Every profession has tools of the trade that, while not absolutely necessary, can help to create a convenient work environment and, ultimately, a better finished product. For the film industry, the absolute must-haves are pretty limited: Sound and filming gear, cast, editing crew, and some other odds-and-ends that always seem to fill themselves in; however, the cost of major productions reaches such great heights because of the peripheral costs, one of it which is boom lift rentals.
Aerial Shot Impact
Every Car Chase Ever
If you’ve ever watched an action movie, you’ve undoubtedly seen the impact that a boom lift can have on a scene; simply by being able to literally reach new heights, filming takes on a whole new range of depth. In outdoor action scenes, such as a car chase, it is crucial to be able to see everything that is going on at once, and the only way to do that is with a higher vantage point. Using a boom lift is different from simply building a platform from which a cameraperson can film from; instead, the boom is able to explore any vertical direction, even downward, to bring the camera to exactly where it needs to be for a certain shot. We’re able to enjoy action scenes that appear to be filmed “over the shoulder” of our heroes and heroines, only to pan out at a much higher angle, all thanks to the use of a boom winch.
How Aerial Filming Works
When a company decides where they want to film a particular scene that requires aerial filming, they contact a company like Alpha Platforms in New York City, together, with the help of city permits, they work out the logistics of the filming and rental dates and times. Then, using a specialized camera mount, the boom is adapted to provide the camera operator with a nearly effortless utilization from just about any height. It is then the camera and boom operator’s job to work together to coordinate the location and angle of the boom relative to the scene and the camera relative to the boom to determine the exact angle and depth of the shot. While that all sounds complicated, it ends up working out not unlike firefighters using a high-rise hose attached to a fire truck’s cherry picker, except, of course, they’re shooting film and not water.
Boom Supplier Responsibilities
The boom lift rental company is looked to as the experts for everything when it comes to the boom operation during filming. After all, it is unlikely that anyone in a filming operation is licensed or even knows how to operate a specific boom lift, and almost no filming operation has the time it takes for someone to learn. So, most often, one or more skilled operators from the boom lift rental company gets the privilege of a behind-the-scenes look as they operate the lift on behalf of the production. At Alpha Platforms, we take our responsibility as agents in a larger production seriously, and always enjoy helping with boom lift operation for NYC films and movies. In our line of work, precision and safety is always key to a successful job, and never is that more true than in the filming industry; if there needs to be a take two, it won’t be on account of us!