Drones and quadcopters are becoming more and more prevalent, and they’re relatively simple to use. It’s now easier than ever to get the stunning aerial shots once only seen in Hollywood movies.
After a few practice sessions, you’re most likely familiar enough with the drone controls that you can get a flyover shot of some farmland or a football field. Things can get tricky, however, when you add a subject to your shots. Filming a specific subject with a drone can present challenges with safety, movement, and composition.
Watch for five tips that will make filming a person with a drone a lot easier.
Tip 1: Choose a Remote Location
There’s nothing worse than pulling off a complicated maneuver and then having your shot ruined by tourists gawking at your high-tech flying camera. Pick a remote location in order to avoid any additional complications while you’re shooting.
Tip 2: Go Over Your Shots With Your Model
Drones have limited battery life and people have limited patience. Make sure you walk through all the shots you want to get before you turn the drone on so that you can ensure everything will go smoothly once you hit record.
Tip 3: Pull Away from Your Subject Rather Than Flying Towards Them
We’ve all seen the videos on the internet of people getting whacked in the head by an oncoming quadcopter. It’s a lot safer to have your subject get as close as they feel comfortable and then fly the drone away from them. Depending on the amount of movement they do, you can always reverse the direction in editing in order to get that approach effect.
Tip 4: Higher Altitudes Need More Exaggerated Movements
Similar to the difference of film acting and stage acting, if the camera is further from the subject they must make their movements bigger and more exaggerated in order for the audience to see what’s going on. A movement that looks great at 10 feet up will most likely be completely unnoticeable at 300 feet up.
Tip 5: Keep Your Subject Away from the Edges of the Frame
Because drone cameras need a deep depth of field, they’re often equipped with wide angle lenses. These lenses can cause distortion near the edges of the frame, so you’ll want to try to keep the person away from the far edges of your frame.
Drones are a powerful video tool and their presence in the filmmaking community is growing every day. If you’re going to put people in your drone shots, keep these tips in mind and you’ll have a much easier time. Keep it safe and remember to follow all local and national regulations. Good luck and happy droning!
Top image by risteski goce