"Making Of" Preview: Acro Grass Studio Session

As many of you will remember, Don, Barry, and I went into the Soundscape Studio in Royal Oak in December to record material for the soundtrack. Among the ways in which Acro Camp is unique is the fact that the soundtrack is being entirely written and performed by the cast, crew, and fans of Airspeed and the movie

I supplied the basic guitar track and set up the session. I also brought in my drum kit, which The Soundscape supplemented with a sweet vintage floor tom and the cymbal you see at on the upper right of the kit. Don brought and played keyboards.
As I’ve been editing the footage, I’ve been grabbing snippets and laying them down on a sequence that I shot while Don and Barry were loosening up and just jamming to the guide track. Mainly to cover up the camera movements, but you can attribute some fillaking genius to it if you like.
I had Tim capture everything raw at the console in realtime and give me the audio in parallel tracks. I then combined the tracks, did a rough mix, and synched it up to the video.
The thought is that I’ll put this and some other material on the DVD as one of the “making of” extras.
Everybody’s a little off in this performance, but the whole Idea was simply to capture lots of bits of performances that I could loop into the mix to create something that’s an amalgam of lots of different people. You’ll recall that we’re crowdsourcing a great deal of the soundtrack and any given contribution is likely to find itself torn out of context and placed in a new position among the other contributions. These elements are no diferent. I still have no idea where they’re going to end up in the final product. But it’s going to be fun to see how it develops.

Soundtrack Session with Barry and Don

Barry, Don, and I went into the studio last night to record for the soundtrack. Full blog post over at the Airspeed website.

A Fine Day’s Cataloging

Another fine day of editing here at Airspeed Studios. I got most of Day 2 (15 May) cataloged and ready to link up with alternate camera angles and the cockpit audio. And I found several of the Easter eggs that the cast left for me. Like this shot of Jim Rodriguez and Don Weaver giving the thumbs up, er, down, er up.

The tech frame evolved when Roger Bishop gave in to the ham that’s in all of us and gave the camera a wave. Being a guy with a true sense of lighting and composition, I’m sure that he couldn’t resist stepping out into the near-perfect lighting of one of the early flights of that day.

A nice shot of Paul and Barry in the vertical. Do I need a further reason?

Nicholas “FOD” Tupper stopped by and I got him in the frame of the rear-facing camera on the Super D.
Paul “Gump” Berliner mugs for the camera during a Pitts ride later in the day.

Acro Camp Production Outtakes – Surfing the Pitts Breeze

Here’s footage from the Hero cam on the Pitts moments after startup. First Barry, then Steve, then Rod decide to surf the prop blast of the Pitts. This is from Saturday 15 May, Day 2 of flying.

The Most Fun Ever Had by a Human

I’ve been working my way through the footage from Friday 14 May, the first real day of flying for Acro Camp. I’ve been working mostly with the wing-mounted and other exterior camera footage over the last week. But, this evening, I began going through some of the footage from the in-cockpit cameras as well.
I’ve decided that no human has ever had more fun flying aerobatics (or doing anything else) than Paul Berliner. I could tell that he was smiling from the wing cam footage, but the in-cockpit cameras really tell the story. There are even times that I can hear min shouting over the engine noise on the ContourHD camera (and I don’t have the intercom audio synched up yet, so it’s strictly ambient sound for now). The frame grab above is Paul’s reaction to his very first loop. I think they heard about it in the tower back at Pontiac. Without the need for the radio.
It turns out that Paul has a G-face as well. In fact, I think it’s the same as his zero-G face. Here’s he’s pulling up for his second loop. Paul pulls a little less hard on the loops than Jim, but not much less. He got nice round shapes out of the loops that he did. I can’t tell whether Barry’s helping, but I suspect that it’s mostly Paul.
Michelle also got up at the end of the day for some pattern work in the Citabria. I discovered some issues with the ContourHD shutter artifacting when the prop shadow falls across the pilot’s face. It’s a little like skinny horizontal Venetian blinds. But it’s almost worth it when you get sun angles like this one.
I’m still having a good time with the extent to which the IPs seem to pay attention to the camera. Here, Barry gives a thumbs-up just before taxiing.
I understand that there were some pretty good conversations in the cockpit, as well, and I’m just beginning to get around to going through the intercom audio. I think I’ll do that once I get it synched up with the video. I’ll put together a multiclip for each flight and then watch each flight all the way though one camera angle at a time. It’ll be time-consuming, but it’s really the only way to get the whole story and identify all of the most interesting/compelling/beautiful moments.