Shot planning. This was something that was, well it's always important. You wanna think about, obviously, what you're filming, and what the potential shots are gonna be. It'll make you more productive on the day of. Huh, drone shadows, it's a thing. So, one thing was when I first started, when we first started flying drones, our first one would stay up for eight minutes. So now this one actually does quite a bit better, 12, around 12 minutes is what, I mean it could probably stay up for 15, the Inspire that is. But this guy will stay up for 22 plus minutes, so it's, like, you can just get so much footage. The thing though is, the downside of that is then you're going through so much footage. You're like, "Oh my goodness, "I shoulda just hit the record, "when I knew I was getting the shot." You know? But we use to have to really tightly shot plan and I would communicate with Phil and I would say, "Okay, what are the shots we wanna get? "Okay we wanna get a tracking shot from behind, "we...
want it to do an orbit. "We wanna do a static just looking down shot." And then we would just hammer those out, we'd maybe do two or three takes of 'em, and then our battery would be done, right? So now with the advent of copters that can fly a little longer it's still crucial to do but you don't have to be quite so quick with a lot of our drones now. So, drone shadows. That's one thing I see all the time, even on TV. It's just like, you see this aerial shot and then all of a sudden you see this beee, this little, this little copter going by, you know, the shadow going through. That's just something that really bugs me personally. Now sometimes for some of these reality TV shows it doesn't really matter, they're just showing the spot, and you know that it was shot with a drone anyways. But for some of your higher production level shots I don't know that you want to put a shot that's got a drone shadow in your reel, you know? It's just, I dunno, it just looks, it doesn't look great. So, that's definitely something, always be mindful of, obviously, where the sun is, and where the drone is. And typically, yeah, if you're, if you're lining up the sun with the drone with your subject you're just gonna get, you're gonna get that shadow. Unless, of course, you're up super high. So you have to learn how to cant your shot off to the left or the right and frame it. And that's when sometimes I'll audition the shot. And I'll just make sure, "Okay, that this is right where it starts." It happens a lot actually when you're doing orbits. So most of the time then you can't do a full 360 orbit, not that you would necessarily want to anyways, but you kind of find that part of on the dial where you get the drone shadow, and then you start and end on that axis. And then, as we'll see in the shots where we go out and film surfers, a lot of those were actually, it was, we did a ton of tracking shots, but on a lot of moves you want to keep it simple. Oh, I just skipped over here, so as I was just talking about, planning your shots, you do wanna have, sort of like, one, two, or, one to three parts of your shot. So for example initially you might be looking straight down at the surfer at a 45 and all you do is you see the surfer and the waves. And it's kind of, maybe he's off to the side third, and you got that nice frame, and then, so you wanna be thinking about where you wanna be going. So maybe titling up and revealing the distant ocean in the background, that sort of thing. You just don't wanna try to accomplish too much so typically, at most, we have an A and a B point. Sometimes a third point, a C point. Jumping back to pilot and camera op location, that's oftentimes the question I get is, like, "Where were you?" Like, "Where were you guys?" And that is definitely a thing. That comes into your shot planning. Don't just think about the shot that you want but how are you going to accomplish that while you guys are out of the shot, you know? That especially comes into play with a lot of dynamic moves. With still photography, obviously, it's, it's easier to mitigate that. But if you've got a list of five shots and you're thinking about production, the time and working with your available light. You want to make sure that you stage yourself in a place that you're not gonna have to move around a lot, and that you can get the shots accomplished without you guys being in the shot. And just less is more. I mean, the smoother the better. If you evaluate a lot of the higher production level shots, movie shots, full scale helicopter shots, they're not trying to accomplish too much they're just trying to get these beautiful shots and frame them really well. And then compositional depth. Just like with your regular filmmaking and photo compositions, you wanna be thinking, you know, it's a two dimensional medium, right? What people are looking at is a two dimensional flat surface. So you, whenever you can, you wanna try to introduce those fore, middle, and background elements, just to add depth to the shot.