There were no drones or CG back then. How was the "flying in" effect filmed?

1 Answer 1


According to the website Sound-of-Music.com it was shot with a helicopter mounted camera.

The opening scene that became one of the most famous in film history was filmed on a mountain about 10 kilometers into Bavaria. The scene was shot from a helicopter and had to be perfectly timed, so one of the crew members hid in the bushes with a megaphone and yelled "Go, Julie" when the helicopter was in the right position. Julie Andrews had great difficulty standing upright because of the jet helicopter´s strong downward drafts.

  • And notice that the helicopter shot cuts to a simple closeup on a dolly. They filmed those shots at different times. (At the very end of the helicopter shot, right before it cuts to the close-up dolly shot, the camera wobbles for a couple of frames. Not sure why the editor didn't just cut that off!) Oct 10, 2019 at 13:36
  • @BrettFromLA The entire shot is a bit wobbly compared to a modern steadicam shot. Maybe that was as good as it got in those days & there weren’t higher expectations. I can see what you mean but it doesn’t bother me.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 12, 2019 at 20:39
  • @disassociated I agree that the shot was the best they could do. I just wish they'd cut off 2 frames at the end of the first shot to hide the biggest wobble, and added 2 frames at the start of the second shot to keep the continuity. But for that era of cinematography, that was amazing camerawork. Oct 13, 2019 at 2:21

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