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Image courtesy of: Intuitive Aerials T he recent explosion of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – or drones – on the market has caused a mix of awe and consternation in equal measures, no matter what their application. Many find them sinister, due to their military background, yet their professional use in TV and Film has been nothing short of breathtaking. Their agility, manoeuvrability and value have provided productions with more creative potential than ever before and seen drones heralded as the future of the industry, a revolution in aerial filming and the demise of the helicopter. However, a storm has blown up over safety that has threatened to prevent drones realising their full potential as a filming tool. Having been an aerial film expert for over 20 years, like many, I was initially sceptical of these new gadgets on the block, particularly the claims they would supercede helicopters. However, after watching developments in the safety and handling of the very best drone kit, I decided to take the plunge. Having found what is considered to be the best piece of equipment in the Intuitive Aerials’ Aerigon, I worked with the drones on commercial projects before using them on the Marvel blockbuster Avengers – Age of Ultron. Here, my team combined Helicopter aerials with drone sequences, allowing each to complement the other. You can check out the results when the movie opens soon! Exciting and innovative Rather than a more cost-effective solution to aerial filming than helicopters, drones should instead be viewed as another tool for productions to draw upon – and a very exciting and innovative one at that. Aerial film experts know that drones are more about evolution than revolution. They are more versatile in tight spaces than helicopters, with their size and agility enabling sequences to be filmed were previously impossible. They are particularly suited to indoor filming in confined spaces and calm, controlled conditions. One example would be shooting chase sequences, such as cars racing through subways, which would not be possible to film using helicopters. This means that directors and DOPs are becoming increasingly keen to use drones because they allow them to achieve alternative and exciting shots, that would previously have required expensive, time-consuming and complex wire rigs, for example. CHOOSING A DRONE If you’re looking to invest in a drone or simply want to arm yourself with key intelligence when choosing a supplier, it’s important to know those models that are best suited to filming and the most appropriate camera equipment to use with them. The best drone is really down to the one that suits your purpose best. For example if you want to shoot Alexa with an Angenieux zoom and lens control, then our Aerigon is the one to use. If you only need lighter, smaller cameras with stills prime lens then there is a much wider choice. KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 100 APRIL 2015 | 61