The filmmakers of the week are Matthew Greenfeld and John Bianco. The love for filmmaking and radio controlled flying brought them together. They launched the company Drones on the Job at the beginning of 2017.
Watch their video here: https://vimeo.com/190018875
How did you become interested in shooting films with drones?
We both come from video backgrounds. I spent years honing my skills as a videographer and editor, working on corporate videos, music videos, and Kickstarter campaigns. John hails from the broadcast television news world where he spent nearly two decades with NBC in New York as a director and producer involved with numerous high-profile network programs, news specials and multi-part documentaries. Once we realized that drones not only gave an aerial view but had a stabilization system we knew this was a game changer for film. The drone allows you to incorporate many filmmaking tools such as a dolly, crane, and slider all in one, so the creativity becomes endless.
What do you think is the most important aspect of film-making?
The most important aspect of filmmaking is storytelling. Everything should come together as a whole to aid and further the story, whether that be amazing imagery captured from a drone or an actor delivering an incredible performance aided by an incredible script, everything should propel the story.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
It’s never too late to realize your dreams!
Can you tell us something about the technology you are using and your approach towards film-making?
We recently acquired the DJI Inspire 2. The cinema camera is unbelievable, giving us the ability to shoot in 5.2K RAW. The beauty of this allows re-framing in post-production as well as ample lateral room for color correction and color grading. It’s a true professional workflow..
Can you tell us a story or an experience related to drone cinematography that is particularly meaningful to you?
While filming our short, “A Forest Melody,” we awoke to a beautiful August morning and ventured out into the woods to continue shooting the main character Patrick as he worked. The day started out extremely hot but as we continued deeper into the valley the air became cool and comfortable. We launched the drone and immediately filmed breathtaking images of massive trees coming down, shaking the very ground we walked on. Since it was a valley, there was limited flat ground and throughout the day our landing pad for our Phantom 4 was various tree stumps scattered around. It was an exhilarating morning to say the least.
Do you dream from an aerial perspective?
Yes. Sometimes it feels like an out of body experience.
Who is your role model?
My contemporary role model would have to be Steven Spielberg.
If you are to invite someone to a dinner dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Federico Fellini, Italian Film Director. He was a master at using the cinematic language to solicit the right response and feeling from his audience. He was never afraid to take chances on film and re-wrote the cinematic language, making us all better story tellers.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee all the way!
What ideals do you aim to share with your audience? Tell us something about your passions!
We hope that people engage with our stories. That after they watch something we’ve created they talk about it after that fact. We want our films to blow people’s hair back!
What do you think is going to happen in the future? How do you see the future of drones? (possible improvements, maybe?)
Drones will get faster and smarter, with autonomous flight being more and more reliable and precise. Object avoidance software will improve as well, making drones extremely safe and reliable. They are already being used across many platforms whether it be mapping out construction sites allowing volumetric measurements, or emergency response using thermal cameras to help search and rescue.