Feature Stories

Drone to Florida – An elevated perspective

The 2016 I Love Travel award for the Best Visual Effects goes to Jannis Pfister and his fantastic drone-based video submission! And surprisingly enough, he did all this with only a half-year of drone experience under his belt. This prize winning video was shot in Southern Florida while Jannis was on vacation with his family, and perhaps unsurprisingly is not his first short video project.

In order to shoot all this stunning footage, Jannis used his DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone for the aerial shots and a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 for the time lapses. Over the course of 3 weeks Jannis shot countless hours of footage. Despite previous experience with other short-video projects, this was his first attempt using drone footage.

Challenges from above

When speaking of the differences between using a standard camera and a drone to capture video footage, Jannis mentioned the difficulties of filming from a completely different angle. Jannis did tell us that after some trial and error he got used to using a drone and: “It became much easier to create and capture movement, as opposed to using a traditional camera.” Jannis only used his Panasonic Lumix for static shots, leaving all the movement-based footage to the drone.

Making the most of a new perspective

When asked what advice he would offer to others looking to create projects with drones, Jannis emphasized the importance of pacing. When asked to elaborate, Jannis told us: “You shouldn’t be afraid to really slow things down and get steady shots with your drone, because it is much easier to speed footage up than slow footage down, later when editing. For example, if you film in 4k, 30 frames per second, your footage will appear as if it were “jiggling” when you slow it down later in editing. Filming slowly and avoiding sudden movement will yield the best results.

Interestingly enough, when asked which aspect was the biggest challenge, Jannis reported that it was editing rather than filming. According to him, this challenge was partly due to the sheer amount of footage he had taken and partly due to this being his first drone-based project. After further review of his footage Jannis was able to compile the best shots and make this fantastic award-winning video.

Back on firm ground

When it came to video editing, Jannis cited the user-friendly and easy-to-use strengths of PowerDirector and highly recommended PowerDirector to anyone with drone-based projects. Having used PowerDirector for a year now, Jannis was able to edit and create a polished project quickly and this was no doubt a relief after the long hours of sorting through all his footage. When asked which PowerDirector feature is his favorite, Jannis mentioned the Time-lapse slideshow tool, citing how quick and easy it was to create great results.

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