Kite Video 1

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License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike Kite Video 1 Sanderson & Roberts
Views: 910
19 Sep, 2007


A giant kite, a mobile phone, and a bit of risk. What could go wrong?

Director's Notes:

On the face of it, dangling a brand-new (and top-of-the-range) mobile phone off a kite isn’t the brightest thing I’ve ever done. But hey, it worked, didn’t it?

The clever bit - for which sadly I can claim no credit - is the suspension rig, which keeps the camera at least vaguely level. It’s an old design called a ‘Picavet Cross’, invented by a Frenchman of that name almost a century ago. If you look around online (Google for ‘kite aerial photography’) you’ll find lots of instructions.

My version is very simple, and was made out of lolly sticks, string, some screw-eyes, a couple of shelf brackets, and lots and lots of glue. It’s not very sturdy, but for something as light as a mobile phone it doesn’t have to be. I’ll write up the plans soon, and there’s more kite video coming too.

SciCast Notes:

This was the very first film we shot, just after we’d built the camera suspension rig and before the glue was fully dry. Later, we tried a few times to get film looking out towards the bay, which was teeming with people. Unfortunately, everything was so far away it didn’t look very impressive - this is a better film, even though it doesn’t show anything much.

Sometimes, when you have a new filming technique, you need to play with it a bit while you work out what it’s good for. We’ve tried filming from the kite a couple of times since, but still haven’t quite found the right subject. Leave your ideas in the comments here, or better still — make your own rig and submit your own kite films!

— Jonathan