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Aerial Drone Video for Story (Part 3/3): 13 Shots Toward More Artistry in Aerial Cinematography

  • May 31, 2018
Drone Videography

If you haven’t read them yet, check out part 1 and part 2 of this series. I left you at sunset in Haiti, maneuvering toward the mountainside shanties of the Petionville neighbhorhood. My trusty cheat sheet is taped to my Phantom 4 controller to help me optimize: (1) initial settings, (2) big-picture creative approaches; and (3) specific shot techniques. This post covers part 3: the 13 shots that have helped me try to be more artistic with my aerial cinematography. 1. Neverending Crane. This shot helps link an object or a location to a wider context. Check out this Bjork video, directed by Spike Jonze. The final crane shot is surprising, majestic, and visually conclusive. You can do similar things with your drone shots. Check…

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Aerial Drone Video for Story (Part 2/3): Where’s WALLDO?

  • May 23, 2018
Drone Videography

So, I’m at my hotel in the Petionville neighbhorhood in Haiti, with the Phantom 4 in the air and the controller in my hands. [If you haven’t read part 1, you can check it out here.] My trusty cheat sheet is taped to my Phantom 4 controller. It’s been a lifesaver to help me keep my shots story-oriented and diverse. After all, my brain is fairly occupied just operating the drone, so it’s awesome to have a checklist for: (1) initial settings, (2) big-picture creative approaches to shooting; and (3) specific shot techniques. This post concerns part 2: WALLDO, which stands for Wide, Angled, Low, Linking, Depth, and Opposite. It’s a Cliff’s Notes for video production in the field, but I use it for aerials as…

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Aerial Drone Video for Story (Part 1/3): How a Cheat Sheet Can Free Your Mind!

  • May 16, 2018

A client from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) asked me last month to produce a video in Haiti. While we were developing story, we got on the subject of aerial cinematography. “It’s not special anymore,” he grumbled. “When I see aerial, I want it to have a purpose, to be linked to the story.” I agreed whole-heartedly. When I arrived in Port-au-Prince, I had half a day to kill, so I got my Phantom 4 out to scout the area. I've done a lot of drone video in Los Angeles, but this was my first time in Haiti. I introduced myself to the security guards in the hotel, then launched safely at the edge of the property away from people. (If you’re still…

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