Welcome to our very first HFS Group newsletter! We will aim to keep you updated every few months with our exciting news. In the meantime, here are some highlights of the last 12 months at HFS:
Jeremy Braben, CEO of HFS Group, becomes an Associate Member of the British Society of Cinematographers
Launch of the Typhon2 six-camera array
Launch of our new TITAN Drone
Commercial UAV Academy (CUAVA) joins the HFS Group
Janette Green joins as Non-Executive Director of the HFS Group
Welcome to 'The Aerialist’: News from the Wheels, Wings & Rotors team at HFS Group.
The all new TITAN takes to the skies
Early this year, after a huge amount of hard work, our team touched down at our stand at BSC Expo in Battersea to launch a seriously impressive piece of kit: the TITAN Ultra-Heavy Lift Drone capable of flying an ARRI SRH-3 gimbal for the first time, as well as others!*
Now, in Greek mythology, the Titans were divine beings who were exceptionally tall - the children of sky and earth. And at HFS Group, we like to think we aim higher than anyone else, so we are raring to use this ‘beast’ of a piece of kit on some major productions.
Our CEO, Jeremy Braben, explains, “The impetus for developing this large drone was being able to respond to requests from a couple of legendary DoPs and VFX Supervisors to fly large format digital or 35mm film packages. Despite the ‘spin’ often generated in the industry, until now, there were no drones capable, or approved, to fly at weights that make this possible, safely.”
We hope 2019 will be a big year for the TITAN, with some strong industry interest in its capabilities. The TITAN was already nominated for the 2019 Definition Magazine Innovation Award.
*The ARRI SRH-3 stabilised head enables easy integration of existing ARRI lens motors, and other functionality, directly with the ARRI ALEXA 65 and LF cameras.
The HFS Group acquires high-flying UAV Training School, Commercial UAV Academy
The drone industry is expanding exponentially, with over one million drones sold in the Christmas period last year, and companies now training up their staff in order to have in-house capability.
After all, without the right training and regulations, as the Gatwick fiasco showed, we are all very exposed!
Last autumn, HFS group entered the growing drone training market by bringing in a UAV expert with 20 years' experience, Alan Perrin, and the drone academy he runs, CUAVA.
For 20 years, Alan has been making his mark in the drone industry, including piloting the largest drones in the film industry around some of the biggest ‘A’ listers in Hollywood. As Chief Drone Instructor, he enables professionals in sectors as diverse as TV, Police, and construction to achieve the qualifications they need to operate professionally. We’re proud to be training the next generation of drone users, and CUAVA is already establishing itself as one of the UK’s leading Drone test centres, It which now includes free flight test insurance from partner, Coverdrone. Contact info@CUAVA.co.uk for more information. The course now includes the free operations manual template as part of the course cost.
As part of our evolution and growth mission, we have appointed Janette Green as Non Executive Director. Formerly Chief of Staff at Aston Martin, she's a strategically focused and pragmatic brand and communications leader. Janette brings us leadership, inspiration, motivation and challenge based on more than 30 years’ experience - twelve years at Executive Board and three years at Shareholder Board level. We are taking full advantage of her well-known energetic and perceptive approach to business and brand development! Janette has a passion for the luxury as well as the film sector, and we are loving the energy she is bringing to enhance the HFS Group's offering even further.
HFS welcomes a new Non-Executive Director, Janette Green
Whilst he may prefer to stay behind the camera, we are beyond proud that our very own Jeremy Braben has became an Associate Member of the world-renowned British Society of Cinematographers, the BSC. This great honour comes after almost two decades spent working on some of the biggest films in the industry, primarily as Director of Aerial Photography. Since its formation in 1949, the prime objective of the BSC has been to promote and encourage the highest standards in the art and craft of cinematography. Membership, which is by invitation only, comprises some of the most talented Directors of Photography and Camera Operators in the United Kingdom. Jeremy has been accepted alongside an HFS collaborator, Cinematographer, Ed Moore, who has also worked extensively in high end TV drama including on Dark Heart (2018), Shetland (2017) and Vera (2017). A MASSIVE congratulations to Jeremy and Ed!
Jeremy Braben is made Associate Member of the British Society of Cinematographers
Launch of the Typhon2 Six Camera Array
2019 has seen Helicopter Film Services launch the Typhon2 six-camera array, which incorporates six RED Helium cameras mounted toe-in in a Shotover K1 6-Axis stabilised system gimbal. This new array is designed to shoot plates that can then be stitched together in post production to create visually spectacular scenes. The Typhon2 enables both aerial and ground-based filming of sequences where a particularly wide field of view is required – a fully useable 165 Degrees at 12K x 8K.
Aerial cinematographer, Jeremy Braben and his team of HFS engineers led by Oliver Ward has collaborated with Brownian Motion (based at Pinewood Studios) to design the Typhon2 as an alternative to HFS’s original Typhon hyper wide array (launched in 2017) which combined six ARRI ALEXA Mini cameras as a toe-out array. This new Typhon2 has a toe-in configuration for reduced parallax. It also uses the RED DSMC2 Helium 8K sensor. Each of its six cameras is fitted with the new ZEISS CP3 21mm Prime lenses with eXtended Data and Shading mapping. Alternative lenses are available on request.
This new design for the Typhon2 allows the use of other prime lenses from the Zeiss CP3 range, and others, where desired. It also allows for the use of the RED Monstro Sensor or ARRI ALEXA Mini and appropriate lenses, if requested.
Some recent productions we've worked on...
We do hope that you have enjoyed our first episode of "The Aerialist!"
Feel free to get in touch with any questions.
All the best,