60 Second Storytelling Tip: Use a Variety of Shots With Your Drone

David Miller
Jan 4, 2016

In previous videos in this series, we looked at how beginner droneographers often make the mistake of simply flying drones around and then seeing what kind of footage they get rather than composing a shot before the drone ever leaves the ground. We also discussed how to go beyond simply creating a “music video” for your drone footage by layering special audio and environmental noises. In this third installment, we look at how to tell more creative stories with your done by using a variety of shots.

Matador Creative Director and Head of Productions Scott Sporleder is a big fan of juxtaposing dramatically different shots all together, oftentimes using big reveals as climaxes of the video. In addition, he’s constantly varying the subject of each shot from the terrain and landscape itself to shots that follow people, aircraft or vehicles in motion, as well as animals. Even the speed at which the reveal or zoom-in occurs: there are oftentimes abrupt and surprising changes of tempo. The idea is that nothing is ever static in his productions; everything is pushing towards a unified mood or theme.

You can draw an interesting parallel with other non-visual forms of storytelling. In your writing, how do you shift perspectives, juxtaposing descriptions of the landscape with a character’s internal monologue or observations? How do you use dialogue and action, and how do they ply off each other? How “varied” is your storytelling?

Series produced and directed by David Miller
Editing by Jessic McPhatter
Drone footage by Scott Sporleder

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