinda funny now that I think of it, we had three "Murray's" on board.

We flew to both scenes, collected the shots that were needed and then proceeded to collect shots for Kink's story. Yes siree Bob, we got in some quality mountain flying. Hikers atop Mount Seymour, back country skiers, snow covered mountains that look like ice cream cones. It was soulful.
Our flight took us over to Grouse Mountain. I shot some skaters outside on a frozen pond. Onto Cypress Bowl, a reveal shot from the mountains to the bright blue waters of Howe Sound and a BC Ferry making the turn into Horse Shoe Bay. Peter spotted some folk enjoying a picnic on the rocks overlooking Point Atkinson. And finally shots of pleasure craft maneuvering into docks at Granville Island.
It had been a busy flight. So much so that I did not have a chance to get out the D-80 and fire off a frame or two.

A call from Kink when we were back on the ground had me run through what I had shot for him.
"Murman, what will my closing shot be?" he asked.
Just then I remembered that we had a wonderful full moon rise last evening at around 4 :20.
"How bout I shoot the moon rise tonight from the air?" I sold him on the idea.

The sun goes down on a very productive flight day as we prepare to fly and shoot a moon rise

We took off at about 4:50 and headed out for the money shot. I had my eyes and lens pointed at the North East looking for a bright disc rising. Surely it would be up very soon. The flight continued. We orbited over the waters of English Bay waiting.
I was only give a small flight window to make this happen. I shot the sun set, just in case I botched the timing of the moonrise. As I looked at my watch, time was running out. Not even a glimpse of a bright object resembling a moon. We headed back to base and set the machine down. As we powered down machine, my cell rings. It's Kink.

"How is it that the United States lands a man on the Moon, and YOU can't find it?" he mocks.

I begin to explain that I had a backup shot and whine about not being able to time a moon rise. Kink laughs at what a failure the idea had become. Just at that moment, I look out my window toward the north shore mountains, and low and behold, a sliver of bright silver moon rising over the ridge. I quickly re establish our microwave link and shoot the freakin' thing from the aircraft dolly with the FLIR. It appears I have wrestled victory from the jaws of defeat.
It was orgasmic.

The moon finally makes an appearance. My rather weak attempt to photograph it without a tripod.


Max said...

Shooting a major breaking news from a chopper is, of course, exciting. What a rush!

But a tight shot of mounting climbers, while the chopper makes a large orbit and the background starts to spin... priceless! That shot tuesday night was awesome, Murman.

Nice job!

TVA Montreal

Jack Zhang said...

That was part of the reel I saw yesterday.

A plane flying through the moon on a Lunar Eclipse was one of the best wondershots by Chopper 9. Probably want to stock footage that.

"But a tight shot of mounting climbers, while the chopper makes a large orbit and the background starts to spin... priceless!"
I could say that again, but it would be the third time it's said. ;)

Jack Zhang

Doug said...

Orgasmic is right.

I caught your pictures on the news last night... and was in awe.

As Max said, that one shot where you pulled out to reveal the background... priceless.

Thanks to you, Peter and the CTV folks for a great ride... I'm still cleaning up the drool.