Properly controlling a drone while shooting a video makes a night and difference in the end result. Aerial videos with twitchy movements can be a dead giveaway for a drone shot. The advantage that drones have over cameramen in helicopters is their mobile ability to mimic a professionally shot aerial video. Knowing how to accurately control a drone is a skill worth learning, so watch Tony & Chelsea Northrup’s YouTube video to learn how make professional drone shots:
Professional Drone Shots
One key difference is that the “aerial shot” described in the video above was smoother. The main point that the YouTubers were making is that sudden drone movements aren’t professional.
Plan Your Flight
You don’t have to physically set points for your drone to follow, but knowing the general flight destination will help pilots cut down the need to reroute their drone.
Record Before and After
Video recording an extra 15 seconds early can help a pilot adjust the camera angle. Ending the recording a few seconds past the required scene will give you more footage to use for editing.
Keep the Controller Steady
If you are aiming to get the best professional drone shots, then keep the controller sticks as still as possible in one dedicated direction.
Dedicate your Movements
Following through and sticking to one direction is one way to shoot consistent aerial footage. Start off by only going straight, then you can use the second stick to control the altitude. Once you can change directions in a smooth motion, you can start tilting the gimbal to capture new angles.
Start off Slow
Shooting at low flight speeds keeps the shot in focus, and it helps pilots get a feel for their environment. If you plan on changing directions during a shot, then gradually move the stick towards the direction you need to go. Taking your time to slowly adjust the controller sticks will result in a more professional transition.
Flying in GPS mode is safer and more stable, but ATTI-mode allows the drone to drift for smoother shots. Altitude adjustments are less noticeable and more fluid in ATTI-mode. If you plan on flying in this mode, make sure you have an ample amount of space with little to no obstacles nearby and factor in wind conditions. ATTI-mode is for experienced pilots only!
Get New Sticks
Third-party sticks or knob adapters can help change the feel of the controller. These are more of a personal preference, so make sure to check out the many available options if you plan on changing the sticks.
Just like anything, practice is the key factor in developing a skill. While you are at, make sure to have fun and fly safe!