The InterviewCheck out Justin's thoughts on a range of issues and watch examples of Harbour Media's projects, most of which have been shot using drones and equipment purchased from Heliguy. Read on to find out more about the ins and outs of aerial filmmaking and what type of work you can expect as a qualified drone pilot.
What inspired you to use drones in your filmmaking?JG: I was being asked by clients if I could provide aerial work, so it seemed like a logical next step to get myself qualified and add to my existing business as a filmmaker.
What are the main advantages to using UAVs when filming?JG: For me, it's all about adding that different perspective. We currently use the drones for commercial and wedding videography, so adding a nice establishing shot makes all the difference to a film.
What sectors do you work within?JG: The drone side of things is relatively new to us, but we work for many different clients, so it’s tough to single out one specific style of work. We mainly work on short promo films for companies, but we also film the odd wedding.
Is there a job that stands out as your favourite?JG: This is a tough one for me because we get to shoot a lot of cool stuff, but using the drone, I would say that Autosport international was a firm favourite for me. They were tough flights, but I learned a lot from doing them. Every day is a school day!
What are your preferred rigs?JG: We currently have a Matrice 600 & Phantom 4 Pro. We used to own an Inspire 1 RAW, but the Phantom 4 Pro is my new favourite. It’s so quick and simple to setup, which means I have to carry less kit to jobs. Obviously, the Matrice will allow me to shoot with my own camera, but it’s quite restrictive with distances, so it’s reserved for more specialist projects. All of our drone equipment was purchased from Heliguy. We even have the Ronin-MX to fly on the Matrice 600 and it’s brilliant. I have had a few teething problems with the gear, but the tech support from Heliguy is second to none and we resolved everything either via phone or email.
What equipment is essential for a successful shoot?JG: I wouldn’t say it’s the equipment that’s essential. The most important thing, commercially, is having a decent well thought out plan of what you want to shoot. However, plenty of batteries and some ND filters certainly help the cause.
Footage Courtesy of Harbour Media - Filmed on an Inspire 1 RAW from Heliguy
As a professional operator, do you believe drones are given a hard time in the press?JG: Yes, I do think the media like to push bad publicity on them and you seldom here a positive attitude toward drones use. I guess this is down to people being able to purchase drones without any type of training whatsoever.
How much do existing regulations affect your work?JG: Because of the nature of my job, the regulations don’t hinder me too much at the moment with sub 7kg. But waiting for the governing body to update permissions is a little frustrating.
Do you have any advice for aspiring aerial filmmakers?JG: Most people see drones as an easy way to make money, it’s not quite as simple as buying a drone and then expecting the work to come in. My advice is to get a decent reel together and learn to fly the craft in a decent open area, and then move onto to more tricky flights. Speed isn’t key either, most cinematic looking shots are slower and create a nice reveal etc. So many people fly way too fast and stick jerky movements into the drone, which makes the shot look terrible. Last but not least, set your goals and go and get them. - Fly safe!
Find Out MoreUnmanned aerial videography is a nascent but rapidly developing field and Heliguy is perfectly placed to help you accomplish your ambitions in this space. We deal with a number of high-profile operators including Philip Bloom on a regular basis so we understand how to support professionals and their businesses. Just starting out? We offer courses that enable you to fly professionally as well as a specialised drone video editing course to help you develop a stand-out showreel. Now that you've seen the level of quality possible from our airframes thanks to Harbour Media's fantastic examples above, learn what Heliguy can offer you in terms of equipment, support and advice by contacting us via the details below:
Keep checking back to Heliguy's Insider blog for more insights from industry professionals, in-depth product information and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.