Motion Factory Blog
Industry insights, advice
and general musings
from the Motion Factory Team
Posted by Chris Thomson
How many times have you looked up, and thought, “I wonder what this place looks like from up there”, and until the most recent years, you either had to climb a large building or tree, jump in a helicopter or look out of a plane window to find out. But, thanks to modern technology, we can now send up a drone for quite an affordable budget and get video and photos like you would never believe. Drones coming into the video scene have given everyone from a YouTube vlogger to the director of a Hollywood Blockbuster a new way, more affordable way of filming epic vision and provides a new perspective on the world.
Now don’t get me wrong, not all drones are made the same and for the same purpose, you can go out a spend your money on an hobby drone like the DJI Spark, get some video and photos and fit the whole thing in your back pocket (kinda), but you’re not going to have the quality that really wows your audiences. They’re perfect for a vlogger or a travel enthusiast, but when you are starting to sell that image, you need to go higher (pun intended).
Drones like the DJI Inspire 2 are much more advanced; they can be operated by 2 people, the image quality is much higher, flight controls and gimbal controls are much more refined and you’re going to see a vast improvement in just about every aspect of the picture you get. But there’s also a $6,000 difference between their price tags.
Now you can pay upwards of $15,000 (and more) for a drone… If you really want to… but these would be cinema drones, where you would put an $80,000 camera on it, so you would want a pretty good drone pilot if you have one of these. But you can also spend $800 on a fun drone, it includes the camera and it’ll give you that option to show your friends and family how good that trip away was, just don’t expect to get hired from the footage you produce out of it.
Personally, at Motion Factory we have two DJI phantom 4 drones that I absolutely love. They do the job for us and they’re affordable to the average filmmaker. They give you 4K imagery, they allow smooth fluid movements, different picture styles, manuals modes and so on. Yeah, they may be a pain to transport and setup, but they’re a far cry from my first drone, an Iris from 3DR; don’t even get me started on the issues I had with that.
Seeing the world from above is truly an amazing part of being a drone pilot. You can set the scene to your whole story with just one flyover shot, you can show a perspective that nobody has ever seen, and you can create a feeling that is experienced by the viewer that just makes them want more. I love flying the drones, and seeing the shots I can pull off, really blows me away sometimes.
Here’s a quick video of a shoot we did recently over in Western Australia. I tried something a bit tricky by flying the drone through a relatively small hole in a rock, and I reckon the footage speaks for itself. Let us know what you think in the comments!
Producer, videographer, editor - Motion Factory's Director of Photography has a huge passion for film making.
Travis james annabel
Filmmaking has been a passion of Trav's for as long as he can remember.