As Director of Content Development for Drawing Lines Media, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve our storytelling. Our agency works with small businesses developing brands through storytelling and content driven marketing solutions. One of our 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.
I believe you can tell a good story with an iPhone, but you’re limited visually. To tell great stories you need the right tools. With the advent of DSLR’s 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 filmmakers and storytellers the ability to take cameras to places that were only imagined in the past. After some serious research we recently purchased the DJI Inspire One. The Inspire One is a great investment for content creators, and we believe in taking all of the necessary steps to protect our equipment. One of which is replacing the case that DJI ships with the Inspire One. We replaced ours with the Go Professional Cases’ DJI INSPIRE 1 TRAVEL MODE CASE.
Here a few more steps we take:
- 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 take off steps.
- Scout your location prior to flying, especially if you’re shooting for a client. Look for potential obstacles and/or obstructions 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 100’s of feet away.
- Don’t fly solo if you’re directing a subject or talent for a dynamic shot. We recommend using the dual controllers and having a dedicated 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 Inspire corrected itself and continued to fly, my life flashed before my eyes for obvious reasons. I was lucky to escape the situation with only a chipped propeller.
- Store your Inspire One properly in a quality case. The case that it is shipped with 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 Inspire in the case. You want to make sure the contacts on the gimbal and camera are protected at all times.
- Drain batteries to 50 % or less before traveling on commercial flights with your Inspire One. The batteries can expand at high altitudes due to the pressure in the cargo hold and cause them to be unusable.
The majority of our aerial shoots are within driving distance, but we have an extensive project in Argentina coming so it was important to get a high quality case that we would feel safe checking. After we received the GPC Travel Case we immediately stopped using the case that the Inspire One was shipped in. Despite its size the case is extremely convenient and it is the only case we have to load in the car when we shoot aerials. There’s room for everything we could possibly need, and I know our investment is soundly protected.
Below is a quick montage of some of our recent aerial work. Go Professional Cases also published a version of this blog on their website.