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THE DO'S AND DONT'S OF DRONES

It may feel like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, but drone ownership has skyrocketed in South Africa. Regardless of your personal feelings on drones, they present an incredible opportunity for spectacular video content. Never before has such a dynamic piece of film equipment been available for such little money! If you choose to create your own video content using a drone, there are a lot of do’s and don’ts to consider that can quickly become the difference between success or failure. Here are just a few helpful reminders to keep in mind as you explore the world of drone-based film-making, aimed at keeping you safe, productive, and creatively successful.

LAW & ORDER

Make sure you or your supplier have the correct documentation from South African Civil Aviation Authority & a certificate from RPAS (Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems). As tempting as it may be to start flying & filming follow the guidelines. Its tempting to grab your gear and start flying & filming but there are consequences if something does not go according to plan.

PREPERATION

Once you’ve covered the initial legal barriers you might think you can just start filming. Not so fast, pulling off an efficient drone shoot takes just as much prep work as any other kind of production. The weather is always a consideration for outdoor shoots, that’s why, days before you get on location, double-check the weather forecast. Conditions like rain and wind can frustrate most gimbal stabilizers and spoil your footage. 

Weather isn’t the only factor to fold into your pre-production schedule. Drones bring a whole host of singular factors to your shoot that must be taken into account. Perhaps the most prominent of these is flight time; most commercial drones can only stay up in the air for a few minutes before they have to land and be re-charged, so make sure to invest one with batteries that suit your filming needs.

Don't forget all the traditional pre-production elements of filming still apply with a drone. Keep a tight schedule, know your shots in advance, and make sure that you have a permit to avoid being shut down.

PRODUCTION

With pre-production done, it’s time to start filming. Don't forget the basic principles of shooting still apply: The rule of thirds, backlighting, etc. But there are also a lot of new  of shots and maneuvers that you can pull-off with a drone that would be next to impossible with a grounded camera – mastering these drone techniques are what will help separate your video content from the pack.

TELL A STORY

Every great marketing video has a few key takeaways. Focusing content around a clear theme or idea illustrating why a viewer or prospective customer should choose your business is central in storytelling — and especially in capturing people’s attention in a saturated world wide web.

In today’s online world, businesses have seconds to win over customers with video; that makes it tempting to pack a list of benefits and calls to action into an explainer or other marketing video. Why should you avoid this temptation? Packing a bunch of information into a video is simply not as convincing nor memorable as telling a story with that information. And in order to inspire your viewers to take action, you need to convince them. Remember to showcase your brand's personality in a way that addresses and informs audience needs.


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