Drones were originally used exclusively for military reasons; they date back as far as 1849 and were commonly used to give troops sight of places that were inaccessible. Military drones had almost a full day of battery life and could send back images in real-time for the troops to analyze. It wasn’t until 2015 that drones were available to consumers for recreational use. They were extremely popular with over 1 million drones being sold in the USA in the first year of sales. Drones have many uses in today’s society, drones make it easy to take a selfie that’s good enough for Instagram, they are used by journalists and some drones are even advanced enough to deliver a pizza. One place where the use of drones isn’t heard of too much but could become common over the next few years is in Hollywood movies.
Filming with Drones
Filming with drones has only been legal since 2015 so it’s only over the last 5 years that drones have been properly experimented with for shooting films. Drones offer a new perspective for shoots that traditional equipment can’t provide. The most common drone shots that are used in films are the birds-eye view, this shot is easy to master, all you have to do is tilt your drone fully towards the ground. There is the reveal shot, just fly your drone backward until your shot is in the frame. To get the perfect shot you should always fly your drone backward to avoid the propellors ruining it. You can also orbit your shot whilst keeping it in the center of the frame thanks to a pre-programmed flight mode. Finally, there is one of the most popular techniques that filmmakers love, the tracking shot, where your drone simply follows the subject of your desired shot, this is the perfect opportunity to experiment with various different angles.
Films That Have Used Drones
You might be surprised to find out that some scenes in some of your favorite movies were actually shot with a drone. In the 2012 James Bond movie – Skyfall, one of its most iconic scenes was filmed using a drone. The dramatic opening scene which was so memorable was actually shot with a drone as those in Hollywood had realized that drones were an amazing new way to capture chase scenes. Another highly rated movie that used a drone to film was the 2013 Martin Scorsese film – The Wolf of Wall Street (filmed during the ban the FAA’s ban on commercial drone use). The drone was used during a party scene to shoot effectively from above, it gave a new perspective to the viewers and allowed them to see into different characters’ lives. Some other famous movies filmed using drones include The Expendables 3, Chappie, and even Harry Potter.
Will Drones Take Over Hollywood Movies?
There are many benefits of using a drone to film, one huge benefit is that they are significantly cheaper to use than traditional equipment. It is estimated that using a helicopter to film would cost anywhere between 20,000 and 40,000 dollars for 10 hours of filming, a drone however would only cost between 4,500 and 13,000 dollars, a massive difference in price. There are a few setbacks to using a drone including not being able to film in windy weather, their battery life not being long enough, and that they can still only be legally flown at low altitudes. This means most Hollywood movies probably still won’t use drones to film anytime soon, but a few might and there is the potential for this to happen in the future.