Aerial Filming takes photographs and videos from above with a camera mounted or hand-held on an aircraft or a remote-controlled drone. It is used in cartography, land-use planning, archaeology, movie production, environmental studies, espionage, commercial advertising, conveyancing, etc.
Why go for aerial shots?
An aerial shot is a powerful technique to tell your story. It is taken from an elevated vantage point than what is traditionally framed in the photo. A number of the most iconic shots in history have been taken from a high point of view. Deciding to go for an aerial shot instantly makes your project interesting and memorable.
The output offers its viewers a bird’s eye view of the setting. It opens up a deeper understanding of what is happening below. Since it covers a vast framed space, it allows a sizable interpretation channel for its audience. Viewing the output gives them a unique experience and a sense that what is portrayed is bigger than life.
Taking advantage of the incredible evolution of technology, using drone shots adds more value to your project. Your personal mementos are portrayed more creatively. Midair shots for your marketing materials show business or company growth and credibility.
What are the best practices for aerial filming?
Be aware of the airspace rules.
Know where you’re allowed to fly. Before diving deep into filming from overhead, educate yourself on the laws regarding airspace. There are international drone laws and US drone laws. It would be best if you also learned whether you need certification to fly drones, especially for non-recreational purposes.
Develop good flight proficiency.
Equip yourself with a strong command of manual flight. You will need the four joystick movements: thrust, yaw, pitch, and roll. To be proficient in manually flying a drone, practice the following:
- Take off and hover at eye level: Develop joint attention for your drone and screen. Pay attention to your signal strength, flight mode, and battery level. Ensure that everything is good before taking off.
- Yaw-like clockwork: Use your left thumb to push slowly to the left and right. You are ready to attempt full 360°-degree yaw to the left and the right when you can do it. Master positioning the nose of the aircraft at 10:00, 2:00, 9:00, and 3:00.
- Fly a square or a circle without yaw: This time, utilize your right thumb. Pitch and roll smoothly in a square, then in a smoother, circular pattern, without the hard corners. When you’re ready, try flying the square and circle in both directions.
- Out-and-back: Master flying out away from yourself, back towards you, and landing. Your controls will be inverted as you fly back towards yourself with the nose of the multirotor pointing towards you.
- Fly high at maximum altitude: You have to experience flying at 400 ft. AGL and know how it feels. Try bringing the drone straight up to 400 ft. AGL. Practice your turns and move the camera while exploring the landscape.
Make use of your flight software.
After learning to fly your drone manually, it is also essential to leverage its intelligent flight modes. These will be helpful to lessen your workload as a pilot. It can also help produce output that might be extremely difficult to obtain in manual flight. Examples of the different intelligent flight modes that drones offer are:
- Cinematic Mode: This setting is excellent for slow and smooth shots. It creates a dramatic effect by slowing everything down.
- Course Lock: This mode allows you to set the direction before your flight. As a result, you can fly together with moving objects and across different scenes.
- Point of Interest: All you have to do is set a specific building, object, or location as the point of interest. Your drone will continuously hover around it while you capture images.
- Waypoints: With this mode, you can set multiple GPS points. Your aircraft will spontaneously fly to each GPS point while you control the camera.
- Active Track: As the name implies, this mode executes the traditional but popular subject-tracking shots.
- Plan your flights well. In any project you undertake, planning well is crucial. It ensures a worry-free and smooth process flow. When taking on aerial filming ventures, consider the following:
- Airspace: Secure all the certificates, authorizations, and permits you will need.
- Gear: Prepare your gadgets, updated firmware, formatted memory cards, fully-charged batteries, etc.
- Weather and site safety: Check the weather conditions and possible ground or flight obstructions.
- Flight: Pinpoint were to take off, the duration, and how much data to capture.
- Landing: Plan where to land and how to power down. Prepare a checklist for packing up your gear.
- Post-production: Set a time frame for storing and editing your photos, videos, and other data.
- Apply the basic principles of photography or videography.
Keep in mind that a drone is but a simple tool. Learn how to use this remarkable instrument. Then apply it to your knowledge of taking pictures and videos. Always think like a filmmaker. Collect a repertoire of essential frames to build your storyboard. Remember to insert the following concepts:
- Add a sense of suspense by not revealing the subject in the first frame.
- Be creative to point the camera toward or away from the sun.
- Create depth by having layers in the arrangement between the camera and the subject.
Practice makes progress, so keep at it! You may also want to apply these basic aerial drone videography shots:
- Pan: Choose a fixed object to shoot. Slowly and smoothly pan from side to side in a straight line.
- Forward reveal: Fly on and slowly tilt your camera upward or downward to expose your subject or a landscape that you want to feature.
- Dronie: Hover at eye level. Face the nose of the aircraft and camera towards your subject. Then, slowly fly your drone backward and upward while keeping the camera fixed on your subject.
- Orbit: Like the dronie, fly your drone in a circle around a fixed point instead of backward and upward.
- Birds-eye-view shot: Position your camera to face downward. Slowly throttle up.
Which aerial photography and videography services to get
BA Productions Group, LLC offers aerial video services to achieve low orbiting midair footage that our clients need, either for personal use or business purposes. This practice was once impossible to undertake without a helicopter crew or a boom operator.
We are one of the few production groups with extensive experience since 2011, shooting from helicopters in 2003 and flying drones since 2012. Rest assured that we will take your aerial project from conception through delivery seamlessly.
Know that safety is our priority. Our unmanned aerial systems include GPS flight systems with state-of-the-art fail-safe safety features. Our director of photography, BA’s Productions owner and operator, has over 25 years of experience in the broadcast industry. We are FAA-certified, licensed, and insured.
If you are interested in hiring a video production company for aerial filming services, choose BA Productions. We have been working in the video production industry for more than 25 years. Since 1992, we have been offering video-based services for our clients and have received multiple awards for our video production services.
Check out our Aerial Filming portfolio here. You can give us a call at 877-378-7225. We are willing to work day or night 24/7 or whenever you need us. Wait no more, call us now! We would love to help you with your video project!