Florian Fischer has gained the “Dronie” award on the New York City Drone Film Festival for 3 years in a row.
And it’s no surprise. His work elevates the dronie from a easy selfie shot by way of drone to one thing that’s each creative and technically spectacular.
This yr Florian gained for a protracted, steady shot from a yard, via a home the place relations are scattered about lounging and studying, and all the way in which exterior, till we get a view of the home from the sky and see that it’s located on an island, one of many solely constructions in sight.
We needed to speak to Florian to be taught extra about his course of, and what made him so excited by dronies. We additionally needed to listen to about his work with Behind the Mask, the place he does filmmaking documenting marine life, together with sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles.
Read on to be taught extra!
UAV Coach: You’ve gained the Dronie class on the NYCDFF for 3 years now. How did you turn into the grasp of the dronie? Was this one thing you have been doing earlier than the NYCDFF began, or did the movie pageant spur you to begin creating these wonderful movies?
Florian Fischer: We truly created our first dronies earlier than we heard of the pageant.
I first acquired hooked on the idea of a dronie as a result of it’s a really, quite simple idea. And it’s additionally a really geometrical idea. I believe it has rather a lot to do with visible design, and will even be seen as an artwork type itself.
Really it simply acquired our consideration the primary time we filmed one among us floating within the water, and made our first dronie. When I noticed that, I instantly thought it could possibly be very fascinating. We shared that first video on the web, and afterward after we heard concerning the pageant we submitted that video, and ended up profitable.
Florian’s dronie video that gained on the 2015 NYCDFF
UAV Coach: The dronie video you made for this yr’s NYCDFF is an extremely easy, symmetrical shot that goes via a home and finally ends up hovering over the ocean. What challenges did you face in creating that video? Did something surprising come up that made it additional laborious to tug off?
Florian Fischer: I used to be a bit shocked that this dronie gained, as a result of it was actually laborious to do but it surely doesn’t look that manner.
I may see how somebody who isn’t into drones and aerial cinematography may even assume that this video would truly be simple to do. But for me it was an enormous technical problem. One of the challenges was that there have been no sensors stabilizing the drone, and so it wasn’t actually appropriate for indoor flying. Also, it was a bit windy there within the Bahamas, which made flying that rather more troublesome.
The dronie is named Family Island as a result of I used to be there with my household on vacation, and since the islands the place it was shot are known as the Family Islands, or the Out Islands.
Details about making the video:
I used a Phantom 2, a Futaba distant management, and an analog video transmission sign, which went off at 700 meters (2,300 ft) within the air. After flying above the ocean I misplaced video sign so I needed to fly blind, simply doing my greatest to think about the place the drone was till I acquired the video sign again.
The concept was to have an ideal, symmetrical shot, flying backwards with a number of issues being revealed in the midst of the video. The individuals sitting in the home are symmetrically located (the primary individuals you see are my dad and mom, left and proper of the digital camera, on sunbeds). I additionally needed to have somewhat little bit of a narrative, so that you begin the video with somebody sitting in entrance of the digital camera, and then you definitely’re questioning—what’s coming subsequent?
The most difficult factor was to truly get that easy, straight line with none sensors to assist. There was a protracted dialogue on the web about how the dronie was finished, so I need to make clear that there is no such thing as a digital camera dealing with ahead. I didn’t even have a look at the display screen in any respect, and I solely seemed on the drone going backwards. There’s no trick, it’s simply the way in which it’s, with the drone flying backwards.
UAV Coach: Your dronie video winner for final yr’s NYCDFF (“The Shark Dronie”) options you calmly treading water whereas sharks swim throughout you. Can you inform us about making that video—What have been some challenges we will not be conscious of? Was it as harmful because it appears to be like?
Florian Fischer: This dronie was insane for us. It took us six months to return up with the idea and determine truly do it.
The cause we determined to do it’s because there was some dialogue on the web after our first video that gained on the NYCDFF that perhaps the video wasn’t a real dronie, as a result of the individual within the video wasn’t truly controlling the drone.
I personally disagree, as a result of there are a number of fascinating and inventive issues you’ll be able to’t do if the individual must be controlling the drone. But we determined, as a response to the web argument, to return up with an concept that you just truly couldn’t movie with the precise distant management within the body however nonetheless give the individual within the body management of the drone.
So we thought it could be nice to have a dronie that may, on the one hand, converse for Behind the Mask and the whole lot we like to shoot—the water, sharks, and nature—and that may even be a dronie we may ship to the pageant, which might show that we will do one thing form of unimaginable with a drone.
Details about making the video:
It was clear we must function a drone from the underside of the ocean to tug this off.
