Behind the Scenes of Filming an Aircraft in Flight

Your job is boring. Proof: this behind-the-scenes look at an aerial plane-to-plane photoshoot.

As one can imagine, photographing a new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft for Air Canada from a second plane is a little more involved than just pressing a smartphone against the window seat plexiglass. The planning process is absolutely critical and it takes a considerable amount of time to prepare for the shoot. There’s only a two-hour mission window to capture everything while up in the air, so there’s no time for the team to figure things out as they go. “Every second counts in one of these missions,” says Pilot Rob Mitchell. Additionally, the pilots and the camera crew need to keep in constant communication throughout the flight to find a balance with everyone doing their jobs at the best level.

This behind-the-scenes video from Taylor Reid Creative Agency offers a look at the video setup of the filming airplane and shows how Aerial Cinematographer Roger Tonry is able to control the camera system from the inside of it. As Tonry explains, the camera stays inside the plane and looks to the outside in a fashion similar to a periscope on a submarine.

If you want to see this kind of shoot taken to the extreme, check out this video featured a few years ago.

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It is interesting to know the budgets for the jobs like that. For the start you have small jet "camera plane" which itself should be several millions. And you need to spread these several millions across not that many clients...