Aerial Filming – The Most Iconic Aerial Shots in Cinema

aerial filming

Some of the most iconic movie shots in history have been taken from the air. Such elevated vantage points, which we rarely see in daily life, create a magical experience for any movie viewer. From action movies to thrillers to war films, aerial cinematography, or aerial filming, has created some of the most memorable scenes in cinema.

Aerial cinematography is possible because of helicopter filming. With technology evolving at an amazing rate, it is vital to understand what is meant by the term nowadays. Though there are many ways in which filmmakers accomplish aerial shots in movies, there are some aspects and considerations required by this method which standard filming does not.

What is Aerial Filming?

Aerial filming is the taking of photographs or videos from aircraft like helicopters or other flying objects. The major tools used to accomplish aerial photography are helicopters. Aerial cinematography is usually used to establish shots, follow shots, and action sequences. It offers an extremely high vantage point and is ideal for the logistical reasons of being able to capture more within a frame, as well as the psychological reasons of adding a unique perspective to the unfolding of a story.

Aerial photography is frequently used for:
● Chase scenes
● Establishing shots
● God’s eye view
● War shots


Let’s take a look at some examples of the most iconic aerial shots in cinema:

● Establishing shots
Since aerial shots are captured from very high up, they are ideal for establishing views that show off the scenery of a film. A wide shot captured from helicopter filming is able to capture the broadest landscape. This is ideal for stories that revolve heavily around the geography of a film, such as ‘The Shining’ by Stanley Kubrick.

Kubrick makes use of aerial cinematography at great speeds to establish how far away this story takes place from civilization. This serves as a vital factor in creating cabin fever, which overcomes the protagonist of the film. The choice of Kubrick to use a helicopter to capture the opening sequence of aerial cinematography was highly unique at the time.

● Chase scenes
Chase scenes that move fast and far are captured ideally by aerial shots. Though there are many amazing scenes of car chases that use this type of cinematography, some of the best are from the action movie ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout’. It utilised aerial shots in the most impactful way.

● War scenes
From ‘We Were Soldiers’ to ‘Platoon’, aerial helicopter filming has become iconic within the genre of war films. Aerial shots in movies usually capture the ground below, but they are ideal for shooting epic helicopter fleets in war settings. The perfect device for shooting aircraft scenes is through this cinematography, since it can display a point of view from one of the helicopters from the fleet, it makes audiences feel part of the action.

● God’s eye view
It is possible for cinematography to create perspectives in films that most people do not experience in their lives. It is unique to the human experience to view extremely elevated vantage points. Hence aerial filming is perfect for capturing a so-called ‘God’s eye view’, peering down on action on earth.

How Other Industries Can Benefit From Aerial Filming

Now let’s look at other industries which can benefit from aerial filming:

● Real estate
Aerial photography can benefit real estate agents, buyers and sellers with drone shots of the property for sale. Though images can be captured from the ground, aerial images and videos offer more depth and appeal. The access and scale of a property can be captured and conveyed accurately.

● Business
Business owners can benefit from aerial filming by showcasing a property’s size, location and proximity to nearby attractions. It can also be used for filming what a business does or sells and the kind of services it provides. For example, a restaurant can take aerial shots to show the location, ambience and attractions of the area it occupies.

● Automobile
Automobile companies can take excellent shots with aerial filming to make creative and attractive ad films for their latest launch. Most automobile companies use this type of filming to showcase the beauty as well as the sturdiness of their vehicle. Such shots look cinematic and help draw in buyers.

In Summary
Aerial filming has several applications, with one of the main benefits being that it offers the same rewards irrespective of the industry. Aerial filming is budget friendly and doesn’t have to burn a hole in the pocket. It’s a way to take unusual images and videos that add a special quality to any production. Both still and action shots can be captured at the same time.

Be sure to hire an experienced firm with skilled professionals that use the latest technology and equipment. Look for specialists that have significant flying experience and relevant credentials. Research market reputation and customer reviews before making a final decision, to ensure you pick the perfect organisation for your needs.

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