We first heard about Droneworks Studios by means of their work with Casey Neistat for his HUMAN FLYING DRONE video.
Elaine Lozano and Justin Oakes, the co-owners of Droneworks Studios, have been those who constructed the customized drone that lifts Casey Neistat into the sky. Justin is a former drone racer and, along with constructing the customized drone used within the video, he was the pilot for the venture. He’s considered one of solely a handful of individuals on the earth who may have flown the monster drone—nicknamed Janet—used to make the video (be taught extra about how the video was made right here).
Justin and Elaine construct customized drones in an effort to do aerial cinematography for a few of the coolest drone tasks on the earth, in addition to doing work with Virtual Reality. We not too long ago noticed them in one other YouTube video serving to Casey Neistat on his newest venture, wherein YouTube stars might be making movies utilizing solely a smartphone.
Hard at Work—Elaine Lozano and Justin Oakes, Co-Owners of Droneworks Studios
We wished to select their brains on how they bought began within the drone business, the customized work they do, and what it takes to create prime quality aerial cinematography. Read on to see what they needed to say.
Note: Some of the questions have been answered by Elaine or Justin individually. Unless in any other case famous, the query was answered by them each as a staff.
UAV Coach: We have been actually wowed by you two within the HUMAN FLYING DRONE behind-the-scenes panel on the NYCDFF. You’ve constructed such a tremendous enterprise, the place you get to construct, fly, and shoot with customized drones, and it’s clear you’re each doing work you’re keen on (and killing it, we must always add). How did all of it begin? Tell us in regards to the creation of Droneworks Studios, and how you bought from there to right here.
Droneworks Studios (Elaine Lozano answering): Droneworks got here to be very organically. Neither of us had any concept that our little ardour venture would flip into what it’s right now.
Justin has been constructing, flying, and racing RC automobiles, planes and helicopters since he was a bit child. I, alternatively, was bored with having RC and drone components on the eating desk! I advised Justin he had to show this into one thing or I used to be going to go nuts. So Justin threw a digital camera on a drone for me to function, and I finished bugging him.
We principally mixed each our passions and determined to take the possibility at seeing what it might be, and then bam, Droneworks was created.
UAV Coach: Justin, you have been the one accountable for flying the massive drone that lifted Casey into the air. Was it scary to have a lot duty? What was it prefer to fly a drone that lifted an individual off the bottom?
Justin Oakes Piloting a Droneworks Custom Drone
Droneworks Studios (Justin Oakes answering): Not scary in any respect! So a lot time and effort was spent in testing that we had COMPLETE confidence within the plane. We had three folks accountable for working it and overlaying all the security checks—the pilot (me), the individual monitoring the bottom station, and a visible observer looking ahead to obstacles within the sky.
We additionally had the highest stunt staff from Hollywood devoted solely to creating positive Casey was rigged safely.
UAV Coach: Elaine, from what we perceive you’re the one with a imaginative and prescient on set, who has a giant image you retain everybody working towards. Can you share your background (images/cinematography, enterprise, all the above?), and inform us about your strategy to turning a shopper’s concepts right into a unified visible narrative?
Elaine Lozano On Site
Droneworks Studios (Elaine Lozano answering): The humorous factor is you’d assume I’d have a background in movie, however I couldn’t be farther from it.
When Justin and I started the corporate I used to be pursuing medical faculty. Cinematography was actually only a interest. Neither of my mother and father authorised of it as a profession till effectively after we had already began the corporate. They thought I used to be nuts to go away medical faculty to start out a drone firm!
I may need thought the identical factor on the time, however I simply beloved it a lot that I needed to discover out the place it might go. (My mother and father are actually unbelievably supportive and fully perceive why I selected to drop every part for Droneworks—they’ll see how passionate I’m about it and how that interprets into the work we create for our shoppers.)
I believe crucial factor for attaining a shopper’s imaginative and prescient is being actually versatile and staying in your toes in terms of making a shot. It’s laborious for many individuals to know, nevertheless it’s vital to be actually fluid and know that typically a totally deliberate, storyboarded shot could not at all times be the proper shot.
However, with aerials you by no means actually know till you stand up within the air! So I’ve seen that our greatest successes are usually not actually within the execution of an actual shot, however having the ability to execute the which means or story behind a shot.
UAV Coach: You do aerial cinematography and you construct customized drones (in addition to VR, which we’ll speak about in a second). Can you inform us a bit about your division of labor—how do you juggle the 2 operations? Is there overlap between these two facets of your enterprise, and in that case, what does that appear to be?
Droneworks Studios: Droneworks doesn’t promote customized drones or customized drone equipment. We solely construct for our personal use, and present every part as a service. So we have now a staff devoted simply to creating the best plane doable.
Our artistic staff focuses solely on the execution of the shopper’s imaginative and prescient. The solely overlap is when our artistic and tech groups meet to brainstorm options for particular shoppers wants. So it’s probably not an overlap, however extra of a collaboration. There are 13 individuals who work at Droneworks. It’s positively a serious staff effort!
Here are some extra photographs of the Droneworks staff on website:
UAV Coach: Tell us about Droneworks VR. Is this an initiative in partnership with Samsung, or your personal enterprise? What sorts of tasks (apart from Casey’s) have you ever labored on, and why did you begin this new offshoot of Droneworks?
Droneworks Studios: Droneworks VR, Droneworks Aerial, and Droneworks Industrial are our main working arms. We are privately owned.
Our relationships with shoppers are extra like partnerships than precise fairness pursuits. We’ve filmed VR, aerials, and industrial tasks everywhere in the world for a protracted record of shoppers.
Droneworks VR was began to present the market a clearer method to perceive what we provide. We do much more than fly drones. Droneworks VR was set as much as make it simpler for shoppers to grasp the distinction between the completely different facets of our work (post-production, handheld, customized mounts, and so forth.).
UAV Coach: At :50 within the reel in your homepage there are two guys reducing an enormous metallic tube with round saws. What the heck was that used for? A drone the dimensions of King Kong?
Droneworks Studios’ Reel (referenced within the query above)
Droneworks Studios: That’s really aerial footage from considered one of our industrial shoppers (haha!), not behind the scenes at Droneworks. I believe they have been making oil and fuel pipelines. We haven’t up to date our reel in a very long time—that job was so a few years in the past!
UAV Coach: What drone(s) do you fly, and what cameras do you employ?
Droneworks Studios: We fly all customized Droneworks platforms. We fly actually each digital camera in the marketplace. We additionally fly all lenses and FIZ programs, along with LiDAR, thermal, infrared, and so forth.
Everything is customized made so we will fly something our shoppers want/need. We prefer to tailor every part we do to our shoppers’ wants. If we don’t have a rig that can do what they want—like raise somebody into the air whereas using a snowboard—then we simply construct one!
Want to be taught extra about Droneworks Studios and their work? Check out these superior movies to get a style of the vary of labor they do.
This video of professional motocross/supercross racer Vann Martin is loads of enjoyable. The Droneworks staff needed to fly at speeds of as much as 50 mph (by means of timber!) simply to maintain up with Vann.
Drones, Dirt Bikes & Pro-Moto/Supercross Racer Vann Martin
Droneworks Studios had one of many first aerial groups allowed to shoot inside a state park. The video under reveals the making of a video about the USS Texas, which is completely located within the San Jacinto Park, and is the world’s solely remaining WWI period dreadnought battleship.
Behind the Scenes with the USS Texas (BB-35)