5 Things I Learned On The Road With Drones

After a 6 week filmmaking adventure that took the Drone Dudes from Texas, up to Michigan, and all the way to New York there are a few things I learned that I wanted to pass on to you. Using Drones on the road isn’t as glamourous as it might sound at times. There’s a lot you have to think about, plan for, and account for while your on the road. Below I’ve compiled 5 things that I learned while on the road with drones.

1. Forget Sleep; Your Batteries Need To Charge!


One of the most challenging thing’s I’ve learned in my years in aerial cinematography is that most nights you might not get much sleep. For the Octocopter we had 12 10,000 Mah packs that we kept on a charge cycle so we could keep the Octo in the air while on set. At the end of the night,  your batteries are usually all depleted and you need to spend all night charging the packs before heading back out the next morning. I’ve become accustomed to waking up every hour throughout the night to swap batteries on the chargers, as well as switching auxiliary devices that need to be charged up too.(Such as iPads, BTS Camera, GoPro’s, Computers, and Controllers) We utilized a USB Super Charge Box that helped with having a dedicated spat to charge our USB electronics. It’s all a part of the job.

2. Different Drones for Different Jobs


Having a diverse collection of drones for different jobs keeps our workflow nice and smooth. For Scouting shots, we fly the DJI Inspire 1 to plan our flightpath and camera movements before breaking out the octocopter with the requested camera package. With less investment in the air and more battery time it lets us experiment and find the unique angles to get. Drones are a great gateway into how we can use robotics for filming, and to think about what other robots we can use to get the shot. With the recent purchase of the Freefly Tero car, Drone Dudes is constantly innovating.

3. Always Innovate


One of the best ways to stay on top of things is to always be using the most advanced cutting edge technology that’s out there. The Freefly Tero car is a pretty new concept. For very specific shots that require a low angle it is the equivalent to a never-ending set of rails. When you’re out filming historical architecture, a low sweeping angle is about as valuable as an aerial shot outside. It’s a perspective that we don’t have in our everyday human experience and has that same excitement as an aerial shot. Wether its VR, low RC car angles, or aerial shots innovation goes a long way for the client and your public perception.

4. Always Bring Backups


One of the 1st things I learned in the media business is always bring a backup.  Maybe even a backup for your backup. I don’t just mean duplicate copies of hard drives with two separate people, but duplicates of all your gear. When providing a service to a client you want to save yourself the embarrassment of not being able to complete the shoot due to a gear malfunction and not having a backup. This tip doesn’t go just for your craft but for every wire, connector, screw, adapter, monitor, charger, props, antenna, etc, that you might have for your gear. Chances are the one thing you don’t think you need to bring a backup for is always the one you wish you would have brought.

5. Take Lots Of Pictures & Do Daily WritingCollageOne thing I don’t see many people doing is bringing a photographer to snap BTS photos of them during their shoots. It’s time to step back and understand the value of the memories you’re making in 10-20-30 years from now. The places that some of these jobs take us are so breathtaking and to have photographs of yourself working in those environments is incredibly unique and not to mention great marketing material. I was doing BTS on the 1st part of the Drone Dudes shoot covering all of Eero Saarinen’s architectural sites around the US. On that trip it was hard to be a fly on the wall and photograph everyone while they made the show happen, but in retrospective I was a key part of the team that will cement what we did in time. What we’re doing with drone technology is history in the making and were all in the forefront, so why not document it and have the memories to share with your family in friends for generations to come.

SOURCE: Quadcopter Guy – Read entire story here.