[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”15579″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”600×600″][vc_column_text]If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Twitter, you have probably already heard of Will Hutchinson.
The first time we spoke with him was a few months ago, when he uploaded its first video filmed with the Bebop Drone on YouTube. We enjoyed it so much that we included it in our Bebop Drone – Best of the Week #2 article!
Since then, Will has continued to make great films with his drone. We’ve asked him a couple of questions about his work.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Hi Will. Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Will Hutchinson – I am a freelance film maker and photographer based in London, UK. My main film work is for music promos and making videos for bands such as The Duke Spirit, Plump DJs, The Jacques, The Rifles and Furs. A selection of my works can be seen on my website – www.willhutchinson.co.uk[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Could you tell us about your experience with the Bebop Drone? What prompted you to use it to make films?
I’d been looking at drones for ages before I took the plunge and bought a Bebop a few months ago. The main reason for buying it at the time was the price – stabilised 1080 HD camera built in to a stable and small drone – all that for about half the price of most of the other available drones at the time.
I’d been reading about drones being used in big budget feature films, but loved the idea of being able to get smooth aerial shots for less than £750. It had the potential of adding a massive new dimension to my filmmaking.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkgmqMbjchc”][vc_column_text]What do you think about the Bebop footage stabilization?
The stabilisation on the Bebop is very powerful. It’s a bit like magic the 1st time you see it and for me, this is as important as anything. As well as getting impressive, high altitude shots, I am just as excited about getting smooth long tracking shots (basically – smooth shots following a moving subject). Dollys, cranes and camera gimbles are very expensive, so to be able to use the Bebop to emulate those types of shots is a big deal for my film making. I like to keep my gear as small as possible, so – 1 camera, 1 tripod and 1 drone is perfect!
The feature of being able to adjust settings from within the Freeflight 3 app is my favourite part of the Bebop software and is essential for capturing the tracking shots I talk about above. Before I made any shots, I worked out what speed and height I’d likely need and adjusted accordingly. For a lot of the low level work, I’d set the Bebop up to a maximum height of 2 metres, and set the speed and rotation to their minimum (slowest) settings. This allows you to capture very smooth and stable footage. I also found that using the slowest settings is brilliant for practising my flying. It’s a good idea to get used to controlling the drone in a small, safe area at low speeds and build up from there!
I made the film ‘Let It Go’ on a trip to Castelnaudary in France in April this year. It is a music video for a friend of mine called Mario Anastasi. My brother lives in France and his daughter, Lois, kindly agreed to be the star in the video.
The video was shot over 3 afternoons in Castelnaudary. I used the drone in empty back alleys, disused railway tunnels and around my brother’s house. The rest of the film was shot on a Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera – the whole setup could be carried in a small bag![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=D9cYqKkfXvo&app=desktop”][vc_column_text]You told us that the girl in the video is your niece. What does she think about your drone?
She loved the drone, as did their dog – a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Mabel. Hint – do not try and land near an excited dog, as I found out at my own cost. Luckily, the Bebop was finally plucked from the powerful jaws of the dog with only a few teeth marks to show.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]What do you use to edit your films?
The film was edited over 2 days on a Macbook Air using Final Cut Pro X. The whole thing was graded using Color Grading Central’s LUT Utility (pretty much essential for the Black Magic footage), but I was generally just trying to make the drone footage match the other camera.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Which feature would you like us to develop?
The only essential tool I’d love added next would be Exposure Lock. It is pretty important for film makers that footage doesn’t flicker up and down during a take (depending on the lighting conditions). So yes – an option for exposure to lock when you hit record would be my film maker’s request![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”15565″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”600×600″][vc_column_text]Finally, is there anything you would like to add?
My advice (from my short experience) to getting the best from your Bebop drone..
Fly slowly! Unless you need speed, the slower you fly, the smoother your footage will be and the less likely you will be to crash!
Avoid the wind. I have flown the Bebop in 30mph winds over open fields in France and it stayed in the air, but the footage was patchy. The drone is working so hard just trying to stay level that the video will suffer in extreme circumstances. General rule: the calmer it is, the easier it is to fly and the better your videos will look.
Keep it simple. The video stabilisation works remarkably well, but you can help it out by being simple. Clean straight moves, forwards and backwards, or steady sideways tracking shots look great. Rotating the drone in flight can look robotic, so I avoid that as much as possible. I also use the drone like I use my main camera – to make shots – concentrate on one smooth move at a time. Break the flight into ‘takes’.
Edit out the bad stuff! Every shot I make is not great and don’t be disappointed if yours isn’t. If you have footage with jumps / judders or glitches – edit those out! If flying or shooting conditions are not good, the footage won’t be good – the Bebop is pretty amazing, but it is not magic.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Many thanks to Will for taking the time to share his thoughts with us!
Finally, feel free to contact us to share your ideas, videos, pictures!