Case Study

V/Speed

V/SPEED pushed the limits of aerial cinematography for a new series produced by National Geographic, using Frame.io to deliver the high-value footage to their clients instantly and securely.

Jet plane with a camera flying above clouds at sunset

How V/SPEED used Frame.io to collaborate creatively across continents.

Challenge

When National Geographic contacted UK-based Wildstar Films to create “America the Beautiful,” a six-part documentary series airing on Disney+ focused on the iconic ecosystems of the United States, they knew they needed a new tool to depict familiar sights in unique ways. Enter the V/SPEED team with fighter jets outfitted with one of the most advanced civilian camera rigs and flown by a TOPGUN pilot, who captured spectacular unseen footage of landscapes and weather phenomena, including a tornado developing in the air. Upping the challenge? A global pandemic prevented the clients from traveling to the shoots, so the team needed a way to securely share the high-value footage and collaborate creatively from across an ocean in nearly real time.

Solution

Frame.io Enterprise allowed the team to send the footage almost instantly from the ground in Lubbock, Texas, to the clients in England across six time zones so they could determine whether they had what they needed “in the can.” More importantly, by using Watermark ID to create unique transcodes for individual viewers, they could ensure that the one-of-a-kind footage wasn’t leaked prior to the air dates.

Results

Not only did the V/SPEED team deliver the incredible footage of the tornado, they were able to collaborate easily and accurately throughout the two-year project. Beyond that, flying a jet to capture documentary footage is a high-priced endeavor. Being able to rapidly view the footage at a high image quality meant that they were certain they had their shots and could move on to the next task—resulting in significant cost (and time) savings.

As a specialized team deployed in far-flung locations, managing the mass of data we generate each day can be a challenge. From the beginning, Frame.io has helped us communicate. I don’t know how we’d do it any other way.

Mike Knockenhauer — CEO and Co-founder, V/SPEED
Man working on computer with two people looking over his shoulder
Frame.io enables creative collaboration.

The producers at Wildstar Films, known for the BBC’s “Planet Earth,” needed to put a fresh spin on the film grammar of their previous work, which relied heavily on helicopter and drone footage. Turning to V/SPEED for their high-altitude cinematography, they felt they had a new storytelling tool. But when the pandemic made travel from the UK to the US impossible, they also needed a tool to help them collaborate creatively from across an ocean. Being able to share footage quickly and across numerous time zones meant that the producers could view what had been shot and leave frame-accurate notes as they worked with the V/SPEED team to discover the new language and style they were developing for the series.

Frame.io ensures secure sharing.

Because some of the key sequences, including the tornado, were so unique and so important to defining the series, they had to be shared with numerous key executives. Sending extremely high-value footage across continents and organizations required the utmost in security. Already based on industry-leading security that allowed V/SPEED to control who can access their account and projects, the added benefit of Watermark ID generated visible watermarks in real time so they could quickly and securely share the priceless footage with all necessary clients and stakeholders.

Frame.io delivers high-quality images at high speed.

When you’re dealing with a discerning client who requires the highest quality footage, Frame.io Enterprise delivers. The V/SPEED team needed to have their UK client evaluate the shots at a quality that showed enough of the nuances to give them an accurate impression of whether it was good enough to use in the series—or whether the team needed to track another storm and schedule another flight.

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