Posts tagged "aerial filming"

Drones are being used more and more to document outdoor concerts and music festivals all over the world. The aerial footage can provide a fresh view of a familiar event. But there are some tips that drone pilots should know before planning to fly these types of gatherings.

First and foremost, be sure to partner with event organizers if you plan to fly drones at a concert or festival. Most events will hire a pilot or production company and work with them to determine what footage should be taken. Flying a drone at a concert or festival without prior permission is highly discouraged and could lead to a variety of problems.

Once the proper permission has been obtained, map out safe locations on-site from which to take off and land drones from during the event. It’s important to have a designated area for drone operations that is far away from crowds or other equipment that could interfere with safe drone flights. And always be sure to choose flight paths that will avoid flying over people or crowds — which is illegal in most countries, including the United States.

There are many safe and creative ways to capture great footage at concerts without flying over the crowd. Flying over buildings near stages allows drones to get close to the action while remaining legal. Using a zoom lens, like the 50 millimeter Zenmuse X7 camera on the DJI Inspire 2, also gives the appearance of being closer to the action while maintaining a safe distance. That is what AirVūz did during the Basilica Block Party in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as the official aerial footage providers for the event.

AirVūz has filmed other music festivals, such as Air + Style in Los Angeles and the Zombie Pub Crawl in Minneapolis. Drone pilots from around the world have used their quadcopters to document the action from other events like Burning Man, the LIT Festival in Colombia, and much more.

With drones continuing to increase in popularity while decreasing in price, expect to see drones being used even more to take footage of large-scale events like these.

For more information, contact Tyler Mason, Director of Public Relations, at


About AirVūz

Since its launch in 2015, AirVūz has become the world’s leading drone video and photography sharing platform and global community for drone pilots and aerial media enthusiasts. Drone enthusiasts worldwide can upload and share videos and photos in unlimited quantity and at no cost. Site users have free access to an ever-growing library of drone media content including easily browsable categories such as travel, extreme sports, golf courses, drone racing, landmarks and more. AirVūz users also have access to original AirVūz content, including the weekly AirVūz News program, profiles of top content creators, product reviews, and how-to information for drone pilots on how to take and edit high quality drone video.

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NYCDFF IV is happening on March 3rd & 4th at The Tribeca Performing Arts Center
& Liberty Science Center.  See the best drone films in the world on the big screen and experience amazing drone-centric programming at the Day of Drones.



Check out the website for more details on NYCDFF IV events.





Previous articleLandscape Drone Photography Tips For Beginners

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Lyfted Media is leading the way in bringing a safe alternative to aerial event coverage solutions. Perfect for indoor arena events, the helium filled Aerial UltraLight radio controlled camera platforms are safe for flying above an audience.  Whether for concerts, sporting events, conferences, theme parks, shopping malls or universities Lyfted Media provides a unique and engaging live fan experience.

Featured in the above video, the remote controlled “AirOrbs” or blimp cams have been successfully flown with live broadcast capabilities inside Madison Square Garden. They have now flown over 100 games for the NY Knicks, NY Rangers and NY Liberty. At this level, this is truly a first in the RC flying cameras/drone field. Lyfted Media are looking to take this service to arenas across the US.

After drones arrived on the market, videographers quickly adopted them as their favorite tool for making videos. Today, drone video is definitely one of the most popular techniques for filming videos. Drone manufacturers have also recognized this, so they started making highly sophisticated drones for videographers.

One of the main reasons behind the popularity of drone videography is the drones’ unique ability to show the viewers an amazing new perspective on different areas, through the appealing bird’s eye view. But in order to get that “Wow” effect from it, drone video editing has to be part of the post production.

In order to make wonderful drone videos, you should consider these four tips on editing drone videography.

Play with Image Space

Since most of the latest drones used by videographers support video capturing in Ultra HD and 4K, you will be left with a lot of image space to play with. Experts are using this extra image space to create amazing videos through editing with the stutter cut method. By using stutter cut, you will mimic a cut, and it will look as if you have shot a video by using more than just one camera.

