By now, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen the video: Two Jetmen and an Airbus A380 soaring through the air over the gorgeous city of Dubai during magic hour.
Not only is the video an enormous feat of cinematography, pulled off by the fantastic Phil Arntz, the planning that went into creating this video was immense, involving many different talented individuals. This piece from Newsshooter.com is a comprehensive look at every level of the production.
The incredible talents of the Jetmen Yves Rossy and Junior Vince Reffet are on full display in this video and the danger that the two and the pilot of the Airbus A380 was managed with weeks of planning and choreography. In step with them was Phil Arntz and the rest of the photography crew, working with their own pilots to get the angles that they need. It’s hard to overestimate the amount of planning and storyboarding that went into this.
What I also find surprising about this video is the sheer amount of cameras used in the production. There were GoPro Hero 4’s placed all over planes and Jetmen to capture any angle they possibly could. In addition, there were cameras inside the planes filming the crew and pilots.
For 2015, this is the definitive Extreme Sports video. I challenge anyone to find a video that beats it.
Filming two Jetmen and an Emirates Airbus A380: Phil Arntz on working as aerial cinematographer for the smash viral video
“Just the fact of having the A380 in the air with these little guys was mindblowing,” says Phil Arntz, aerial cinematographer for the film (and a regular Newsshooter contributor).
“We anticipated that so many people would say it was fake, done in green screen or a trick – that we did it in post. But the only effect is the logo at the beginning of the film.”
So, how the hell did they do it?
It took two months to prepare for shooting thanks to the safety and logistical demands: six flyers were in close proximity – the A380 and the two Jetmen, the Jetmen’s helicopter, and a plane and helicopter for the film team – only a few thousand feet above downtown Dubai and the Palm Jumeirah. The team filmed three flights with the Jetmen alongside the plane. There was also a fourth solo flight by the A380 to get some scenic footage of the plane over Oman and the UAE.
Around 25 people worked on the production, which was made by Dubai Film for the companies Jetman Dubai and Emirates, though the overall team for the stunt numbered 40 or so including pilots, air traffic controllers and so on. “It was a massive undertaking and and took a lot of effort to pull off” says Phil.The A380 was out of passenger service for two days and the take off shots required the closure of both runways at Dubai International airport.
The team had worked with Jetman Yves Rossy and Jetman Junior Vince Reffet before, so knew roughly what they could expect. “Having said that, they were going fast, because 135 knots is the slowest an A380 can go in midflight with full flaps. The biggest challenge was having a camera platform that could match the speed of Jetman and the A380.”
Emirates A380 and Jetman Dubai Formation Flight | Emirates Airline
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(cover photo credit: snap from Newsshooter)