Pictorvision president Tom Hallman is happy that those sexy car spots peppering screens large and small seem to be vying for the most creative vantage point to turn viewer’s heads. Right now that means flying high with UAVs, affectionately called “drones.” As one of the first six companies to receive the FAA exemption to fly drones commercially for aerial cinematography, Pictorvision also has FAA-licensed and -approved personnel and a fleet of approved drones, from a medium lift with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 to two new heavy lifts ready to fly a RED Dragon and soon an ARRI Alexa Mini.
It’s the lofty imagery that camera makers from Infinity to Volkswagen seem to be after. Hallman points out that the latest drone technology “is quickly being adopted by the cutting-edge commercial producers. The energy of the shots and the new angles you can generate using drones can’t be reproduced by camera cars or even full-sized helicopters. And the cost savings compared to traditional aerial cinematography has their accounting departments smiling, too.”
He notes that drones are even being written into the scripts. Phedon Papamichael, ASC, lensed an Infiniti spot where a Pictorvision drone not only carried a shooting camera but also appeared in frame, flying among the outcroppings in Red Rock Canyon.
Hallman recounts his experience on a recent Volkswagen spot: “The low-altitude flyovers at full throttle, while the car drifted through the corner at full speed in the opposite direction, made for some incredible footage that had the clients cheering back in video village.”