About us

Soulcam - Aerial filming with remote controlled helium balloon. 


Our radio-controlled airships, equipped with broadcast cameras such as Arri Alexa, Red Epic or other HD cameras both for 2D and 3D-stereo shooting, fly in full safety up to 200m above ground level.

Lighter than air, super smooth and ultra quiet, our airships are the perfect solution for nature documentaries.

Animals can be filmed from up close without disturbing them, resulting in amazing images in their natural habitat.

The airship's inertia instills the filmed subject in full trust, unlike drones that add an element of stress and danger. 

This trust allows us to fly over crowds in non-urban environments.

Our airships are also the ideal solution to bring out the details of buildings and monuments, there where the human eye cannot reach.

in DeTAIL ...


SOULCAM delivers both 2D & 3D Stereo close up aerial images of high standards & quality, whether be it at long or short lenses. 3DS is side by side with adjustable interaxial camera distance. Images are shot thanks to our unique and self designed tools : tethered airships, helium inflated, max capacity of 150m3, fitted with a 3 axes giro-stabilized head that can be equipped with up to 2 cameras. Our airships can be equipped with any of the HD digital camera on the market (ARRI ALEXA, RED EPIC …) and are only operated by our highly skilled and experienced crew. We are available for worldwide operations, both in urban (Paris, Monaco, Marrakesh, …) or remote environments (Kamchatka, Senegal, Puerto Rico, …) for durations from one day, up to several weeks.



AIRSHIP 115m3


Helium volume : 115m3, 15m long, by 4m in diameter, with a gross payload of 85kg (before equipment). We use this airship when the wind conditions could be a concern, as it can still be maneuvered in stronger winds.

 We appreciated its aerodynamic shape in see breeze conditions, like the one we had during our Guéthary, Basque coast) shooting. Its shape (reduced width) also allows us easy ground transfers, as well as street shootings, as we did in Monaco  for example.


SPHERICAL BALLOON 135M3


Helium volume : 135m3, 7m wide by 5m high, with a gross payload of 85kg (before equipment). Due to a revolutionary fabric, this airship offers an incredible helium-proof envelope which comes handy when the duration of shot is a concern.

 

It stayed inflated over an 8 weeks period in Kamchatka for the “Land of the bears” shooting, 8 days in the Cambodian heat & sun at Angkor, 8 days in the harsh “Burning Man” Nevada desert conditions.


3 AXES GYRO-STABILIZED HEAD

This head can rotate around both its pan, roll and tilt axes. Settings can be made from the ground as remotely during flights : it can record, set the aperture, the cameras interaxial distance (for 3DS) as well as a return signal for the photographer on the ground, up to a 2km distance. For 3DS shooting we mount a side by side rig which interaxial cameras distance is  remotely adjustable during flight.

Pan : 360°
Tilt : 80°
Roll : +/- 30°
Weight : 6 kg


POWER

  • 3 (or 4) electric engines, remotely controlled from the ground.
  • Lithium-Polymer batteries with max lifespan capacity of 4 hours.

SAFETY

  • Tether balloon & airship, manually winch operated by our fly technician on the ground, maximum flight distance of 200m.
  •  Emergency 140m kevlar guide rope that can be remotely released from the airship
  •  Backup remote control (same settings as main device).

FRENCH CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY (DGAC) REGISTRATION


All of our airships received an agreement from DGAC that allows them to fly on both urban environments (S3) or remote areas (S1). Our airships are registered under the “< 150kg Aircrafts / Airships / Lighter than air” classification. All of our SOULCAM airship operators / flight technicians also received the DGAC agreement as qualified pilots.

Every new SOULCAM airship to come will also have to go through DGAC certification before it can actually be used for a shooting.


SHOOTING PROCESS

After an on-field (or via Google earth) study of the shooting site / location, as well as a gathering of local weather conditions / informations, we (together with the production) agree on a “Waiting Period”. From there our weather forecast specialist defines the best time for the SOULCAM Airship to operate. Warning is given 10 days ahead, with a final “Go” 5 days before transportation of equipment & team.

  •  With this defined time range our SOULCAM Airship are flying within the max 10kmh wind range.
  •  Following these requirements & conditions, the probabilities of working with the SOULCAM Airships are over 90% successful.

TRANSPORTATION / FREIGHT

  • Total weight of equipment (for 1 airship) : 450kg.
  • Helium delivery : should be made close from the shooting location.  (Helium is a neutral, non-toxic, non-flammable gas). 
  • Optional hangar (upon request) : 160m² (14m diameter) inflatable dome.

SUPPORTED CAMERAS (10KG PAYLOAD : CAMERAS / LENSES / ACCESSORIES)



Arri Alexa
Red Epic 5K
Red One
35 mm : EYEMO (30m) /  ARRI (60m et 120m)
Super 16mm : AATON A-Minima / ARRI SR II & III
HD Panasonic Varicam 900, 2000, 3000 objectifs 10/14/20 mm HD
... 


COMMUNICATION

  • HF Device : for head & camera(s) control
  • Separated command : gyro head ON/OFF (pan, tilt, roll)
  • Highly sensitive joystick for the camera's moves (pan, tilt)
  • Record control : START/STOP
  • HF Color video transmitter : 2km range
  • HF Radio transmitter (pan, tilt, roll) : 3km range
  • Image return signal display
  • SOULCAM operating crew : 4 technicians