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Aerial America is a 50-part documentary series described as the biggest high-definition aerial cinematography project underway in the world. Narrated over a vocal and instrumental musical track, each hour-long segment offers scenes of a particular state's landmarks, historical sites, natural wonders and contemporary life. Viewers enjoy both urban and rural landscapes interspersed with footage of remote areas otherwise inaccessible from the ground.

What makes Aerial America unique is the use of a state-of-the-art HD camera mounted on a helicopter's nose to a Cineflex HiDEF stabilized high-definition camera system that allows for expanded rotation and steady shooting even in difficult weather conditions. In addition, Camera Operator Thomas C. Miller takes great care to prevent the helicopter's shadow from intruding on the viewer's visual experience. Vertical motion like waterfalls is juxtaposed with the horizontal motion of moving vehicles including boats, cars and particularly trains to give an overall sense of America on the move.

According to Director Toby Beach, researchers establish a state's historical timeline and select an average of 50 locations to be filmed. The team also solicits suggestions from viewers about where and what to film in a particular state. Aerial America does not use interviews or archival images; for the human stories, they look for sports venues, current industrial production sites, historical landmarks and recreational activity locations.

While it's impossible to show everything in an hour, episodes of Aerial America strive to highlight each state's unique and important elements. By the end of 2012, segments for two-thirds of the country had been completed or were in production, with the remaining states scheduled for future filming.

Aerial America is produced by Tusker Television LLC, with Toby Beach as Director and Executive Producer. Each segment runs 47 minutes to fit into a one-hour time slot. The TV-G rated show is distributed by Smithsonian Networks.

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Smithsonian Channel
1 Season, 45 Episodes - Currently Airing
Travel
6.3/10
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Aerial America Full Episode Guide

  • Take a coast-to-coast tour of countless locations made famous by Hollywood's greatest films.

  • View untamed pockets of the U.S. protected by the Wilderness Act of 1964 with a cross-country flight over icy landscapes in Alaska's Denali, vast wetlands in Florida's Everglades, and over 100 million acres of badlands, deserts, and mountains where nature rules.

  • See why Alaska is still the place where adventurers pit themselves against nature and dreamers seek their fortunes.

  • Fly high over forbidding Alaskan landscapes that have been forged with fire and are ruled by ice.

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