‘F9’ and ‘Matrix 4’ Helicopter Camera Crews Aim High For Action Shots

Stunt pilot Frédéric North has decades of experience working in Hollywood on films like “Kong: Skull Island,” “Pacific Rim: Uprising” and Justin Lin’s latest “Fast & Furious” sequel, “F9.” So I shouldn’t be nervous as I climb aboard in mid-February for my first trip on a helicopter with him and aerial director of photography Dylan Goss (“Matrix 4”) for a commute to a big-budget studio film set, the title of which I’m not allowed to reveal.North’s helicopter is outfitted with a camera housing unit in front that weighs nearly 260 pounds.

It allows the aerial Dp to use the same type of camera and lens as the ground crew to ensure airborne footage blends seamlessly with the look of the production.

The unit’s value approaches $800,000, depending on the camera package.

And it’s so heavy that the helicopter would tip over if not for counterweights below

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