Matador head of productions Scott Sporleder on location at Hickory Nut Gap Farm near Asheville North Carolina. Image by DM.

60 Second Storytelling Tip: Composing Shots With Your Drone

by David Miller Dec 21, 2015

In November of 2015, I interviewed Scott Sporleder (Matador Creative Director and Head of Productions) and shadowed him on a drone shoot around Western North Carolina. The number one thing he emphasized was taking a proactive approach to composing shots with your drone. To do this successfully, “You have to compose the shot in your mind before the drone ever leaves the ground.”

Most beginning drone pilots tend to do the opposite, basically just flying their drones around over scenery and then “seeing what they got” afterwards.

Scott and I drew a larger parallel with storytelling in general: Being proactive, having a vision for the scenes you want to capture, the dialogue, the sounds, the “angle”–tends to separate rookies from pros no matter what the tools or what kind of writer / journalist / blogger / filmmaker they are. Beginners tend to “go on trips and then see what they come back with,” whereas pros go with specific goal and visions–even down to particular shots–in mind.

So we’ll leave you with the question: How do you compose in your mind before you “fly”?

In the meantime, stay productive, and get those shots!

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

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