Shooting "STREETS" in New York City

At the beginning of July Brooklyn Aerials and Freefly teamed up to create a visual study of New York City with the brand new Freefly TERO: STREETS

We were shooting for three days with the primary idea to get super slow-mo Phantom Miro shots at very high speeds during the day and very symmetric, composed shots with the RED Epic Dragon at night. 

Especially the effect of freezing those iconic and special NYC moments with super slow-motion (1,500 to 2,000fps), yet adding a camera move and parallax to those scenes interested me the most.

With a super small team of just two people (and a BTS camera) we were extremely flexible and able to scout and capture locations within minutes. While we had list of shots that we really wanted to get (an open hydrant, skateboarder with the skyline, handball player and pigeons), we were surprised by others:  Members of the Ghetto Riders in a water gun fight or a dog running in Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick, shots that would have been impossible without this set-up and would otherwise require an intense production and budget of a commercial shoot.

Getting the timing right was the most difficult thing for those shots. A stationary slow-motion shot is easy - but timing the TERO so that the camera would pass the subject right at the perfect moment, the peak moment when the water balloons are mid air, the hand of the skinny handballs player hits the ball or the passing hasid is perfectly frozen, mid step; thats the tricky part.

To achieve an instant acceleration without endangering the expensive camera, we added a wheelie bar to the TERO. While it generally picks up a bit more vibration from a rough underground, this was the solution to get the timing right and the TERO up to impressive and fairly scary speeds. 

Overall I was amazed by the footage that we were able to capture. I had a vision for the feel and look I was going for - but had no idea if we could actually pull it off with the Tero-Phantom combo and a documentary approach to a very stylized video. I am glad it all paid off and came together that nicely.

- Tim