5 years ago, flying a drone could quite possibly mean you are breaking the law—and drone filming was a director’s wet dream. Scouting locations to maneuver a robotic third eye wasn’t even on your radar. Fast forward to 2017.
Eye See You
Now that everything is relatively copacetic with the law, people are getting the hang of how to steer drones. With the onset of visual media bleeding through every aspect of pop-culture, it’s no wonder that operators are strapping cameras to their new robo-pals. So, once you’ve purchased your drone, skimmed the manual, and run the flight simulator…you might be wondering where the hell you can go to film.
You can’t plan too much for shots because you probably have no clue what they look like from the drone’s perspective. Using programs like Google Earth to scout locations from a birds-eye view is the quickest way to spot a good locale and get to filming.
Get on Foot
You can’t do everything on the computer—sometimes you just got to get it in gear. Take a hike in places you know are of higher elevation so you have a better chance of discovering new scenic spots. You can’t encounter new places if you don’t seek them out. That means involving yourself in nature.
You never know who hung out where, when they were young and impressionable. Ask around. Is there a local make-out spot that would double for an epic drone filming session? Perhaps there’s an urban legend of a graveyard on a hill only the locals know about. First step: get in your car and drive with your drone. Second step: just ask.
Pimp Yourself Out
If you are clever about setting up your shots, you may be able to convince local museums, farms, schools, botanical gardens, or other businesses to allow you to film in exchange for some copies of your media. You can also consider placing an ad for free services just to get in a little practice.
For good karma, you can employ your nifty metal eye to help film biological reservations and sanctuaries. You can start by looking for local land trusts in your area and giving them a shout.
The sky’s the limit for drone filming. Now hit record…