Drones: A New Way of Filmmaking by Robert Benoit

Captain Cook bridge over the Brisbane river at sunset

Drones: A New Way of Filmmaking by Robert Benoit

Drones: Revolutionizing  Filmmaking and Opening Opportunities

It is difficult to find someone who hasn’t heard of the recent invasion of drones. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’S) fly high in the sky and are controlled from on the ground. They’ve been utilized for search and rescue efforts, on the battlefield as weapons, and wedding pictures and all manner of video. So what’s the big deal with drone filmmaking?

Recent films such as “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Harry Potter,” and “Skyfall” have already used drones, merely because these shoots were overseas where the restrictions were far less daunting.  As time goes on more films will likely be given the same ability. While the list of films using drones continues to expand, I’d like to discuss the impact this will have for the future of the industry.

Achieve Unique Shots with Less Costs and Efforts

We have a new wave of camera direction that will allow films to achieve unique cameras angles with less costs and efforts. Drone filmmaking is revolutionizing the manner in which we, as a generation, record.

This height of camera work is ideal for birds-eye view angles that make the action and characters on screen seem weak and defenceless. The final shot from Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” is one that comes to mind. But wait that wasn’t filmed from a drone was it? No, obviously during the time it was likely filmed using a helicopter. This was done to catch Stone’s visualization of Bud Fox’s (Charlie Sheen) shameful walk up the stairs to await his trial after using inside information on stocks for personal gain. A shot like this with a drone is able to capture the same shot, only for less money than hiring a helicopter and needing less manpower to achieve.

Prevent Risks in Film Production

Another issue that drones can resolve for film productions is risk of injury or death from helicopter crashes. In the past few decades, helicopters have caused large problems and unnecessary accidents. The Twilight Zone movie tragedy that took the life of actor Vic Morrow and two young Chinese child actors in 1982 remains as one of the worst helicopter accidents on a film set. The use of drones will help prevent helicopter crashes on film sets and promise a safer production as a result. While drone crashes are still possible, it’s extremely unlikely. A safer film production is ideal and with drones becoming an accepted mode of filmmaking, it will be certain to emerge a reality.

Regulations on Drone Use

While the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) still has yet to remove the almost complete ban of drone use in commercial video productions, it is easy to see that progress is certainly being made. One of the bigger issues that the FAA is concerned about is allowing drone use beyond an enclosed set, not just for safety reasons, but for privacy as well. The use of drones in filmmaking is uncharted territory that needs to be explored. However, for the use of journalism, not so much. Most of the public wouldn’t feel safe with drones flying all over the skies taking pictures and videos of their everyday lives, or their private lives for that matter.


drone filmmaking in the sky!


If big production companies can receive exemptions, small video production companies are hoping the same ability will be granted to them. In the next year or two as the FAA oversees these drone regulations, don’t be surprised if this happens sooner than you think.

Drones are one exemplifying reason that the art of filmmaking is forever changing. What will come next? It is hard to say, but it surely is an exciting thought.

Check out our latest projects with drones and see how we’re pushing the boundaries of video production!

Discover our expert Video Production Services at VMP Brisbane.

VMP is a video and post-production Brisbane company that can assist you with all your video needs, so contact us today or call 07 3324 0900!

Connect with us on FacebookLinkedIn, and YouTube.

Tue, 06/01/2015 – 3:59am