As fun as it is to fly our drone around at shoots, there’s a lot of prep required before we film and caution while it’s in the air. Here are some things you may not have considered when it comes to flying a drone:

  1. Your Environment
    1. Bystanders
      1. It is highly frowned upon by both law enforcement and people in general to have a drone buzzing above their heads without their prior knowledge and consent.
      2. Drones can be dangerous, especially when falling out of the air into a big crowd because you hit some power lines.
    2. Weather/Wind
      1. Wind direction and speed
      2. Is it raining?
      3. Is the wind consistent or gusty?
      4. Dew point determines how efficiently the props will produce lift
    3. Potential hazards
      1. Are there buildings, power lines, trees, vehicles, bridges, aircraft, rock formations, water bodies, highways, water towers, etc.
      2. Be aware of these and rely on your VO (visual observer)
  2. Your Drone
    1. Battery levels
      1. Drone, RC, and operating device
    2. Battery condition
      1. Any bulging, splitting, smoke, sizzling?
  3. Flight Restrictions
    1. Check your intended flight airspace regulations and restrictions on the AirMap app prior to flight any flight
    2. Are you flying near (3-5 statute miles) any airports, hospitals, or rural airstrips
  4. Camera Settings
    1. Color temp
      1. Is it overcast, sunny, dusk, dawn, summer, winter, etc.?
    2. Color profile
      1. I like the look of the D-Log and Art profiles.
    3. Shutter speed
    4. ISO
    5. Recording format
  5. Frame Composition
    1. Needs to serve the story or purpose of the shoot
    2. Have a clear subject
      1. Landscapes are nice, but get boring after awhile
    3. Reveal something with each shot
    4. Be intentional with your movements and composition