PDG Film services recently captured 4K aerial filming for a new Royal Navy recruitment advert
Made in the Royal Navy – Ali’s story.
The aerial filming took place off the west coast of Scotland where we were tasked with filming the Royal Navy’s latest submarine HMS Ambush and its crew using one of our GSS C516 camera systems fitted with Red Epic 6K Dragon camera.
Our specialist team worked closely with The Royal Navy to plan and organise every aspect and ensure optimum safety in order to deliver incredible aerial footage of one of the most advanced nuclear powered submarines in the world together with its highly trained crew featuring Ali.
On the day of the shoot we took off at first light in our Airbus AS355 f2 Twin Squirrel helicopter, the aircraft was fitted with emergency floats and the crew wearing our life jackets. We were flying to a specified location where our pilot was to make a radio call to the range controller, 2 minutes later we reached the reporting point and the pilot again made contact with the controller and we were given another location to fly to where we would hover and wait.
The sun was starting to appear over the dark mountains when we arrived over the middle of the deep Scottish loch. The vast surface was empty and calm. With seconds to spare the controllers voice came over radio and provided a bearing for the submarine together with verbal countdown for its appearance, HMS Ambush was heading stealthily toward us under the water, our GSS camera was re-adjusted to match the bearing and with precise timing the periscope suddenly broke the surface and began increasing in height leaving a wake behind, within seconds the conning tower began to appear, creating more wake and then the hull rose to the surface showing the massive scale of this incredible vessel, it was an incredible sight to see and film.
As HMS Ambush made its way out to sea we continued moving with it capturing all the required shots, tracking it, orbiting and hovering to get close-ups before filming Ali and the crew standing on the casing.
Thankfully we got every shot required first take as you can’t ask a Royal Navy nuclear powered submarine to turn round and go back to first positions!