Drones and Filmmaking

Mar 1, 2019 | Events, Video

Drones and Filmmaking

Drones have become ever more popular to video content creation in recent years. Whether that’s for promotional videos, TV shows, or full on feature films, drones have opened up a whole new way to create cinematic content.

Technology Progression

I remember shooting a car commercial back in the ‘90s – a huge budget was necessary, including hiring a helicopter for all the aerial car shots. Looking back on this now, we can create this production on a fraction of the budget, and probably get some even better footage from the sky due to the flexibility afforded by UAVs. The tech has developed so fast over recent years. Until relatively recently, you’d need a heavy lift 20Kg rig such as a Matrice 200 to mount a Red or ARRI camera for cinema quality footage.

But now, with the Inspire 2 that we operate at Red Tail Media, the camera quality of the X5s or the X7 is outstanding, with a range of lenses, coupled with CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes we can now capture movie quality footage.

Types of filming drones are changing

In addition to film and TV sets, you’ll find our fleet of drones are used for events, weddings, festivals – and we can do this with one operator and a videographer, instead of a huge film crew.  We filmed the entire Il Postino production on a DJI Inspire 2 drone on location in Mauritius – it’s a beautiful production.

What’s great about Inspire 2 is that we can also provide live streaming. This is great for sporting or live events. The only restriction comes with battery life. These rigs need a lot of power, and the LiPo batteries can only last about 20 minutes for each flight before we need to land and reload.

Professional Drone Operators

There’s been a lot of negative publicity recently relating to erroneous drone use, and a recent CAA directive makes it illegal to fly within 5Km of an airport. Professional drone pilots need to qualify for Permission for Commercial Operations – and it’s not straightforward. To qualify, there is a ground school and exam to pass, along with a practical test. Following on from this, the operator much creates their unique Operations Manual that needs to be ratified by the CAA and the necessity of compiling a detailed risk assessment for each flight.