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Cinematographer Shoots Massive Drone Formation for TIME Magazine Cover
- Tuesday, Jun. 12, 2018
Roham Rahmanian choreographs 958 Drones with LEDs to create iconic cover shot
Cinematographer/aeronautical pilot Roham Rahmanian recently shot the one of the largest stationary drone formations to date for TIME Magazine’s current front cover.
Created in conjunction with TIME's special report on the future of civilian use of drones, the image features 958 Intel Shooting Star drones in a 328-foot-tall version of the iconic red logo and border in the sky.
Initially brought on as a technical consultant, Rahmanian became an integral part of executing the photography of the project, gaining the prestigious "cinematographer" credit for the job.
“I worked extensively with TIME’s creative director D.W. Pine, multimedia producer Josh Raab, editorial director Mia Tramz and video producer Julia Lull to really bring this incredible vision to life,” says the 30 year old. "Intel designed the drone formation entirely around photographing the piece and we collectively had to account for the challenges and compromises of shooting a stationary formation in high winds."
Alongside Astraeus Aerial’s pilot Corey Gineris, camera operator Zack Haskell and Intel's animation lead Tim Heath, Rahmanian realised Pine, Raab and the TIME team's ideas. Rahmanian’s experience as a pilot and aeronaut, paired with his background as a director of photography with The Astronauts Guild, were instrumental to ensuring the shoot would be a success.
“Being able to communicate the creative vision to the drone team in their own tech language proved critical. In a situation with so many moving elements and a short space of time, it was essential I do quick, complex calculations and make fast decisions,” says Rahmanian, who is also aiming to add the title "astronaut" to his resume in the not-too-distant future. (As if being an underwater DP, rescue and dive master isn't enough.)
To capture the scene, Rahmanian and team used a RED Weapon camera with a Helium 8K super-35mm sensor, paired with Canon CinePrime lenses, mounted on an Astraeus Aerial Octodrone.
The cover is the first in TIME magazine's history to be photographed utilizing unmanned aerial photography.
The Drone special issue of TIME Magazine is on sale nationwide now.