Find out why these fire engines were at Edinburgh Castle!

A Lone Piper, Two Fire Engines and a Couple of Flying Cameras........And the World’s Most Iconic Castle!    

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Filming the new music video for the Red Hot Chilli Pipers got underway recently in the centre of Edinburgh. Being produced by Scottish digital media company Airborne Lens, the video will feature the world famous bagpipe band in various iconic locations around Scotland, all filmed with spectacular ultra high definition cameras as well as using the latest state-of-the-art 4K drone cameras. 

Find out more about one of the year’s most exciting drone filming projects in this behind the scenes look. 

Capturing Never Seen Before Images with Drone Cameras

Edinburgh Castle needs very little introduction; it is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. As a professional photographer that grew up in the city, Liam Anderstrem from Airborne Lens has photographed the castle in a wide variety of scenes throughout his career, from sunrise to sunset, and from summer to winter.

However, there remain very few aerial photos of the castle, and less so from a low level. And so it was a great honour for the team at Airborne to be one of the first to capture never before seen images from a truly unique perspective.

Airborne Lens was given 60 minutes on an early spring morning to film at the castle, before workers and tourists arrived, not a lot of time. 

4K Aerial Footage of Edinburgh Castle and City Skyline

The 4K drone footage will feature in the Red Hot Chilli Pipers music video to be released later this year. The video will also feature scenes with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. That explains the fire engines, but we wont give any more away than that! You will just have to keep an eye out for the band’s video when it is released. Follow the band on Facebook.

In the meantime, here is a sneak peek at some of the b-roll footage from the shoot:

360 Panorama High Above Edinburgh

In addition to video, the team also captured high resolution low level aerial photographs, and with these developed a fully spherical panorama that was released on 10th June 2016 to coincide with the launch of Facebook’s new 360 Photo feature. Within 24 hours of release, it had received tremendous audience engagement on the Airborne Lens page.

Check it out here: Facebook 360 Photo

The 360 Photo will also soon feature in an interactive panorama and Virtual Reality tour of Edinburgh city, where users will be able to experience these immersive environments from inside virtual reality headsets. Due to be released in July 2016 and available at participating tourist attractions and hotels this summer.

If you would like your business to be featured in this, please contact Airborne Lens for details. 

Safe Drone Operations

In the UK, commercial drone operators must be qualified, insured and licensed with the Civil Aviation Authority. Airborne Lens has been an approved drone operator for more than a year, and were one of the first companies in Scotland to offer a combination of professional photography and filmmaking backgrounds with many years experience developing and operating unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The company developed detailed risk assessments, flight plans, method statements and put in place a robust set of safety measures to ensure that not only the public were kept a safe distance away, but also that the drones did not damage the castle (that would have been an expensive bill!). This included a team of safety marshals equipped with two way radio communication, first aid responders and fire suppression equipment on site (having two fire engines on set helped!). The castle esplanade was then closed down each time the drone was airborne, and it was never flown closer than 50m to any building or person outside of the controlled area.

“Arriving on site at 6am to set up, we knew we only had between 7am and 8am to fly drones, and so there was a lot of pressure to make sure we made the most of that short time frame.

We had tested the drones the day before, and made sure all systems were working. We had also informed Police Scotland of the planned drone operations, and coordinated with Edinburgh Airport’s Air Traffic Control and had been given the green light to use the airspace above the castle.” Liam Anderstrem, Airborne Lens.

All that was needed now was the sun, and in Scotland that’s no guarantee! Fortunately, the weather was fantastic; a clear blue sky, albeit a little bit hazy and a low sun from the east made shooting down the Royal Mile towards Holyrood Palace a bit trickier for exposures. But the castle itself was lit perfectly by the morning sun.

Thanks to Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for their support, and to all those that were up early to help us. Sorry we forgot the coffee!