Drone Pilots Are Multiplying By The Thousands In 2021
This year was definitely the year of the drone pilot. News headline after news headline propelled a number of drone pilots into the market, for one reason or another. Many unsuspecting filmmakers took to the sky and learned that flying a drone comes with a lot more responsibility than they had planned for. These artistes’ are a part of a growing, fledgling industry, that is just beginning to mature into its full potential. And, it’s dragging society with it, as it grows. It’s pretty clear that drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, or unmanned aerial systems, as we call them in the business, are here to stay!
We live in Phoenix, Arizona; it’s a mecca for drone activity. Arizona’s amazing outdoors and infinite airspace is one of the most conducive environments for drone operations and aerial videography that you could ask for. Wide-open skies, beautiful weather, along with its picturesque views of amazing desert terrain, and things to take awesome aerial video and photography of, makes our amazing state one of the best places in the country to be a drone pilot or enthusiast. This is happening in every city, every state, and every country around the world. Aerial videography will be the number one form of recorded entertainment in the world, over the next decade.
Why Is Aerial Videography Exploding?
Quite simply, aerial photography and videography has exploded because drone footage is literally everywhere these days. You can’t miss it. That’s because the cost of hardware is dropping as competition in the UAS/UAV (DRONE) market is heating to a fever pitch. The leader in the drone manufacturing space is a company out of China, called DJI. DJI is basically the Ferarri version of manufactured flying machines with cameras attached, also known as a drone. Due to these dive-bombing prices, the market is putting drones into the hands of millions of people that wouldn’t have been able to afford a drone before. The combination of lower prices and increasing creativity within the arts, equals way more people expressing themselves in mediums that just weren’t possible before.
No matter where you look, whether it be in the movies, on television, on Youtube, or your favorite influencers channel, you are likely to see more drone videography these days than standard point-and-shoot photography. Basically, anyone can fly a drone. As you can imagine, extremely creative people will always find new channels and outlets for their creativity.
The human brain and spirit, by nature, want to fly, and dream, and go places that they can’t go every day. We want to escape our day-to-day, regardless of how good our lives are. Pure freedom. Drone flight is exactly that. People are taking to the sky by proxy for the first time in human history, without having to buy a plane ticket or parachute from a perfectly good airplane. From the safety of the ground, a drone takes you to the sky, to view all below, and record it for use later. This stunningly easy to accomplish the feat, accompanied by plummeting prices in the commercial drone manufacturing industry, is driving millions of humans around the world to experience the feeling of pure, free, flight. Just like a bird.
Social Media Influencers Are Driving Aerial Videography
It would be impossible to avoid seeing drone videography from the biggest influencers online in 2021. The biggest brands in the world are contracting and sponsoring the hottest talent in the aerial videography space. Filmmaking geniuses like Sam Kolder and Peter McKinnon have amassed millions of followers and turned their filmmaking skills into multi-million dollar businesses online. Drones are an enormous part of the equipment arsenal of these filmmakers, and it gives them an unpursued medium to be different than anything out there. These “super influencers” are flown all over the world, gifted photographic gear packages, and no doubt, compensated well for their ambassadorships to the tools that make them the film gods they are. Not going to lie, Sam Kolder and Peter McKinnon are two of my all-time favorite filmmakers.
There are literally thousands of these aerial filmmakers all over social media, indoctrinating millions of viewers into the drone videography and photography space. This won’t end anytime soon. What’s happening in the drone space right now, is what happened in the gaming industry over the last few decades. Consoles that started out at 499.00 or some ridiculous price are now 199.00. You can already see the progression of this model maturity within the drone manufacturing community. The DJI Air 2S, hailed by many in the drone industry as the mass market killer, debuted at just 1299.00. This is by far DJI’s best all-around drone for aerial videography, and already 300.00 less than the DJI Mavic 2 Pro debuted at. It’s likely that DJI will produce a professional-level aerial videography drone sub 1000.00 in the next 3-5 years. It would be surprising if it even took that long.
Drones Have Revolutionized Real Estate Photography and Videography
Real estate photography used to be an incredibly boring medium. You went out and shot a property with your DSLR, shot some video with your trusty wide-angle to maximize that floor space presentation, and set up your vertigo instilling 360degree camera, and called it a day. A few short days later, you threw all those wide-angle photos of those perfectly staged standard living rooms and bedrooms into Lightroom, slapped your HDR presets onto them, and delivered those over-processed, cartoon-looking images to the client with a smile on your face. All of that still exists. What’s new is the new breed of real estate photographer that wants to deliver their clients a much more polished version of their clients products.
This new medium of visuals by drone is really quite new to the real estate industry. Historically, real estate photography has, with some category exceptions, been a very run and gun, work fast, and kick out product as fast as possible, for the most money space. Just smart business right? Sure. You can’t fault these businesses for playing the volume game. The addition of drones just really levels the playing field and adds a new dimension and variable to the customer decision-making process. Drones give you an infinite 3D canvas of opportunity with any property that would deserve that level of exposure. The things you can do with a couple of different drones and a 10 million dollar home in the hills is pretty unlimited from a storytelling standpoint, especially when adding in light and sound.
If you’re looking for a budget option, to just show; “Hey this house has 5 rooms and 2 bathrooms.”, that option is still there for you. But, if you’re looking for cinematic storytelling, you now have an option that previously did not exist, or was wildly priced outside of the marketing budgets of realtors and brokerages. This is an exciting time for the real estate industry with regard to aerial videography and photography. Creativity is the only limitation of photographers and videographers in the real estate industry now. These are exciting times.
Aerial Drone Videography Outlook And Future
Watching The Jetsons as kids, none of us really thought that we’d end up floating through the air in beepity beep spaceships, but that day is surely coming. Just the other day, a video made the rounds of a very brave pioneering engineer riding his man-made “drone”, cough cough, through the streets like a boss. If that is the entry and beginning of flying crafts to carry people, then imagine how young and fruitful the aerial photography space is. It’s pretty hard to even imagine what’s coming in the future. Do we have 200.00 drones at some point with optics in the camera that rival current RED cameras? It will eventually come. It makes me think of that really amazing, cutting-edge, first-to-market iPhone I got back in 2005. I look at it now, and just shake my head, like “How was this tiny thing even remotely useful to me?”. I’m looking forward to the day of going into my garage and pulling out that ancient Mavic 2 Pro with the bad boy Hasselblad lens, and telling everyone how bad the pics look from this relic, compared to my newest drone, whatever that may be in 20 years. Time flies. Have fun flying through it!
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