I am a huge proponent of drones — the photography kind of drone, not the warfare kind. The photography drone market has exploded in the past few years with these devices now easily accessible to almost all consumers. The "cheap" price tag (some drones are inexpensive, while others are very, very expensive) and capabilities of this new technology have helped the boom exponentially.
Drones have many advantages for filmmakers, video producers, farmers (it makes crop surveying much easier) and so many more fields of expertise. Drones are constantly evolving with many now offering 4K capabilities, GPS/satellite positioning, and so much more. Aside from all of that, they are really fun to fly.
Some of my favorite moments as a filmmaker have been flying a drone. The perspective is unlike what most people ever get to experience. Here is one of my favorite videos I created using a drone on a summer evening in St. Paul.
I came across a video the other day which showcases some of the possibilities for the future of drone technology. I was blown away by some of the ideas. Some of these concepts make me even more excited to fly drones in the coming years.
One of the cooler things I noticed is how these futuristic drones will take off, simply by throwing them into the air instead of having to slowly take off from a flat surface. While some UAVs already have this technology, those drones are not on the professional type level just yet.
Another really awesome feature I noticed is the drones working in tandem with one another, synched via a phone or a tablet, and turned into an aerial filmmaking crew. The drones fluid movement can follow moving subjects, which makes them ideal for action sequences, landscape shots and so much more. Imagine the possibilities for future filmmakers being able to coordinate drone movements to a level of precision of a team of skilled camera operators.
The drones will have the ability to avoid obstacles like the intelligent vehicles on the road today. I know that I've had issues dodging a tree branch from time to time in my flying exploits; it's never fun to hear that sound of the propellors hitting something and watching your drone crash to the ground.
Another feature the video alludes to is a "sky paint" feature which enables the user to create color smoke designs within the blue backdrop like an airplane pilot writing messages in the sky. I don't find this terribly interesting from a filmmaking perspective, but I'm sure this would appeal to a segment of the market.
I for one cannot wait for basic features of the drone, like battery life, to become much better. Right now most drones have a flight time of under 30 minutes, limited by their battery life -- I'd love to see drones be able to sustain much longer flights for those days when you have a lot more to capture. But it's fun to imagine some of the more grand possibilities for the future of drones.
If you or anyone you know needs aerial coverage, send them in the direction of Cloud Media.
Posted to Head in the Clouds - thoughts, ideas, and trends from the team at Cloud Media – a front-end marketing and media production company with offices in Minneapolis, Doha, and Dubai.
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