Seriously. It's not often I'm brought to near-tears by any kind of aerial footage, 4K RED EPIC-shot or not (featuring striking landscapes of the San Francisco Bay area, or otherwise). I'm sure the swelling musical score didn't help. We've featured a number of visually stimulating aerial footage videos before, some of urban areas fitfully asleep, others less ominous and more serene, and some for free from Neumann Films. Heck, one such clip followed battling ninjas. Each and every one is memorable in its own right. But thanks to Teton Gravity Research's use of the GSS C520 5-axis gyroscopic stabilization system, Vimeo Staff pics is now featuring possibly the smoothest, most amazingly stable aerial footage you've ever seen -- and perhaps even the most beautiful, too. Watch below.
From the video's description on Vimeo:
From the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz to the Bay Lights at night, see the Bay Area's most iconic locations like you've never seen them before. Shot in 4K/"Ultra-HD," Teton Gravity Research presents the first footage from their new RED Epic-equipped gyrostabilized camera platform: The GSS C520. The GSS C520 is a portable 5-axis system that houses a range of leading digital cinema cameras, like the Epic and Sony F55, while also capable of integrating future advancements in camera technology.
Directed by: Todd Jones
Aerial DP: Carston Bell
First AC: Brian Wulf
Editor: Blake Campbell
Produced by: Teton Gravity Research
Music: "Nero" by Two Steps From Hell
If those shots of Alcatraz wouldn't elicit a knowing, single tear in salute from Michael Bay (see: The Rock), I honestly don't know what would or could. Except maybe the night stuff, of which I actually wish there was even more here. Here's more on the GSS C520, from Teton's blog post on the matter (the C520's spec sheet PDF is available here):
Award-winning action sports production company and lifestyle brand Teton Gravity Research (TGR) has become the first to acquire the new Gyro-Stabilized Systems (GSS) C520 system, the most advanced five-axis gyro-stabilized camera platform in the world. The GSS C520 is the first fully upgradable and interchangeable portable gyro-stabilized system, able to accommodate a range of existing cameras like the RED Epic and Sony F55 that shoot at 4K resolution, as well as future advancements in camera technology. The portable platform allows TGR to capture stunning, Ultra HD cinema, about four times the resolution of regular 1080p HD.
Michael Bay references aside (though you know what, maybe not), this type of system has great implications for the future of any aerial 4K cinematography, be it for extreme sports, cinema, or otherwise. I think we can expect great things from GSS, because from the looks of things -- and the proof seems to be in what pudding we already have before us here -- their expertise in stabilization will produce some startlingly grandiose and beautiful results.