It took us six months to make and take a look at the whole lot wanted—there’s a fast launch if the shark’s biting the digital camera, and a protracted pole protruding of the water, which is about 55 ft lengthy.
The drone was above water, however the pole was reaching into the water. I used to be controlling the drone with a distant management connected to a wire that went as much as the boat, to the true distant management. The distant below water solely had one knob I may flip, which made the drone go up and down, and that was it.
The divers introduced the drone and the pole into the correct place, then we began the drone. From the boat Christian [from Behind the Mask] flew the drone over the pole, after which the drone was connected to the pole with a magnet. Once connected to the pole, I may transfer the drone up and down with my distant from underwater.
It was very, very difficult as a result of there have been sharks that wanted to cooperate, which required feeding them bait, and which solely created a window of about 45-50 minutes. The bait was additionally proper subsequent to my head, which added one other layer of complication. In addition, we had the solar and the present to deal with, and waves and wind.
We took every week to make this video, and we didn’t get the proper shot till the final day.
Watch the video to be taught extra about how the Shark Dronie was created
UAV Coach: Of the three dronie movies you’ve gained with on the NYCDFF, which is your private favourite and why?
Florian Fischer: The first one is particular, as a result of it’s the start of all our dronies.
But my favourite is the Shark Dronie as a result of it was unclear till the final day if we’d be capable of pull it off, and since it took so lengthy to truly plan, take a look at, and create it.
UAV Coach: How did you first get entangled with aerial cinematography?
Florian Fischer: I’m not a drone geek. For me, a drone is a instrument that I can use for filming, and a instrument that’s as necessary as some other instrument—a slider, a microphone, a tripod. It’s all about stabilizing your pictures and shifting the digital camera to have a pleasant feeling for area and time.
For me, it was by no means a query about whether or not I’d use drones, it was extra about when it could be out there and inexpensive.Once there was the prospect of getting a digital camera you may transfer in 3D area, I knew I’d have to make use of it.
UAV Coach: What drone(s) do you fly, and what cameras do you employ?
Florian Fischer: Right now I fly a Phantom four Pro+ (now we have two of them), and an Inspire 1, in addition to another smaller drones. Most of the time we’re touring so we’d like a transportable drone, and the Phantom four Pro+ is ideal.
When we shoot on land the cameras we use are the GH5 and a RED Scarlet-W.
We depend on drones that we will transport simply and that we will afford to lose, as a result of we fly in very harsh environments with unpredictable climate, and nearly all the time over water.
We’ve misplaced 5 drones as a result of birds flew into them, or on account of pilot errors. We all the time carry a backup drone.
But after I misplaced the primary drone I wasn’t even unhappy, as a result of it had lasted for therefore lengthy. I used to be truly anticipating to lose it manner earlier. I’m all the time amazed by the expertise and the way dependable it’s—we’ve by no means had a technical drawback.
UAV Coach: What are your predictions for aerial cinematography, and the drone trade generally? Please be happy to reply at size (what you see manner down the street, what you see for subsequent yr, the place you see laws headed within the U.S. and overseas, new purposes, and many others.).
Florian Fischer: I can’t converse to laws as a result of I’m not from the U.S., and I’m not likely very lively within the drone group. I simply exit and movie issues, and use the drone as a instrument to perform completely different elements of my initiatives.
Creatively, I believe the drone will discover its place as a instrument alongside all the opposite instruments you’ve gotten for filmmakers. I additionally assume it’s one thing viewers will get used to. I don’t assume we’ll see as many movies as we noticed to start with the place all of the footage is shot by drone, and the movies are actually simply concerning the novelty of taking pictures with drones. Finding artistic methods to make use of the expertise in your initiatives is the way in which to go, and the place I’m headed—and most filmmakers too, I believe.
I believe it’s completely alright to have laws in place to make it safer for everybody. I hope that there shall be world extensive laws, standardized and requiring some form of license, simply to maintain everybody secure and conscious drone is a doubtlessly harmful instrument that may fall on somebody’s head.
In aerial cinematography, I believe much more performance will come to drones. Something I don’t like or want, however which I believe we’ll see much more of, is that there shall be extra “smart” options that enable much less management for the pilot. I choose to work with the sticks and actually really feel the drone’s motion, however I perceive that these options are necessary for safety and security.
One factor I hope to see, and that we desperately want, is best battery expertise. I’d actually wish to see batteries which are safer, and have an extended life.
Florian’s work with Behind the Mask has produced some wonderful movies about marine life. Here are only a few (you could find extra on the Behind the Mask web site):
Sharks of the Dark
A Dolphin Day
Above and Below Bimini—Epic Hammerheads