Cinematic Drone Footage | Guide to step up
Posted on February 27 2019
Make your Drone Footage more CINEMATIC
For the last years drone footage has become an interesting asset in filmmaking. Drones have a big price-span you can spend up to 20.000$ and more for custom made models, but you can get very good ones for 400$ like the DJI Spark. Read the following to make your drone shots look more cinematic and professional.
Perhaps you just bought your new treasure and your fingers itch to just let it loose and try it out!? But, better be safe than sorry! Learn the laws and restrictions of your area and later the areas you will be shooting, before take off. Thereafter learn how to operate the drone in a safe aka deserted and flat area. You do not want to get sued because you accidentally film your neighbour's property or crash land on a expensive car. You do not want to climb a Tree trying to safe your drone from crashing or see it drown in a small pound.
Assuming you are now a skilful drone operator, here are some tips for impressive footage:
1. Smooth it out
Easy adjustment big difference: Avoid hectic shots. If you want to show a different view try to move the drone in a slow and floating way, like a bird soaring through the landscape. This will result in eye-pleasing shots, that feel organic and natural. Remember that you can not fix jerky movement in post.
Of course you can not use the annoying buzzing sound of your drone for your clip. But if you cut off all the drone sounds, it will make the shot feel dead. To prevent this, try to apply fitting sound effects. For example swooshing sounds, when you fly close to an object. This will make your footage more immersive to its viewer while creating a little tension. Flying close to objects, like trees or rock-formations in the landscape is another tip; It will result in more exiting footage and serves a feeling of depth to your overview.
Drone shots enable breathtaking ways to enjoy a view. Nevertheless your audience will need a moment to orientate themselves in the unusual or sometimes unexpected point of view. For this reason, try to create slow, gliding shots and enough screen-time, so that your audience has enough time to appreciate your shots.
If you use a moderately priced drone, chances are high, that the footage looks a little slow on screen, especially if your footage shows large similar structured areas. No worries, you may fix that in post, just use the speed duration tool and dial your frame rate up around 300. This will create more movement to the frame.
5. Interesting Effect
You can create an interesting effect by going Backwards:
There a two ways to achieve this. The easy way is to just reverse the footage in post with the speed duration tool. Or do it in real life, if you are a more experienced drone operator. Going backwards with your drone/footage will give your shot a revealing quality. This is a nice way to introduce an establishing shot.
"Don't sleep on this one: Our last article, How to achieve a cinematic look "
Don't go overboard with your new gadget. While wanting to use new equipment is relatable, my advise is to use special features like drone-footage sparsely and only where it makes sense and fits. This way this tool remains special and appreciated.
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