A Videographer’s Point of View from 50,000 Feet in the Sky

By: Angel MedFlight Contributor

 Summary: Our videographer is able to capture the stories of our patients, but today we get to tell the story behind the story.

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Guerrilla filmmaking refers to a form of independent filmmaking characterized by low budgets, skeleton crews, and simple props using whatever is available. Often scenes are shot quickly in real locations without any warning.

The style of filmmaking mentioned above is used to produce the “My Story” series here at Angel MedFlight. With little or no time to plan, the videographer needs to capture the full story while capturing emotion, beautiful imagery, and displaying the sublime care that Angel MedFlight’s medical staff practices.

On one particular transport of quintuplets, our videographer was tested to the max.  The shoot involved different challenges.  First, we had to make sure we shot all of the patients including the babies, the family and our staff.  Another challenge, the varying times of day like morning and night and lighting changes from indoor to outdoor. Oh, and let’s not forget the extreme climate changes from hot to freezing cold. Due to rapid locations changes and time constraints, being able to adjust camera settings to acquire crisp-clear images is a very difficult task. In video production this can be a nightmare without the proper planning (and it’s a good thing our videographer is a pro at planning for the worst and expecting the best). 

The perks of this run and gun style of shooting is that the videographer is able to capture REAL scenarios. And it has been proven time and again that film has always been more endearing when you can relate to the people involved. At Angel MedFlight we want to create a video that is not only relatable, but in the stories we want to clearly show the care that our medical staff gives the patients. Our stories are real, no actors/actresses, no props, no re-takes.

This story was an exciting but difficult production. The task was to transport five babies and the family in two Learjets, from Scottsdale, Arizona to Watertown, New York. Like most cases, there wasn’t much time to plan (only 2 days).  With limited travel space and the “guerrilla” production style, the next challenge was figuring out how to be efficient and mobile.

The shoot started early morning with a meld of orange and purple painted across the Arizona sky – the perfect back drop for video. All of us at Angel MedFlight were anxiously waiting at the Scottsdale Airpark for the tiny patients to arrive, also with us included the Phoenix media outlets and our aviation department.  It was important to get the shots we needed while staying somewhat inconspicuous. Our videographer was slated to ride on the plane with the mother, two babies, a nurse practitioner and two flight nurses. We needed to capture in-flight footage while staying clear of the medical staff and crew.

Our videographer later said, “It was my first time flying on a Learjet.  Being on a private jet I didn’t know what to expect. It was the best flying experience I’ve had in my life. Flying at nearly 500 miles an hour at 50,000 feet couldn’t have been smoother.”

When we arrived in New York it was -3 degrees. The ground cloaked with snow provided yet another beautiful backdrop. We captured the transport to the town hospital where the patients were reunited with the rest of their family.

At the end of the day, it was just another successful, safe flight for Angel MedFlight.  But for our videographer and team, it was a successful journey we were able to capture from start to finish to now share with you.  Please take a minute to watch the final story at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bon2gF7UbEQ&list=UUPZYDbWbo6U2xl9OKL2TZ-Q&index=1

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