How to Use Drone Footage in Client Videos

How Drone Footage Can Enhance Your Client’s Storytelling

By John HanselDec 3 /2020

Who doesn't love watching a great looking drone shot? Unless you want to rent a helicopter or go up on the roof of a skyscraper, there is no other way to get wide, sweeping views from high in the sky. From capturing a sunny lakefront or a city skyline, a drone is the easiest way to get hundreds of feet in the air with the press of a few buttons. And as long as they are used properly and effectively, drones instantly increase your video’s production value.

With all that said, it’s discouraged to edit in drone footage just for the sake of it looking cool. You should think about WHY you want a drone shot to be included and be able to articulate why it can impact the outcome of your video. Can it be used to improve the overall story and emotion that you are trying to convey? Can it emphasize a certain line of dialog that is written in the script? Here are some reasons why using a drone can be so effective.

Why You Would Want to Use A Drone

There are some clear reasons why you would want to use a drone for your business’s video. A well-placed drone shot can help improve the overall quality and production value. If you start a video with a wide drone shot from 400 feet in the air, that will most likely grab the viewer’s attention and make them stay past the first few seconds.

There is also the simple fact that a drone can capture footage that a normal camera might not be able to reach, such as a solar panel array or a semi-truck driving down the road. But the simplest reason to use aerial footage is to tell a better story. Sure, it can give your video a little something extra for the viewer to look at, and it’s fun to see an angle from so high up, but you need to absolutely make sure the shot is appropriate to use, and not going to throw your viewer off. You want to create a purpose around the drone footage, and not rely on it too much.

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Examples of Incorporating the Use of Drones into Your Video Marketing

A good example of properly using a drone shot to improve the storytelling of a video is by establishing the location of where the story is being told. It can give a visual reference of where a business is located, making the viewer feel like they might know the place. Is the business next to a waterfront? Does it have beautiful landscaping near the entrance? Is it in the middle of a bustling city? Then using a drone is a great idea. It will give atmosphere to the overall video, creating a better viewing experience and making the video more relatable.

But if your company is located in a business park, a messy looking factory in an unpleasant part of town, or just somewhere that isn’t very impressive to look at, then a drone shot is probably unnecessary. You don’t want your viewer to be turned off by the imagery.

Also, try to avoid using drone shots as filler b-roll, as they can be easily overused and become ineffective. Only use them if the video script calls for it, not because “it might look cool.” Viewers will be able to see right through that.

Why You Should Consider Hiring a Professional

You might be thinking “I can just purchase a drone off of Amazon and get the footage myself. Why hire someone else to do this?” Here are some very specific reasons why it’s smarter to hire a professional, rather than do it yourself:

1. Having the Proper Knowledge for Operating a Drone

A professional will know how to properly, safely and legally operate a drone within the rules of the Federal Aviation Administration. Drones can be dangerous to others, cause property damage, or crash and break if used recklessly, so knowing the regulations of the sky is a must.

2. Understanding a Drone Camera

It’s important to know how to dial the specific settings inside the camera of the drone to make sure the footage looks great. If you just put a drone in the sky without knowledge of how to properly expose for what you are shooting, your images may be blown out, grainy, unstable or have an odd color, making the footage unusable.

3. Usage of a High-End Professional Drone

Using a high-end drone that has professional safety features built-in, like obstacle avoidance and a “return to home” function when the battery is running low, are very helpful key features for the ability to safely operate a drone around structures and even people.

It also helps to use a drone that has extra built-in features, such as a mode called Point of Interest, where you can tap on a building or object and the drone will automatically start orbiting around whatever item you tapped. This is a very tough move to execute manually, so having the ability to tap a couple of buttons creates a stable and professional video.

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Let’s Get to Work!

Try to start thinking of drone shots as an effective way to convey the overall message of your video and brand, and not just a cool shot to randomly throw in your video for fun.

Kuno Creative is a full-fledged digital marketing agency that has complete video production capabilities, from the script and shot list creation to cinema-quality production to post-production sound and color capabilities to make sure your video stands out from the rest of the crowd.

Interested in learning more, check out our video marketing page.

Video Marketing

John Hansel
The Author

John Hansel

John produces engaging and cinematic video that matches the objectives of Kuno clients. He has more than seven years of combined video production experience from working with brands like Eaton, Parker Hannifin and igus, along with creating lifestyle content under his personal JHMOTION brand. John holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Media Production.