The Future of the Video Experience – Part I: Drones

14012085485_239fe5c66aIn 2014, Primeau Productions published “The Video Experience,” a blog series about how video creates an ‘experience’ for viewers with their content. However, with the technological renaissance of the last decade, we have been asked the question, “What does the future have in store for video and the video experience?” In this series of blog posts, we’ll be discussing newer technologies, their functionality, and what these advancements will do to harness the way we experience video.

In this first installment, we’ll be covering a technology that is growing in popularity every day: Drones.

What are they? What do they do?

Otherwise known as “Quadra-copters,” drones are similar to that of a remote controlled (RC) Helicopter. A drone has propellers, a remote control, and is operated just like other RC Helicopters. The biggest difference lies in its capabilities.

Essentially, drones have successfully taken the concept of an RC Helicopter and applied it to filmmaking and cinematography. Some drones have built in high quality cameras, and the ones that don’t have the ability to incorporate Go-Pros, mobile video devices, and, in some cases, even HDSLR cameras. Some drones can even be controlled from a smartphone!

Drone technology has been growing exponentially over the past few years. Now that Quadra-copters and the like are commercially available, filmmakers are finding new ways to utilize the technology every day.

The first time we were introduced to drone technology at Primeau Productions was when CNN paid us a visit during the 50th Anniversary of The Assassination of John F Kennedy. The camera operator, Mark Biello, a veteran camera operator from CNN, whose resume spans from Hurricane Katrina to the Middle East, showed us some footage of the new Quadra-copter drones they’d just received. The test footage showed the drone starting in a field in Washington, D.C. and propelling itself so high that you could see the top of the Washington Monument (that’s 555’!). 5 years ago, you’d need a helicopter to capture a shot like that. However, this technology is changing what is possible every day very affordably so more users can incorporate this high value experience into their video productions.

What could it do?

Drones are changing video technology in many ways. Not only is this due to a drone’s capability in height, but also their capabilities in stability. Drone technology is also allowing users to create cool ‘indoor moving shots’ that, before, could only be accomplished with a crane. This, alone, allows users to capture shots that a slider or steady-cam just can’t replicate. More importantly, drones are expanding the video experience for the better.

There are some models of Quadra-copters that are capable of holding HDSLR cameras, and even Sony RED cameras. These little copters are changing the horizon of video production, making high value video shots easier and more affordable.

 Where are they in development?

These bad boys are already commercially available. However, there has been some recent controversy over regulating these machines. As of now, it’s illegal to fly over 400 feet, along with flying over major highways, understandably. Due to the fact that drone technology is still so new, this is only the beginning of regulations regarding their use.

However, while the drone is consistently facing new regulations, the film community is heavily embracing it. Earlier this month, NYC had its first “Drone Film Festival,” a festival based solely on drone technology. Drone operators from all over the world had the opportunity to share their work from experimenting with drones. This included Taylor Chien, the drone operator responsible for the famous “Superman with a Go-Pro” video, which you can view below.

Though we can’t confirm what the future holds regarding regulations on these devices, we can assume that filmmakers will continue to find new, inventive ways to operate and utilize this sophisticated piece of equipment. The sky is (literally) the limit!

Check out what drone technology is capable of in the short film, “Superman with a Go-Pro,” embedded below. Also keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of our “Future of The Video Experience” series right here at PrimeauProductions.com.

 

photo credit: Farming via photopin (license)

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