I believe you can tell a good story with an Apple iPhone, but you are limited visually. To tell great stories you need the right tools. With the advent of DSLRs and affordable camera support systems, high quality production tools are now more accessible than ever. The DSLR filmmaking revolution has had a big impact on our storytelling, and I believe drones will take us to the next level. Drones are giving storytellers the ability to take cameras to places that were only imagined in the past. The DJI Inspire 1 is a great investment for content creators, and we believe in taking all of the necessary steps to protect our equipment.
These are the steps I take in protecting my drone equipment:
- Create a pre-flight check-list. It is important to develop a routine before flying. This should include a list of all of your accessories and takeoff steps.
- Scout your location prior to flying, especially if you’re shooting for a client. Look for potential obstacles and/or impediments like power lines, trees, and structures. Make sure your takeoff location is flat and unobstructed. Your depth perception has a tendency to go flat when your drone is hundreds of feet away.
- Don’t fly your drone solo if you’re directing a subject or talent for a dynamic shot. I recommend using the dual controllers and having a dedicated RC pilot and camera operator. To add another level of safety, it’s good to have a spotter as well. I learned the hard way when a client requested an ambitious shot while I was flying solo. They wanted a shot of their company van driving over a tall bridge that spanned a waterway. I attempted to fly while operating the camera and directing the van driver via earbuds and my cell phone. My depth perception went flat and I subsequently clipped a light pole on the bridge, and while the DJI Inspire 1 corrected itself and continued to fly, my life flashed before my eyes. I was lucky to escape the situation with only a chipped propeller.
- Store your DJI Inspire 1 properly in a quality case. The case that is shipped with the DJI Inspire 1 is fine, but eventually the zippers and handle will break. Also, make sure you replace the caps on the camera and gimbal, and remove the battery before placing your DJI Inspire 1 in the case; you want to make sure the contacts on the gimbal and camera are protected at all times. Despite its size, the GPC DJI Inspire 1 Travel Case is extremely convenient and it is the only case we have to load in the car when we shoot aerial photography and/or videography. There’s room for everything we could possibly need, and I know our investment is soundly protected.
- Drain all batteries to 50% or less before traveling on commercial flights with your DJI Inspire 1. The batteries can expand at high altitudes due to the pressure in the cargo hold and cause them to be unusable.
As Director of Content Development for Drawing Lines Media, Justin Weber is constantly looking for ways to improve storytelling. His agency works with small businesses to develop brands through storytelling and content driven marketing solutions. One of their goals is to bring a higher level of production value to businesses that haven’t had access to it or couldn’t afford it in the past.