I spent last weekend in High Point, North Carolina shooting multi-rotor aerial video at the High Point Furniture Market.
Yes, believe it or not, we found a way to utilize multi-rotor aerial video and make it valuable for a furniture market. The architecture of the market area in Downtown High Point is gorgeous, especially when taken in from an aerial point of view. We were flying a Red Epic shooting at 59.94 FPS with a project base of 29.97 FPS and a 16mm – 24mm Canon lens capture the excitement of having some of the worlds greatest designers in town with buyers from all over the country looking for the next “big thing”.
At the very last minute, Mike Gentilini Jr (Vidmuze.com) through a curve ball at me by upgrading the gimbal control radio the day before so we headed out to a field in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC the day before to give it a test just in case I forgot which way to move the stick to pan (confidence in my ability is amazing coming from him). In all honesty though, we were just there for the BBQ at 12 Bones. (if you are not familiar with 12 Bones, get familiar).
Anyway, here is a little sample of that test flight…
It happened to be this particular Red Epic’s first journey on the Multi-rotor and in-fact, it was the first time it had shot anything. Being a virgin camera added to the pressure of keeping her safe but the Droidworx Skyjib 2 Octocopter preformed flawlessly even in 16-20 MPH wind gusts. The gimbal had a bit of a hard time on tight moves with the wind as it grabbed the added weight of the Epic but all-in-all the footage turned out really nice.
One of the things you have to keep in mind during an urban multi-rotor aerial video shoot is that there is still a decent amount of fear and unfamiliarity that comes with having a multi-rotor in the air over a city and with a reported 80,000 market attendees in the surrounding area we made sure that our client had alerted everyone necessary that we were in the area and all was safe. That didn’t stop around 8-10 calls going into the local police station reporting the “drone” in the skye over the city but every time they sent an officer over to check on use, the conversation quickly turned into a photo op for the officer to have his photo taken with a “drone”. The other issue was finding safe, viable landing zones for the octocopter to land and takeoff from. Fortunately, due to the fact there was a Daughtry concert the following night, there was a large area of a parking lot in the heart of the area we were filming that was blocked off and safe to work in. Otherwise, crowd control could have become an issue. Even with the area blocked off it was amazing to find people unaware that a “Drone” was flying overhead. In fact, at one point a woman had her perfectly manicured hair blown into a tangled mess when she stepped into the area we were filming and the ship was about 20 feet above her. The look on her face was priceless to say the least.
At the end of the day, it was a great shoot and like with any shoot, many lessons were learned to carry into the next shoot.