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SCENE STEALER

'Up in the Air's' aerial shots took some ingenuity

December 10, 2009
  • An aerial view of agricultural fields shot by Dylan Goss.
An aerial view of agricultural fields shot by Dylan Goss. (Paramount Pictures )

The serene views of America that Ryan Bingham enjoys from his American Airlines seat at 15,000 feet in "Up in the Air" were pretty to look at but a chore to capture for aerial director of photography Dylan Goss. With a chartered plane, Goss made a weeklong cross-country flight to capture footage between L.A. and Chicago from a height not normally seen in Hollywood movies (most aerial photography is shot at 500 or 1,000 feet). For five hours a day, Goss was tucked in the back of the small Cessna Skymaster, bundled up in layers of clothing and wearing an oxygen mask when they flew above 10,000 feet. To keep the lens from fogging up in the subzero temperatures, Goss secured the high-definition cam in a glass ball outside the plane and rigged a tube to pump in argon to keep the lens fog-free.

-- Patrick Kevin Day

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