Today's best drones are impressive beasts, but perhaps the best illustration of what these powerful bits of kit can do comes in the form of a new short ski film entitled FLOW.
FLOW follows pro skier Sam Favret as he tackles some frankly ridiculous slopes in the French Alps, and it was shot entirely using three DJI drones. There's even a making-of doc that shows you exactly how they did it (although be aware it is entirely in French, so depending on your linguistic skills, it might not shed much more light on the process).
As detailed in the Viewpoints DJI blog, to capture the thrilling / slightly nausea-inducing footage, the team used a combination of three different drones. One, the DJI FPV Combo – a relatively new addition to the DJI lineup, designed for first-person view flying (find out more in our DJI FPV review). Two, the DJI Inspire 2 – a high-end professional filmmaking drone – with Zenmuse X7 compact Super 35 camera. Three: the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, an outstanding prosumer drone (and still considered a top choice, despite being officially replaced in the DJI lineup by the DJI Mavic 3 in November 2021). The footage is nothing short of stunning.
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The film was shot during the 20/21 ski season, when COVID shut down many of Europe's ski resorts. Bad luck for those of us who wanted to hit the slopes, but a great opportunity for Sam to capture a bird-eye tour of the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc resort, on pristine, crowd-free slopes. His team included director Maxime Moulin and drone pilot Hensli Sage. Check out the film below.
"I got into drones in 2014 without any prior experience of making videos," says Hensli. "I was blown away by the opportunities offered by drones; aerial photography became accessible to everyone. We were starting to see aerial images from everywhere, the revolution was on."
While the DJI's camera capabilities are clearly up to the challenge of capturing footage like this, creating a film entirely using drones presents its own logistical challenges. “Filming with a ground camera, we can communicate directly and visually," explains Hensli. "When filming with a drone, the distance requires having a detailed discussion before the shoot and to liaise with a radio or phone during the action to adjust the shots.”
The efforts paid off though – FLOW was awarded the best international short ski film of the 2021 High Five Ski Film Festival in Annecy, France. If you understand French, check out the making of film below. And if that's inspired you to start flying, but you can't quite afford the priciest DJIs yet, head to our best cheap drones guide for some more wallet-friendly alternatives.