Why hire professional drones and cameras for aerial photography on BorrowFox Rentals | READ MORE >
The advent of drones, and their increasingly common adoption in filmmaking, is one of the most exciting and revolutionary trends to emerge in the movie industry in recent years. Like the dolly and the Steadicam before it, the drone has managed to change how filmmakers of all skill levels and levels of success approach the craft. Although the use of drones in film is a relatively new phenomenon, they have already made a significant impact on the industry. Besides the ability to replace incredibly expensive helicopter shots, a tool available to almost exclusively high budget productions, or crane photography, an expensive, time consuming, and clunky tool, drones have literally allowed filmmakers to capture scenes that were outside their limitations even five years ago.
In an industry that can be so reliant on big budgets, drones have effectively evened the playing field. One blogger from Dronesite wrote: ‘drone videography is changing film making by reducing costs, thus allowing filmmakers to spend more cash on filming, and the pre- and post-production of a video. People are able to record high-definition aerial videos without the need to rent helicopters and get expensive permits.’ Compared to the days before drones, buying one might seem to be a drop in the bucket when it comes to budgeting. However, what if it were possible to cut down costs even more while simultaneously harnessing the artistic power of the drone?
At BorrowFox, it is our mission to make creativity accessible. So, it is no surprise that the platform has a large selection of drones for hire. Additionally, it is no surprise that the drones we have on offer to hire are inexpensive and, of course under the BorrowFox guarantee, fully insured.
Read below to find out some reasons why hiring a drone from BorrowFox might just be the way you can elevate your next project.
Using any type of expensive cinema or photography equipment can be anxiety inducing. Holding a Red Epic Dragon, or an Arri Alexa, can, no matter how seasoned you are in the industry, make you feel a bit uneasy when you realize the cameras’ hefty price tags. That feeling can be amplified dramatically when you are using a drone. Because drones are so new to the market, it is very possible that you have not yet attempted to pilot one. If you have used one on a shoot, there is a good chance you had an operator controlling the drone. While it might be a bit nerve-wracking to hold an expensive camera, it can feel much scarier to fly an expensive camera – especially if you have little or no experience using one.
That is not to say, however, that you should avoid using a drone. After all, you do not want to miss out on the amazing shots drone can provide your next project. Those aerial shots, downward sweeping cityscapes, and breath-taking nature captures are worth filming, so it is worth getting over your anxiety and taking your projects to the next level.
Hiring a drone to practice is a great first step in your quest to eventually master the technology. While embarking on your first flight might seem scary, drone technology has advanced to the point that the equipment is actually quite easy to manage. Learning how to control them takes only a few minutes of practice to get a basic understanding, but make sure to first try them in an open area with as few obstacles as possible.
The true need to practice comes from the fact that while the drone itself is fairly easy to fly, positioning the drone’s camera, and doing so in a way that will make the footage you take actually usable, can take a longer time to master. Nicholas Pueringer, a filmmaker and drone operator who was at the forefront of the technology stated, ‘"I think filmmaking as a profession shares a lot with drones in that it is both a very technical profession aligned with something that has a lot of expression and artistry and craftsmanship in it, so the same learning curve applied to drones." With that in mind, if you are new to the exciting world of drones, it makes far more sense to rent before you buy. With low daily rates from BorrowFox, you won’t feel as though you’ve wasted significant amounts of money buying a drone just to practice the techniques.
This tip is similar to the one above, but is geared more towards those filmmakers who already have some experience operating drones for various shoots. Just like we advised in terms of cameras and lenses, it is worthwhile, if you are in the market to buy your own drone, to test out a variety of different brands and models before you shell out serious cash on a drone. While drones are incredibly cost effective compared to other options that would give you the same results, they are still not cheap. On a smaller budget, drones can cost enough to prevent you from spending your money on other useful aspects of production.
