How to use drones

 How to use drones

Whether it’s for a promotional video or short film, shooting aerial footage with a drone is very cool indeed, there’s no doubt about that, but how do you capture the perfect shots? In this post, Perspective Pictures will take you through the many ingenious ways to create stunning shots with a drone that will add something truly spectacular to your film.

It’s become a standard thing these days for filmmakers to have a go at filming aerial footage with a drone. Arguably being the most exciting pieces of filming equipment to enter the mass market in recent years. Allowing any filmmaker the opportunity to achieve outstanding shots, worthy of Hollywood!

Where to start

There are now a range of drones on the market, ranging in price, from £90 to nearly £5000. Don’t be put off the cheaper versions, as capturing the best footage is all down to the time and the place, as long as you have the vision and execute it properly, you’ll be able to capture some jaw dropping footage. However, investing in a quality drone is highly beneficial, not only will it last longer, but the scope of footage and range of things you can do with it is far greater. EP Films has put together a list of the best drones on the market for filmmakers and cinematographers.

 Filming with drones

Achieving the right shots

Although shooting aerial footage has been a big part of cinema for many years, today, the opportunity has been given to a broader number of people, and with that being so, there’s now an increased number of ways you can experiment with.

For this post, let’s focus on the standard shots you can go for. Writing in No Film School, V. Renee breaks down the five classics, including The Reveal, The Fly-by and The Explorer. Each method will help you in capturing some beautiful shots.

For example, let’s take a look at The Chase, a perfect choice if you’re looking to conjure up some full-on and action packed thrills. V. Renee writes:

“If you're looking for a great closing shot or "action punch", this shot is perfect. However, according to Saint West, this is one of the most coordinated and dangerous drone shots because you'll have to get your timing just right to capture your fast-moving subjects. So, pulling it off will take a little finesse. A couple of tips they offer in order to capture this shot are:

  • Give yourself (or your operator) some space to get your speed and direction in order. They recommend 20 feet or so from your first target.

  • Find the right timing for your "starting line" and subject. Try to line them up so that the starting line, the beginning of the camera move, begins at the precise point of where your subject is. (This is particularly difficult when your subject is moving at high speeds.)”

Good old experimentation

As with any filming equipment, experimentation is the key to success. To start with, try experimenting with the settings on your camera you’ve attached to the drone, testing out the results. The more you become familiar with the technology, the better equipped you’ll be as every shoot is different and may require a different look.

So, embrace the drone and master that Hollywood style!