Drones are awesome. Everyone likes drones (apart from those who hate them vehemently) and you may be pretty stoked to hear that at Sam Baly Films we use drones at as many weddings as we can.
Drone footage adds a wow factor to a wedding video, elevating it (ahem) to a point that when you see it, you’re like: ‘damn, this is some classy shizz right here’. And that friends, is what we want. Classy shizz.
There are a few things to bear in mind about drone footage though – even if it’s offered by your vendor, there are events outside our control which could affect whether it’s viable or not.
- You guessed it – The Weather. Even if drone footage is offered, if it’s too windy or raining, it’s simply a no-go. There might be a window during the day where it’s possible but that’s going to be dependent on how busy each part of the day is.
- The venue’s rules around drone flight. There are some venues that are so close to ‘difficult’ airspace, that they have to enforce a lot of rather strict policies on drone flight in their airspace. For example, a venue near me is literally next door to a prison! So that means they want a flight path, a risk assessment, qualifications, public liability insurance and on and on. The same goes for venues near airports, MOD bases and power stations.
- The venue’s proximity to residential and built up areas. Sometimes the venue might not have an issue, but as a drone pilot you must comply with the laws around drone flight. So if the venue is inner city or surrounded by houses, this might pose a problem for drone flight. In these cases, we can usually bypass this issue by using a smaller drone that is exempt from certain laws.
For the above reasons, drone footage is really a ‘bonus’ kind of service. If it’s not possible to fly, it’s usually possible to get great ground shots anyway. Sometimes, ground shots are preferable simply because the venue doesn’t look very good from above! This is especially true of venues that are also working farms. (Why do farmers always have a mound covered in tarps and old tyres?)
So granted that the weather is good and your venue is proper chill about drones flying around (most are) and you’re not getting married in a built up area, we’re ready to rock!
What kinds of shot is a drone good for during a wedding day?
For the most part, your videographer (hopefully me!) is going to just get on with taking the awesome footage they need of your venues and surrounding areas at the best time of day. That’s usually first thing before coming to bride prep or late afternoon whilst you’re all eating at the wedding breakfast. There’s often another opportunity later in the evening as well depending on whether it’s still light.
There are some other kinds of shots you might like to request though:
Whole Group Shot
This one is obvious and makes for a very cool perspective to take a group shot from. When this is video rather than stills, it adds a further dimension through drone camera movement as the drone flies forwards, backwards, up, down etc.
Prosumer Drones don’t really often have the capabilities to match a professional camera on the ground, and often have a single wide, fixed lens (although newer drones have multiple focal lengths a bit like your phone) – because of this, they’re more suited to capturing the landscape with you in it, rather than close up shots, which are best left to the videographer and his video cameras. So we’re talking big vistas, the ability to see past the nearest tree-line etc. A drone can follow you through a field of tall grass, also giving the big views to the horizon without obstruction.
It can be fun (and slightly scary!) to have a drone flying around you at fairly close proximity. This is awesome for adding a feeling of speed and excitement as it flies low to the ground. Your pilot better be competent though!