Aerial Video – First Flights

I recently picked up a Phantom 3 Pro and my initial thought was, “Why did I wait so long to get into aerial video?” I’ve seen others post their work for some time and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a bit of a geek for this stuff. Plus, these things have become so incredibly affordable, and the line of options available from DJI practically fly themselves. That said, I expect it will still take plenty of practice to perfect smooth camera movements and that certain finesse I’ve been seeing from other drone operators.

Right out of the gate, the footage looks amazing; 4k capture is admittedly something new for me, and even though I’ve been geeking on the footage I’ve seen from others, I amazed at how incredibly stable this thing is as an aerial video platform.

I’m obviously still working on the finer points of aerial photo/video capture. But the creative options it offers have me conjuring all kinds of new projects to work on.

What do you think of the proliferation of drones in filmmaking? Do you think it’s a miracle or an unfair advantage? And if you’re using a drone in your own work, what are your personal safety practices?

Notes on the video above:

  • This is only my 5th or 6th flight over all.
  • In the opening shot, check out the stability of the Phantom through the first jump cut – it’s almost indiscernible that the the camera isn’t locked down.
  • At around 00:16 you’ll notice the camera moving diagonally across the field. This wasn’t intentional and was due to an unexpected loss of GPS signal. I ran an IMU calibration that seems to have fixed the issue for now.
  • At 00:34 there is a jerk to the right as I rotate the Phantom – still working on the finesse.


About Dan Freund (139 Posts)

Dan is a professional brand storyteller who has worked across a range of industries including publishing, consumer, manufacturing, investment banking and private equity. He is driven by a passion for connecting more meaningfully with others by habitually turning ordinary moments into sharable stories with video.