The Top 11 Cinewhoop Videos of 2021
BY Zacc Dukowitz25 August 2021
Cinewhoop videos have taken this year by storm, and it’s easy to see why.
With their impressive stunt flying, high quality imagery, and behind-the-scenes feel, cinewhoops don’t just capture aerial footage of a place—they give you the sense that you’ve actually been there and toured it for yourself.
[Wondering what a cinewhoop is? It’s a small, stable drone made for capturing crisp, high-quality footage shot from an FPV perspective.]
Here are our picks for the top cinewhoop videos of the year.
1. Right Up Our Alley
In many ways, this is the video that started the cinewhoop craze this year.
Since Jay Christensen—the video’s creator—shared this video back in March it has racked up several million views, drawn the attention of Hollywood directors and big wigs, and even garnered press coverage from places like the New York Times.
The flying is top notch, but so is the production itself, with careful planning put into timing things and getting the audio and the choreography just right.
2. The Etihad Like Never Before
To celebrate its league title back in May, the U.K. soccer team Manchester City released this single-shot fly through of its Etihad Stadium.
The victory was the fifth in the last decade, and it was made sweeter by the fact that it was against Manchester City’s cross-town rivals, Manchester United.
The video takes you through the entire stadium, flying past the front entrance, into the field, and back into the locker rooms and offices, giving you a complete tour—even more complete than you might be able to get in person.
This cinewhoop takes you on a tour of the City Museum, which was opened in St. Louis, MO in October of 1997.
The museum was created by the artist Bob Cassilly. Cassilly converted a 10-story, 600,000 square foot warehouse that previously housed a shoe company into the magical twisting and turning world you see in the video, with the goal of creating a “city within a city.”
Working with a group of artists that included welders, painters, and sculptors, Cassilly built the museum over several years, starting in 1993 and finally opening it in 1997.
Over that entire time the group—which became known as the Cassilly Crew—worked in secret, which meant that when the museum finally opened it was the first time anyone had seen what they’d been building for all those years.
4. 400M Freestyle Swimming Relay
This cinewhoop features a swimming relay race, with the drone swooping past swimmers from the University of California San Diego swim team as they dive into the water and sprint through a freestyle relay race.
The video was shot by Will Strathmann using a custom-made waterproof FPV drone—watch to the end to see how the drone’s waterproofing was put to good use!
5. Glensheen Experience
This is another by Jay Christensen, the maker of Right Up Our Alley (the first one on this list), in which he takes us on a tour through the historic Glensheen Mansion in Duluth, Minnesota.
We love the creativity in this one.
The video opens in black and white, with a horse and buggy and people dressed in historic garb, then shifts to color as we enter the mansion as it appears today.
6. Demolition by Excavator
This cinewhoop gets you up close and personal with an excavator being used to demo a building.
The flying is impressive here, and does a great job dramatizing the action of the demolition work, not to mention the sheer size of the project.
7. First Ever FPV Drone Wedding
We’re not sure if this is actually the “first ever FPV drone wedding” (as the video’s creators claim) but it sure is a cool video. The creator of this video is Andy Lawrence, the same drone pilot who made the FPV fly-through of Manchester City’s arena featured above.
The smooth flying and single-shot take does a great job showcasing everything you can find at this wedding venue located in Gloucestershire Elmore Court, in the U.K.—so much so that you quickly forget you’re watching a promotional video, and just enjoy the ride.
This video stands out not just for its impressive flying but also for the creative tricks the pilot and videographers use to capture everything that goes into putting a wedding together, from the constant hustle in the kitchen to the glamour of the reception area.
8. The Quack Attack Is Back
This is yet another great one from Jay Christensen, this time shot at the Mall of the Americas.
We love the way he choreographs his single shots so they really tell the viewer a story. In this video, we have a small group of hockey players on rollerblades surfacing at various points as the cinewhoop sweeps through, taking in shots of rollercoasters, aerial installations, and other features in the massive mall.
The audio is also remarkable, with deft syncing between those flown over and the voice of the pilot, as if he were just another person flying magically through the action.
9. FPV Real Estate
We came across this one while doing research for this piece and decided to share it, both because we really like the video and because it shows us what the future of real estate marketing might look like.
For prospective buyers, a short cinewhoop tour like this one could be incredibly enticing, letting them get a quick taste for everything a property might have in store for them.
The approach seems so effective that we wouldn’t be surprised if real estate cinewhoops like this one became their own niche business for drone pilots in the coming years.
10. Movie Night FPV
OK, OK, we promise this is the last one from Jay Christensen—but he really is a master of making these, as you can see in this single-shot fly through done at a movie theater.
Like most of the cinewhoops on this list, this one was made to promote a business.
At a time when a lot of people haven’t gone to the movies for over a year due to the pandemic, we thought this was a smart marketing move to create an up close way to remind people of the nostalgia of going to the movies.
We love how immersive the video is. You really feel like you’re there, walking through the lobby, about to sit down with a tub of popcorn and watch one of your favorite movies.
11. Cinewhoop Video of a “Painted Lady” Home in San Francisco
If you’ve ever been to San Francisco you may have seen the iconic “painted ladies,” a historic row of colorfully painted Victorian and Edwardian houses.
This cinewhoop video from creator Reza Kurniawan takes us on a tour through a painted lady, showing us that these homes aren’t just beautifully painted on the outside—they’re also stunning on the inside.
The flight takes us all the way up, through each story of the building and back out the window on the top floor, stopping over a neighboring park and turning to look over a sweeping view of the city of San Francisco.