What’s the fastest way to be surrounded by a gaggle of kids? Break out a drone.
So goes the story from Revolution Messaging’s video captain Eric Elofson, who schlepped our drone to Yogyakarta, Brooklyn and Galveston earlier this year. Pop open the drone purse, and within 45 seconds you’re in the wild west of videography. With little more than a strong battery and the screen of your mobile device, drones democratize the fine angles and scenes that, for decades, required expensive camera equipment — not to mention a helicopter. Now, with an all-but-silent craft that can fit in your backpack, we can capture more than Chopper Dave could ever dream of.
In only the last two to three years, Drone technology has (forgive me) taken off. Drone videography can be done more cheaply and quickly than any other aerial method, and with astonishing results. Revolution’s creative faction began experimenting with drones back in early 2015, when the tiny hovercrafts were still operable in the District. A small front-mounted camera allowed us to show setting and crowd size for political events, far beyond the capacity of a well-placed press-riser. We emerged from 2016 with a keen interest in the technology, having seen it successfully deployed (to the chagrin of heavily armed DAPL forces) in the service of DIY media from the Indigenous-led movement at Standing Rock, ND.
Earlier this year, Revolution Messaging upgraded to the Mavic Pro drone. About the size of a water bottle, the Mavic can fly up to 2 km out and 400 feet up from its pilot, capturing footage in stunning 4k.
Wide skyline panoramas or rolling rural landscapes to establish place and time are the bread and butter of most drone deployments, but the observational capacities of small drones don’t stop there.
In our neck of the media jungle, we imagine a more prevalent use of drones to get eyes on environmental threats and disasters, swoop closer to wildlife and find new views on mass demonstrations in progressive political movements. Drones give us a way to get altitude without raising the price and get closer to the action without sacrificing intimacy.
Contact us if you are interested in tapping into the potential of drone videography or photography.