Stutter cut is especially suitable for videos related to sports, fitness, and recreational activities because it creates fast-paced edits and adds a dynamic effect to the entire video. Stutter cut is also suitable for matching the specific background music intervals with a video background or specific action.

Use the Speed and Ramp Effect

After you are done recording with a drone, you will be left with this long video that may easily bore the viewer. Instead of cutting it and making it shorter, you should consider using speed and ramp effects. This way you won’t have to decide what to cut and what parts to leave in the video.

Ramp and speed effects add another dynamic element to your videos. This element is very important, as it will keep the audience engaged. Speeding up through dull parts of the video, while slowing down at points of interest has an amazing effect on the audience, one that you can’t achieve otherwise when it comes to aerial videography.

Use Titles and Textual Graphics

You can easily insert graphic elements like logos and textual graphics in videos shot by drone, and they can really complement the background of the video. This is why drone video editing services are usually outsourced by businesses and individuals who want to insert professional looking graphics and get their videos edited by experts.  

It is important to know how to use the proper color palette to make certain areas in the video pop. To do this right, you also have to identify the flyover section of your video and to use overlays to insert textual graphics into them. In order to add dimension to your video, experts advise to try and darken the image or use colors that contrast with the background of the video.

Know the Terminology and Play with different Elements

Every drone video should contain these types of sequences: reveals, 360 shots, takeoffs, pans, drops, flyovers and tilts. You should get familiar with each one of these and learn how to film it with your drone. When you have all of these sequences in your raw video material, the variety of post-editing opportunities is significantly increased.

The most important thing to learn is how to make smooth transitions between these sequences. This will add fluidity to your videos and make them more appealing to the eye. The technique commonly used by drone video editors for this purpose is a simple cross-dissolve. This technique will help you make a natural looking transition between sequences that don’t complement one another. For instance, flyover and landing.

By adding this elegant touch with transitions, you will make the motion between different sequences interesting for the viewers. Before you start adding transition effects to your drone video, make sure to sit down and watch its full duration, while taking notes on time intervals when these jarring transitions occur.

By applying these four tips to your drone video post-production, you will be able to create breathtaking drone videos and to establish yourself as a drone videographer.

Drones can offer a unique perspective of the Aug. 21 eclipse.

1979 was the last time a total solar eclipse graced the shores of the contiguous United States. It was 38 years ago when the first Sony Walkman came out, when 63 Americans were taken hostage at the American Embassy in Tehran, and when the first Aliens movie hit cinemas. It was a long time ago, a time before drones.

Luckily this time drones will be there to help the whole nation get a unique perspective of a total solar eclipse. This Monday, August 21st, 2017 will be another first for drones and another reminder of how drones can be used for good. Forget eclipse glasses and holes punched in cardboard, drones are the latest and coolest way to view a solar eclipse.

If you have a drone, make sure you carve out some time this Monday morning or afternoon (depending on where you live) to take to the skies and capture this rare event. Our friends over at Drone360 have compiled a great list of the best places to fly to capture the total eclipse and a reminder to make safety your priority by following all FAA and local regulations.

If you don’t live near the path of totality, can’t make the trip, don’t have your own drone, or are looking for a professional drone pilot to help you capture the historic eclipse, head on over to Up Sonder. We have FAA certified drone pilots throughout the path the moon’s shadow will carve across the good old U.S. of A. Just to make it super easy for you, below is a list of Up Sonder drone pilots along the path of the eclipse.

Up Sonder has numerous drone pilots in the path of the solar eclipse.

Drones bring a new perspective to real estate listings.


