Importance of Boom Lifts in the Film Industry

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

car-chase Importance of Boom Lifts in the Film IndustryEvery 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-works Importance of Boom Lifts in the Film IndustryHow 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-lift-feat-1024x536 Importance of Boom Lifts in the Film IndustryBoom 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!

Give us a call to learn more about our NYC boom lifts or to get started today!


Best NYC Films

Los Angeles to New York, two cities that may as well be worlds apart; in addition to the vast distance separating these megacities, is the completely different look, feel, attitude, and even reputation. While Hollywood may be famously LA, that has never stopped writers, producers, and directors from setting The Big Apple is the literal or fictional scene for their films and shows. As a boom lift rental company, Alpha Platforms is proud to help bring New York City to the big screen through aerial filming; today, we’ll share a few of our favorite New York City films and franchises.

ghostbusters-203x300 Best NYC FilmsGhostbusters

This series may not seem like the most obvious choice for a limited list, but, in a number of ways, we believe it is. First off, it is worth mentioning that both the original and re-invented Ghostbusters franchises feature casts from the famed New York show, Saturday Night Live. This simple fact, plus the expert utilization of some incredible local landmarks, has made the goofy sci-fi franchise both a success and also a representation of the city itself. Plus, these films famously use aerial filming to capture the grandiosity of large ethereal villains, dangerous situations, and even some high-speed driving scenes. While not thought of as action movies, these films pack enough aerial filming in them to credit the description in our minds!

taxi-driver-200x300 Best NYC FilmsTaxi Driver

Somehow, Taxi Driver captures the spirit of New York on an individual level. Maybe it’s found in young Robert De Niro’s famous “you talkin’ to me?” line or just the film’s gritty realism, it seems to deliver a uniquely New York image. This is one of those movies that will capture anyone’s heart if they watch it enough, but probably none more than those that grew up (especially poor) in any of the NYC boroughs. Best of all, the film was allegedly filmed during a time of political unrest, with strikes, violence, and intense heat making for a difficult shoot, yet the end product seems to show none of that struggle in an unintentional way.

superheros-200x300 Best NYC FilmsSuperhero Shows & Movies

From Deadpool to Daredevil, it seems like just about every superhero has a movie or show set in NYC. While these movies aren’t necessarily known for their depth in plot, they do gross huge amounts in the box offices and give New Yorkers a chance to see what it would be like if aliens, heroes, titans, and villains all had a hayday amidst the skyscrapers we hardly seem to notice anymore. There’s something fun and imaginative about superhero films; even though we all seem to know about where they’re going to take us, there’s something comforting in the journey of it. We’ve watched the hero’s struggle play out time and time again with New York as a backdrop, yet it never seems to get old.

Our Rentals

At Alpha Platforms, we are proud to help take your film to new heights with our boom lift mounts designed for aerial filming. Our skilled operators know exactly how to get your camera operators in position throughout a continuous shot. Whether you’re bringing the next superhero box office breakout or just wanting a more dramatic angle for a coffee scene shot, we’ve got the tools and experience necessary for the job. Get our skilled boom lift operators for your next project by giving us a call today.

Contact us to learn more about our NYC boom lifts or to get started today!


Changing Skyscraper Windows

Simple tasks are made difficult when height is added. At over a hundred feet in the air, nearly any task can go from simple to complicated. For the skyscrapers of New York City, lift rentals are often necessary to simply change out a window. Setting up a lift rental to work both inside and outside of the building simultaneously may seem complicated, but is often far easier than the alternative.

The Basics of High Rise Window Changing

Working At Heights in NYC

In NYC, working at heights is a way of life. Entire industries exist simply to support the vertical nature of our homes and businesses and the problems that come with height. High-rise window washers work throughout the city in scaffolding and harnesses each and every day; imagine the effort it takes to not only clean, but replace a window at height. For most, the thought of working at heights is terrifying beyond belief, but the process is actually much safer than you might imagine.

skyscraper1 Changing Skyscraper WindowsCoordination

The first step toward changing a high-rise window is to be coordinated. When you’re multiple stories of the ground, any mistake can be a costly one. Something as simple as a screw falling from that kind of height can really hurt someone, and those small mistakes have to be avoided at all costs. The way this happens is through clear, concise communication and coordination. Often, individuals on the window installation and repair team will be both inside the building behind the now-missing window and others will be outside, either in a lift rental or scaffolding from the roof, and together they must fit the window snugly and securely into the track.

