Last week I had a job to cover a group that were going on a biking trip around Witton Park in Blackburn.
Since April 2017 Centreline Films has been registered and approved with the CAA as a licensed and fully insured SUAS (Small Unmanned Aircraft System) operator in the UK. Basically, this allows us to operate Drones in the UK. We were chatting with the client about this visit and my first thought went straight to "this would be awesome by Drone!"
So I started praying for clear skies and prep'd all of the gear to make it happen. As it turned out, the skies were cloudy, but no signs of rains, although it was freezing! So I set off with the drone in hand.
I use the DJI Phantom 4 drone for all of our work. It's a fantastic drone with 4k capabilities and a great picture that records onto a micro SD card slot on the drone itself. It has sensors built in that detect obstacles infant of and underneath the drone and it has GPS to ensure a stable flight. This also means that it has the ability to know exactly where it is at any point and where it took off from (it's home point) so if there were any problems during the flight it would return to home.
The only issue is that I don't yet have a backpack for it, so, I clipped it on to a backpack I already have and wondered into the park to find the group!
We found the group getting ready on a selection of bikes, two wheelers, tricycles and some scooters too! I very quickly mounted a couple of GoPros on to a couple of the bikes and then set about setting up the drone.
The group were cycling a route around the edge of the park, lined with a couple of trees, but all around a large field which I figured would work well to set up from.
A couple of minutes later and my pre-flight checks were done and I was ready to fire up. Taking off, I always check that the movements on the joysticks are working before going any distance.
Flying these things are very very simple, with the GPS turned on! The GPS means that as soon as you release the controls the drone locks it's GPS location and stabilises itself and stays the spot that you left it. It accounts for wind, in any direction, and remains in one place.
I then set about getting some shots of the cyclists. There was time to get a couple of photos though!
I flew for about 38mins and had to change batteries in the middle, but I was able to get some great distance footage of the group (once I'd identified where they were!) and managed to follow a few from directly above and a few dolly shoots as they pass by etc.
The footage is due to be part of a much bigger video but once I got home I had to look through the footage and had to put a short together. The finished film is below.
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