Now that drone footage is commonplace, how do you set your sights a little higher? A company called Urthecast thinks it has the solution – 4K moving imagery of the earth shot from the International Space Station as it circles the globe 16 times a day. (We have more on shooting from the final frontier this week from Matt Allard, who has interviewed the DP of the new NASA-backed IMAX documentary A Beautiful Planet).
At the NAB show, Newsshooter’s Slavik Boyechko spoke to the company about its service. Urthecast is hoping that broadcasters and documentary makers will use the imagery to give the ultimate overview of an area – basically like Google Earth on steroids. It can also be used to capture parts of the earth that would otherwise be impossible to film even with a drone. Conflict areas and remote regions are obvious candidates for the space imagery treatment.
The company has a High-Resolution Camera (HRC) called Iris mounted outside the International Space Station. It is on a pointing platform that allows for the tracking of targeted areas of interest. Urthecast also offers imaging from other satellites they operate.
For broadcasters and filmmakers there are two options. The cheaper option is to purchase existing 4K imagery from their growing archive of shots, but for a higher fee you can commission your own new 4K video to be shot. Prices are said to start at around $1500 for a short clip, although the exact pricing structure wasn’t disclosed and you can expect a specially commissioned shot to be much more expensive.
The quality of the footage the company demonstrated was very high and the resolution was so good that you could see tiny looking vehicles moving around.
For more details you can visit the Urthecast website. If you do commission some images from space please be sure to let us know how it works for you.