The filmmaker of the week is the Australian Scott Palmer.
Let’s find out something more about him!
How did it all begin and how did you become interested in shooting films with drones?
I’ve had a passion for photography and cinematography since I was young. I got my aircraft pilots license about 6 years ago and had been experimenting with Aerial Photography; however, stabilization is always an issue, and the wings/canopy is always in the way. About two years ago I got hold of my first drone and started practicing, I then purchased an Inspire 1 v2 and started filming from the air shortly after this point I got my Remotely Piloted Aircraft License (RePL) – it’s amazing the range of shots now available to me with this great tool.
Can you tell us a story or an experience related to drone cinematography that is particularly meaningful to you?
My favourite filming session so far has been in Esperance, Western Australia. We were lucky to get 4 straight days of perfect sunny weather. The drone performed extremely well in windy conditions, and I was able to get some great shots over the granite rocks and beaches. It was amazing to see this coastline from the air.
Can you tell us something about the technology you are using and your approach towards film-making?
I use a DJI Inspire 1 version 2 and X3. I’m very picky with my shots and will often do a whole session of filming and then not use the footage if it’s not quite right. I like all my shots to be smooth, without turbulence or any shake in the shots. This is often very hard to get the perfect shot as the wind, weather, etc. are always a factor.
What do you think is going to happen in the future? How do you see the future of drones? (possible improvements, maybe?)
I’m excited to see what happens with delivery drones. Amazon seems to be keen to progress this. It will be a game changer for online shopping. In the film world every few months some new tech seems to be released. I’m amazed at the speed the technology is being released to market.
What do you think is the most important aspect of film-making?
Editing – you can have great footage, but if you don’t edit it properly and aren’t picky with your shots, you can spoil the film.
What ideals do you aim to share with your audience? Tell us something about your passions!
I strongly recommend any budding drone pilots do their research, seek training and read up on the rules. Remember you are sharing the airspace with larger aircraft (and the rules make sure you remain separated). In Australia, the communication of the rules and knowledge by the public is very poor, and many people either blatantly break the rules or have no clue what they are doing. It can lead to some very dangerous situations. I think more needs to be done to control and educate the untrained and unlicensed operators.
Do you dream from an aerial perspective?
Sometimes, I often try to imagine what kind of shots I can get from various angles.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Don’t fly close to trees 😀
If you are to invite someone to a dinner alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Martin Withers. My favourite aircraft is the Avro Vulcan, and I’d love to hear more about it from someone who flew it in some of the most challenging conditions imaginable. I managed to see the XH558 the last flying Vulcan do it’s last few flights over the UK.
What challenges do you face and how can these be overcome?
Travelling with the drone can sometimes be a pain. Airlines such as Swiss simply don’t understand Lithium Batteries at all. I had them approve, then cancel approval for one of my flights and then mess me around for weeks trying to get a refund. It was a bit of a nightmare. I had similar issues with Brittish Airways. Luckily Qantas, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines have all been great to deal with. I try to seek pre-approval wherever possible.
We asked Scott to send us a short video about anything he wanted to share with us:
Here is Scott’s latest video: https://vimeo.com/213339013