Acro Camp Sneak Peek 04: With Friends Like These . . . – Video Episode Show Notes

Despite the aggressive schedule around here (glider training, trying to find a new acro ride, doing really cool legal work for the best clients on the planet, etc.), I managed to get some time this weekend to do some editing on the movie.  The result is this sneak peek, “With friends like these . . .”

The campers at both of the Acro Camp shoots were very collaborative and supportive of each other.  But that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t at least a little laughter with (okay, at) each other when stuff went wrong.  And stuff is bound to go wrong when you’re learning to fly an aircraft whose center of gravity is behind the mains.

In the course of logging all of the footage, I’ve noted when both IPs were in aircraft and noted opportunities to synchronize the conversation across both cockpits.  Usually based on ATC calls or radio communication between the aircraft.  This was one such pair of sequences.  I loved the big bounce on Jim’s wheel landing and I loved the reaction that it got from Barry and Lynda.  I lined them up this evening and voila!  Tailwheel magic!

I’m actively working on putting together more time to get the film edited.  It hasn’t been easy, but I’m making some real progress.  Watch this space and the new Acro Camp web page (in development) for more news and updates!

Monday 0600Z

I saw a certain Taco Bell commercial and I couldn’t help but put together my own version showing, at least figuratively, what it’s like to roll into the driveway at the end of a weekend as an aviation new-media guy.



Airplanes 50¢

I spent part of this afternoon at Marvin’s Magnificent Mechanical Museum in Farmington Hills.  It’s tucked in behind a strip shopping center and you probably wouldn’t know it was there despite the big sign.  Inside, in addition to the pinball machines and video games, is one of the largest collections of old-style automated arcade attractions I think I’ve ever seen outside of Cedar Point.

But the coolest thing is when I detected movement above my head.  The ceiling is pretty busy with stuff attached to it.  But, running around the place is a conveyor system with dozens of model aircraft attached to it.  The conveyor system is static most of the time but there’s a box next to the door that says “Airplanes 50¢.”  If you put a couple of quarters into the box, the conveyor system starts and the airplanes make circuits of the place.

Really cool.  Worth a couple of quarters any day!  I especially appreciate that several of the aerobatic aircraft are inverted.

I shot the above video on my iPhone and then stitched it together this afternoon.  Enjoy!


Acro Camp Sneak Peek – Lynda’s First Hammer

More editing this evening.  Mostly Lynda’s first flight in the Super Decathlon.  For starting the day pretty bunched up, Lynda is having a lot of fun on this one.  Rolls, loops, and sustained inverted.  As I pause now, Don has just demonstrated a hammerhead.

Not the best light and there are issues with shake in the cockpit camera.  But that’s okay.  I’ve got good stuff here and the camp is unfolding reasonably well.  I still wish that I had more footage on the ground with full debriefs for each flight.  I learned that lesson on this film and I remain very happy that Jack Hodgson came out for the second one and interrogated everyone at all the right points in the experience.

There’ll be challenges in making the thing hang together, but I’m pretty pleased with the fruits of what is, after all, my first stab at a feature film.  In any case, it’s a boatload of fun.


The Hoppers Video is In the Feed!

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I finally had the opportunity on Saturday to finish editing the video that I shot while embedded with The Hoppers at the Battle Creek Airshow and Balloon Festival July 1-2 this supper. The team flew seven cameras and one audio unit on each of two performance hops. And I flew in the trunk of both the No. 3 ship and the No. 4 ship on the Saturday of the show to capture shots with a hand-held unit.

The weather was pretty overcast and visibility was low on both days. For those of you who kind of like the slightly sinister effect that that weather imparts, I did it especially for you. For those who much prefer sunlight glinting off of the aircraft, I did what I could with color correction without washing out the footage or making it look as though the Easter Bunny had thrown up on it.

In any case, I think it turned out nicely. The L-39s are simply great-looking aircraft. And they fly beautifully.

More information about The Hoppers is available at