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Aerial Filming Ireland to Debut Freefly MŌVI this 4th Dec
28 Nov 2013 : By Kevin Cronin
Steven Flynn and Susan Talbot of Aerial Filming demonstrate Ireland's first MŌVI equipped drone.
Aerial Filming Ireland, newly-founded by husband & wife team Steven Flynn and Susan Talbot, is pushing the boundaries of film technology with Ireland’s first MŌVI equipped drone, capable of flying high-end cameras while delivering ultra-stable footage for TV and film productions.

Their flagship remote controlled camera rig has already soared under a bridge for Max Films; over the Hill of Tara for the History Channel; moved through a glass corridor as the subject of an art installation in Donegal and over Rosses Point in Sligo for a Fastnet Films documentary.

Both Steven and Susan see this as just the beginning, a demonstration of the potential of aerial technology for Irish filmmakers.

Ahead of an industry gathering called ‘Turn It On’, hosted in partnership with Film Equipment Hire Ireland and scheduled for Bewley’s Hotel in Ballsbridge this 4th Dec, Steve and Susan spoke to IFTN about their career paths to date, the origins of the company and the cutting-edge technology involved.

‘We have one heavy-lift helicopter capable of lifting camera rigs as large as the Epic,’ Steven explained. ‘Back in April, I was at the head of the queue for the Freefly MōVI - which has taken the market by storm in terms of technology. It’s a revolutionary camera stabiliser and we received it a little over a month ago. They gave us the chance to engrave it, so Susan picked the name…’

‘MōVI-Dick! But you can call it Ishmael!’ Susan laughed. ‘When we get the fleet, we’ll start naming them all! Remote aerial filming is very new to the market and as such, licensing, insurance and associated costs are ever changing. Right now we charge between €1,500 & €2,000 to go up, which covers our costs but is still substantially cheaper than a helicopter.’

‘The MōVI has changed the way I shoot,’ Steven continued. ‘You can take the camera off the helicopter, strap it to a car, drop it from a rope or use it handheld in dual or single user mode, obviously not all in one take! From a price point of view, what it can achieve is amazing. You used to have to spend a lot of money to execute shots like these that looked good. MōVI makes your imagination affordable’.

The career paths that led both Susan and Steven towards Aerial Filming Ireland have been diverse. Susan originally went to Dun Laoghaire Film School, majoring in post-production, with her graduating documentary ‘Nobody’s Nothing’ screening at the Cork Film Festival before being picked up by RTÉ. She then worked for a time with Gerry McColgan of Crimson Films, editing drama for TG4 and freelancing for RTÉ, before moving to Minnesota. It was there she met and worked for the first time with Steven, at his own post-production company.

Over the ensuing decade they worked together on various programmes for PBS, Travel Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery, Discovery Health, HGTV & Paisley Park. Between them they have won multiple Emmy Awards.

Steven’s filmmaking path began at the age of 15 - working for his local cable company before embarking on a career that struck a balance between commercial projects and his own filmmaking endeavours.

‘When I started working at PBS on one of their national science shows, it was uncommon to be a DOP/Editor. I convinced them to let me shoot in the field and also oversee post-production. Since then I’ve been heavily involved in both disciplines,’ he said.

Embracing new technology isn’t new for Steve. In 1997 he owned one of the first uncompressed editing systems in the US, an Avid Symphony - which Susan operated as the in house online editor & colourist.

Last year, when the pair decided to move with their children to Ireland and find their niche in the Irish Film & TV industry, Steven’s lifelong interest in aviation came into play.

‘I bought my first hobby plane in 1992, spent six months building it and then flew it into an oak tree!’ he laughed. ‘I don’t do that anymore! Although at Film Equipment Hire, I do have a ‘Wall of Shame’. So far it displays a few chipped rotar blades and a melted battery cable. I’m hoping it stays a very small wall!’

Susan also noted that, despite the recession, the Irish film & TV industry has weathered the economic crisis better than most places.

'US and other foreign production companies are looking to film here and they see we have the talent, technology and the infrastructure to handle large productions,’ she explained. ‘Ireland is ahead of the game compared to the U.S when it comes to commercial remote aerial filming. It is tightly regulated here but so far banned by the FAA.’

In parallel with managing Aerial Filming Ireland, Susan and Steven head their own production company, GoodLooking Films and have just partnered with Twin Cities Public Television to bring the Emmy award winning science show ‘Sci-Girls’, to Irish TV. The series aims to inspire, enable and maximize STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) learning and participation, encouraging greater interest in STEM careers.

‘It’s specifically aimed toward Tween girls but is boy friendly. It’s in its third season in the US. We will be looking to Irish and Irish based technology/science companies for funding’.

With the ‘Turn It On’ event at Bewley’s hotel drawing near, both Susan and Steven are excited about the prospect of ‘MōVI-Dick’ making his first public appearance.

‘If all goes well in the coming months we may have to introduce ‘MōVI-Dan’ sooner rather than later!’

Turn It On

Bewley’s Hotel, Ballsbridge 4th Dec. 3pm – 9pm
MōVI Demos at 4pm/6.30pm/8pm

Showcasing Cinestar Octocopter, Red Scarlett, Sony F5, Canon C300, Kessler Motion Control Systems, Canon & Zeiss Cine Prime Lenses, Dollies, cranes & more.
Free raffle with a top prize of €1,000 against equipment rental. The winner must be present, subject to terms and conditions.

RSVP for this event is required by emailing: info@filmequipmenthire.com

Further information on Aerial Filming Ireland can be found on their website by clicking on the link here.

Their IFTN directory listing and contact details are also available here.


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