I don’t know about you, but I’m not an expert at video post-processing.
I’d much rather be flying (and generating new business or geeking out with other drone pilots) than stuck at my computer, cleaning up image saturation and other filters, figuring out what video cuts to include, selecting copyright-free music, etc. There aren’t enough rainy days in the world to get me to enjoy that kind of work.
Fortunately for folks like me, there are companies like DreamItReel.
I’ve been chatting with them for the last month or so about their company launch, and I’m happy to report they’re kicking butt and offer a really good service I feel comfortable standing behind and sharing with the UAV Coach community.
Here’s an example of their work:
I asked Ravid Razak, DreamItReel’s Founder & CEO, to write up some thoughts about how to get the kind of pro drone video footage that stands out. Even if you’re editing your own videos, set yourself up for success by following the below tips.
Pro Drone Video Post-Processing Tips
At DreamItReel, we get footage of all kinds – you name it, we’ve edited it. But our favorite projects involve some breathtaking drone footage.
No other shooting method can capture a scene in as epic a fashion as a soaring quadcopter, and aerial videos are instantly popular on YouTube and Facebook. That being said, just putting your camera on a drone isn’t enough to get great aerial footage. There are tons of elements that go into it, and you may not realize that your shoot fell short until you or your editor watches it back.
So next time you’re taking the camera drone out for some video, keep these tips in mind.
1. What’s the Plan?
There’s a lot to consider when planning a drone shoot. The weather is a huge factor that can make or break your video. Same with time of day.
Most photographers and videographers like to shoot only during the “golden hour” or the time right after sunrise and right before sunset when the sun provides the most warm and colorful light.
Don’t let the day of the shoot be the first time you visit the location. Scope it out ahead of time and know what obstacles and limitations you might run into. Create a flight plan. The more detailed and thought out your plan is, the fewer headaches you’ll have when it’s time to roll the camera.
2. Work the Angles…
If there’s one thing an editor likes to get, it’s options. It’s always nice to have a good variety of angles and perspectives. Therefore, it’s better to get too many shots than not enough. You can toss out footage no problem, but getting that one angle that you missed is a huge pain.
Our advice? Go nuts! Get every single shot you can think of and worry about what works and what doesn’t later.
3. …But Capture the Geography
Getting all the angles is important, but don’t let your viewers get totally lost. You want to establish your location with wide shots so they can understand where they are before diving in with your crazy acrobatic shots.
From an editing perspective, not jumping all over the place too much is key if you don’t want to make your audience disoriented. For this reason, it’s good to have clear and simple shots that can act as the foundation of the video. This way the editor can produce something easy to follow and digest.
4. Don’t Get Stuck in the Clouds
Like I said, we adore aerial footage. But that doesn’t mean it should make up your entire video.
A good mix of shots closer to the ground or even non-drone shots can make your footage from above all the more awe-inspiring. In fact, the flying camera can even feel boring after a while.
But by alternating epic shots from the sky with more humble shots closer to the ground, you can bring back the wow factor again and again.
We like to equate video editing with cooking. A fine chef might not know how to farm, but he knows a good vegetable when he sees one, just like we know great footage when we see it. Hopefully these tips will help you capture drone footage that will delight your editor the way a perfect potato would delight a chef.
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any advice on shooting great footage and turning it into a great video.