Creating cinematic drone video requires more than just a drone. Drones are a great tool to utilize with any video production, however placing all of your faith in a drone alone will often leave you wondering “why doesn’t my footage look better?”. Drones open up a new perspective for filmmakers, a new frontier to experiment in and explore, but it is easy to forget that basic film principles still apply in the air. What is the message you are trying to convey? Who is the audience? How does the viewer benefit from an aerial view? All of these things need to be taken into consideration and this is where all aspects of a production come into play. If a shot doesn’t serve a purpose, why waste time shooting it? Not only does that waste valuable production time and aerial flight time, but it also wastes the client’s time going through unneeded footage, or the editor’s time when they are trying to edit the final video on a deadline. Sure having plenty of aerial footage is great, but only if it is relevant and serves a purpose. Pre-planning is a big part of production and that also translates to aerial drone work. Overall mood of a project also plays into aerial shooting styles. A great example of this is an Ozark Howler inspired aerial demo video we recently made. All of the shots were filmed at sunset and in a dramatic, slow shooting style. This matched the atmosphere and mood we wanted to achieve, giving the video a scary-urban legend feel well suited for the Ozark Howler. Questioning a drone operator about shots and aerial shooting style is always a good idea so you can insure everyone will be on the same page throughout the entire production process.