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How Drones Can ‘Elevate’ Your Video

An exciting new filmmaking tool has emerged in recent years with the development of compact remote control ‘drones’. These small, unmanned aircraft allow filmmakers to attach a camera and get amazing aerial footage without the price tag of hiring a helicopter.

As a visual communications company, we’re always on the look out for new tech and the latest filming gadgets, so here’s a little insight into our experiences using a drone.

Drone Talk

There are many types of drone – most people think of the ones they see on the news, flying above conflict zones – but in reality there are dozens of smaller aircraft that enthusiasts and professionals use around the UK on a daily basis.

Quad / Hex / Octocopters are types most commonly used for filming. Their smaller size allows you to fly much lower than a normal aircraft would – hovering anywhere from a few inches to 400 feet above the ground. So it’s no surprise really that drones are also being tried for pizza delivery and sheep herding… naturally.

Come Fly With Me

It’s a fantastic bit of kit, which is exciting and fun to fly. Recently we used an Octocopter to achieve some spectacular shots over the impressive school grounds at St. Neot’s in Eversley.

Not only were we having a great time filming with this ‘big boys toy’, but the clients loved it too. The novelty of filming shots from the air is always a buzz, and the results really add impact to the final video.

Top Tips For Using A Camera Drone

A few pointers if you’re considering using a drone for your video:

  • While drones are readily available, only trained, licensed pilots are allowed to fly commercially when filming from the air – safety first!
  • There are also limits to what you can and can’t do with your drone – a max ceiling of 400ft and no-fly zones near airports apply – so think twice before trying to get that Michael Bay shot from space…
  • Drones can be dangerous so plan your shoot to be safe: don’t fly over crowds, keep non-essential people away from the shoot and make sure everyone else is aware of the dangers.
  • Do a weather check! Even if it is possible to fly in high winds your footage won’t be great.
  • Lastly, if using a presenter or a model, check their hair isn’t thinning on top if you plan to film from above. Either that or carry a spare toupee in your kit bag…

Have a look at these videos below which demonstrate the potential for filming with a drone. The first from Phillip Bloom shot in Koh Yao Noi shows what a professional filmmaker gets up to on holiday with a Phantom and a GoPro!

Koh Yao Noi from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

This second video from Chase Heavener explores the range of uses a drone can have from filming nature to the urban environment. I love the swimming pool footage, watch it here:

FCTN Product Test 003: DJI Phantom from FCTN on Vimeo.

Have you been experimenting with drones in your videos? I would love to hear how you’re getting on so leave a comment using the box below.

If you would like to discuss how NRG Digital can help you with your video communications, with or without a drone, contact us here. For further information about our video services, click on the link: VIDEO SERVICES!

photo credit: VilleHoo via photopin cc

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