Filming With Drones Has Changed An Industry
Drone technology could be set to revolutionise film making forever. Small independent filmmakers can now produce aerial shots capable of rivalling Hollywood. Not that Hollywood is ignoring the benefits of such technology, as a number of blockbuster films have also utilised the drone. But why are drones becoming so popular?
Time is money in filmmaking and for many independent and other small productions, drones offer an affordable solution. Previously if a filmmaker wanted an aerial shot of surrounding countryside for example, a helicopter costing several thousands of pounds an hour would have to be hired in advance, far exceeding the budgets of many such productions. This can also be problematic for larger productions if the weather does not play ball, costing both time and money. Drones are not only cheaper but can be deployed in a matter of minutes, handy if you only have a small window of opportunity for that perfect shot. Drones can be rented for around £50 a day depending on the model. If you wish to purchase one, there are many online options. If you decide to choose a drone with an external camera mount and use your own camera make sure you remember to purchase camera insurance in case you crash the drone or accidently mount the camera incorrectly and it falls.
Helicopters come with a few other restrictions besides cost. They are comparatively very noisy to their drone counterparts, they can’t safely shoot at really low altitudes and are subject to more airspace restrictions. More modern drones come with on-board censors to detect restricted airspace and avoid obstacles such as buildings, trees, hills etc. Because of this and their small size, drones are often allowed permission to fly in far more areas than a helicopter. This allows the filmmakers more choice in regards to location
Drones are also becoming popular in other capacities, with television getting in on the action. Planet earth has now been given a new perspective, and drones provide the perfect equipment for filming wildlife. From lions to volcanoes, all can be viewed safely in exciting super close-up never before seen ways. On top of this, a number of drone operators are offering their services for wedding videos, sporting events and private functions.
Because of their unrivalled versatility, filmmakers have the opportunity to shoot scenes from new and innovative angles. An action scene on water? No problem, a drone can whizz around the action with ease, providing a more immersive sequence. Point of view shots and CGI have been effectively executed in the film Chappie (2015) with a drone being used to capture the point of view of a robot. Drones are not only useful for shooting the scenes though, they have aided Hollywood actors by providing a target to look at when interacting with CGI characters, which would then be added in post-production.
Overall, it is estimated that just 10% of all productions use a drone. It is clear however, the popularity of these flying machines is on the up and transforming the way we view both the real and fictional worlds.