These aerial filming people tips will give you an extra bit of knowledge to increase the professionalism of your drone cinematography.  Along with these tips to film people using a drone, we have 2 excellent videos with some of the best drone footage of people ever.

A 3rd video has some excellent tips on how to film a model using a drone. Watch these aerial videos a few times and try to use these in your own aerial videos.

When you have excellent aerial footage, you can also pull the best still shots from the video.  The featured image for this post is a still photo from the 2015 Skypixel competition.

There are many reasons to film people with drones.  We are seeing some tremendous aerial action videos of people involved in their sports and adventures. These videos are awesome to watch and really lift the spirit.

Drone wedding videos are becoming more frequent.  These aerial films of the bride, groom and guests are also excellent and great fun.  It is another exciting element to add to the big day.

Many athletes (runners, footballers, skiers, climbers etc) use drones to film their technique and see if any improvements can be made. A slight improvement can knock seconds or split seconds of a athletes personal best time.   A number of American Football coaches are using aerial video to study and improve strategy and movement of players.

Filming people is also fun and interesting. I’ll leave you now with some great aerial tips for filming people.  The best drone footage of people videos at the end will give you some great examples which you can learn from.

Aerial Filming People Tips

Tip 1: Planning Your Aerial Video  

Think and try to visualize the outcome of your aerial film.  How do you see in your mind what will the finished aerial video will be.

When planning think thoroughly about the location and the time you will be filming at. If you film in a remote location, you will have less disturbance.  This is ideal if you are filming a model where you only want specific people in the aerial video. Shooting really early in the morning will also minimize disturbance.

As part of your planning, you will also need to check and make sure your aerial filming location is not near airports or other no fly zones.

Tip 2: Walk Through The Aerial Film

Walk through the shoot with the people in the film.  Showing them the flight and filming angles will help in many ways.  The people in the aerial film will get a feel as to what the end product should look like and will be on the same page as you, the drone cinematographer.  They people in the aerial video shoot can provide valuable insight to improve the video and cut out any unnecessary filming angles.

Tip 3: Checklist / Spares And Chargers

Drones only have a flight time of between 15 and 25 minutes.  Getting the aerial film correct in a few takes is ideal. However, to get the best drone footage may take hours of aerial filming.

Make sure to have everything charged (Drone, Remote Controller, Smartphone, Tablet) before you head off for the filming. Have extra batteries along with battery chargers and even a car charger.

It may also be ideal to have spare propellers, drone motor, landing gear and some tool set in case you need to do some small repairs. Having a backup drone is ideal.

Tip 4: Aerial Film Technique – Close Up / Pull Back 

One of the best drone filming people techniques starts with a close up of the person.  Then the drone is pulled back and away from the person rather than flying towards them.

How to get this right.  Start by hovering the drone in place.  Have the person walk towards the drone to a comfortable distance. Then pull back and up in 1 smooth motion.  This provides and excellent aerial footage. Back at the office, you can use video editing software to reverse the direction.

Tip 5: Filming People From Great Height

When you want to film people from a great height, it may be hard to spot the person in the aerial film.  You need the people on the ground to be make exaggerated movements or to have vibrant colors different from the background.

Tip 6 – Avoid Fisheye Barrel Distortion

Depending on your drone camera, you may need to keep the people you are aerial filming away from the left and right edges of the frame to avoid distortion.  If your drone camera lens has any degree of fisheye barrel distortion, then it is better to film the people towards the center of the lens.

Tip 7 – Use Autonomous Flight Modes

All the latest top drones have 4k cameras to film professionally and have a number of autonomous flight modes which allow you to fly and film a person or object with very little input.  Some models to fly and film are totally autonomous. Other flight modes fly the drone leaving you to concentrate on filming using the gimbal and camera. Some of the following autonomous flight modes make aerial filming people a doddle.

  • Follow Me
  • Cable Cam
  • Active Track
  • Points of Interest
  • Orbit Me

The DJI Phantom 3, latest Phantom 4 and Inspire 1 have a number of autonomous flight and film modes.  The 3DR SOLO and Yuneec Typoon H and latest Walkera drones have many flight modes to auto fly and film people.

There are now 2 drones on the market which allow you to fly and film autonomously and also avoid obstacles. These drones are the Phantom 4 and Yuneec Typhoon H Pro.   They both come with top for range 4k cameras and perfect stabilization.  The Phantom 4 Pro intelligent flight modes are absolutely terrific.

Best Drone Footage Of People

Here are some excellent aerial footage videos where the people take center stage.

This 1st video is Hawaii withe some beautiful scenery.  This video has some tremendous aerial filming of people and it’s a terrific video to learn from. It was filmed with the DJI Inspire 1 which is perhaps the most innovative and adaptable drone on the market to date. It’s perfect for aerial filming.

This next video gives you 5 very useful tips with examples for filming people using drones.  This was filmed using the DJI Phantom 3 drone.

This final best drone footage of people is a compilation of people out doing their thing. It is all about outdoor action and adventure. This drone footage of people is part of the “People Are Amazing” videos which are always great to watch.  Enjoy the people doing what they love and also keep an eye on the drone filming techniques which are being used.

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