Planning Cinematic Footage


There are decisions you can make before you take off that will improve your footage. Think about what accessories you may need, what time of day, what weather conditions and what shots you may need.


If you can add one accessory to you drone to improve obtain cinematic footage, it is the ND filter. ND filters will give you control of your shutter speed, so if like on most drones you cannot adjust the aperture, you can use the correct ND filter to reduce the amount of light that gets to the sensor, enabling a beautiful and smooth motion blur.


Have a think about the weather. Use apps such as UAV forecast to know whether is safe to fly and get a gauge on the weather. Often you will want sunny days, but think if a snowy scene is available for example would this work better? If you want a certain atmosphere would an overcast day work better?

Time of Day

Is it possible to shoot at golden hour? Golden hour happens one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. At this time the sun gives off a beautiful golden glow and the contrast between shadows and highlights are less harsh. You can use a weather up to find out when sunrise and sunset are.

Also consider shooting at night, particularity if there is an area with a lot of lights around. Make sure you know the laws about shooting at night in the country you are in. Some require you to have a light on your drone. Others ban night flying altogether.


Think about what shots you might like. We would recommend getting as many different types of shots as possible think about:

  • Shooting high in the sky
  • Shooting low and passing interesting objects in the foreground
  • Flying through gaps
  • Orbiting
  • Shooting straight down
  • Following a subject

There a plenty of thing you can do. try to get as many different types of shots a possible. Thinking about what you want before you take off can make a huge difference and help you get the most out of your batteries.