Sometimes getting that exact line of movement for the perfect cinematic shot just isn’t possible with only two fingers on the sticks; you need four. If you’ve flown anything larger than a phantom then you know how valuable it can be to have another trusted set of eyes on the sticks, even a third set as a spotter can prove invaluable at times. Without them, it can be just plane dangerous(Pardon the lame pun).

 

Aside from the obvious factors such as line-of-sight safety & focus/ camera movement capabilities, dual operating on a seriously choreographed drone production or live event can have some truly magic spontaneous moments. Disregard the sweat on your brow when navigating a carbon fiber lawn mower flying at 65mph through a racetrack full of spectators for that perfect slow-motion drifting shot of mustangs through tire smoke. 

The butter aerial cinematography I am talking about comes with a few rounds of flight experience, some two way headsets, and a few years of experience as freelance shooters. Whenever we have those moments at full stick discovering the shot as it unfolds and altering it slightly with our camera movements or flight patterns, I sometimes find myself screaming out loud. Imagine two nerds on the side of the race track as motorheads are screaming and fresh rubber burns. However, they are staring off in the sky and at remote controls screaming their own anthem; Best view of em all.

 

Whenever both the pilot and camera operator can discover the language that works best for them to talk shots through as they happen, especially on proper headsets, your efficiency as a team will easily double. Throw a monitor in the equation to keep the client away from the pilot, and have a larger screen to operate from and you are unstoppable. There are times where I find us stopping at a location on our annual drone road trip and flying two different focal lengths at every angle we can think of on something, and still not use a full set of batteries.

#teamwork