Last week we had an great opportunity to work with the The British Mountaineering Council on a new project. This involved some aerial film work for us on the Isle of Skye, the problem being it was on the summit of a mountain! Skytech Aerial UAV pilot Dave Redpath was up to the task, and takes up the story: Back in 2015 I remember watching The Ridge by Cut Media thinking to myself what a great film project. Two years later I’d never have guessed I’d get a similar opportunity!
To warrant the effort I knew I had to get the Inspire 2 up there and shoot with 4K ProRes422HQ. The Mavic or Phantom wasn’t going to cut it in terms of quality for the project. Coming in at 12 kilos before clothing, food and water I knew this was going to be a major effort. Having bagged over 50 Munros before family came along I had a rough Idea of the scale. The Inspire 2 was around the weight of climbing/camping gear anyway so I knew it was possible. Just nearly a decades gap in fitness to account for. I managed to squeeze in a few training runs and gear up on energy food and drink from Decathalon. I also invested in an external frame ruck sack much like the ALICE pack the military use.
On the day the challenge for me was overcoming doubt that I could get up there. I’d built it up in my head I’d hit some terrible fitness wall mountain bikers refer to as the ‘bonk’. It hurt a bit but slow and steady won the race and I got to the summit in 3.5 hours. There was also a worry over geomagnetic interference on the ridge where compasses are reported to spin freely. The Inspire 2 had no problems. After a long wait to get the right mood and solitude I got the aerial shots required. We got some great clear weather to shot in. I did 3 batteries of shots varying between the 12mm and 45mm Olympus M.Zuiko lenses compatible with the Zenmuse X5S. These were perfect for aerial establishing shots on the 12mm as well as some tighter tracking shots on the 45mm. After finishing up we got back for around 10pm, nearly a 15 hr day. If only I had more batteries and a mule. What an awesome spot to film.