Just think about it. Ten years ago the only way I could write about ‘drones at work’ was in Science Fiction form. Now, every single day across the country, drones are taking to the sky and changing a variety of industries, including everything from real estate to television news. In late June, the Trump administration said drones are a key technology that will drive innovation in the future. Unmanned aerial vehicles will create jobs—100,000 by 2025 according to one estimate—and increase business efficiency by saving time and money. Drones have come a long way in a short amount of time and we’re still only at the beginning.

Up Sonder has taken an active role in helping drones get to work. Our online platform for drone pilots and services is available 24/7 across the nation. It’s the best way for companies to find a reliable drone pilot or service.

Trust us there are a lot of opportunities out there when it comes to work done with drones. This is why I need to highlight four industries I believe drones will have an immediate impact on over the next few years. Those industries are real estate, construction, insurance and journalism/entertainment. (I have left out agriculture and inspection, because I believe the four industries above will be impacted more immediately or have a clearer social impact in people’s perception.)

In part one of this series, I will write about drone in real estate. So without further ado, let’s look at how drones can help sell houses!

What Drones Bring to the Table

If you are a real estate agent the question you are asking yourself is, “Why do I need a drone?”

Let’s think about the big picture first. According to a market report from Goldman Sachs, the addressable market for drones in real estate is $265 million by 2020.That’s the near future potential of drones in real estate, apart from what is already being done, which is widespread enough for local municipalities to address with local laws.

Drones are a powerful tool for realtors because they are a cost effective way to get aerial shots of any house. Aerial images and videos give a perspective on a property not possible before. They are a great way to tell the story of the property and show its surroundings and neighborhood. Realtors that implement new selling tools like drones are finding more success.

According to statistics from Multiple Listing Services (MLS), homes with aerial drone images (and video) sold 68% faster than homes with standard images. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also has numbers that show 73% of homeowners say they are more likely to list with agents that use video to market their home. Simply put, drone videos create better listings and more sales.

What Realtors Say

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Kirk Hawkins, an agent with The Agency, a leading Los Angeles-based real estate brokerage, about drones. The Agency already extensively uses drone photos and videos for its listings.

“Drones are important because they offer a fresh and unique perspective on a property. When combined with more traditional methods like ground-based photography and print media it adds something special that attracts more attention and gives you an edge when selling,” said Hawkins.

Take a look for yourself below and see how drones video adds something special to an online listing. “Everyone starts online these days,” said Hawkins. “Great drone video sets a listing apart.”

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Up Sonder is actively working with real estate agencies to help them set themselves apart with drone video. Recently, we helped award-winning real estate firm Lamerica find a drone pilot for a listing in West Hollywood.

“We got Lamerica a great pilot and great video that showed off the vastness of the property,” said Up Sonder’s CEO Derek Waleko. “Our marketplace of drone pilots allowed Lamerica to make the most of their listing.”

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The Agency and Lamerica are just two examples of drone usage in Los Angeles, but don’t for a second think it is something that is just for big city markets. Drone use in real estate is soaring across the country. BlueLaVaMedia in Northern Michigan has a whole drone team that is busy shooting homes that line Lake Michigan. In a recent webinar on drones in real estate, BlueLaVa’s Jason LaVanture talked about how he has a backlog of over 30 drone jobs.

Getting Involved

If you are a real estate agent who wants to use a drone to increase your sales then go and check out Up Sonder. All of our pilots are FAA licensed and are ready to help you increase the value of your listings.

If you are a drone pilot looking to get into the real estate business then make sure to check out this great webinar from our friends over at UAV Coach.

Coming Up

In the next article of our four-part series on drones at work, we will take a look at the construction industry and what drones offer. Just a little teaser, drones in construction has billions in potential!

Selfie DroneSelfie drones give your narcissism wings, but luckily they can do more.

At CES 2017 you couldn’t get away from selfie drones. Everywhere you looked there was your very own aerial camera that quite literally brought narcissism to new heights.

