Magazine article American Cinematographer

Pro Perspective: Nick Kolias: The Heavy Lifters

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Pro Perspective: Nick Kolias: The Heavy Lifters

Article excerpt

"Heavy lifter" isn't officially defined, but in drone parlance it's generally taken to mean a UAV that can carry a professional-grade camera with a cinema lens - as opposed to a GoPro or other compact action camera. Weight-wise, some define it as anything over 40 pounds total, including the drone, its payload, 3nd batteries. The FAA limit is 55 pounds; heavier setups require a waiver.

Nick Kolias - a coowner, pilot and aerial coordinator at Aerial Edge - has recently been flying heavy lifters on a slate of car commercials. In one, he explains, "we start a few hundred feet over a tree canopy, then descend rapidly at a strategic angle through small gaps in the trees, all while keeping the picture car in frame and leading it at just the right distance. We've done that with a Red Weapon and Zeiss Super Speeds on a Freefly Systems Cinestar 8 HL, as well as an Arri Alexa Mini with Super Speeds on a Freefly Systems Alta 8 drone.

"Another interesting setup was flying through the urban canyons and alleyways of the San Francisco financial district, chasing cars for Lexus," Kolias continues. …

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