Mike Gentilini, Jr.
Chief Pilot & Cinematographer
Mike is the founder and owner of VidMuze. His love for cinema began at an early age. He has been a camera operator in the TV/Film industry for over 15 years.
Mike has been a camera operator for numerous feature films, commercials, music videos and promotional productions. Mike and Ryan have been working together since 2012. Ryan works as a 1st AC, assisting and pulling focus for Mike.
As Mike’s career progressed, he started advancing his abilities as a camera movement specialist. Starting out as a MoVI Operator, Mike started using camera stabilizer gimbals once they became available for filmmakers. This was a huge game changer. In 2012, Mike started piloting multi-rotor drones, taking cinema cameras to the skies. He had been flying RC helicopters and RC fixed-wing planes since his teen years. With his filmmaking experience and his eye for cinematography, this keeps the aerial team in sync, capturing the best possible cinematic shots.
Gimbal Operator & 1st AC
Ryan works directly with the director or DP (Director of Photography). It’s important that we as a team understand the imagery and camera blocking needed by the director or DP.
Drones are extremely versatile because they travel in 3d space. Ryan also helps provide creative options for the director/DP so that the most epic and cinematic imagery can be captured.
There are three sides to creating the best possible aerial imagery.
- Camera Blocking: Aerial cinematography usually begins and ends with a starting point and and ending point. Deciding the proper position for the camera; the starting/ending height and positions, pushing in, pulling out, dolly left or right, elevating up or descending down. These are all options that Ryan will help facilitate to the director or DP.
- Lens Choice: Once camera blocking is determined, a focal length needs to be decided on. With Ryan’s experience on set as a 1st AC in the camera department, he provides professional advice with which lens would be best to shoot with.
- Camera Settings: Depending on the type of shot, the light being used and the overall speed of the shot, Ryan will advise to which are the optimum camera settings for the type of shot.
Visual Observer & Safety Officer
Grant as the safety officer has three main focuses at all times:
- Keeping all people safe
- Keeping the drone safe
- Keeping all other equipment and property safe.
He accomplishes this by working closely with Mike (pilot), completing his field of view during flight by retaining visual line of sight with the drone at all times. This dual observation method is a big part of what keeps our shoots so safe and incident-free.
When the drone is safe on the ground, Grant assists Mike and Ryan to improve efficiency and make sure every shot gets accomplished. He charges batteries, swaps lenses, maintains location safety, communicates with the public, and generally takes care of things “behind-the-scenes” to make sure the aerial shoot goes smoothly.