Aerials over Kampala

by Adam the Cameraman, in Uganda
16th December, 2009

I love aerial day!

Aerials are a big deal, it involves a lot of work behind the scenes as production managers, co-ordinators are having to deal with uncooporative customs agents and having to pay huge deposits so that the specialized aerial filming equipment can be imported and then exported out of the country. Dave the Cineflex operator then flies out to wherever we are with all his gear. A cineflex is basically a gyro stabilizer mount for the camera which is rigged to the front of the helicopter. It is controlled by a massive console unit, a bit bigger than a Playstation(!) which is operated by Dave. Whatever the pitch, speed, angle or vibration of the helicopter, Dave has full control and delivers a smooth and steady picture.

The helicopter was parked at the private hospital in Kampala. The company that runs it is owned by Simon Everett, who happens to be Rupert Everett’s (the actor) older brother.


We decided to divide our aerial day in three 2 hour stints.

The first 2 hours we flew up to the Rhino sanctuary about 150km north of Kampala. We took Luke up on this flight, dropped him off on the ground when we got there and filmed him from the air as he went looking for rhino’s with the head ranger. This shot would then tie in with the ground shots we had already filmed a few days before.


We flew back to the Hospital, parked up, had some lunch, met up the Marc and Nathan and organised our next shoot which involved filming Luke driving around the Ugandan countryside and through small towns and villages and filming aerials of Kampala and anything else that looked interesting from the air.


The last aerial shoot was during magic hour, just before sunset. We flew over lake Victoria towards Ngamba Island, filming all the chimps that we had met on our first day.

We got a great shot of the Alpha male chimp as was slightly distressed by the presence of the helicopter over his patch of land, he was going besrk, throwing rocks and branches, while all the other chimps cowered away from him.

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