drone cinematography

Elevate Your Perspective: 3 Reasons Everyone Should Be Using Drones in Their Productions

Photo Courtesy of Eye on Drones

Drones are changing the game.  We’ve seen Hollywood studios utilizing dramatic aerials for years, but what if the same cinematic marvels could be applied to all elements of commercial content?  Let’s say you’re looking to create your next commercial, advertisement, or documentary film.  You’ve storyboarded the project, gathered your gear, built your budget, and are ready to shoot.  The process is exciting. But, have you thought about how to make your video exciting too?  Watch this video here:



Pretty incredible, right? Now, you may think these high-end and captivating shots are totally out-of-scope for your next project, but that’s where you’re wrong.  Drone cinematography of the past was limited to big budget production houses with access to helicopters and complex rigs, but the industry is quickly changing.  Not only are drones becoming increasingly more accessible to even the hobbyist filmmaker, they are rapidly revolutionizing the way we experience films.  Still not convinced?  Let me break down why everyone should be including drones in their equipment bin.


Unique Perspective


The cinematography in most videos typically doesn’t lend you a new perspective: literally.  How often do we see a city from 1,000 feet up?  Or orbit a snowcapped mountain?  This is where drones truly stand out. They provide a perspective that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to see, and it’s captivating. Take this short film for example:



The premise is simple enough – a group of talented surfers in an exotic locale with a sublime swell; I’m sure we’ve all seen a video like that more than once.  However, the camera’s perspective makes it a completely different experience. When’s the last time you’ve seen someone riding a wave from 100 feet above?  It’s a dreamlike experience, and the same magic can be applied to any type of project to garner a similar effect.  But that’s not the only advantage.


Pacing & Setting The Scene


A common technique for controlling the audience’s perception of the film is pairing scenes with particular elements of music.  As editors, we can create a sense of urgency by incorporating quick cuts in tandem with a fast paced section of music, and vice versa.  Drone cinematography gives us the ability to use the lulls in the soundtrack in order to set the scene to evoke dramatic effect within the film.



Check out the example above. What did you notice?  For the most part, the film is frantic, because the editing is paced  to match the music.  But at one point, the music slows. That’s the moment where the editor incorporates drone footage in balance with the song.  The result is surreal.  Aerial cinematography provides gives your video editor the opportunity to control the sense of place and rhythm in your video.


Drones Cost Less Than a New Lens


Even though drone cinematography can add an expensive feel to your video, drones are more affordable than ever before. Yes, there are rigs that can run you north of ,000, and carry cameras worth more than your BMW.  But, you can achieve high quality aerial cinematography for an affordable price if you find the right equipment.


3dr drone


The 3DR is an incredibly intuitive drone, allowing live streaming to any phone or tablet.  It also has the capability to fly itself between waypoints, making it easy to pilot complex cinematics.  It comes in at $999.00- add a Gopro black series and your total is $1,450.



DJI was the first company to bring drone cinematography to the hands of hobbyists with their Phantom 1 Drone.  Since then, they’ve come a long way.  Their newest addition to the Phantom series comes with its own camera and uses GPS to avoid obstacles.  The entire package will run you $1,100.


Both of these products, in the right hands, are capable of achieving cinema grade visuals with ease. And, these companies, are just two of the most popular.  There are plenty of more options, so spend time looking around for the right drone to fit your needs.

Today, drones are a staple element within the quiver of every seasoned filmmaker.  They provide an unparalleled perspective for your audience, enable you to utilize the footage for dramatic effect, and have never been more accessible to filmmakers of all budgets and capabilities. Are you convinced yet? Let us know in the comments below.


Zach Chmael

Zach Chmael is a Video Production & Marketing Intern at Green Buzz Agency.






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