It Fits!

Not surprisingly, the manufacturers and installers of skyrise windows build them with a few basic principles in mind: 1) They should never, ever fall out and 2) They have to be able to be easily replaced. Unlike with windows at a typical ground-level building, those working at heights don’t have the luxury of being able to make adjustments and movements on the fly. The replacement window has to fit snugly into the track that holds the window in place or there is a huge risk for injury and liability going forward. The people of NYC trust that the windows and fixtures installed above them are made to be secure components of the building, whether they’re replacements or not. For those that know how to change out a skyrise window, getting the fit is surprisingly simple.

Skilled Operators

It is important that operator of the lift rental is able to safely and effectively navigate the basket to the appropriate position, often with window and crew included. At Alpha Platforms, we include an experienced lift operator with every rental to assist with whatever your task at hand may be. Our team knows and understands the intricacies of working at heights and is happy to offer our expertise in any way that is beneficial to the safety and success of the job.

Contact us today to learn more about our lift rentals!


Freight Transport in Alaska: The Haul of the Wild

Alaska distinguishes itself from the lower 48 states by its abundance of natural resources—crude oil, natural gas, and seafood—as well as breathtaking mountain ranges and vast acres of unspoiled land.

It also presents logistics challenges: a small but widely dispersed population, many in locales reachable only by water or air; highly rugged terrain in much of the state; extreme weather; and limited rail and road infrastructure.

Only 31 percent of Alaska’s roads are paved. Central Alaska is where the roads are, but they don’t reach southeast Alaska—which typically requires barge transport—or rural Alaska, where barge can reach the outskirts, but air is required


Reducing Freight Costs

Transportation prices have risen over the past year, but shippers can cut those costs through smart planning. Tim Benedict, senior director of transportation at APL Logistics, offers the following tips for reducing freight costs.

1. Don’t wing it. Electing to use international air instead of expedited ocean for the majority of hot shipments could leave a boatload of savings on the table. Consider time-definite ocean shipping—it typically costs 75 percent less than air, and is often just as reliable.

2. Ship air-sea or sea-air. Even when circumstances require the use of international air, don’t rule out ocean shipping. Depending on when your goods are due to be delivered, it may still be possible to fly them a portion of the journey, then load them onto an ocean vessel for the rest. The result is fewer miles for your products to travel, and lower freight bills.

3. Let transportation drive your warehouse selection. Choose your distribution centers (DCs) for their transportation efficiency rather than their attractive leasing rates or tax incentives. If a low-cost location adds too many miles or hand-offs to your supply chain, higher shipping bills will offset any location savings.

4. Take advantage of DC bypass. If your company sources globally, but only operates DCs hundreds of miles inland, consider a deconsolidation center near your ports of entry to direct-ship products to nearby customers. This will reduce redundant transportation expenses.


Perishable Logistics: Cold Chain on a Plane

In perishable logistics, time is of the essence to ensure produce, flowers, fish, and other products reach their destinations while they still offer maximum appeal and shelf life. As a result, many of these goods move via air.

But the potential complications of shipping perishables via air are legion: The trans-Atlantic airfreight space for a produce shipment is booked—but the peppers aren’t ready for harvest. Top New York chefs are writing premium Icelandic cod into their menus in anticipation of delivery—but the fish is sitting in a fog-induced backlog at the Keflavik airport. Holland tulips are loaded into the belly of a passenger aircraft—but then the pilot orders several coolers pulled off to free up weight for extra fuel.

The uncertainty inherent in grown or caught product—combined with the potential vagaries of air transport—means managing perishable logistics demands specific expertise. “The greatest challenge is to maintain the cold chain, which varies from product to product,” says Alvaro Carril, senior vice president of sales and marketing for LAN Cargo, a cargo airline based in Santiago, Chile, and a subsidiary of LAN Airlines. LAN Cargo transports salmon and fruit from Chile, asparagus from Peru, and flowers from Ecuador and Colombia to the U.S. market.