It’s hardly been six months, but this space is moving so fast there has already been some shake-ups. One of the most anticipated selfie drones has crashed (Lily drone) and just two weeks ago DJI, the biggest player in the world of drones, plopped down its considerable presence on the overcrowded couch of selfie drones. And let’s not forget that it was the selfie drone that finally got the attention of the world’s largest consumer electronics brand—now you can buy one in any Apple store.

What is it about the selfie drone anyway? Are they the latest tech fad that will reel in money for a year or two and then fade away? Maybe, but I think there’s a lot more to selfie drones than dollar signs and social media buzz.

Selfie drones are important because they serve as the new testing ground for technologies that are vital to the future of drones like miniaturization, autonomous flight, machine learning (gesture commands), and interfacing with the life of an average person (social media). A selfie drone is the fastest way to get new drone technology into the hands of average people and see the interaction of this technology with normal life.

Who Said Smaller Isn’t Better

As with any technology, miniaturization is important. Over time you can do more with the same amount of space. Drones are no different. The new DJI Spark weighs 70% less and is only 1/3 of the size of the Phantom 2 drone I keep on my shelf for posterity’s sake. Even with these reductions, the Spark manages to offer a 12 megapixel camera, advanced GPS/GLONASS satellite positioning, a 3D sensing system, and computer vision—none of which the Phantom 2 has.

The DJI Spark has a lot of technology crammed into its small frame. (Source : DJI)

Zerotech’s Dobby is even lighter and, in fact, small enough to fit into the breast pocket of a button-up shirt. While its specs are not as impressive as the Spark’s, the story of its “insides” is really a story about how miniaturization is key to unlocking the true potential of drones.

To make the Dobby, Zerotech partnered with Qualcomm. The key to miniaturizing the drone was making an integrated chip that could fit into a mini motherboard and be able to handle CPU, imaging, communications, GPS, artificial intelligence, and remote control functions. Zerotech had not worked with integrated chips before so there were some issues getting their drone tech to operate correctly. It took months of engineers banging around problems, but eventually the Dobby came into being.

Dobby is arguably not the best drone on the market, but both Zerotech and Qualcomm view it as a transitional product on the path to the drones of tomorrow. They have proven they can integrate and reduce size which will make drones a powerful computing platform for the sky. In five years, drones the size of the Dobby and Spark will be more powerful than larger drones today. Sensors will be smaller, processors will be smaller, power sources will be smaller—all because of selfie drones.

Autonomy at the Touch of a Button

Selfie drones didn’t create the idea of autonomous drone flight and they are not the main factor pushing this technology forward. But they are playing their part and are the way most people will become familiar with the reality of autonomous drone flight.

Their contribution can be traced back to 3DR’s Iris+ drone which, when launched in 2014, was the first widely available commercial drone with a “follow me” function. Every selfie drone today can do this in addition to course lock, go to a point of interest, active tracking, as well as preset movements for shots. With the push of a button selfie drones can become autonomous by using a combination of computer vision and software.

This technology is not unique to selfie drones, but just think how many millions of people around the world are going to be introduced to autonomous drone flight just because they want the ultimate selfie.

Signing with Robots

Another selling feature of most selfie drones is the ability to be controlled by gestures. With a wave of your hand you can command a drone to do everything from fly away from you to take a picture. Like with autonomous flight features, the ability to command with gestures is pretty limited and sometimes buggy, but that’s not why I am mentioning it.

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The fact that drone manufacturers were able to cram machine learning and intelligence features into something so small is impressive. But more than anything else, it’s a way to introduce consumers to the concept of using gestures to command drones. Researchers around the world are working on drones that can autonomously interact with people via facial and hand gestures. The end goal is for these drones to be used as a kind of personal assistant at retail locations, on tours, and even in the workplace. Selfie drones are the first large scale testing ground for using machine learning and gestures. The lessons being learned will be vital for further drone development.

Let’s Take a Dronie

Regardless of what the future holds, selfie drones are making their mark today because they are easy to integrate with the great passion of our time, social media. The marketing of every selfie drone shows happy people documenting moments for their friends with the help of a wonderful new tool. If you want more confirmation of the social power of drones just remember that in late May Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, bought Los Angeles-based drone maker Ctrl Me.

