Though still in their relative infancy as a technology, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, aka drones) are already essential tools in the kits of filmmakers, documentarians, and journalists. To content creators, small quads — like the DJI Phantom, for example — may in fact be the single most powerful camera-support tool in our kits, dollar for dollar. Can anyone fly? Sure. Can anyone fly safely and legally, get the shot(s) they need, and recover their flying $1,000+ investment? Maybe.
Here are some helpful tips to get you thinking about the types of shots you can get in the world of unmanned aerial cinematography. If you’re new to drones, I highly recommend spending time at an official R/C flying field to practice your skills. The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) can help you start your career in remote flying — I joined when I was 11 years old, and have always found them to be a dependable resource.