Now that drones are commercially available, and often at reasonable prices, it’s easier than ever to create incredible movie scenes and video shots that could previously only be achieved with the use of a helicopter.
In this piece, we’ll explore some cool drone video ideas that you can incorporate into your commercial videography.
Point of Interest Shot
There are many things to film with a drone using this shot. The point of interest shot is all about maintaining focus on the subject of your film but moving slowly from left to right to change the background slightly while maintaining the focus.
It’s a little more engaging than a single, static shot. It adds some action without removing the focus from your subject. You may wish to move side to side, or gently bend around the object – but remember not to do a full circle around the subject.
You’ve seen the pull-away shot before. This is a video shot that helps separate the main focus of your shot and the background by flying past the subject at some speed, revealing the background of a wider landscape.
What makes this shot so great is that it helps add depth to the video, and is helpful in storytelling by revealing a background that people may not have realized is there. Whether it’s a mountainous background, rolling hills, the ocean, or something else, the pull-away looks professional and can be used in many ways.
Tilt Reveal Shots
Tilt reveal shots can be done in different ways, gradually revealing your subject with a cool camera trick.
Depending on the gimbal pitch speed of your drone – which refers to how quickly your attached camera can tilt up and down – this shot could be a game-changer for your brand videos. The shot requires you to fly upwards and gain distance from the subject while tilting the camera down to maintain focus on the subject.
Change the pitch speed to roughly 10 and you should get a nice smooth motion with a slow camera tilt.
The flyover-tilt-down shot is great for showing off a big subject, including a house, hotel, monument, or anything else. This shot is also filmed in reverse. Start by hovering your drone over the subject and then flying backward and tilting upwards. It means that you can end the shot perfectly focusing on your subject, as when you reverse the footage you’ll be starting by looking at the sky and ending with the flawless shot of your subject.
Again, keep the gimbal pitch speed at around 10.
Finally, there’s the low-to-ground-tilt-up shot. This instantly makes your movie look professional and brings energy to your movie.
Start with the drone hovering as close to the ground as you can, at a distance that still comfortably and safely allows you to fly forwards. If you can get the drone around one foot off the ground, fly forwards and tilt the camera upwards to reveal a subject. It will make you look as though the camera is traveling at high speed and create a high-energy reveal.
The bird-eye angle can be difficult to achieve, so if you’re not a pro at this, see if your drone has this option as a preset. It involves moving left or right away from your subject, while the drone rotates. It effectively creates an “orbiting” effect, always facing the subject but moving around it at the same time.
Once again, don’t do a full 360-degree circle around the subject. Just do enough to create the effect.
The unveiling shot uses the landscape or an object to cover your subject, only for the movement of the drone to reveal the subject behind it. A good example of how this works is hovering the drone behind a hill, only to move upwards to reveal the sun shining over the hill and the subject behind it.
Use the foreground to hide the background, and fly upwards to unveil. You can achieve the same shot moving sideways, too, depending on the item in the foreground.
The following shot is another popular option. It’s a way of maintaining focus on a subject that is moving. Rather than just following the subject, however, keep your drone in front of or on the side of the subject and move the drone parallel as the subject moves.
This shot may require some practice as the goal should be to keep the drone the same distance from the subject even as it moves. You may wish to end the shot with a swoop or a lift.
Finally, there’s the helix shot. This is popular in many Hollywood movies as well as commercial videos and can be done by executing a good point of interest shot while lowering or raising the drone at the same time.
There may be an automatic setting on your drone, but learning how to do this manually will give you much more freedom.
As you can see, there are so many cool things to film with a drone, and the better you get at achieving these shots manually the more you will learn.
Wisconsin’s Drone Video Experts
Even once you’ve learned how to create these shots with a drone, there’s still the task of developing great ideas, producing your videos, and editing them into broadcast-quality films.