Where To Find Free Drone Footage For Video Editors
Looking for some awesome free drone footage for your video project? no problem we show you where to find the best premium aerial footage.
If a YouTuber goes on holiday and does not make a drone montage, did they go at all? And if there aren’t long, placid aerial shots of a small town deep in the American Midwest, is it a Netflix true-crime documentary?
In this article, we explore some of the ups and downs of filming drone footage to use in video projects, as drones rise in popularity and aerial shots are an inescapable part of our visual landscape.
What’s The Difference Between Drone Footage & Aerial Footage?
Firstly, you only need to pay attention and you will notice drone shots on billboards, on your Instagram feed, in the cinema, and on the news.
You will see them on realtors’ homepages, wedding videographers’ portfolios, conservation campaigns, and even your kid’s school’s website.
So, what exactly is the reason for the meteoric rise of the bird’s eye view? And what exactly is the difference between drone footage and aerial footage?
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Before, if you wanted to take your audience with you on a journey high above the Scottish moors, you needed to hire a helicopter. However, you’d also have to hire, a camera, a high-quality gimbal, a camera operator, set aside an afternoon and pray for the right weather conditions.
The shots you would capture from an expedition like this are known as aerial footage.
Nowadays, one person can fill all of those roles with a drone and complete an aerial shoot in half an hour. Video clips taken with a camera attached to a drone (which is a remote-controlled pilotless aircraft) are also considered aerial footage.
However, to mark the difference in accessibility, production cost, and increased camera agility, it is often called drone footage.
Variety Of Uses
Secondly, a drone is capable of so much more than taking shots from the air. You might even be able to complete a whole shoot using a drone. They can be used to recreate a crane shot without a crane, a dolly shot without a dolly, and a tripod shot without a tripod.
Nevertheless, the high-budget, high-concept impression associated with drones comes because they allow a viewer to obtain a new perspective. This adds a sense of grandeur, quality and professionalism to almost any project.
Drone shots consistently outperform ground-level videos when it comes to engagement. As well as one-off large-scale video projects, they can be used for establishing shots, intros, outros and background videos on websites. Aerial footage can provide visual relief after a series of oppressive close-ups within an edit.
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Drone shots are also invaluable for filling gaps where you have audio, but no footage to go with it. Consider, for example, the number of recorded telephone conversations that are set to aerial and drone footage in contemporary documentaries. Drone footage can also be great for setting the overall dynamics of your project.
Why not add a whoosh sound effect to a fast-moving aerial shot to give a sense of time moving quickly? Or some ambient, gentle music to give a feeling of peace and tranquillity?
In short, whether it is for A-roll or B-roll, drone footage is rarely a bad idea, especially if it’s free drone footage we’re talking about.
End Of An Era
This leads to the next point, the limitless age of drones is a lot like the Wild West.. short-lived and coming to an end!
As the quality and range of drones/cameras increase, so do the restrictions (and bans) concerning them. For example, it is entirely illegal, for example, to fly a drone over Amsterdam or Yosemite.
The number of countries where drones are banned outright increases year on year. If you transport a drone into Bhutan, Iran, or Madagascar, for example, it will be confiscated at customs. 😲
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Finally, even in countries where drones are legal, flying them isn’t cheap. For example, a permit for flying a drone in UK airspace for ‘commercial reasons’ can cost 1,000 GBP.
‘Commercial reasons’ include any kind of drone videography you plan on using in branding, advertising, or film projects intended to make a profit.
In addition to this permit, you need to obtain the permission of the individual landowners before you can film their property from the air.
Aerial Footage Can Be Expensive
Finally, there is the cost of the drone itself to consider. For example, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro (our favourite) will set you back approximately £1,200 or $1,600.
And that’s before you splash any cash on accessories to extend the battery life, insurance, or a case. And all of this is necessary if you plan on using a drone regularly.
In good weather, a drone shoot may only take 20 minutes; its battery will last you 30. In bad weather, a shoot it can take all day, the battery will not last as long, and the risk of crashing increases.
Wrapping Up – Free Drone Footage
Fortunately, there is a budget-friendly, legal, time- and headache-saving solution to injecting some of that wow factor into your project. Stock footage libraries have whole collections of free drone and aerial footage that you can use for your projects.
Videvo has a whole library of free drone stock footage shots available for use in commercial or personal projects. The videographers who filmed these shots have already taken care of the legal, practical and financial considerations for you. And because the library has been built up over time, you may find some shots that have since been rendered impossible to replicate!
Furthermore, this high-quality free drone footage has been filmed, trimmed, and edited by professionals. This ensures that you do not have to trawl through hours of jerky camera movements and turbulence to find that wow factor.
In addition to their free drone footage, Videvo offers a premium subscription service for the fraction of a price of an annual drone permit. And, of course, with so much of it being 4K or UHD, there are plenty of opportunities to edit footage. You can reverse a shot, adjust the speed, or even crop in.
Subsequently, this allows you to achieve that custom, cinematic, high-end look in less time and with less stress 😉
Have you used drone shots for a project or website? What challenges have you faced in shooting your own drone footage? Will you take advantage of the amazing free drone footage out there for your next project?
Let us know in the comments below!