LOS ANGELES (December 12, 2012) Helinet Aviation Services, a diversified flight services company, announced today the acquisition of Shotover Camera Systems, developer of the world’s first camera system for shooting aerial footage in Ultra High-Definition, the next generation digital video standard announced earlier this year. Lightweight and compact enough to be transported as excess baggage by a single person, the Shotover system provides both 2D and 3D imaging capabilities and features a groundbreaking modular design that enables operators to utilize multiple camera and lens combinations depending on their needs.
Shotover company founder John Coyle, who led development of the new technology, will remain with the firm as general manager following the acquisition. Coyle was previously the founder of Cineflex, LLC where he created the first ever high-definition aerial camera system, the Cineflex V14. In 2004, Helinet acquired Cineflex and rapidly established the V14 as the industry standard for electronic news gathering, television broadcast and production and aerial surveillance. Key use cases include providing aerial coverage in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, shooting the aerial sequences for the groundbreaking BBC/Discovery Channel series “Planet Earth” and deployment by the LAPD for airborne operations. Helinet sold Cineflex to Axsys Technologies (now a part of General Dynamics) in 2007.
“Shotover sets a radically new standard for motion picture aerial cinematography, offering producers a level of flexibility and convenience that would be impossible with existing, legacy solutions,” said Alan Purwin, president of Helinet. “Not only is the Shotover system much easier to rig and to ship around the world versus older platforms, it’s the first movie quality solution that can actually be purchased outright rather than being available by rental only. The response from aviation firms serving the motion picture market has been extremely strong and we have already closed several sales to operators around the world.”
“Helinet played a critical role in building Cineflex into one of the most successful and widely used brands in the aerial imaging space, a position it continues to occupy today,” said Shotover founder Coyle. “Alan and the Helinet team bring an unparalleled understanding of the aerial aspects of motion picture, television and commercial production, and I look forward to working with them again on this latest venture.”
Joining Helinet as investors in the Shotover deal are top aerial cinematographers David B. Nowell, ASC and Hans Bjerno, private equity manager Michael Connolly, aerial coordinator Fred North (Inception, Clash of the Titans, Man of Steel) and director Fredrick Bond. Nowell (The Avengers, Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, Top Gun) and Bjerno (The Bourne Legacy, The Dark Knight, Battle Los Angeles, The Italian Job) are widely regarded as Hollywood’s most accomplished aerial DPs with credits on a combined total of more than 300 films over the past three decades. Connolly is a partner at private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. Additional investors include top aerial cinematographers Dylan Goss and Steve Koster, Larry Blanford, Peter Graf, Peggy North and Luc Poullain.
“Shotover delivers breathtaking, motion picture quality images in a package that’s portable, user friendly and flexible enough to allow aerial cinematographers to select the camera and lens configuration that best suits their particular shooting requirements,” said Nowell. “And not just on a project to project basis, but on an actual shot to shot basis, which means a production can capture the footage it needs in a shorter amount of time than has been traditionally possible.”
“Aerial cinematography is one of the few areas of the motion picture industry that has remained relatively unchanged for the past two decades,” said Bjerno. “Shotover makes possible an entirely new model for aerial shooting, not just for DPs, but for producers, directors and production companies who are looking for a more agile system. I am extremely pleased to join the great team of investors behind this new product.”
To learn more about Shotover, please visit www.shotover.com.
Helinet Aviation Services is an international provider of aviation services to a diversity of markets. Founded in 1987 and based in Van Nuys, California, the company serves clients in the broadcasting, government, law enforcement, medical, motion picture and transportation industries. Helinet is online at www.helinet.com.# # #