Clever Cheat to Get Beautifully Stabilized Video Using A Drone
There are some drawbacks, but this DIY method is sure a lot cheaper than a traditional steadicam.
A few kids in Brazil may have invented a technique that will provide a workaround for filmmakers who don’t have the money and resources to use a steadicam. In a video, the Brazilian production studio Space Criative uses a DJI Phantom drone in the place of a traditional steadicam. Steadicams cost thousands of dollars and need highly skilled technicians to operate them, but without this essential equipment, it’s difficult to get the kind of stabilized tracking shots that are so common in film.
Amazingly, the results of running around holding a drone seem to be nearly on par with this much more expensive standard. The drone also flies, of course, and the last shot of the video demonstrates that it can be used to zoom out into an aerial shot, looking much like shots done with expensive cranes in professional films.
Of course, you can’t replace thousands of dollars of functionality with one little hack. There are some serious problems with this innovative method. For one, steadicams come with LED display screens so cinematographers can see how the shot is framed, and watch out for their own feet as their shooting. The small camera also must be perfectly angled in order to get the kind of pristine shots shown in the video, which can be extremely difficult. Drones super high-res cameras do give users some wiggle room for cropping in post-production. But unfortunately, getting a shot this nice isn’t as simple as shooting and pointing.
Still, if you’re really dedicated, it’s possible to create professional-looking tracking shots with a drone. Just try not to trip while you’re running after your subjects.