So, purchasing a drone is a decision that should not be made lightly. Reading countless reviews and getting recommendations from those in the industry can steer you in the right direction, but there is no better way to evaluate a drone than to use it yourself. That’s where BorrowFox can help. Let’s say, for example, you have heard great things about both the DJI Phantom 3 and the DJI Inspire 2. Both are quality products, but the Inspire costs ten times the amount of the Phantom. If you rent each one from BorrowFox, you can evaluate whether it is worth it for you and your production needs to spend the extra money. On the other hand, if you were to buy either Drone sight unseen, you might be disappointed with the results.
Filmmaking is an ever evolving artform. Like other creative industries, and industries in general, filmmaking requires the ability to quickly adapt to new technology and new techniques in order to keep your work current and engaging. However, filmmaking differs from other businesses and artforms due to the sheer speed that the technology evolves and changes. As such, it is imperative for all filmmakers to branch out quickly and effectively in order to remain on top of their game.
Drones are one of the most exciting and most effective pieces of film technology that have come into the industry in the past 20 years. If you are an already established filmmaker, with an already established style, and have already achieved success in whatever sub-industry of the business you are involved in, it might seem to be a waste of time to add a new piece of technology to your repertoire.
These fears can be assuaged somewhat when you realize that using drone technology can unlock a new world of filmmaking that you were initially uninterested in or unprepared to try. This ability to branch out comes in two different ways. The first is branching out in how you create the films that you are normally involved in. Let’s say, for example, you shoot primarily on a commercial basis. So far in your career, you have satisfied the needs of the companies that have hired you to create advertisements. With a drone, you might be able to add a whole new level of spectacle and engagement that you never knew was missing from your more traditionally focused shoots. Just like you might have a 35mm lens as well as a 70mm lens available for your shoots, or a Red Epic Dragon and an Arri Amira to capture different effects and different results, having access to a hired drone can achieve various angles and perspectives that you might find useful.
The second way drones can help you reach a new level of filmmaking is to actually change the type of films you shoot. To use the same commercial director example, maybe you have realized that you want to enter into the world of broadcast filmmaking. Knowing how to operate a drone effectively might just give you the leg up on other filmmakers vying for the same job. In sum, don’t dismiss or be scared of the future. If you embrace new technology, such as drones, you will be a more well rounded artist and will be more likely to find different types of work outside of your usual interests.
This tip touches on some of the same elements that make drones a good avenue to allow yourself to branch out in different filmmaking directions. It is a frustrating, but very legitimate fact that filmmaking is not the most stable career. Especially if you are a freelancer, but even if you are involved in a production company, work can come sporadically. As such, unlike an office job, cash flow can be sporadic as well. While the ability to exercise your creativity and get paid for it might be enough for you to stick with a career in filmmaking, it doesn’t change the fact that you still have to pay the rent every month.
This fact makes drone rental an appealing option. When you don’t know whether or not you are about to hit a stretch where work is less regular, investing in a new piece of kit, especially if it is not necessarily critical for all of your future shoot, might not be a worth while investment. It is important to remember that whatever equipment you buy, whether it is a cooke s4 lens, pmw200 xdcam, teradek bolt pro, or, indeed, a drone, it will depreciate in value as soon as you purchase it. This is a key element to consider if your work is not guaranteed and you have a smaller, fluctuating budget to work with.
Up until now, the reasoning behind renting versus owning a drone have focused mainly on the professional and business side of filmmaking. When filmmaking is your job, it can be easy to forget that movie making is, simply put, fun. Drones, perhaps more so than any other piece of equipment, can act as a good reminder of the magic of filming.
Whether you hire a drone to fly around one of the various green spaces in London for a day, or take a drone with you when you go on holiday, seeing and recording the world from a bird’s eye view is a spectacular experience. When you rent a drone, you do not have to feel pressured to use it in a professional capacity. You can enjoy the novelty of the technology and create memories and recordings that will last a lifetime.
It is worth noting that not all rental platforms are created equally. While other sites are completely profit driven, BorrowFox stands alone in London as a site that puts creativity first. The site’s partnership with Hiive, the London based creative professional network, and the general model of the platform that connects filmmakers on both sides of the rental equation, ensures that both the renter and “rentee” get a fair deal. In essence, BorrowFox creates a community of likeminded individuals with a similar goal in mind: to create great, unique, and potentially ground breaking work for a fair price.