For better or worse selfie drones are here to stay. Just don’t forget that these drones have a lot more going for them than narcissism. They are a stepping stone to the drones of the future.

Joe Christian is Director of Content for Up Sonder, a network of drone pilots for hire and the first on-demand drone rental platform powered by UberRUSH and Postmates. Up Sonder gives business and the public access to the drone industry while providing a way for drone pilots and owners to earn extra money.

There’s no question about it – drone videos are capturing the public imagination. But the videos that make it into mainstream media are just the tip of the iceberg, and not even the best ones out there. If you’re looking for top quality aerial videos, they can be hard to find amidst all the noise and clutter of the major media outlets, and even sites like YouTube. Enter AirVuz, a site dedicated to aerial videos. We interviewed AirVuz CEO Mike Israel to find out more.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background. What inspired AirVuz?

I spent most of my career in the private equity investment industry, most recently with a Minneapolis-based company called Mill City Capital L.P. which I co-founded.  I had a longstanding personal interest in radio controlled flight which morphed into an interest in drones when consumer camera drones first became available a few years ago.  This in turn led to an investment in a large radio control products company which Mill City made about three years ago with which I am still involved.  In the course of working with this company, I came up with the idea of creating an online video sharing platform which would be focused entirely on drone video content.  I started AirVuz in mid-2015 and the team that is in place here now has created what is now the leading drone video sharing platform.

What has the process of development been like, obstacles and successes?

While we have certainly had our share of challenges, fortunately we haven’t had to face any existential crises since the business launched. The initial version of the site had its share of functionality issues, but our IT team basically re-built the site from the ground up and we re-launched it in early June of 2016. It’s a credit to our development team that we’ve been able to continually add new functionality to the site and have had no major instances of the site being down or other issues of that magnitude. I think from the beginning we saw very strong acceptance by the drone user community and have had a steady (albeit growing) stream of very high quality video uploads.

What was more challenging in some ways was finding an audience of viewers for this content – people who come to the site to view the content who may not ever actually create content of their own. It took some time to figure out how to identify the target audience, bring them to the site, and keep them coming back. What we’ve found is that many of our site visitors don’t necessarily have a pre-existing interest in drones but they like the content. Figuring out how to identify that audience, how to get them to visit the site and actually “stick around” long enough to become recurring users has taken some time. While it’s still a work in progress (and always will be), we seem to have been able to connect with a worldwide audience of people who truly enjoy watching this type of content.

A related challenge has been optimizing the user experience on the site. We have made great strides here but ongoing improvement in the user experience is one of the main areas where we are spending our development dollars. It’s coming up with smartphone native apps (we are weeks away from releasing an Android app and an iOS app will be coming right on the heels of that), a tablet app/video editor (later this year), etc. It’s continuing to improve the overall user experience on the site – geotagging (already in place for uploads and user interface to search based on geo-tagging) is coming too.  Fortunately we can do all this without needing armies of programmers – by leveraging the Amazon Web Services infrastructure for the video encoding and playback we can focus on the user-facing features of the site and the related mobile apps.

Who is AirVuz for? What advantages does it offer over sites like YouTube and Vimeo?

AirVuz was really created for people around the world who create and/or enjoy viewing aerial videos created by multirotor drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles such as flying wings. That is the core community. It certainly bears some similarity to YouTube and Vimeo but there are some very important differences too. These differences really all stem from the fact that AirVuz is about a particular type of video content – ie, content captured by drones. The commonality of the content and the shared interest of the community in drones lets AirVuz to do things which would never make sense for the universal platforms. While drone video content is readily available on YouTube and Vimeo, it accounts for a tiny share of the total content on those sites and so both the content and the contributors tend to get “lost” in the sheer volume of unrelated content on those sites.

