Attack of the Drones

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Doesn’t it seem like drones just appeared out of nowhere? For our whole lives, they might has well have been UFOs from Area 51. Then, one day we woke up and everyone’s flying them. The FAA’s heads are spinning. What happened?

 

Drones have actually been around for decades, even tracing back to WWII

The change that sparked the recent drone revolution came from evolving technology that has finally brought down the cost of drones, making them affordable, heading toward critical mass. It’s a common cycle, especially in technology: the computer, cell phones, and I suspect virtual reality is not far behind.

But drones come with a nice camera (ours shoots 4K), so you have more than just a toy. It’s a whole new way you can tell your story in our ever-expanding social marketplace where video storytelling will never go out of style. And the internet is just eating it up, as drones fly off the virtual shelves and into the hands of remote pilots in command. In fact, an estimated 2 million drones were sold last year, and as many as 7 million are predicted to sell in 2020, according to Fortune.com. That’s some unprecedented growth.

And guess what? It so happens that one of those drones found a home at knoodle and we couldn’t be more proud. So far, it has not disappointed.

 

First flight

Our first assignment this year was a series for The Nature Conservancy, where I took a two-day journey up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff and back, documenting the story of Arizona’s invaluable forests and the powerful Verde River. The video turned out remarkable, in large part, thanks to the drone footage.

 

 

Our second assignment was for Fountain Hills. We captured the world-famous fountain behind one of their largest events of the year: The Great Fair. Again, the footage was breathtaking.

 

 

Since that time, we’ve had several other inquiries about possible use of drone shots in our video productions. Needless to say, we anticipate keeping that little guy busy this year.

 

What is it about the infamous drone shot that is making it so popular?

First of all, it’s still relatively new. And will be until it is dethroned by the next shiny object in video production. Maybe virtual reality, who knows? Secondly, drone shots give us a perspective we are not used to seeing. We can now easily capture a shot that previously required a helicopter.

But my favorite benefit we see filming with a drone is that I have the autonomy to zero in on any one part from just about any angle. Drones are not just for the wide, aerial shot (although they’re great at those). They are precise and can be flown in relatively tight spaces as well, including indoors. And while we reserve the macro shots for the handheld camera, the drone can get in on a shot, nearly any angle, smooth as can be. No jib, no dolly, just a remote control and a pair of steady thumbs.

Flying our drone has opened our eyes to a new world of opportunities now available to us as we produce video content for our clients. And we couldn’t be more excited to see how it takes off.