Posted by Jennifer Irvine on Tuesday, 18 October 2016
Tips on Using Drones
Ah Drones… the versatile, sci-fi breakthrough device of the 21st Century… they have captured the hearts and minds of tech heads all over the world and are used EXCLUSIVELY for WELL THOUGHT OUT and PROFESSIONAL tasks such as…
Building a Dementor (via Facebook):
Smuggling Hard Drugs From Mexico:
and most importantly…
Snagging a Snag:
Perhaps the most important use, however, is the videography and photography world’s newfound love for using drones to capture breathtaking, otherwise unattainable shots.
The snag heist is still right up there, though.
With the commercial media industry constantly changing and technology always advancing, we have learnt to adapt to new situations and provide audiences with fresher, more exciting content. The emergence of drones has allowed media professionals from all over the world to do just this, producing stunning visuals for a relativity low cost.
Considering that drones are a somewhat new addition to the filmmakers’ toolbox, it’s hard to believe that we’ve actually been using them in cinema since the new millennium rolled through. Due to the fact that up until 2014 there were no specific laws relating to drone usage in the US, and it was largely disputed as to how much control the FAA had over drone users, it is largely unrecorded how many films utilized that technology in the years beforehand. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets used drone footage as a plate shot for the flying car scenes, while a considerable amount of the opening scene for the 2012 Bond blockbuster, Skyfall was shot using a 4K drone (they ultimately won an Oscar for their technical work in this scene).
So, how do these magical flying suckers work?
In simple terms, a typical drone is made from light, composite materials which reduce its overall weight, thus increasing its movability (Issod.C, 2016). The batteries and cameras are the weight factors, and from there it’s a lot of science and a little bit of magic that keeps the drone flying and filming at the same time – sensors are used in order to control the camera and drone movements at the same time, with the operator flying from a controller on the ground.
Now, it could be the out-of-date promotional chocolates found in our stationary cupboard that I have been selflessly removing from the workplace (and relocating to my stomach) – but I always get that warm and fuzzy feeling in my gut when I see truly amazing images. There’s nothing quite like a sweeping Alaskan landscape, accompanied by the legendary siren song voice of David Attenborough. Programs such as Planet Earth II (BBC) and Game of Thrones (HBO) have capitalized on the drone revolution, enjoying a low-cost means of capturing stunning footage without the need for helicopters, cranes or other expensive devices.
With these benefits in mind, however, it’s important not to rush off and begin a pastime in drone videography with nay but the knowledge of an informative blog post and enthusiastic attitude. There are a lot of safety restrictions surrounding drones and the safe operation of them around people/film sets. Follow them closely before releasing your robot into the sky, or you will be visited by the Drone Slayer while you sleep.
As with all new technology, there was a lot of confusion around what the laws were surrounding drone usage for commercial purposes (i.e. making a movie). These days, there are comprehensive safety restrictions surrounding the use of drones in the industry – and the legislation is much clearer! In 2016 the Australian Government changed the rules for drone usage to allow the use of drones weighing up to 2kgs without CASA certification. However, you need to have the appropriate permits and clearance from the local authorities and it’s always good to have a bit of experience behind you before you start leasing your drone (and your operating skills) for hire.
Once you’ve got your certifications and a bit of airtime behind you, drones are a really solid addition for those looking to add an extra edge to their productions. They can capture stunning images far beyond the reach of a camera operator with a tripod, and don’t include the hefty costs of helicopter or crane hire!
Drones have allowed content creators to explore areas of filmmaking that were previously unattainable to all but the likes of Scorsese and Spielberg. They’re handy, and with a little bit of an upfront cost, they can give your productions a point of difference in this competitive industry. If you’d like to incorporate breathtaking, economically effective drone footage into your next Corporate Video, TVC or eLearning program, give VMP a shout! We have our own Phantom drone available for hire, and a great desire to make every production better!
If that’s not enough to convince you – take a look at VMP’s Drone Footage Showcase HERE
VMP is a Brisbane video production house which specialises in screen media production. Our services range from television commercials to promotional videos, corporate videos, interactive video production, e-learning projects and more. Delivering quality productions for over 20 years, VMP is one of Brisbane’s leading script to screen production companies. For more information, quote or just a chat about how we can deliver your message more effectively, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!