AirVuz exists in large measure to promote the best contributors and the best content. We continually curate the content to be able to highlight the very best, and we treat the contributors who produce the best quality content like the stars that they are. We have a Facebook fan base of over 1 million and over 50k followers on Instagram, and we use those social media outlets to promote the best contributors and their content off the site via posts and ads. We also have created a whole series of original programming concepts which all relate to the core idea of the site being 100% about drone video content and give us a chance to “show off” the community’s top contributors and their content to a broader audience. These series include Drone Dish (a “talk show” type format where we interview our star contributors and give them a chance to talk about their best videos which are played as overlay), Behind the Goggles (a similar type of show but with the subject matter being FPV pilots and FPV videos), Droning America (a travel show where we travel to various cities around the US and have top local aerial videographers in those cities give in effect aerial tours of their city), YourVuz (a monthly hosted show based on a thematic contest in which community members submit videos to enter – sort of an “America’s Funniest Videos” but for drone), and Drone Trippin’ (a travel-type show featuring some of the world’s top FPV pilots).  We also have an AirVuz News program which covers broader stories involving the world of drone but which is focused on stories with a video angle.

Which video/s on AirVuz is your favorite and why?

They are all my favorites 🙂  In all seriousness I spend many hours on the site every week and I do so because I love the content. We have incredible content being uploaded to this site every week from all corners of the world, and I honestly would have a hard time picking even the top 50 let alone a smaller group. We have videos people have taken flying over live volcanoes. We have a video from one of our contributors in Turkey who somehow managed to fly his drone over a partially submerged submarine cruising through the Straits of Bosporus near Istanbul. Videos from base camps in the Himalayas. We had a video uploaded a few weeks ago which included footage a guy took flying an FPV racing drone off a cruise ship; he got the drone in the wake of this huge ship and was basically chasing his own ship. We have a contributor in Florida who gets together with her friends and makes these unbelievably creative music videos using drones. It goes on and on and on, and literally every day we get uploads which make my jaw drop. This is content which was literally beyond the realm of possibility as recently as a few years ago; it wasn’t that it was prohibitively expensive because you needed full scale aircraft; it simply couldn’t be done at all.

What is your vision for AirVuz over the next year? How do you envision your company helping to promote and develop the drone industry?

Our vision for AirVuz is to have AirVuz be the “go to” place for drone videos and the people who create them. We see huge numbers of people getting into aerial videography for the first time and any of them either aspiring to become or in many cases already becoming professionals. While we have a worldwide user base and much of the content is from outside of the US. The recent changes to the US rules regarding commercial drone use are going to provide a huge impetus to these people, and we want AirVuz to become the place where they and their content live. We intend to provide our community members with multiple means to monetize their content, be it for stock licensing or simply for being a place where they can be discovered and hired for commercial work. We intend to bring in advertiser-partners who will work with our community members to create sponsored content, essentially ads that don’t look or feel like ads. The easy examples would be travel: a spectacular drone video of XYZ resort in Bali is an ad for the resort, it’s an ad for Bali, it’s an ad for anything else that is in the video.

It goes beyond travel though; this concept works for cars, it works for ski equipment, it works for surfing equipment, it works for golf courses.  If it’s visible from 50 or 100 or 400 feet in the air, it generally looks better from that perspective.  We intend to work with our star contributors – the ones we promote on and off the site, the ones we feature in our original programming, the FPV racers we sponsor – to mutually benefit from these arrangements. Everybody can win including the advertisers who can get powerful brand integration that isn’t subject to ad blocking because the “ad” and the “content” are the same thing.

At the same time we intend (at the appropriate time) to be an advertising conduit for the drone industry; if you watch a video that was taken with a certain type of drone or using certain types of accessories, many of the viewers on our site are going to want to know what was used and how to buy it.  Unobtrusive links on the appropriate videos can serve that purpose, and everyone (including the contributor) can benefit from that.