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Drone Cinematography Masterclass

From Drone Owner To Aerial Cinematographer

Drone Cinematography MasterclassDrone Cinematography Masterclass


Drone Cinematography Masterclass : I think we can all agree that drones can produce amazing footage that until a few years ago, was strictly the preserve of Hollywood. Shots we couldn’t have imagined being possible are now accessible to all of us and as such, we must seize that opportunity with both hands, filmmakers and drone pilots alike. However, as cinema, TV, YouTube and social media flood our senses with aerial imagery, audiences have quickly become more discerning in differentiating between “just a drone shot” and stunning aerial cinematography. Building on our years of filmmaking experience going back long before drones appeared on the scene, in this 8 hour masterclass we give you a 5 step framework for creating stunning aerial cinematography. Whether you are new to this world or a seasoned pilot, in this masterclass we build your skills as a pilot and a filmmaker, calling upon our years of experience as drone cinematographers and years and years and years of experience as filmmakers. Containing hundreds of examples of not only our work from around the Scottish Highlands, Greece, Iceland and Spain, in the aerial film studies section of this course we look at dozens of Hollywood examples and relate the incredible work they produce to our own, identifying the repeatable strategies you can employ to emulate cinema-grade work with your drone. As the owners of a commercial production company ourselves, we have created not only an informative but visually stunning course that is both beautiful and inspiring in equal measure.

If you want to make money with your drone, you NEED to know this stuff to differentiate yourself from the pack. Buying a drone is one thing…awesome, you have taken the first step and are a drone owner, welcome to the club! But you need to be so much more if you want to stand out. FIRSTLY, you need a degree of pilot skill and in the first section of this masterclass we teach everything you need in this respect. We take you from drone owner to drone pilot. SECONDLY however, and more importantly, you need to SEE the world like a filmmaker. In our experience, 99% of drone owners don’t make it past the drone pilot stage. With this 7 hour masterclass, we will take you from drone pilot to drone cinematographer. We teach you to THINK like a filmmaker. By the end of this course, you will have the experience and guidance you need to stand on your own two feet as a cinematographer. Every drone shoot is different so a “painting by numbers” approach to filmmaking just doesn’t cut it. Sure, at the end of the course we give you a shot list to practise as that is undoubtedly a great learning tool. However, it needs to be combined with an understanding of filmmaking principles if you really want to be noticed in the crowd. (Drone Cinematography Masterclass)

We teach you how to tell a story by creating SUSPENSE in your work. You’ll learn how to layer your compositions to add DEPTH and interest to your imagery, drawing your audience’s eye through the frame. We show you how to add MOTION to a shot to enhance the story you are trying to tell rather than just adding it because you can. We teach you everything you need to know about LIGHT and how that influences what it is you are trying to achieve on the day. Furthermore, we analyse COMPOSITION and how we can use basic principles to enhance the story you are telling with your work.

Whether you are filming for your own self-initiated projects, as a freelance drone operator, as part of a production company, directing another drone operator, or for any other reason, you NEED to know this stuff if you want to rise to the top of an ever expanding group of drone pilots.

Do I need an expensive drone to benefit from this course?

Absolutely not! We’ll let you into a secret…we are not that interested in drones! It’s true! For us, the drone is a means of getting a perspective in the sky that was previously not available to us. As a consequence, we are not burdened with gear obsession – we are most certainly NOT gear freaks! Some of the best shots we have ever captured were done on our Phantom 2 + GoPro 4 combo and many of them feature in this masterclass. The bulk of our footage comes from our old faithful Phantom 4 (standard), with a little Mavic Pro and Mavic Air footage in there for good measure too. If you have any drone that gives you a decent quality picture from a camera, preferably stabilized on a gimbal, then this course is for you.

You see, with our background as filmmakers long before drones appeared, there is ALWAYS a ‘better’ camera out there. We shoot most of our commercial and wedding work on cameras that cost around $1,500. Oh, but if only we had the latest camera with amazing low light capability that costs $5,000! Absolutely not! Sure, our cameras are not the best in low light, so what did we do? Well we bought three, $100 lights and learnt everything we could about lighting. We learnt to shape an image with light, create separation between the subject and the back ground, tell a story and so on. By NOT buying the $5,000 camera we elevated our film production skills to a whole new level and on the back of this we built one of the most successful wedding film businesses in the UK, White Balloon Films.

Try not to get bogged down with obsessing over the latest and greatest drone. One thing that has become very apparent to us as we have built this course is that the vast majority of aerial cinematography to come out of Hollywood is incredibly simple. There is probably a little bit of motion from the drone and maybe a gimbal tilt or rotation but the beauty of the shot comes from the suspense created by not revealing the subject in the first frame, the creative decision to point the camera towards or away from the sun, the depth created by having layers in the composition between the camera and the subject and so on. We teach you all of this so you too can present yourself as not just a drone owner, but a drone cinematographer.

If drones fly themselves why do I need to pay for a course?

It is true that a drone “flies itself” in the loosest possible sense but does the drone do any of these things for you?

  • Analyse the light to pick the best direction of flight or time of day for flying.
  • Identify unwanted objects in the shot and position itself accordingly to exclude them from the frame.
  • Tell you what the most cinematic composition is for the subject you are trying to film.
  • Identify amazing locations for your drone shoots before you even leave the house.
  • Build your scene by identifying ways of creating depth in your composition.
  • Pick the appropriate camera motion that turns a basic shot into a story-telling masterpiece.
  • Employ the story-telling device of creating suspense to engage your audience and wow your clients.

In this masterclass, we give you building blocks and a framework whereby all of the above becomes instinctive and second-nature. Also, if you are engaged in any non-drone film work then you will find our course of great value also as much of what we discuss is not drone-specific, rather an analysis of filmmaking concepts that date back to the early days of cinema.

Watch the Introduction Video : (Drone Cinematography Masterclass)



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