One of the main applications for drones is aerial photography/videography. Drones can go place humans can not, allowing us to capture awe-inspiring images that previously might not have been possible.
Some recent examples include travel photographer Ryan Deboodt using a DJI Phantom 2 drone to capture aerial views of the world’s largest known cave; Multiple drones were used to capture spectacular footage of an active lava lake along the Ring of Fire in the Vanuatu Archipelago; and a real estate visual media production company captured a bird’s-eye view of Boston’s historic winter.
But even more eye-popping are the movies that were honored at the recent New York City Drone Film Festival (NYCDFF), the world’s first event exclusively dedicated to drone cinematography.
The festival, founded in 2014 by director, landscape photographer, and aerial cinematographer Randy Scott Slavin, provides a platform for aerial filmmakers to showcase their work. Slavin says he started the drone film festival because he had nowhere to share his drone-shot movies, but more importantly to chance the perceptions of drones.
Here’s what Slavin told IndieWire: “More important than why I started the festival is why is the New York City Drone Film Festival important? The answer to that question gets right to the heart of the problem with drones- the stigma associated with the name. War drones have dominated the perception of the word and war is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear it. Not anymore. The festival is about the drones we use for art. I’m confident that drone cinematography will be used in every production in the future. They are the most amazing tool for camera motion that has ever been created and we are not planning on letting go of this tool based on fear-mongering, and false associations with war drones.”
There were some rules for movies submitted to the NYCDFF. Entries couldn’t be longer than five minutes, and at least 50 percent of the movie had to have been shot with a camera on a drone.
More than 150 videos were submitted, but only 35 movies qualified for judging. Awards were presented in eight categories, and you can watch each of the award-winning movies below. Enjoy.
Superman With a GoPro | Narrative & Best in Show Winner
Floating | Dronie Winner
I Won’t Let You Down – OK Go | X-Factor Winner
The Fallout | Architecture Winner
Cinedrones Are Awesome | Showreels Winner
Mexico City Airport From Above | Audience Choice Winner
MMMM/Santa Monica Airlines | FPV/Proximity/Technical Winner
Koh Yao Noi | Travel/Landscape Winner