FaceBook Twitter
Sign up to the Newsletter!

For the latest news on film,
branding, photography and design.


Tips on How to Film People Using Drones

By lunamik / January 12, 2017

The new technology we have today has resulted in the emergence of drones and quadcopters as a means of capturing videos. Because of this equipment, aerial shots like what we usually see in Hollywood scenes are now attainable without the Hollywood budget. Learning how to use drones requires practice especially in controlling the direction and flight of the drone. Before you start shooting, it is advised to do practice shots as a recon of the area you will shoot. Aside from that, you also have to practice the controls have smooth panning transitions.

Shooting using a drone is challenging already. But what makes it harder is when you add a subject to the view. The struggle when shooting a subject using quadcopter is about the movement, composition and safety of the person involved. Listed below are some tips to a worry –free drone video shoot.

Choose a Good Location

When shooting someone using a drone, the number one priority is to be able to make your model stand out in the shot. This means that you have to choose a background or setting that will highlight your model. A remote location is the best decision because aside from giving an excellent composition, you are also assuring the safety of the people involved. Besides, it is difficult to get a clear shot without tourists and other people ruining it because you are in a crowded location. A drone flying around can pose a danger when it encounters technical problems. It can fall to the ground and hit someone.

Practice Your Shots with Your Model

You do not want to spend your whole day shooting just one drone shot because you cannot get what you need. To avoid this from happening, you have to inform and brief the model about what you want to achieve. You can also practice your model’s movements even before the actual shot. It should lessen the errors and help

capture the ideal shot in a short span of time.

Pull Away Shot is Better Than Flying in

There are many instances when a person gets hit in the head with a drone. This usually happens when you try to capture a flying in shot only to realize you cannot control the drone. To avoid this from happening, it is safer to set up the quadcopter near your model first. From there, you can pull away the shot to be sure you avoid any accidents with the drone. If you still want the flying in shot, you can still get it by editing the video and reverse it to get another effect.

Exaggerated Movements at Higher Altitudes

If you have not yet tried using a drone, you will be surprised how much vast space it can capture. Because of this, it is important to remember that if your quadcopter is too far up the movements should be exaggerated. The shot can sometimes be too high to the point that you can hardly see the person or model in the shot. Always check the shot to see if there are adjustments or changes in the movements you have to do.

Keep your Subject in the Middle or Away from the sides

Most drones like the DJI Phantom or GoPro’s Karma have wide angle lens to give the depth of field needed for far away shots. But then, lenses can cause distortion of the subject especially if you are on the edge of the frame. To avoid distortion, you should always keep your subject in the middle of the shot or away from the edge. It is good to have a rundown of all the shots you have to do per point. This means you do not have to press record immediately. You can fly the drone and check the shots you aim to record. It is also a good practice to test the framing of every shot.

These are the tips you can apply when shooting a drone shot. The use of quadcopter, drones or ‘flying’ cameras has been a great impact on filmmaking. The good news is the drones are relatively cheaper. Even normal people into the hobby of video making can purchase a drone to get an aerial shot. There are even DIY drones using action cameras. With our technology, there is no doubt that the art of video making and editing has improved drastically over time. Thus, it is nice to take advantage of the technology and make the most out of it. If you still cannot afford a drone, you can rent one to record the shots you need. You can also borrow from friends who have a drone. At first, it may be difficult to control the drone. Eventually, you will get used to it as if you are flying a remote controlled helicopter. Practice is just what you need to use the drone well.

Looking for more handy video tricks, see the latest on Lunamik News!

Our team will get back to you within 24-hours with next steps.

See more of our work.