To Columbia and back #testedtough

November 23, 2016 8:54 pm Published by

Back in mid-October when the days still held some light we were approached by LS Productions in Edinburgh to see if we could provide a medium to heavy lift drone for an upcoming shoot on the Isle of Skye.  Most notably on the Quiraing, this area has been used heavily for high end commercials and Hollywood movies for decades.  This is due to the combination of stunning terrain, sweeping vistas and coastal views found nowhere else in the UK.

We were initially a little sceptical as October on Skye is not known for warm sunny days!

We were sent a link to the project which turned out to be a series of shorts for Columbia Clothing’s latest project #TestedTough where they interview for a Directors position in wild places.  Perfect this was right up our street!

Inverness to Skye is a four hour drive and our call time was 07:00, oh dear early start!  We arrived onsite bright and early with an eye on the weather which did not look great.

We deployed with two systems, the Skyjib with the GH4 and a range of lenses and the S900 with a Z15 gimbal but only a single lens choice.

We found the carpark the production was using as unit base as helped ourselves to coffee.  The Director was already on the mountain so we quickly prepped the kit.  Given the inclement weather we took the S900 and a tarp to cover everything.

When there is likely to be deep heather we have a really useful little table from GoOutdoors which is great for giving a little solid base to take off, land and adjust settings.

We set off walking up hill and were glad we had just the S900!  Once on set we made ourselves known and got setup nearby ready to go as these things always kick off at a moments notice.

At about this point something incredible (well okay not that incredible in the country of four seasons in a day) happened.  The clouds cleared and the most fantastic light developed.  Skye was not to disappoint!


Once the Director was ready for us we captured plenty of GV’s, shots of the candidates climbing the mountain and various establishing shots.  After this we broke camp and walked further up the hill to get setup close to the candidates climb up to the table.  This allowed us to capture some great shots flying parallel with the rock face at high speed.  The Connex HD downlink was faultless right out to 400m at 400’.

Once finished here we broke camp and tracked back to the van. We drove up to the top of the pass and walked in to the final location.  There was now to be a lot of standing around as interviews, recording sound and drones do not mix!

fullsizerender-3Image courtesy of the Highland Wanderer, blog post below.

Eventually we were called for and these final shots of the day can be seen in the final edit where the CEO interviews the candidates at a table as the sun sets.

The final video can be viewed below.  We think it turned out pretty cool!  Its unusual to have a shoot come to the world so quickly so we were pleasantly surprised.

There is a great blog post from one of the candidates HERE.

What a place! Standing by!


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This post was written by roavr