Thank you gpyros.
jeffscholl, 100% of my clients own the footage I shoot. I actually have to do quite a bit of work sometimes to get the footage you see on my reel. It depends but I ususally walk away with some kind of personal relationship that I can use later to get access to the footage. In the case of movies I usually have to wait for the film to be released (I got my D2G footage about two weeks before it was out, but that was a favor and an exception since, I think, it is a smaller film and the guys doing it were very happy with whap came out of the helicopter shoot). For commercials it's pretty much the same but the thing is at least that they usually finish the post in only a couple of weeks on them.
With the gear I use, it all comes from camera rental houses in LA. There are two primary companies (Spacecam and Wescam) and a few secondary ones (Gyron and others that are usually HD video based). They hire their crew - a pilot (who is usally here also and specializes in just film work), a cameraman (hopefully me), the gear (camera and mouting gear) and an assistant is hired from the rental company that is just to install and maintain the gear. The helicopters are 90% of the time Aerospatiale/Eurocopter AS-350 and AS-355 (A-Star and Twin-Star) models. The AS-350B model is popular since it is one of the more powerful ones in that class and the haeavier systems weigh in at between 500-600 lbs.
I've been rambling... to finially finish your answer - once they've hired us all and sent us to Mexico or whereever, there are oportunities to do some other shooting and own the footage. We have to tread carefully becuase it's their dime that is paying for it all and the expense when all added up is almost always over $10k/day. I specialize in these shoots and helping set them up but when it comes down to it I'm just a small fraction of that bill and one employee. On ferry trips or maybe at the end of the day we can shoot something and that would be ours mainly because it would happen under the radar. Especially when the pilot that one is working with owns the ship we're using we have a bit more latitude to put some time on it (and then not bill the client but eat that cost). It can add up quick as the A-Stars usually go out at around $1100/hr. Funny enough it seems quite rare - I've only done it maybe twice in ten years. I think there's been a bit of a tendency to avoid the "stock" market no matter that it's become a very real market. In theory those buying film aren't hiring us to shoot it - but my sense is that they are generally not overlapping markets.
Anyway, I think you're right, D2G looks pretty cool. They had a crew screening that I missed as I was out of town so I haven't seen it but it's in one theatre here in LA since April 1 and I'd like to go check it out. The trailer looks pretty cool and for once there is a lot of heli footage that seems to have made it to the final cut! For comparison, I was there for one main shoot day (obviously the race) and a bit the next day flying back up to LA. I think the heli footage will be a pretty good part of the film. There is another film that is out in a week or two I think, The Interpreter. I was in New York for at least two weeks filming on that with other helicopters, stunts, etc. I haven't seen that either but I think that when you add it up there might
be one minue (probably more like half that) that made the final edit. There is some nice stuff but what I'm trying to say is that it's a real treat for me too to have a film like D2G out where they rely so heavily on the aerials!