DJI quad copter

In a nutshell what are drones?

Drones can vary in size, and are small multi-rotor aerial vehicles capable of carrying a camera payload.

Commercial drones are a relatively new technology and in increasingly high demand, exploding in popularity over the last few years, mainly due to the fact that camera technology is getting smaller.

What specialist equipment, expertise or processes are involved?

Firstly you need a drone able to carry the camera you wish to film with.

There are many types of drones now available; from small consumer drones that carry cameras like GoPros to more professional ones that can carry heavier cameras likely to capture higher quality shots.

As for expertise, if you’re filming professionally you actually need a license to use drones, owing to the danger they can be to civilians. There are also a lot of rules surrounding the operation of drones, such as limits on flight in city centres, over crowds of people or near airports.

There are a lot of companies that are now specialising in aerial photography and filming because the bigger drones are expensive and you need specialist licenses.  There are no post-production processes needed for drone shots. If the footage is shaky however, you may need to use stabilisation in post-production.

Why should I consider using drones in my video production?

Due to the fact that drones are now more commercially accessible and becoming cheaper to purchase, they are getting used more and more in video.  A great use of drone shots has been for establishing shots in narrative films and documentaries.

In corporate videos, drones are often used for filming buildings, big areas such as universities and building sites – basically any big object that needs to be seen from above.

They are also increasingly used at larger wedding venues to show the entirety of the church and crowds of people. Drones can be used in pretty much any video, but one must always bear in mind whether this is always the most suitable approach.

When wouldn’t drones be ideal for my video production ?

Drones are not ideal for indoor shoots because there is often not enough room for them to fly. This can also be very dangerous and the potential to cause damage is very real.

Using drones can also be very expensive so you need to decide if your film really needs these shots as professional drone companies can charge around £1000 a day.

In Summary

Regularly touted as the technology set to revolutionise film production forever, drones can be used very effectively in all generes of video, adding a lot of production value to your film and really helping to set the scene.

With films featuring buildings and large areas, drone use can add real value as the viewer can see the subject from a birds eye view. however, costs and physical practicalities must play a factor in your considerations.