Drone filming is revolutionizing the way people make films and television programs. Making a drone film, or a film with some drone footage, isn’t too different from making a regular film. But you can also do it well with the following tips.
1. Go Slow
My first recommendation to anyone filming with a drone is to go slow. Slow is more cinematic, and it gives the viewer the impression you are shooting from a larger platform, such as a helicopter. This subconsciously increases the production value and makes the shot appear more controlled and crafted.
Make sure you also go easy on the RC control sticks on the remote. Use gradual movements and remember to accelerate and decelerate slowly; otherwise you will shake the camera around with the quicker movements, increasing your odds of having distortions or ‘jello effects’ on your footage.
Pre-plan and visualize as many of your aerial shots as you can. I recommend scouting your filming location before your shoot so you can factor in limitations of the area. Knowing what you’ll need ahead of time will also help you optimize your drone’s battery life, so you don’t run into a situation where you miss the shot you truly need because your batteries are out of power.
2. Practice And Enjoy Your Aerial Filming
Read as much as you can about aerial and ground filming. Know your camera inside out. If you have local courses in photography, it is a great way build your knowledge. Then practice what you learn and don’t be afraid to film with different settings and techniques. It is also a great idea to view other top aerial videos and get a feel for the filming techniques, which were used. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. With an awesome Autel Robotics EVO drone in hand, just relax.
3. Use Manual Camera Settings
Your drone video footage will looks much more professional if you are shooting with manual camera settings instead of auto. When you are panning from a darker area to a brighter area auto exposure will make the lighting in your scene rapidly change. This also goes for white balance, combining manual settings and white balance will make the footage of your video appear more cinematic.
4. Use Simple Angles While Filming
There are plenty of drone filming techniques but the more tilts and twists you do while filming will take your viewer out of the moment. When recording a video on your drone I recommend using simple paths and angles. Simple sweeping and reveal shots will keep your viewer engaged and not make them think they are watching drone footage.
5. Use Zoom
Something that I enjoying doing a lot when I edit drone videos is to add just a tiny amount of zoom in or zoom out.
It will help you add a more dramatic and cinematic look to any shoot. It has to be very subtle though. Most of the times you can even tell there’s a zoom effect in the picture unless you specifically look for it. But it will make a difference in the way to picture looks. The main reason I like to very slowly zoom in is that it helps draw viewers attention. But you can use lots of zooming and get really creative with it.
Anyway, the most useful tip is to practice as much as you can. If you don't pratice and just watching tutrial videos or articles, that is not gonna help you with drone filming. I believe that with the above tips and with a smart Autel Robotics drone, you will handle it very easily.