Julien, tell us more about your background.
I went to an engineering school, where I specialized in I.T and Business Management. During my last year at university, I did an internship at Be Tomorrow, where I created a drone that was programmed to follow horses during a race.
This project piqued my interest in drones and I started researching the European leader of drones, Parrot.
What are your interests outside of work?
I spend a lot of my free time doing sport. Sport has always been a passion, which is why I spent eighteen years practicing taekwondo.
Today, I enjoy running and cycling, especially in mountainous environments. I often take my drone with me, as it’s the perfect occasion to shoot some stunning landscapes, especially in the Follow Me mode.
What do you do at Parrot?
I’m part of the Functional Validation team and it’s my responsibility to test the drones and the piloting applications. I’m a certified drone pilot and have the necessary experience to really test the mettle of our drones and their various components, such as sensors etc. to push limits and to see how far we can go. I also fly in the drone in various weather conditions and altitudes to see how it fares.
When I initially start testing prototypes, it is to help the R&D team choose the best components. However, as we move onto more final version of the product, I put myself in the shoes of a customer to test the drone’s ergonomics and see if they provide an excellent user experience.
What attracted you to Parrot?
I really wanted to work with drones and Parrot is one of the rare French companies that manufactures some of the best drones on the market.
What were your first impressions of ANAFI?
I have a privileged position; I get to try all the drones on the market to make sure I have an objective point of view when I test our new drones.
I genuinely feel that ANAFI is a fantastic drone. It’s compact, easy to carry and produces excellent quality photos and videos.
It has one of the longest battery lives for a drone of its size, making it perfect to take on holiday and outdoor escapades. You just put it in your bag and you’re good to go.
I’ve also shown ANAFI to many friends who are into outdoor sports and they’re all surprised by how compact and light ANAFI is and how easy it is to use.
What’s your favorite feature?
I really like the fact that ANAFI features a 180° gimbal. Using the tilt camera, you can capture shots that would otherwise be impossible. You also get to discover vantage points that again would be very difficult by any other means.
I also really like Follow Me. I often go running in the mountains and just before I start, I activate the Follow Me mode, throw the drone in the air and I’m off. The drone then films me automatically wherever I go.
So you’re a bit of an expert on Follow Me, what would be your top five tips to shoot the best Follow Me videos?
- Don’t forget the basics: make sure you have a good quality smartphone, your drone batteries are fully charged and that there are no disturbances around you.
- Wear brightly colored clothes that make sure you don’t blend into the background. If you’re running in a park, it’s not a good idea to wear green clothes, as the drone might not be able to see you clearly. Also it’s better when the sun is behind the drone rather than behind the subject. If the sun is behind the subject, there is a possibility that the drone might get blinded by the light.
- Ideally you need to find an area that’s obstacle free, no trees, buildings or rocks in the drone’s trajectory. The best place is out in the open air where there aren’t many people, limiting the number of interferences. The beach, countryside and mountains are great areas to execute Follow Me.
- The drone should be between 3 to 5 meters from the subject providing the drone with a stronger line of sight. This produces better quality photos and videos thanks to the wider camera angle.
- Make sure you’re not travelling faster than 25mph. The drone moves at a maximum speed of 33mph. To enable it to follow you and produce excellent quality footage, I feel that 25mph is the optimum speed.