Australians Bri Moreau and Chris Vogelzang are revolutionizing surf films one remote control helicopter at a time. In 2010, the duo created Extreme Aerials, a company that uses 19-inch, four-rotored helicopters to capture otherwise costly aerial footage of surf events. The team packs $5,000 worth of the latest camera and lens technology onto the frisbee-sized contraptions and sets them loose during events like the 2011 Rip Curl Pro. I caught up with Moreau to find out how many copters they've lost in the drink. --Ali Taylor Lange
Outside: How did this all start? Moreau: About a year ago we took the camera over the ocean for the first time and made a two-minute clip that we posted to the web. No one had ever posted surf footage like that before. We got 140,000 hits and knew we had stumbled upon something pretty good.
What is a quadrocopter? A quadrocopter has fewer moving parts than a conventional helicopter. It also has active stabilization that allows it to hover in one spot. A traditional helicopter doesn't do that. It tends to drift to a certain direction.
Just how stable is it? And how fast can it fly? We can fly in winds up to 20 knots (23 mph). The footage will be affected a little, but you would be surprised at the amount of control the pilot has. We were filming $1.6 million motorboats yesterday and were traveling faster than them. We can probably clock about 60 mph if the machine is really moving.
The Scene, the latest movie from filmmaker Chuck Fryberger, looks at the varied ways people send by traveling to four of the world's most vibrant climbing communities: the sandstone Mecca of Moab, Utah; the cutting-edge sport crags of Catalonia; the competition scene of Innsbruck, Austria; and that center of American climbing culture, Boulder, Colorado.
Fryberger is known for his colorful, visually slick flicks, and judging by the trailer, The Scene isn't likely to disappoint. The film was shot in 4K ultra high-def resolution. It doesn't hurt that he has such a stacked cast to work with: over two dozen top climbers appear. Besides frequent collaborators like Nalle Hukkataival and Cody Roth, the film also features superclimber Chris Sharma--a first for a Fryberger flick.
We'll be interviewing director Chuck Fryberger about The Scene and his work as a climbing filmmaker, so stay tuned.
Anson Fogel’s new film Cold is a gripping edit of the footage photographer and mountaineer Cory Richards’s shot during his February ascent of Pakistan's 26,360-foot Gasherbrum II. The 19-minute short won the Best Adventure Film at Carbondale, Colorado's 5 Point Film Festival. Based on the trailer, and early results, we expect Cold to pile up rave reviews during this year's adventure film festival circuit. Not only was Richards the first American to summit an 8,000 meter peak during winter, but he lugged a Canon 5D up the mountain and shot nearly 500 gigs of footage while doing it. (Read Grayson Schaffer’s story, Partly Crazed with Frostbite, in the May Issue, which chronicles Richards's climb). Fogel first saw the footage as an update from the field Richards's posted on the North Face's web site.
“It’s so raw and honest,” says Fogel. “I couldn’t believe he had the camera out in those conditions.”
Those conditions included being buried in an avalanche, falling into a crevasse, and getting lost on Gasherbrum II's upper slopes during a whiteout. As you would expect, Richards shot less as the climb became more life threatening, but Fogel still pulled 15 minutes of footage out of the hour Richards captured on the summit push.
“There’s a handful of shots in there where Cory runs ahead of the other climbers [Simon Moro and Denis Urubko] and turns around to shoot them climbing up,” says Fogel. “You can hear him throw up from the effort."
Fogel splices shots of some of these life threatening moments with clips of Richards's family at home. The effect is poignant. Watch the trailer here and follow the updates on Cold's Facebook page and the Forge Motion Pictures web site.
So many things happened in the Outside world this April that we understand you not keeping track of everything. Here are the highlights, including some wicked mountain-bike porn, Outside's best covers, a bit on the Greg Mortenson controversy, and a love letter.