Using Drones in Video Production and Movie Making

Drone Brothers - Nut Up

By Scott Davis

| Video Production


Drones Can Take Your Video Production to New Heights

Are you looking for an edge in your next video? With the rise of drone technology, now is a great time to start using drones to elevate your video work. Drone footage offers breathtaking views and stunning aerial shots that can really make your videos stand out from the crowd. Today we’ll discuss the ins and outs of using drones for video production including what a drone is, why you’d want to use a drone and the logistics of using drones for your video project. Whether you’re just getting started with drones or you want to take your video skills up a notch – read on!

What is a drone?

So what exactly are drones, and how are they used in video? At its most basic level, a drone is an unmanned flying vehicle equipped with a camera. This allows filmmakers and videographers to capture stunning aerial shots that would be impossible to achieve with traditional filming equipment. Drones are used in all sorts of video productions, from Hollywood blockbusters to wedding videos. They’re particularly useful for capturing landscapes and outdoor scenes, as well as providing unique perspectives on buildings and other architecture. In the past, these shots were only available to filmmakers using large cranes or helicopters.

Why Use a Drone for your Videos?

Like we said above, the shots provided by drones have only ever been accomplished using cranes or helicopters. For many smaller video productions these are just not available. Now with drones even a very small budget project can incorporate amazing shots like this. Using a drone also opens up opportunities to do things you wouldn’t normally be able to do, even with a blockbuster budget. Your camera can fly from one location to the other and then be held by a camera operator and used as a traditional camera. Or you can move your shot through an open window or through the branches of a tree. With drone videography, you can add so much to your videos that you’d only ever be able to dream of before.

Drones Take Your Camera to New Places

But what types of shots can you expect to get with your drone? The sky’s the limit, quite literally! You can use a drone to capture wide shots of expansive landscapes, sweeping panoramas of cityscapes, or even to fly through tight spaces to get close-up shots of people or objects. Maybe you want to get footage of a car driving down a road. A drone is a great way to avoid having to use a second vehicle or mount a camera to your car. Want to fly high in the air and then get the camera really low to the ground in the same shot? Use a drone! There are so many really cool things you can do once you have some good experience working with drones.

Drone vs Helicopter

It’s hard to beat the versatility and maneuverability of a drone but there are still instances when using a helicopter can be more useful. Obviously we’re talking about a big budget here but a helicopter is essential for longer flights or when you need to carry heavier equipment. Drones, however are cheaper, quicker and can do maneuvers that a helicopter just can’t accomplish.   Ultimately, the choice between drones and helicopters for your video or movie production comes down to your specific needs and budget, but both options offer a range of benefits and can produce incredible results when used wisely.

Choosing the Right Type of Drone

Just like every piece of video equipment, drones come in many shapes and sizes and functionalities. If you’ve never used a drone before I suggest starting with a cheaper and less advanced model drone so you can practice flying it and avoiding sudden death. The features won’t be as dynamic, but as you get more comfortable you can upgrade. So what should you look for when finding shopping for a high-quality, mid to premium range drone? First thing should be the camera. Just like a camera for any other video shots, the better the quality of the camera, the better the quality of the footage you’ll get out of it. Next you’ll want a drone with good stabilization so your image is smooth and steady. When planning your scenes, know how long you’re going to want to have your drone in the air and how far it will travel and then keep that in mind when looking at the drone’s range, flight time and battery capacity.

Each drone is going to have a different way of controlling it and special features. Find what you think will be easiest for you. Most will use a smartphone app that will help you navigate with more detailed features like GPS retrieval and even modes that allow the camera to lock on to a specific subject. Features and the apps keep getting more advanced so spend a good amount of time researching and deciding on the right drone for your video productions.

DJI is the leading brand for drones so take a look at the DJI mini and DJI air models as a good starting point when researching drones.

Using and mastering your drone

We know you can’t wait to get up in the air and create some killer shots with your drone but please please please take the time to learn how to fly the thing. Some drones are easier to handle than others and some can be downright difficult so make sure you give yourself some time to teach yourself and practice. Read the manual, check out instruction videos, have someone with experience show you the ropes. Get comfortable with the flying before using it for your videos.

Licenses and Permits

One more thing to be aware of before using your drone for your video, it’s important to make sure you’re compliant with all necessary permits and licenses. Check online to see what is needed in the area you’re planning to fly and film, as every state and county will be different. Don’t be intimidated by the process; once you know what is needed and expected of you, it’s fairly simple to get it all taken care of. A lot easier than if you get caught without the proper documentation or in an air space you’re not allowed to be in.

Drone Video in Post-Production

Once you have your video footage, what do you do with it? Integrating drone footage into your post-production process can be a game-changer for your film. In order to get the most out of your drone footage, you’ll need to master a few key post-production techniques. Color grading is especially important when working with drone footage because it can help make your shots look more cinematic. You’ll also want to stabilize your footage to eliminate any jitters or shakes that your drone didn’t take care of on its own. You can play around with effects and speeds to make your footage look dynamic.

Drone Footage Libraries

If getting into the sky isn’t an option for you, you still might be able to incorporate some drone footage into your video project. You can find drone film footage libraries online that may have just what you need for your story. Your budget might not allow for you to rent (or buy) the equipment but it can be a lot cheaper to license produced footage and edit it into your video.

Start Drone Filming for your Video Productions Today

Drone filming is an amazing tool that can open up exciting possibilities for creating stunning visuals and elevating the quality of your videos. It captures heights and distances that are simply not possible using more traditional videography approaches, and it’s a great way to create dynamic, eye-catching footage. If you would like help incorporating drone footage into your video project, reach out to BLARE Media today. We have professionals who are experienced with drones and will help ensure you get the most creative and effective look for your visual story. Don’t let dull video be part of your future; contact us to start exploring what drone footage can add to your project today! You won’t be disappointed with the results!