The art of the Top Shot

Top Shot (adjective)
Denoting an extreme high-angle shot, where the camera looks straight down

At AsiaWorks, we’re astounded by the number of videos we see that utilise drones to get that awesome Top Shot. But we’re also astounded by how often people get it wrong. A simple search on YouTube brings up a few corkers!

These days you can mount a camera to just about anything and the sky is literally the limit, just look at what Felix Baumgartner did!

In the last week we’ve seen a couple of gut wrenching videos that have really set the bar for the Top Shot. These films are as death defying as they are inspirational.

The first, our favourite by far, is Camp4 Collective’s stomach churning film for The North Face that follows free-solo climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to climb ElSendero Luminoso in Mexico. Yes, it uses drone cameras, but what steals the show is how videographer Cedar Wright gets himself and his camera so intimately and epically close to Honnold as he scales what is seemingly, the impossible. As Cedar so eloquently puts it: “if he falls, he dies.”

 Wondering how they got some of those top shots? Well, we’re incredibly grateful to Camp4 Collective for sharing this tiny glimpse behind the scenes on their FaceBook page… Here’s a short BTS film…

The second video that has captured our hearts in the pit of our stomachs is the film of the Russian Daredevils Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov, who scaled the Shanghai Tower the other day. If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is again. There’s something amazing about the top shots in the closing moments of this film (high fives aside). Is it just the awesome the view? Or, is it the fact that the cameras are mounted on their heads that make this film so impossible to look away from? We only wish they held their top shots longer, so that they were a bit more “useable”…

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