HOLLYWOOD FILMMAKER FLIES DJI TO THE VERY TOP
Just two years ago, Tim Browning was a concept artist designing military aircraft for sci-fi blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. The brief from the Directors stated that the aircraft should be ‘multirotored’, so that it closely resembled a Bell Boeing Quad TiltRotor, a U.S. military aircraft designed in 2007.
The other thing it resembled? A drone — four sexy rotors providing incredible stability.
Tim knew a bit about drones. Having already been captivated by a friend’s stunning Phantom 2 footage, he had heard good things and knew how easy they were to operate and fly.
“I figured that it would be useful within film and art departments; for capturing unusual angles to use in illustrations or for location scouting,” says the 42-year-old father of three, “but mostly it was just for fun.”
Tim has worked in set design and construction within the film industry for nearly 20 years. Honors include concept, art direction credits for Alice in Wonderland, Skyfall, Spectre, The Force Awakens and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII.
In the end, he bought a Phantom 2 ‘for research purposes’. It was love at first sight. He took it to Greece that summer and — apart from “annoying the hell out of my family” — ended up playing with it constantly. He slung a short edit up on YouTube. What followed? The start of a new and entirely unexpected career.
“It was below freezing and we were living in Gers or Yurts alongside a nomadic family out on the steppe,” he recalls of his first trip to Mongolia for BBC’s Earth’s Natural Wonders.
Two young boys were in training for a local horse race and the BBC crew filmed them for a few days leading up to the race.
“The purpose of the drone was to capture the huge expanse of the grasslands and to keep up with the galloping horses,” he says. Weirdly — or coincidentally — Tim’s Phantom at full throttle turned out to be exactly the same speed as the Mongolian horse’s top speed. [Read more…]